Everyone dreams of a luxurious ride in a cool car. Indeed, there are many hybrids for various car models, but think again – they might blow up your dollars into ash real fast with their ultra gas-hungry built. This new Toyota Highlander 2011 gets a better touch as this year’s new Hybrid model. The Highlander Hybrid is the Toyota’s answer to satisfy the needs for convenient transportation of clients looking for a quality car that’s economical on the gas pump. It is based from the famous 7-seater Highlander SUV with a more environmentally-friendly approach. It boasts of gas-electric hybrid engine that provides better fuel economy without the excessive awful emissions. Its hybrid system now features a bigger-capacitated 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine, with 10 horsepower net increase.
Toyota’s innovation from the previous 3.3-liter capacity gasoline engine to 3.5 liters V-6 is worth celebrating, placing this 7-seater SUV with other highly commendable models such as the Lexus RX450h. With Hybrid’s 231 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque (against Lexus’ 245 hp and 234 lb-ft,) the V6 is joined at the front hinge by a 167 hp electric engine and the rear axle with 68 hp, providing an “all-wheel grip” with both motors powered from a nickel-metal hydride battery. Then that’s a combined output of 280 horsepower.
Exteriors And Specs of 2011 Toyota Highlander
Also the latest for this year’s Toyota Highlander Hybrid model are improved grille and the hybrid’s unique front bumper, the beautiful blue-tinted lenses for beam headlights, and body-colored rocker panels with some touches of chrome. As a result, the present model has gone way beyond the standard ones having a cleaner finish and a more luxurious look.
The 4815-pound Toyota Highlander Hybrid runs for about 60 miles/hour in almost 7.5 second-time and sprees a quarter mile lights in 15.2 seconds at 92 miles/hour. This must be a very negligible change from the last V6 model tested that has completed mid pack in a six-vehicle evaluation test. Its 181-foot stop from 70 miles/hour is just right for this size category, although a weight of 0.74 gram on top of skid-pad is quite lacking.
The Highlander hybrid’s ride quality is just decent, although it can be a little rough and irregular at times. It seems that the front seats might need a better support, although this shouldn’t be an issue on smooth and wide roads while driving on an average speed. The switch between the electric and internal combustion power is almost flawless. Like most hybrid models, the regenerative brakes are grabby and the electric steer often offers no reaction.
Opting for the EV button on the center console allows for low-speed, short-distance ride running on electricity alone, but it is more of a stunt or display than a useful electric-powered maneuver. As in most other hybrids, the electric propulsion system in the 2011 Highlander is ideally intended to enhance the efficiency of the gas engine as the electric motor gets its power from regenerative braking. At low speed, it helps reduce energy consumption for a real fuel economy. If the user goes beyond the 15 miles per hour standard run, especially in a cold day, its engine will only go back to draining its 17-gallon oil tank.
Interiors & Safety of 7 Seater Toyota Highlander 2011
EPA-rated at 28-mpg city and 28-mpg highway, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid got a better gas mileage than the other front-wheel-drive Highlander models’ average rating of 20 / 25 mpg.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2011 features various set of entertainment amenities for the whole family and friends to enjoy. These include a range of electronic driver aids, a Bluetooth-enabled audio system with six speakers, a rearview camera, a second-row center console, and seven airbags which include one bag for the driver’s knee support. It is a 7-seater vehicle that also features the standard three rows of passenger seats with the middle bench easy to slide and recline for a more comfortable ride. The seats on the third row come in a 50-50 folding arrangement that provides significantly larger space than the first generation Highlander model that even two persons can fit in the way back, provided that the middle seat isn’t reclined; however, this leaves the cargo storage with only around 10 cubic feet space. On the other hand, the innermost seats are easily foldable and movable, creating a good 42-cube figure. Another 94 cubic feet space is available if the second row is placed flat.
Pricing & Conclusion of this 7 Seater Vehicle
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid runs in the U.S. market under $40,000, which puts it in an intensive competition with other smaller but sportier car models such as Audi Q5, Cadillac SRX, and BMW X5. This 2011 Hybrid is indeed a bit expensive compared to other standard four-wheel-drive models with around $7000 price difference. Unfortunately, it still lacks several accessories that can be typically found in such class or category. These include iPod/USB dock or connectivity, steering-wheel audio controls, a power lift gate, an upgraded navigation to full touch screen, and even as basic as floor carpets and mats. These extras will further cost thousands of dollars to complete. Nevertheless, you can still enjoy a good ride from this ambitious Hybrid model, probably a worthwhile car investment.