Toyota is the current leader in automotive
hybrid technology and to keep that lead they just introduced another
vehicle in their hybrid lineup, the 2006 Highlander Hybrid SUV. This SUV
comes in 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive models and gets 32-MPG city and
27-MPG highway for a combined EPA rating of 30 MPG.
The city numbers are
higher because this SUV can be driven on battery power alone around
town. And because it’s a Hybrid vehicle the onboard generators recharge
the battery pack that’s mounted under the back seat so you never have to
plug it in. It is a completely self-contained power package that is
seamless, smooth and silent. You just drive it like a normal vehicle and
let the computers do all the work. That’s the beauty of a gas / electric
hybrid vehicle, it’s all automatic with zero input from the driver. Just
turn the key and go.
Here is how all this
happens. The Highlander Hybrid is a less expensive copy of the Lexus RX
400h using basically the same Hybrid Synergy Drive train and components.
Both are equipped with Toyota’s 3.3-liter V/6 Hybrid engine coupled to
two electric motors that are also generators. The 4WD models get a third
electric motor mounted on the rear axle assembly that powers the rear
wheels. The rear axle electric motor works only when the vehicle
dynamics management systems sense wheel slippage and routes torque to
the rear axle.
The V/6 engine coupled
to the electric motors give the vehicle a 268 HP overall rating. This is
accomplished by adding the 208 HP and 212 lb-ft of torque from the V/6
gas motor and adding in the 167 Hp and 247 lb-ft of torque of the second
electric motor plus the rear mounted motors 68 HP and 96 lb-ft of
torque, and thru the magic of the laws of physics and advanced
mathematics it comes out at 268 HP.
Good luck trying to
figure that one out on your own. Basically Toyota says the Highlander
Hybrid has the power of a V/8 engine with the fuel economy of a
4-cylinder engine and gets about a 30 MPG average. Not bad numbers
overall but these numbers don’t come cheap.
The base price for the
2-wheel drive model sans options starts at $33,030 and goes up from
there. The third seat costs extra, plus the delivery fees and adding in
the popular stuff your looking at an average MSRP somewhere north of
$35,000, plus tax and plates.
The 4-wheel drive model
starts at $37,890, so your over $40 large with all the goodies added in
on that one, plus again the sales tax and license plates. Both come in
Limited Edition Models for even more big bucks in the luxury package
So what do you get for
your $40,000 investment? A very “green” machine with a Super Ultra Low
Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) rating that gets good, if not great gas
mileage for a midsize SUV, and maybe the ability to drive in the
commuter lane, with only a latte and your favorite CD playing on the
Plus it comes with all
the good things a nice SUV should come with. Adjustable seats, ample
rear cargo space, 60/40 split & fold flat second row seats with slide
forward capability and a third row seat that folds flat into the floor
and disappears. Now add in a smooth ride with crisp handling to the
great gas mileage and this SUV has it all in one very nice looking
The 2006 Toyota
Highlander Hybrid SUV, tomorrow’s technology at your local Toyota
dealership today. By
Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
“Tony the Car Guy” is a freelance automotive writer, editor and
publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or
comment for Tony send it to
email@example.com and he will answer your automotive questions
in the order received.
Toyota Home Page
Byline: Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo ©
technology at a Toyota dealership today
2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV
2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV
Toyota Internet Media
2005 - 48
Highlander Hybrid SUV
ENGINE: 3.3-liter DOHC V6 with Hybrid Synergy Drive
HORSEPOWER: 268 hp @ 5,600 rpm
TRANSMISSION: Continuously Variable Transmission
WHEELBASE: 106.9 in.
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT: 184.6 x 71.9 x 66.1 in.
CARGO: 80.6 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 32 mpg city/27 mpg highway/30 mpg average
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2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
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2006 Toyota Highlander