This car is exactly what I thought it would be, which is great quality for the money. If you don't want a van or a gas guzzling SUV but you need room for your family, the Highlander Hybrid is a perfect fit. I've been pleased with the gas mileage in "economy mode". Although I haven't seen the 27mpg listed, I've been around 24 mpg around town. My fuel bills have been sliced in half from the Dodge Durango we had before.
I've had the Highlander Hybrid for about a month, and I'm sorry but I don't really have many good things to say about it. I traded in a 2004 VW loaded Touareg with a V8 and air suspension, so moving to this vehicle was a major downgrade. Disappointingly, I've already had the Hybrid system fail on me leaving me stranded out in the middle of nowhere. The car went completely dead. I suppose I hoped that if the hybrid system failed, I could use the regular engine to get to safety. No such luck. I got the vehicle towed to the nearest Toyota Dealer, which was in the opposite direction that I lived, so it was more than an inconveniece. Toyota fixed the problem without any charge, but was without the car for a couple of days, and I had to drive over an hour back to the dealer to pick it up on my own time. I have also not received the posted MPG's for City or Highway, and average around 22 since getting the car. I've tried to alter my driving methods to maximize the hybrid system, and even drive with Econ mode a lot, but don't get near what I should. I am extremely disappointed that the sales person did not tell me that the Navigation system is completely locked down while the car is moving. Since my previous vehicle did not do this, I was unaware that this was something that Toyota mandates. Basically, I wasted $4,000 on getting the Navigation update, because it is completely useless unless you are stopped. Even if I have a passenger in the car with me, it still requires that I'm stopped to add an address or use the phone directory. I'm sure that their answer will be that you can use voice commands to do many things, this is just ridiculous. Maybe it's my fault for not noticing this during the test drive, but I definitely would not have purchased this car if I would have know this restriction. I also don't like that I can't lock the car with the car running if I have both sets of keys. I have a dog that I like to take with me, and on hot summer days, keeping the air conditioning running while I run into a store quickly is convenient. I've also noticed the car "jumping" a lot, where it feels like the car is throbbing, and can't decide to use hybrid or conventional engine. I've started to get use to it, but my wife complains the entire time we're driving around. Maybe the only thing that I really do like is the Bluetooth connectivity with my phone, and it quickly sync's as soon as I turn on the engine. I would not recommend this vehicle to others in a similar situation as myself.
This car is an "07 model. It's averaging 29-30 mpg consistently. It has surprising passing and merge power. Seats are very comfortable and the ride is very firm and stable. It had only 21,000 miles when purchased; I could not be more pleased.