Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Knowing I'm getting better gas mileage than my sedan I was driving before.
Advice: If you are considering the hybrid make sure you learn the tricks to improving gas mileage...or else you might be disappointed with what you are getting for MPGs.It is a very responsive, sturdy, quiet drive. Because of the v6 it has pep to be able to get in the thick of things on the highway when I need the power. I like the height of the SUV I don't feel like I need a step ladder to get up into it like my husband's toyota sequoia. I think he even likes driving my hybrid better than his own toyota. Make sure you research how to get better gas mileage with the hybrids and keep an open mind when driving one. I didn't have to change my driving habits too much to get within an acceptable range of the estimated mpgs for the hybrid. I was only getting 22 mpgs with my vw passat and that was with premium gas at that! With the highlander hybrid I am getting around 25.7mpgs with regular gas and I do mostly highway driving which for the highlander the est. mpgs on highway is 27. As long as that keeps up then I am happy.
Pros: navigation system -- however it lists my address off by 38 numbers and can’t be corrected. Also the version that came with the car was outdated the day I bought the car and Toyota charges for the updated disk when it is available.
Cons: doesn’t get rated gas mileage
Advice: Give serious thought to switching to an SUV type of hybridThis car is interesting but the mileage is based on a single person of 150 lbs. or less -- not very realistic in the US. The 7 passenger suggests 7 people at 150 lbs. or is it 5 at 150 lbs. and two at less weight. The best mileage I got was 28.5 mpg and this was while watching the digital read out traveling for about 150 miles mostly level or down hill. Never -- Ever got above 21 mpg around city, which is where you’re supposed to get 30 mpg. There are no other gears but drive -- is this true of all hybrids? Couldn’t make it up a steep hill with one inch of snow while towing about 1,000 pounds! Never experienced anything like it. The gas pedal was down but absolutely nothing happened! Took an hour to go 150 feet! This is not right for a supposed all wheel drive vehicle. In the first 6 weeks it had computer problems and was in the shop more than in my driveway. Basically this was not a car that has lived up to expectations. Toyota has missed the mark on the little things. I was very much surprised to realize that my Trailblazer LTZ was better appointed than this top of the line Highlander Limited. Chevy had much better heated seats -- back & bottom whereas the Highlander is the seat only and it only achieves a mild warmth... the Trailblazer had better heated mirrors, better placement of cup holders... had rain sensor wipers... the list goes on. When did GM pass Toyota on these creature comforts? GM does these things better hands down!
Pros: Hybrid Synergy Drive
Cons: Long wait for desired vehicle
Advice: Negotiate with the dealerI purchased in December 2005, but ordered the vehicle in September. It has been on a 2000 mile trip including mountains and performed flawlessly. Quality is excellent, mileage is as projected and the hardest thing to get used to is that the engine does not start when I turn the key. I recommend the Navigation package as the GPS is very well designed and the touch-screen is a great feature.