By on November 6, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum

I was driving along the other day and I realized something: the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is currently the most popular vehicle in North America.

Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration. For instance, I am told that the bicycle is quite popular. But on a list of today’s most popular vehicles, the Highlander Hybrid is right up there with the bicycle, and the wheelchair, and that Ford pickup that sells more units in an afternoon than Ferrari sells globally in an entire calendar year.

It is very obvious to see why the Highlander Hybrid is so popular. For one thing, it’s a normal family SUV with three-row seating, which is incredibly hot right now; so hot that I am quite certain it is not actually possible to rear children in today’s society without a three-row SUV. If you showed up at a child’s birthday party in a Toyota Camry, and you had forgotten to dress your child, and you had brought the wrong child, and your child was vomiting all over everything in sight, people would not call attention to your child-related issues. They would ask: Why don’t you have a three-row SUV?

But the Highlander Hybrid is not just a three-row SUV. It’s also a hybrid, like the Toyota Prius, or the Honda Insight, or the liger. This makes it double popular, because people also love hybrids in the sense that I believe some portion of the population wishes the hybrid car was also a human being so they could marry it and procreate with it. At which point they would cart around their half-car, half-human children in a three-row SUV.

The result of this whole part-hybrid, part-SUV thing is that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid returns 28 miles per gallon in the city, 28 miles per gallon on the highway, and 28 miles per gallon if you accidentally press the gas pedal instead of the brake and crash into a 7-Eleven.

Basically, it’s going to get 28 miles per gallon no matter what you do, sort of like Tesla owners are going to get obnoxious vanity plates, no matter how many times you explain that WATTSUP isn’t really all that funny.

Now, this 28 mpg business is a huge improvement over the regular model, because that one only gets 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. So basically the hybrid version gets 9 more mpg in the city and 3 more mpg on the highway, which is an increase of roughly 56 percent, assuming that you do not check my math. If you did check my math, you’d discover that percentages are not my strong suit, much in the same way that “getting bad gas mileage” is not the Highlander Hybrid’s strong suit.

And this brings us to my question today, which is: why the hell aren’t there any competitors to the Highlander Hybrid?

To be clear, there are many competitors to the regular Highlander. For instance, there’s the Honda Pilot, and the Nissan Pathfinder, and the Ford Explorer, and the Chevrolet Traverse, and the Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Kia Sorento, and I could go on naming these forever but what I think we can all agree on here is that there are a lot of three-row SUVs out there that cannot be told apart by the average human consumer.

Meanwhile, there are also a lot of hybrids. There’s the Honda Civic Hybrid, and the Honda CR-Z, and the Honda Accord Hybrid, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and the Ford C-MAX, and the Chevrolet Volt, and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and the Kia Optima Hybrid, and several other vehicles with “hybrid” at the end of their name and blue badging to remind people they aren’t just lookin’ at any old Hyundai Sonata.

And yet… there are no other hybrid midsize SUVs.

Oh, sure, people have tried to make hybrid midsize SUVs. Actually, only Nissan tried, and it was somehow a dismal failure. I’ve never understood this. Toyota has been selling the Highlander Hybrid in enormous numbers at sticker price for a decade, and Nissan cancels the Pathfinder Hybrid after about 45 minutes on the market. This would be like building a U.S. automotive factory in the early 1980s and pulling out in 1989, thinking that U.S. automotive production was not a good plan for the future. (NOTE: This actually happened to Volkswagen, worldwide leader in bad ideas.)

Since the Pathfinder Hybrid, there have been no other challengers. Honda offers three hybrid cars, but doesn’t see fit to compete with the Highlander Hybrid in the SUV world. Ford offers at least two hybrid cars; probably more, who knows. And they, too, can’t get a hybrid powertrain into the Explorer.

This makes no sense! All they need to do is take an existing SUV, stick in a hybrid engine, and get 28 miles per gallon. It could outsell the wheeled office chair.

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78 Comments on “Doug Drives: How the Hell Does the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Not Have Any Competitors?...”


  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    The Highlander Hybrid is not popular. It is on pace to sell around 3800 units this year. Good job not using any data in your article though. This is blog post is bad and you should feel bad.

    Things that outsell the Highlander Hybrid in the US:

    Lincoln MkT
    Volvo V60
    Mercedes Benz SL
    Jaguar F-Type
    Kia Cadenza
    Hyundai Azera
    Fiat 500X

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I think the point of the article is to wonder why more CAFE challenged automakers haven’t picked the low hanging fruit of easy MPG improvement of a hybrid midsize SUV. Of course, the answer is your sales data showing that the cost of development is not going to result in a big CAFE average improvement.

      As the noose of CAFE standards continues to tighten, it will slowly bring the other automakers around.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        It’s also because Toyota has a great hybrid system that they spread across many vehicles in their line up. Even Ford, that has a similar, and also great hybrid system, doesn’t put it in the Edge or Escape (it would be too expensive to re-engineer the D-platform to accept a hybrid powertrain). No one else has the same scale as Toyota.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          bball40dtw, you’re very correct. Another challenge competitors have is that Toyota controls most of the hybrid parts suppliers.

          The likes of Ford can’t produce hybrids in volume, because they can’t get the parts in volume.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Actually, the new Edge and MKX are on the CD4 platform, along with the Fusion and MKZ. The previous Edge and MX were on the CD3 platform, along with the old Fusion and MKZ.

          The D3/D4 platform is the one that designates the full-sized cars, which are underpinned by what is essentially a late-nineties’ Volvo architecture. Those cars would be the Explorer, Taurus, Flex, MKT and MKS. D3/D4 will be replaced by a long-wheelbase version of the CD4 architecture, which is pretty much how everyone is doing it these days…

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Several of the regular commenters on TTAC seem to be too serious. This post was not about showing accurate data; it was about being amusing.

      If you do not find Doug’s writing amusing, you do not need to read it. Nor comment on it.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        If you find my comment too serious, you don’t need to read it. Nor comment on it.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Heh.. Yay, bball. Boo, Doug Fluff.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I got caught in the Doug troll. That’s what I get for clicking the link.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            “Doug Drives” is basically QOTD, combined with Doug’s style of generally reasonably amusing simile, metaphor and hyperbole.

            No shame in clicking the link, because the beauty of TTAC is the discussion that ensues below the article.

            Its really a win-win for everyone, so can we all just get along? If you enjoy Doug’s prose, great! Here it is. If you don’t, then there’s still something here for you in the many branches of conversation that germinate below. I’ve noticed that the B&B will take the thinnest thread of a premise and expand on it, which is a fun and enjoyable thing.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You’re right Dave. I’m sorry that I was a d!ck. That’s on me.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Dont worry bball, you were bit harsh on Doug’s lack of data, but other people were harsh on you. Doug’s articles seem to have this effect on people.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Meh, I can take it. I have been dealing with escalated complaints, regarding commissions that were reversed, all week. I’m drinking tonight.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Even if Dougs articles generate good discussions, its a bit weird how he never participates in them.

          I usually end up reading the comments just to see peoples polarized reactions, more than the actual discussions.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        The only reason I scroll through Dougs posts is to see him amusingly lampooned in the comments, so please don’t ask bball to stop.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The Highlander Hybrid is production-constrained. There is a waiting list and they sell at MSRP or even higher.

      They (and their RX450h siblings) are very popular in coastal cities. My former boss, who lives in DC, tried to buy one a couple years ago but didn’t have time to wait for one to become available as her MkIV Jetta was self-destructing. She ended up with a regular Highlander instead, but still talks about wishing she had the hybrid.

      In my relatively affluent inner-suburb neighborhood the RX and MDX utterly dominate the automotive landscape, and many of the RXes are hybrids.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I think Toyota’s hybrids are good vehicles and are, in general, popular. Less popular now that gas prices are low. However, according to hybridcars.com, the Highlander Hybrid has never been very popular (it doesn’t appear to have ever sold over 5000 units in a calendar year since 2010). The RX hybrid is much more popular.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Interesting. “production constrained” sounds like carmaker-speak for “we lose money on them, so we only make 5,000 annually. They are really just to advance Toyota’s green image and to make dealers happy.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Given that list the Highlander Hybrid is about as popular as my wife Volvo C30!

  • avatar
    jeoff

    The 2016 Chryler T&C is supposed to have a hybrid trim-which matches in function (and almost in form)–and the Dodge replacement for the Caravan is supposed to be an SUV—so maybe it will have a hybrid trim as well.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I’m hoping this article is snark because the Toyota Highlander doesn’t sell in any kind of volume. Highlander hybrid sales peak in 2006 and then steadily declined until an artificially low 2011 number driven by a model redesign and post-earthquake parts shortage production constraint.

    2005: 17,989
    2006: 31,485
    2007: 22,052
    2008: 19,441
    2009: 11,086
    2010: 7,456
    2011: 4,549
    2012: 5,921
    2013: 5,070
    2014: 3,621

    If anything the sales data points out to why no one else builds a three tow hybrid, there is apparently no market for it. Sales actually decline after the upgrade to the 3.5L V6 and redesign that came in 2011 despite a growing economy.

    If anything, cheap gas is killing the lone mainstream 3-row hybrid CUV out there.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I’m assuming the first line is missing the word “Hybrid”?

      The non-hybrid Highlander sold 13,316 units last month, and no less than 11,000 units any month this year.

      It’s behind the Explorer and Grand Cherokee, but that’s it.

      (You’re totally right about the lack of market for a 3-row hybrid right now.

      I am sort of surprised Mercedes isn’t doing it in the GL, though, since they have a hybrid S, and they make weird decisions like that.)

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The “Highlander” sells well, the Highlander hybrid is a footnote today.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Right, thus my comment about the first line missing “Hybrid”; you said “I’m hoping this article is snark because the Toyota Highlander doesn’t sell in any kind of volume”.

          The Highlander does; as you say, the Highlander Hybrid does not.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        Mercedes will surely launch a hybrid GLS at some point. There is a hybrid version of the GLE on the way already.

        Hybrids will actually sell to luxury customers for the same reason that Teslas are able to sell: people who are affluent can afford to buy cars that are more efficient than they need even if it doesn’t pay for itself, while the family taking out a loan to buy a Highlander really cannot.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      “Highlander hybrid sales peak in 2006 and then steadily declined”

      Well, you know what they say: In the end, there can be only one…

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This is not lack of market, this is lack of sense. Hybrid is what, north of 40G? I bough my highlander in 2009 for 25 big. and it returns north of 20mpg avg with 4cyl. You can calculate that you will never recover money spent on hybrid. Although, my 4cyl doesn’t have features hybrid has, I don’t need them and I don’t want to pay for them.

      Does highlander make sense in rural area if your driving 80% highway and you only get 4MPG highway more. City people buy small SUVs. I just caught myself thinking of all the relative living in city. 2 Small SUVs and 10 sedans. But those who live in suburban area mostly have sedan + SUV + sedan for children + motorcycle. With my niece having 2 SUVs – small and Mid

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        North of 40G? Well, yes it is.

        It costs $50,000 because you are only allowed to buy it in the highest-level trim.

        Most Toyota dealerships don’t even carry it and the ones that do put it in the showroom as a halo vehicle, where you basically have to bribe them to sell it to you.

        The volume seller Highlander is an 8-seater with a bench in the second row – presumably because market research told them that this is the ideal configuration. The Hybrid is only available with reclining captains chairs and thus is a 7-seater.

        As far as I can tell, it exists as a marketing exercise only, Toyota would much rather sell that drive train as installed in a Lexus. And if they can’t get you to buy it in a Lexus, they make sure you are paying Lexus-money anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Actually, I remember incident with a cute owner of HH one time. She was crying. I said, what happened? She blew her tire on protruding manhole, considering that just yesterday she paid $1000 for new set installed. I helped her to replace it and told here not to worry – this is just tire. But in my head I thought, if you can’t afford damn tire, why do you buy expensive car that needs expensive tires and often?

          • 0 avatar
            wolfinator

            She spent $1000 on tires and didn’t get a blow-out warranty?

            I don’t know where you live, but around here if you spend that much, you usually get freebie flat repairs.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            That tire was torn beyond repair. she obviously tried to save on warranty. no idea… she cried

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      2016 RAV4 press release dropped today. Hybrid XLE e-AWD starts at just above $29K, EPA 33mpg combined. No 3rd row, but the Lexus NX h starts $10K higher.

      http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+2016+rav4+hybrid+debut.htm

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        “Toyota can proudly point to the first RAV4 as the pioneering model two decades ago. The RAV4 was a new kind of vehicle that combined SUV versatility with car-like handling, ride comfort and fuel economy.”

        BS. LADA NIVA was exactly that and way before RAV4. May be they mean in US?

  • avatar
    Chan

    Toyota is by far in the best position to adapt a hybrid drivetrain to a variety of different car platforms. Toyota’s unique 4WD version of Hybrid Synergy Drive started with the innovative Highlander/Kluger Hybrid and Harrier/Lexus RX400h back in 2005/6. They was Toyota’s first cars with a separate electric drive unit for the rear wheels, and in Japan it had the name “E-Four.”

    Soon after that, Toyota also put the system in its RHD-market MPV passenger vans, the upscale Alphard and the Estima/Previa twins.

    Not sure why Toyota has not put a similar system in the North American Sienna.

    • 0 avatar
      SpinnyD

      They had a Hybrid Estima back in 2003 in Japan, I saw one when I was there. I have been asking why they haven’t had a Hybrid option on the Sienna ever since.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      The North American Sienna is quite a bit larger and heavier than the RHD Estima Hybrid, which unlike the SUVs has a 4 cylinder engine. The Sienna 4 cylinder was discontinued after 2 years, due to lack of power and minimal MPG gains.

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/review-toyota-sienna-le-2-7/

      Toyota sells fewer Siennas vs. Highlanders, and from what I’ve seen at lower transaction prices. Not a good combination for a premium priced Sienna Hybrid.

  • avatar
    move2theright

    Bball40, you’re an idiot. The whole point of the article is that the Highlander Hybrid is a ridiculous model. You’re lack of realizing tongue-in-cheek prose is saddening to see. Perhaps you shouldn’t comment unless you understand what’s going on. Doug, which car will you be buying next now that the Hummer is gone? I recommend a Winnebago.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Doug doesn’t typically comment here. You should ask him that question over at Jalopnik.

      Next time I’ll read Doug’s article to competition. I was done after reading halfway through.

      Also, the Highlander Hybrid isn’t ridiculous. It’s an additional 3500-4000 units a year for Toyota at close to $50K a piece. Just because other companies can’t do it, doesn’t make it ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        move2theright

        My question would be, how could it be worth it? Without doing the math, how many years would it take driving 12k miles a year, at $1.66 per gallon here in TX, to recoup the cost of the hybrid powertrain? Not to mention the increased maintenance and cost of dealing with a hybrid instead of a conventional engine. I can’t imagine it would make fiscal sense, especially when buyers of said car would probably only keep it around 5 years, on average. Just my two (unprofessional) cents. Your thoughts?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The payback depends on whatever the hybrid premium is. On the Fusion, for example, there isn’t much of a premium.

          I would also say that on Ford and Toyota hybrid powertrains, there is no increase in maintenance costs associated with having a hybrid vehicle. There may be a decrease. Brakes last much longer on hybrids than non-hybrids as well.

          I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but on a Highlander or Camry hybrid, you may get a premium when you sell it, making up for some of the higher acquisition cost.

        • 0 avatar
          Bimmer

          What are the increased maintenance costs are you talking about!?

          I drive a “fancy Ford Fusion Hybrid” (aka Lincoln MkZephyr Hybrid). Brakes last forever, no air filter to replace, as well as no alternator and no starter. Oil change intervals are 16,000 km (10,000 miles). And I average 5.6 l/100 km in the past 10,000 km since I bought it. Gas here is $1.07 per liter of regular.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Right. If anything, maintenance costs will be lower. I’m only at 50K miles or so with my C-Max, but my maintenance costs have only included oil changes, tire rotations, and a new set of tires when a Detroit area pothole ate three of my tires.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Out of curiosity, how is there no air filter?

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          So dont buy it in Texas. Look up prices elsewhere, compare to regional sales, eat crow. Remarkably, they sell more where fuel costs more.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      At Move:
      If you find Bballs comment too serious, you don’t need to read it. Nor comment on it.

      And Doug NEVER responds to comments in his TTAC articles

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    This is just a class of vehicle that I’ll never be shopping in. Kids are not in the plan.

    That said, its probably because Toyota is the only mainstream company in the segment that is all about the hybrids.

    Bearing in mind that this is mostly off the top of my head:

    GM – eAssist… no. Clearly the 2 mode Suburban hybrid needs to come back.
    Ford – too busy making the Flex awesome by stuffing a 3.5TT in the Flex. Keep up the good work Ford! Ford has hybrid tech, Fusion and Escape, but Ecoboost FTW.
    FCA – No hybrid tech to speak of, and the Durango is a different animal anyways
    Honda – Only really hit a hybrid home run with the current Accord. Guessing it will take some time for that tech to propagate through Honda’s lineup, if it is going to.
    Nissan – What, Nissan had a hybrid Pathfinder? supercharged 2.5L and electric motor? Great job marketing that, Nissan.
    Hyundai/Kia – again, have they ever made a hybrid?

    I mean, it makes sense to me that Toyota is leading the way of hybrids in ANY given segment.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The Optima and Sonata both have hybrid versions. The Sonata hybrid actually outsells the Accord Hybrid and the Optima is close.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Ha. Right. I don’t spend enough time thinking about H/K apparently.

        Either way, I think we are on the same page. Toyota is just the leader in mainstream hybrids, its not surprising they lead in this segment.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Plus all their hybrid are really reliable vehicles. I mean, if someone just wants a nice appliance of a car that will go 200K miles with little drama, a Toyota hybrid is a good place to start.

  • avatar
    EVdrive

    You forgot to mention the dead Saturn VUE hybrid.

  • avatar
    tubacity

    Why not competitors. For some, no suitable power train. For example, Honda insight was much smaller than a midsize SUV and lagged far behind Prius in fuel mileage and durability. Insight had early fail CVT transmission and early failing battery which resulted in a reprogramming to ease the load on the battery while the engine worked more. Result was even lower mpg.

    With lower gas price, no great business case for a mid size suv hybrid.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Chrysler did offer a Durango and Aspen Hybrid for a few minutes. Not sure if you could get the 3rd row or not.

    I am a little surprised that Ford didn’t introduce an Explorer Hybrid with the switch to the new platform or shortly after.

    On the other hand Ford deliberatly dropped the Hybrid version of the Escape with it’s redesign and is pushing people to the C-Max instead. The Escape Hybrid seemed to be pretty popular around here and it was really popular with the state and local gov’t for their fleets.

    A Ford system for the heavier vehicles would have made sense to me as they could use it in the Taurus/MKS and probably the Edge/MKX as well.

    I’m also surprised that Ford hasn’t done a Transit Connect Hybrid yet. I would think it would have a fairly high take rate for those fleets that use them mainly for in city delivery.

    Of course the current low gas prices don’t help the business case for any expansion of hybrid options, on the other hand CAFE certainly does.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “This makes it double popular, because people also love hybrids in the sense that I believe some portion of the population wishes the hybrid car was also a human being so they could marry it and procreate with it. At which point they would cart around their half-car, half-human children in a three-row SUV.”

    I stopped reading right here. This stupid internet meme of “X screwed Y and birthed this thing” needs to stop. Overplayed, overused, insipid, and not even that funny the first time around. I’ve started skipping most of DeMuro’s fluff. Looks like I’ll be skipping all of it from now on.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I think “WATTSUP” is kinda funny and most of the rest of his article not funny.

    It does get the point across in a passive aggressive sort of way.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I think the magic marketing figure for a hybrid minivan or 3 row SUV would be 30/30. It would have to get 30 MPG city and Highway. Even that might not do it with today’s low gas prices.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    You know why nothing competes with the Highlander hybrid?

    BECAUSE THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!

  • avatar
    George B

    I believe that most people buy hybrid cars for virtue signalling, not to save money. Therefore, a hybrid car must be clearly marked as a hybrid to show the indulgence you paid. As St. Vincent sings “If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me What’s the point of doing anything?”. I wouldn’t be surprised if most auto manufacturers shifted their hybrid vehicles from their mass-market brands to their “hey look at me!” luxury brands. A hybrid kid hauler makes as much sense as a designer mom jeans.

    • 0 avatar
      wolfinator

      I hear this a lot. Do you have market research data for that? Or are you one of those people who gets irrationally angry that others are doing something green? I know a *lot* of people who bought hybrids to save money.

      The problem is, you have to actually save money. If you look at Toyota’s volume Prius hybrids, they offer big savings long-term and a tolerable up-front price. Spending $20k to get a decently equipped compact with 50+mpg and low maintenance IS going to save the average commuter.

      The HH’s problem is that it’s too damn expensive. You have to cough up a $15k premium to be able to get the hybrid.

      People who buy based on value/cost savings are going to calculate out how just how much gas $15k can buy and walk away.

      Hell, you can almost buy a Prius AND a base Highlander for the real-world price of the HH!

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        If the only concern is cost/cheapness, yes.

        But remember the $15k premium for the HH over an base model also gets you a higher trim level and out of an I4 engine.

        IF you value “niceness”, you’re only paying $6k more than the equivalent trim non-Hybrid Highlander (per the prices on Toyota’s configurator).

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I dunno.

      The Accord/Camry hybrids have a subtle badge and not much else.

      The Leaf has the advantage of being practically *free* after subsidies and rebates.

      The Tesla’s a damned sports car.

      Nobody respects the Chevy whatever.

      So that leaves maybe the Prius as the posture-mobile?

      That mighta been so ten years ago, but they’re kinda a “default low-op-cost appliance” these days, and nobody thinks you’re special for driving one?

      (Disclosure: I own zero hybrids, but I have driven my parents’ Camry Hybrid. I found it perfectly nice, though I dunno if I’d prefer it over the V6.)

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      I must not be most people. I recently brought a new 2015 Volt (my 2nd one) for the same net price as a none hybrid compact. So for the same price my typically milage cost me $0.03/mile vs $0.08/mile.

      The fact it drives smoother and needs minimal maintance (1 oil change in 3 years on the 1st) is a bonus.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      That must be why Camry Hybrids, Avalon Hybrids, ES300h’s and RX450h’s are all over the streets here in California. Because their owners want to stand out, of course!

      The days of the Prius as a cult car / status symbol are long gone, since around 2005 when the car became large enough for American families and remained price-competitive with the Camry.

  • avatar
    epsilonkore

    Lets not forget the other three row hybrid offering from GM. The glorious Chevy Tahoe Hybrid with giant HYBRID letters down the side (wasnt there an Escalade too?)… not a direct competitor… but hey it had three rows, better than standard mileage (but not enough to justify its price or existance) and it was mostly a ‘mild hybrid’. Three rows and a big battery! Dont forget it!

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    As someone who finds humor in many things I didnt find this funny, this feels more like a highly elongated “Yahoo!” comment than a joke.

    Need a joke from me? Well I’d give you one but I’m afraid my jokes are on strike right now. I may have to start charging by the vowel!

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Of course it’s a poor joke, who calls the Minivan Highlander an SUV? Toyota has the midsize SUV market covered with the 4Runner, there’s no need to pretend this POS is their SUV entrant.

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    This Highlander Hybrid looks fantastic. I used to rant against SUVs and how evil they were. When I was a kid, people somehow managed to transport their children using cars, or if your family was big enough, station wagons.

    When my wife and I had our second child, the first time we needed to go somewhere with one of our Moms and consequently had to take two cars is when I realized we needed something bigger. Now that we’ve got a third one on the way, I’m glad we got the three-row SUV.

    The only thing that I can see missing from the Highlander Hybrid is HID headlights.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Timely article. The final specs and pricing were released on the RAV4 hybrid today. $700 up charge from the equivalent gas only model. You get a 27% increase in combined fuel economy and 20 more horses. That is fantastic.

    http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2015+2016+toyota+full+line+scion+pricing.download

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    I know the D word is kind of a dirty word as of late. However there is a Grand Cherokee model that gets 30MPG and has real offroad capability to boot.


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