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    William Maley

    Toyota's U.S. CEO Believes Car Sales Are Close to Bottoming Out

      Also said their lineup will be biased heavily towards cars

    The past couple of years has seen a lot of talk about consumers are turning away from cars towards trucks and utility vehicles. U.S. automakers have responded to this trend by announcing cuts to their car lineup - General Motors being the latest one. But other automakers are being more cautious.

    Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America told a gathering at the Detroit Economic Club last week that car sales are reaching the point of bottoming out - just under 30 percent in November sales. Unlike the American brands, Lentz isn't giving up on cars as they represent more than 4 million compact, midsize, and near-luxury cars sold to buyers.

    "There’s no way I’m going to walk away from that. We are always going to have a bias toward passenger cars,” said Lentz.

    The Associated Press reports that sales of passenger cars "are on pace to be 800,000 vehicles below 2017, while truck and SUV sales should increase by the same amount."

    Source: Associated Press



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    I am going to disagree with Toyota CEO.

    I first think the recession we have starting is going to cool sales off further and that especially includes cars sales at the bottom end as lower income workers become even more frugal with their money due to credit card debt.

    Second, I think more and more people who bought in the last 1-3 years will also hold off or if in a lease renew to a like vehicle or buy outright the auto. I hear plenty of people talk about how they would like to reduce the cost of maintenance of their auto. EVs seem to be that next step, people I think are going to hold off on buying to move to an EV.

    Third, I am seeing more cities focus on inner and outer city mass transit and with the push for denser living, I suspect we will see more use in mass transit which will cool or keep even auto sales. I actually do not see them ticking up over the next 3 to 5 years over what they have been.

    Toyota very well could see a gain in car sales but that will be only due to Ford and GM leaving the car market to focus on Trucks / SUV / CUVs with traditional ICE and Electric power trains.

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    I think there is further to go simply because I think a recession is on the way.  Just look at the list of vehicles on the chopping block:

    Sonic, Cruze, Impala, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, 300, Charger, Lacrosse, CT6, Volt

    Camry seeing a reduction in production. Accord down, Civic down..... 

    It is seismic. 

    Edited by Drew Dowdell
    missed some
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    33 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I think there is further to go simply because I think a recession is on the way.  Just look at the list of vehicles on the chopping block:

    Sonic, Cruze, Impala, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, 300, Charger, Lacrosse, CT6, Volt

    Camry seeing a reduction in production. Accord down, Civic down..... 

    It is seismic. 

    Agree on the scale of what is happening. 

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    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    I am going to disagree with Toyota CEO.

    I first think the recession we have starting is going to cool sales off further and that especially includes cars sales at the bottom end as lower income workers become even more frugal with their money due to credit card debt.

    Second, I think more and more people who bought in the last 1-3 years will also hold off or if in a lease renew to a like vehicle or buy outright the auto. I hear plenty of people talk about how they would like to reduce the cost of maintenance of their auto. EVs seem to be that next step, people I think are going to hold off on buying to move to an EV.

    Third, I am seeing more cities focus on inner and outer city mass transit and with the push for denser living, I suspect we will see more use in mass transit which will cool or keep even auto sales. I actually do not see them ticking up over the next 3 to 5 years over what they have been.

    Toyota very well could see a gain in car sales but that will be only due to Ford and GM leaving the car market to focus on Trucks / SUV / CUVs with traditional ICE and Electric power trains.

    totally agree.....and adding what Drew said..we have not even seen the bottom yet.

    add the upcoming recession, and things deliver ugly.....

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    15 minutes ago, daves87rs said:

    totally agree.....and adding what Drew said..we have not even seen the bottom yet.

    add the upcoming recession, and things deliver ugly.....

    People are not going to be in a buying mood, and yes, things could get ugly. 

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    Here's the other thing; toyota is chained to cars - that's where their volume is. Their CUVs sell well but their trucks do not, and they can't figure out how to get around that, so cutting cars to shift (partially) to trucks wouldn't work for their business model.

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    57 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Here's the other thing; toyota is chained to cars - that's where their volume is. Their CUVs sell well but their trucks do not, and they can't figure out how to get around that, so cutting cars to shift (partially) to trucks wouldn't work for their business model.

    The Tundra really is a pig compared to the F150, Silverado and Ram. I have no idea why they have such high residual value, or find buyers at all for that matter.

    Tacoma has a cult following, and is the complete opposite situation.

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    59 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    The Tundra really is a pig compared to the F150, Silverado and Ram. I have no idea why they have such high residual value, or find buyers at all for that matter.

    Tacoma has a cult following, and is the complete opposite situation.

    Toyota makes relatively few Tundras compared to demand for them, hence the high resale value.  Ditto for Tacoma.

    Toyota knows that the RAV4 and the Venza and Highlander are rolling in sales and profits, right?  They can slash Camry and Yaris and Corolla production and make more $$$$ right now if they wanted to.  RAV4 is the highest-selling (non-BOF) vehicle on the road right now.

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    I think manufacturers had some models they hoped would sell more, become niche sellers, like a Taurus.  But hello, the Taurus was fresh in 2010 so you have to change models much more quickly than 8 years or whatever.  

    Mfr's have to act faster to keep up with hot sellers and so I think they want to trim number of models and put more resources into nailing volume segments.  Or segments with more margin, or both.

    Still, as always happens, gas goes up in price, the market changes, and then customers respond.  We got the new Focus and new Cruze in 2011/2012 and all the luxury compact cars.  People embraced those and now after an ownership cycle of pricey gas and stagnant economy, we have cheap gas and good economy and so people want to buy Expeditions and pickups again.

    Bob Lutz i think said people will buy as large as they can afford and that is CUV's, trucks and SUV's because big sedans are taboo.

    Aging population, no one wants to bend down to get into and out of cars, this also why sedans are losing sales.  Not everyone wants an SUV but it is true part of the reason for SUV / CUV sales is the easy to get into factor.  20 years ago, not many choices for taller sitting vehicles.  Now its more the norm and more people are making the choice for it.

    "Sonic, Cruze, Impala, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, 300, Charger, Lacrosse, CT6, Volt"

    those are all cars with limited interior space or they are low riders that people don't want to get into and out of.  Just by that nature the numbers would go down if still on the market.  We can be simplistic and merely say if Chevy pulls the Impala, the Blazer is really it's replacement.  Ford will lose Fusion and Taurus but now the Edge may just double in volume.

    Compact CUV's give the illusion of space due to sitting high but their cargo holds with seats up are actually not equal to many sedans.  I see where compact SUV segment tops out in sales and the Blazer, Edge Murano segment gets cheaper access to entry and more market volume.  This is a segment too where A Buick is needed, a 2 row version of the Enclave / Enspire whatever.  Note Honda recognizes this and has the Passport.  2 row larger crossovers without the third row.

     

    Edited by regfootball
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    @regfootball Totally agree with what you have stated, I know way too many 50 year olds up to baby boomers who hate having to do squats to get into and out of a car and just want to slide their ass into the seat. My parents are perfect examples of why they love their Cadillac SRX 2004 and 2008 models. They can just slide into and out of those cars and are very happy with them.

    As the US ages, tastes changes and cars are on the decline, I am hoping we will see cheaper CUVs to replace them.

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    3 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    [Toyota] can slash Camry and Yaris and Corolla production and make more $$$$ right now if they wanted to.

    Did toyoto make any announcement that the yaris is going to be discontinued?
    They've only moved 26K thru Nov, and that's a 39% decrease from the year before. Seems logical it's on the chopping block; all the  brought-over scion models are dead, 86/FRS has only sold 3K units/yr and that's down 40%; another car waiting to die. Lexus could happily survive on the ES & LS cars (plus the SUVs)- toyoyo has a lot of house cleaning to do.

    Edited by balthazar
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    Cheap CUVs will not happen because that is where the demand is these days.  CUVs are the reason the average selling price (for new cars) hovers around $35K right now.

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    9 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Cheap CUVs will not happen because that is where the demand is these days.  CUVs are the reason the average selling price (for new cars) hovers around $35K right now.

    One Can hope for CUVs to cover the full spectrum of price points. I think the Suzuki subcompact cuv would be doing well if it was still on sale here. Just too early before people decided to move from cars to CUVs.

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    24 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Cheap CUVs will not happen because that is where the demand is these days.  CUVs are the reason the average selling price (for new cars) hovers around $35K right now.

    THIS is why electric cars will not come down in price either, esp since they are unilaterally coupled with running solidly in the red.
    Hmmm... some quick calculator work and : the 14 full electric cars available in the US right now have an average STARTING price of $43K. Not even comparable, because some -Model 3- can escalate their price by $10K or more with 3 or 4 options checked off.


    So, so far; electrics are ALSO driving the price of new cars higher. The couple of trucks in the pipeline are priced well over than number, so the average is going to increase. Get ready to pay a lot more for a new car than you already are.

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    13 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    Toyota makes relatively few Tundras compared to demand for them, hence the high resale value.  Ditto for Tacoma.

    Toyota knows that the RAV4 and the Venza and Highlander are rolling in sales and profits, right?  They can slash Camry and Yaris and Corolla production and make more $$$$ right now if they wanted to.  RAV4 is the highest-selling (non-BOF) vehicle on the road right now.

    How long has the Venza been out of production?  Couple years I think.

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    13 hours ago, regfootball said:

    I think manufacturers had some models they hoped would sell more, become niche sellers, like a Taurus.  But hello, the Taurus was fresh in 2010 so you have to change models much more quickly than 8 years or whatever.  

    Mfr's have to act faster to keep up with hot sellers and so I think they want to trim number of models and put more resources into nailing volume segments.  Or segments with more margin, or both.

    Still, as always happens, gas goes up in price, the market changes, and then customers respond.  We got the new Focus and new Cruze in 2011/2012 and all the luxury compact cars.  People embraced those and now after an ownership cycle of pricey gas and stagnant economy, we have cheap gas and good economy and so people want to buy Expeditions and pickups again.

    Bob Lutz i think said people will buy as large as they can afford and that is CUV's, trucks and SUV's because big sedans are taboo.

    Aging population, no one wants to bend down to get into and out of cars, this also why sedans are losing sales.  Not everyone wants an SUV but it is true part of the reason for SUV / CUV sales is the easy to get into factor.  20 years ago, not many choices for taller sitting vehicles.  Now its more the norm and more people are making the choice for it.

    "Sonic, Cruze, Impala, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, 300, Charger, Lacrosse, CT6, Volt"

    those are all cars with limited interior space or they are low riders that people don't want to get into and out of.  Just by that nature the numbers would go down if still on the market.  We can be simplistic and merely say if Chevy pulls the Impala, the Blazer is really it's replacement.  Ford will lose Fusion and Taurus but now the Edge may just double in volume.

    Compact CUV's give the illusion of space due to sitting high but their cargo holds with seats up are actually not equal to many sedans.  I see where compact SUV segment tops out in sales and the Blazer, Edge Murano segment gets cheaper access to entry and more market volume.  This is a segment too where A Buick is needed, a 2 row version of the Enclave / Enspire whatever.  Note Honda recognizes this and has the Passport.  2 row larger crossovers without the third row.

     

    Love the post.. and the part I bolded.. if U guys remember was a huge factor in why I decided to get rid of my Camaro backin '13 and get my Impala.. nowadays I won't lie.. I find myself packing on more daily miles in my YUKON than I do in my Impala.. So much so that I have considered selling my Impala, because I often make myself drive it. The Yukon, being higher up.. is simply more comfortable. My ex-wife got rid of her Malibu back in '15 to get an Encore.. same reason. In fact.. many of the people I know who have traded in cars for SUV/CUVs have all commented on the fact that they no longer have to stoop, but rather they have to stretch to get in their vehicle. The Z and V, and 66 are all "fun occasional cars." My V is the most heavily used of the three and after almost 3 years of ownership she only has 10K miles on her. My Stingray before I traded her in for the Z this past March , after 4 years of ownership, had I think 14K on the odo. 

    That being said.. CADILLAC should have.. and I hope reconsiders the death of the CT6, or replaces it with a CT8, because the 1000 sales per month are people who obviously still love cars. They could have easily bought an Escalade. BUT.. did the forecast for the XT6 suggest that they buyers may decide to go for a Full-Size Cadillac CUV over a Full-Size Sedan? Only difference being that the CT6 was RWD based.. and my argument would better suit if the car we were talking about  was the XTS. Because I have talked to people that say many times.. they went into the Chevy dealer looking at the Impala.. and drive off in a Traverse.  VERY similar pricing... fuel economy is the same damn near.. but then the Traverse is higher up and has more cargo

    $28,020†

    STARTING AT

    18/28 MPG†

    CITY/HWY

     

    $29,930†

    STARTING AT

    18  /27 MPG†

    CITY/HWY

    We are also talking about 205,718 GM31XX sales versus 70,025 E2XXL sales. The market spoke. 

    Perhaps the Blazer will take over the Impala sales, but I'm betting that it will be more in line with taking Malibu sales. I think the Equinox's success is what helped kill the Cruze.. The Bolt is to the Volt. The Malibu is to the Blazer, while the Impala is to the Traverse. Sonic is certainly to the Trax. GM might be onto something.. and this is not the same thing as in the 90s when they killed their full size Caprice/Impala, Roadmaster, Fleetwood, and Olds Custom Cruiser and replaced them essentially with Tahoe and Suburban production.. and fuel prices went back up.. and they were without many of their car sales. No.. cars and CUVs have the same damn fuel economy this time.

    BTW.. U suggest that Buick needs a 2 row version of... but they already have the ENVISION. Are U suggesting a larger SUV?

    Edited by Cmicasa the Great
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    True regarding the aging population.   Both my parents and my in-laws switched to crossovers because easier to get in, easier to access and more useful trunk and perceived advantage of AWD in the winter.

    Even my friend who is only 40 but used to a taller vehicles, complained how hard was to get into a Mustang when he rented one in Florida.  And Mustang is not harder to get into more than any other sedan, it is not like it is a Corvette or MIata. 

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    Aging factor may be a slight contributor, but it's certainly not driving the trend. Neither the average American's age or the average car buyer age has remotely shown the degree of change that car sales have fallen off by. This is more so preference and/or product driven.

    EDIT :: average new car buyer age in 2000 was 43.7. As of 2015 it was 51.7- an 8 yr difference. Unless it's gone to 61.7 in the last 3 years, I don't see age driving car sales down to the circa 35% they are of the mix now.
    The 2015 average age of the population was 36.8, BTW,

    Edited by balthazar

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    3 minutes ago, ykX said:

    True regarding the aging population.   Both my parents and my in-laws switched to crossovers because easier to get in, easier to access and more useful trunk and perceived advantage of AWD in the winter.

    Even my friend who is only 40 but used to a taller vehicles, complained how hard was to get into a Mustang when he rented one in Florida.  And Mustang is not harder to get into more than any other sedan, it is not like it is a Corvette or MIata. 

    I promise U after 40, especially with height.. a Mustang as a Daily Driver is as bad as anyone's Corvette weekend toy. Worse in fact.. same for Camaro. After 35 to be honest. 

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    32 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

    I promise U after 40, especially with height.. a Mustang as a Daily Driver is as bad as anyone's Corvette weekend toy. Worse in fact.. same for Camaro. After 35 to be honest. 

    I am 44, I am fine driving a sedan.   I drove Mustang on vacation, I was ok with it too.  I am 6'1" not super tall but not short either.  I think it is more personal than age related.  But I do understand that taller sitting position is more comfortable.  I enjoy driving my wife's crossover when we go on long trips.

    Edited by ykX
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    I'm 48, 6'0".  I've been driving SUVs as daily drivers for most of the last 24 years.  I drove Mustangs as daily drivers off and on from age 16 to 30, after that drove cars less and less.   I like the high seating position, headroom and ease of entry/exit with an SUV.  Never really liked trunks, always preferred hatchbacks, so that is part of the appeal of an SUV.

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    44 minutes ago, ykX said:

    I am 44, I am fine driving a sedan.   I drove Mustang on vacation, I was ok with it too.  I am 6'1" not super tall but not short either.  I think it is more personal than age related.  But I do understand that taller sitting position is more comfortable.  I enjoy driving my wife's crossover when we go on long trips.

    I'm not saying that the Impala is uncomfortable by any means.. what I'm saying is that my Yukon is more comfortable. I'm 6'3, 225lbs.. 46. I also have found that the seating position of any truck damn near is a full knee bend...

    perfect-fit-image-box.jpg

     

    where as the position of most cars.. even the Taurus, Impala, Accord, CT6, CTS, E-Class, S-Class, LS460.. etc.. is a position where your legs are not fully bent. 

    aid829460-v4-728px-Adjust-Seating-to-the

    The seats are simply HIGHER from the floor. 

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    19 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Driving a crossover is more like the shape we're forced to sit in at our desks all day. 

    Which I prefer than the Lazy Boy recliner seating. I loved my grandfather's Cadillac Brougham but I always fell asleep in that car. Way to soft for me if I was driving.

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    If the news is SPOT on with predictions for a Recession that will hit hard in 2019, then Toyota is gonna be in for a shock.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/style/2019-financial-crisis.html

    5 major points from the NY Times that covers some of the same points various members here have stated.

    http://fortune.com/2018/12/11/janet-yellen-warns-another-financial-crisis-could-be-brewing/

    Janet Yellen Former Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve is blowing a horn about the bank bundled up leveraged loans that are being sold off to the unsuspecting and the crash this debt could cause on the US.

    She has walked back her Optimism from earlier this year and now worries about the holes in the financial system that have been created by DC.

    To Quote her: Yellen, now an economist at the Brookings Institution, has previously spoken out against U.S. President Donald Trump’s unprecedented criticism of the Fed’s policies. “To totally undermine these institutions that are assets to the U.S. and the globe is worrisome,” she said.

    So Toyota CEO, I would be thinking TWICE about your car sales and the future growth.

    I perceive a slump coming up for the auto industry and some companies just might have to declare bankruptcy.

    I hope the Ford Family has been saving their Pennies as I think Ford is gonna need a bailout.

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      The fourth-generation Highlander is 2.36 inches (60mm) longer than before, all in the cargo area to add even greater cargo volume than before. The second row can be slid an extra 1.2-in. further up to increase distance between the second and third rows.
       
      The TNGA-K platform, which makes extensive use of high-strength steel, gives the Highlander a stiffer unibody structure than the previous model. Its inherent strength allows tuning for the front strut and rear multi-link suspension that enhances agility and a smaller turning circle while also providing a smoother and quieter ride than before.
       
       The presence of takumi is evident whenever the driver experiences the Highlander’s premium touch and feel in everyday driving. Throughout vehicle development, these highly trained master craftsmen focused on the finest technical details to ensure a higher level of operating smoothness in all driving conditions - especially at everyday speeds.
       
       
      Take It All with You
      Looking sporty does not come at the expense of practicality in the 2020 Highlander. The L and LE grades come standard with a second-row bench for seating for eight, while the XLE and Limited grades come standard with a Captain’s Chair second row with seating for seven and the option of a second-row bench for seating for eight. Finally, the Platinum grade will come standard with a Captain’s Chair second row with seating for seven. Either way, the large rear doors provide easy access, while versatile seat folding features make it easy to enter the third row. And, passengers in the third row stay comfortable thanks to standard three-zone climate control that ensures ample flow of warmed or cooled air.
       
      With all seat rows in use, Highlander offers 16.1 cu. ft. of carrying space behind the third row. Folding the 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seatbacks opens the space to 40.6 cu. ft., and then folding the second row increases that to 73.3 cu. ft. The versatile cargo area makes the most of its additional length with side surfaces and pockets shaped for maximum space usage.

      Power, Performance and Panache … with Efficiency
      Power and efficiency are a whole lot sexier when wrapped in Highlander’s striking design. The 2020 Highlander offers a choice between two advanced powertrains, a gas V6 or a new version of the Toyota Hybrid System.

      The 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is the epitome of smoothness. Its Toyota-innovated D-4S Injection system combines direct fuel injection with port fuel injectors to optimize efficiency, power and emissions in all conditions. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) likewise ensures ideal response and efficiency at all engine speeds.

      That translates into 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. of torque, which further translates into exemplary everyday performance and generous towing capability. The Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission maximizes Highlander’s acceleration and highway merging capability while operating seamlessly and transparently.

      On V6 models, the available towing package enables a 5,000-pound towing capacity. The package includes a heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler and improved fan performance. Trailer Sway Control (TSC) uses the Vehicle Stability Control to help control unwanted trailer movement.
       
      Why use fuel when you don’t need to? The Highlander’s standard Stop and Start Engine System allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop, and then instantly restarts when the driver’s foot lifts from the brake pedal. This technology reduces fuel consumption and cuts emissions.


      Hybrid Aims Even Higher 
      Toyota made “hybrid” synonymous with high fuel efficiency more than 20 years ago. Later, Toyota introduced the first hybrid SUV in its class, the 2006 Highlander. Leave it to Toyota to again raise the bar for hybrid SUV functionality by making the 2020 model the most fuel-efficient Highlander Hybrid ever.

      The new-generation Toyota Hybrid System in the 2020 Highlander Hybrid combines a high-efficiency 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with two electric motors in a system that’s more compact, and more efficient than before. The gas engine employs Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft, and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft. A variable cooling system (electric water pump, electric thermostat) and a fully variable oil pump further improve engine efficiency.

      The bottom line is an eye opener for the efficiency-minded: 240 total system horsepower and an EPA-estimated 34 combined MPG. The latter is a 17-percent improvement over the previous-generation Highlander Hybrid’s 28 combined MPG. Yet, Highlander Hybrid still delivers the everyday acceleration, power and responsiveness that family buyers expect. In another Highlander first, the hybrid is now available in either 2WD or AWD, further expanding hybrid technology to a new group of buyers.

      The transaxle mounts the electric motors (MG1 and MG2) coaxially rather than in-line, and the resulting smaller and lighter package reduces frictional losses. The gas engine and MG2 work in concert to deliver dynamic performance, while both MG1 and MG2 charge the hybrid battery.

      To reduce the transaxle’s size and weight, the reduction gear is now a parallel shaft gear, rather than a planetary, and a new multi-function gear integrates the power-split planetary ring gear, parking gear, and counter-drive gear. New computer integration and a smaller, lighter power stack installed directly above the transaxle reduce energy transmission losses.

      The battery pack is small enough to be installed under the rear seats, so it does not take up any cargo or passenger space.  

      Seamless Everyday Performance
      The Highlander Hybrid delivers its exemplary fuel economy and performance without calling attention to its high-tech powertrain operation. Quite the contrary, like all Toyota Hybrid vehicles, it simply goes about its business in a transparent way. For example, the new system optimizes the level of electric motor assistance and gas engine speed without the engine running at high revs. Engine speed is synchronized with vehicle speed, yielding effortless and quiet acceleration.

      As on many modern vehicles, the Highlander Hybrid offers selectable NORMAL, ECO and SPORT driving modes that let the driver choose the vehicle’s performance personality. The bonus is the EV mode, which allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances.

      SPORT mode unlocks boost from the hybrid system for improved acceleration response. ECO mode gets maximum efficiency from the fuel and battery, while NORMAL mode is ideal for everyday driving.

      Special, easy-to-use hybrid tech adds an element of control and fun. Using a sequential shifting feature, the driver can “downshift” to increase the regenerative braking in steps, which fosters greater control when driving in hilly areas, for example.

      The 2020 Highlander Hybrid can also coach the driver to drive as economically as possible. For example, an accelerator guide function suggests an acceleration level to the driver according to the driving conditions, and a scoring function adds a measure of fun to eco driving.
       
      Features for More Efficiency
      Highlander Hybrid’s Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) analyzes the driver’s daily driving habits and upcoming road and traffic conditions to more efficiently charge and discharge the hybrid battery accordingly alongside actual driving.

      The more the vehicle is driven, the more data is accumulated, contributing to practical fuel efficiency. Many actual roads chosen to represent common usage scenarios, such as in urban congestion or on mountain roads, were driven on and analyzed to create control that feels natural to the driver when operating to enable more efficient driving.
       
      All-Wheel Drive Gets Smarter
      The 2020 Highlander gets a grip on any road with a choice of front-wheel drive or three different available all-wheel drive systems -- two for the V6 models and a unique AWD system for the Highlander Hybrid. For the Highlander Gas L, LE and XLE models, the optional AWD system can send up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear wheels to counter wheel slip when necessary.
       
      Sounding like something from a high-end sports car, Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Drive Mode Select and Driveline Disconnect is available for the Highlander Limited and Platinum for even greater agility and capability. In addition to governing torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, this advanced system uses special couplings to actively manage torque distribution between the left and right rear wheels.
       
      Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD doesn’t need wheel slippage before springing into action. Rather, a sophisticated AWD Integrated Management (AIM) manages Electric Power Steering (EPS), throttle control, transmission shift control and drive torque distribution to continually optimize handling.
       
      Using the Multi-Terrain Select control dial on the console, the driver can maximize traction when driving through inclement weather or road conditions. Mud & Sand mode works well for beach driving, while Rock & Dirt mode optimizes AWD traction for trails. The driver can monitor, in real time, torque allocation and slip control on the Multi-Information Display (MID).

      In addition, Highlander models include the following features for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety:
        Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) Trailer Sway Control (TSC) Downhill Assist Control (DAC)  
      All-wheel drive is a great traction partner, but it’s not needed all the time, such as during steady highway cruising. In such situations, Rear Driveline Disconnect automatically disengages drive to the rear wheels and stops the propeller shaft’s rotation. As one might guess, that reduces the energy needed to propel the vehicle and therefore reduces fuel consumption. When AWD is needed, the system instantly re-engages, without the driver even noticing.
       

      Hybrid AWD
      As with the AWD system in the previous Highlander Hybrid, the 2020 model’s AWD employs a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed. Like the hybrid powertrain itself, the AWD works seamlessly and transparently.
       
      The rear electric motor operates independently, with no mechanical connection between the transmission and the rear wheels. Preemptively distributing more driving force to the rear wheels, such as when accelerating, helps suppress front wheel slip during off-the-line starts. The system also enhances cornering agility by helping to reduce understeer. And, when venturing onto a trail, the increased rear-wheel torque helps move the Highlander Hybrid confidently over rough or slippery surfaces.
       
      A New Level of Comfort
      From the L grade to the top-of-line Platinum, the 2020 Highlander offers its plushest accommodations ever. Designers took inspiration from luxury crafted interiors to create a more premium ambience. Details include softer padded surfaces and a more tailored look with stitching that continues from the door trim to the instrument panel. The dash integrates the multimedia and HVAC controls in an elegant and functional way.
       
      The 2020 Highlander cabin offers improved functionality throughout, from a center console that offers available Qi wireless charging to plenty of storage spaces and USB charging ports. On Limited and Platinum grades, new ambient LED lighting sets a relaxing mood. Inset steering wheel controls are a modern luxury touch on all grades.
       
      Highlanders have long been renowned for a quiet ride, and with the high-strength TNGA platform, Toyota pushes the bar even higher. Sound-damping and soundproofing materials have been optimized throughout the vehicle, with the takumi approach focusing particularly on minimizing noise in the frequencies that interfere with conversation.
       
      The seating color palette enhances the sense of luxury permeating the 2020 Highlander. The L and LE grades offer comfortable woven cloth in Graphite or Black; the XLE offers embossed Softex®artificial leather trim in Harvest Beige, Graphite or Black, while the Limited offers those colors in perforated leather trim. The top-of-line Platinum grade, the most luxurious Highlander ever offered, exclusively features embossed, perforated leather trim in those three colors plus Glazed Caramel, a luxuriously delicious new brown.


      Multitalented Multimedia 
      However passengers listen to music and connect with their worlds, the 2020 Highlander is ready with the latest multimedia systems.  All grades come standard with Apple Car Play®, Android Auto™, Alexa In-Car compatibility, Waze, SiriusXM®, and Wi-Fi connectivity through AT&T.
       
      All Highlander models come equipped with Toyota Safety Connect with a one-year trial subscription.
       
      LE and above grades offer Service and Remote Connectivity. A move up to XLE or Limited grade offers available Dynamic Navigation. A move up to Platinum grade offers standard Dynamic Navigation and the 12.3-inch screen.
       
      The JBL® Premium Audio System is standard for Limited and Platinum grades and rocks music of all genres with 1,200 watts of power playing through 11 speakers in nine locations. Clari-Fi®technology breathes new life into compressed digital music formats, with the result like a mobile concert. The system will not, however, settle arguments over which music to play.
       
      Exceptional Toyota Value, Naturally 
      Toyota’s typical outstanding value is clearly evident in the Highlander L grade, where the standard equipment list includes features that one might expect in an upgraded model:
       
      L: Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 18-in. alloy wheels 3-zone automatic climate control 4.2-in. Multi-information Display (MID) in instrument panel 8-way power driver’s seat Auto up/down for all power windows Multimedia with 8-inch touchscreen display Front seat reading lights and cargo area light. LED headlamps and taillamps Privacy glass on rear side, quarter and liftgate windows Smart Key entry on front doors and back door  
      LE adds over L: Power liftgate Blind Spot Monitor Additional multimedia capability LED fog lamps Leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob  
      XLE adds over LE: 10-way power driver’s seat 2nd-row sun shades 4-way power front passenger seat 7-in. Multi-information display Auto dimming rear-view mirror with garage door opener Auto LED headlamps with Auto High Beam Plated interior door handle Heated front seats LED fog lamps Machined-face alloy wheels Captain’s Chairs second row (standard) Power tilt and slide moon roof Roof rails SofTex®-trimmed seats and door trim  
      Limited adds over XLE: 120V 2nd-row power outlet 20-in. Limited style alloy wheels Ambient interior lighting Cargo area cover Driver’s seat memory Hands-free power liftgate Heated and ventilated front seats “Highlander” puddle lamp Perforated leather trimmed seats in Beige, Gray or Black Metal door scuff plates Projector beam headlamp with chrome bezels and separate, stylized DRLs Wood interior trim JBL® Audio System as standard Embedded navigation system  
      Platinum adds over Limited: 12.3-in. Multimedia head unit 20-in Platinum style wheels Adaptive, self-leveling headlamps Additional leather seating color choice: Glazed Caramel Digital display rear view mirror Embossed, perforated leather trimmed seats Head-up display Heated 2nd-row seats Illuminated door scuff plates Panoramic moonroof Rain-sensing windshield wipers Birds eye camera  
      Safety at Its Core
      The new TNGA-K platform forms the foundation for exemplary collision protection in the 2020 Toyota Highlander, while a suite of standard driver-assist technologies is designed to help prevent collisions, or to mitigate their impacts.
       
      The 2020 Highlander is equipped with the second-generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0). Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are standard on LE grade and above. Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) is available with clearance sonar on Limited and above.
       
      The standard backup camera features projected path. A Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, available on Limited and standard on Platinum, provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle.
       
      The 2020 Highlander is equipped with eight airbags, including side-curtain airbags for all three rows. Toyota’s Star Safety System includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Toyota took the wraps off the all-new Toyota Highlander at the New York International Auto Show today.  This new fourth generation Highlander rides on Toyota's new TNGA-K platform.   
      Powering the Highlander will be a choice of a V6 with 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque with both direct and port injection, or a hybrid that is 17% more efficient than the outgoing model. The hybrid is a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder combined with two electric motors for a total system rating of 240 horsepower.  Preliminary estimates put the Highlander hybrid at 34 mpg combined fuel efficiency.   The new hybrid setup is lighter and more compact than before while the battery pack has been reduced in physical size and now sits below the rear seats so as not to reduce cargo room. 
      On the safety front, Toyota loaded the Highlander up.  Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard.  This includes Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert are standard on LE grade and above. Rear Cross Traffic Braking is available with clearance sonar on Limited and above.
       
      The standard backup camera features projected path. A Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, available on Limited and standard on Platinum, provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle.
       
      The 2020 Highlander is equipped with eight airbags, including side-curtain airbags for all three rows. Toyota’s Star Safety System includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control , Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution , Brake Assist , Anti-lock Braking System , and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
       
      More from Toyota on the Press Release on Page 2 
      World Premiere of All-New 2020 Highlander at New York International Auto Show
      Toyota’s Fourth Generation SUV Redesigned from the Ground Up;
      Offers Best-in-Class MPG for Hybrid
        17 Percent Fuel Economy Improvement Over Current Gen Hybrid with Estimated 34 MPG Combined Bold, Chiseled New Design New TNGA-K Platform Enhances Driving Refinement Standard Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, SiriusXM®, Waze and Amazon Alexa Compatibility Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 Standard (TSS 2.0) Available with 7- or 8-Passenger Seating Choice of V6 or New-Generation Hybrid Powertrain New Available Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Driveline Disconnect and Multi Terrain Select Largest in segment 12.3” multimedia display April 17, 2019 NEW YORK (April 17, 2019) – Toyota is on a major roll with new SUVs, especially the next-generation three-row 2020 Highlander debuting at the New York International Auto Show. Arriving in Toyota dealerships in winter, the Highlander Gas model will arrive in December 2019 and the Highlander Hybrid will make its way to customers in February 2020.
       
      Just as the first RAV4 launched the compact crossover SUV segment 22 years ago, the original Highlander redefined the midsize family SUV when it arrived in 2001. At a time when most midsize SUVs were truck-based, the Highlander’s unibody structure with four-wheel independent suspension quickly became the template for a new segment of more comfortable and family-friendly SUVs. After adding a third row, the Highlander not only grew in size, but is also now the best-selling retail model in the segment since 2016.
       
      Now, the fourth-generation of this benchmark SUV brings a new level of bold, distinctive design to a foundation built on safety, comfort, quality, durability and reliability set by predecessors. The 2020 Highlander amplifies all qualities while taking on a dramatic new design direction that combines a powerful SUV presence with sophisticated detailing.
       
      The 2020 Highlander’s new sophisticated look, covers a new vehicle platform called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K). This robust new foundation, shared with other Toyota models, enables even greater capability, comfort and safety than before.
       
      The fourth-generation Highlander offers the choice between a powerful V6 or new-generation hybrid powertrain, with the gas version offering a manufacturer-estimated 22 MPG combined fuel economy and the Hybrid offering an manufacturer-estimated 34 MPG combined fuel economy.
       
      Whether they’re young families or empty nesters exploring a new chapter in life, safety remains the top priority for Highlander customers.  Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 comes standard in all models in the 2020 Highlander. This comprehensive active safety system includes:
        Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) Automatic High Beam (AHB) (New) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) (New) Road Sign Assist (RSA) Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection offers automatic braking capability under certain circumstances should the driver not react in time in a system-detected emergency situation. Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Parking Support Braking and Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) are available depending on the model grade.
       
      The 2020 Highlander delivers renowned Toyota value in a choice of five grades, starting with a new L grade, then layering amenities and technology in LE, XLE, Limited and the top-of line Platinum. (The Hybrid is offered on all but the L grade.)
       
      The 2020 Highlander offers cutting-edge entertainment and connectivity for all ages through its intuitive and versatile multimedia system, including a new 12.3-inch touchscreen display on the Platinum grade and 8-inch on the other models. The available new JBL Premium Sound System delivers a whopping 1,200 watts of power to turn any music source into a mobile concert.
       
      The midsize SUV segment has become fiercely competitive, and the 2020 Toyota Highlander is ready to take on all.
       
      The Strong, Athletic Type
      A sculpted new shape with chiseled lines gives the 2020 Highlander a more powerful stance, yet with a modern, sophisticated attitude. The 2020 Highlander remains a family-friendly SUV, now with capability for bigger family adventures.
       
      Setting off the new design, the L, LE and XLE grades feature a black front grille with silver trim, while the Limited and Platinum grades are distinguished by a black grille with chrome trim and chrome-plated lower rear fascia, premium projector headlamps and the Highlander’s first-ever 20-inch alloy wheels. The Platinum stands apart with silver painted front bumper and rear fascia and a unique 20-inch wheel.
       
      Accentuating the 2020 Highlander’s bold lines, the exterior color palette carries over three colors from 2019 (Blizzard Pearl ($395 option), Celestial Silver Metallic and Midnight Black Metallic) while adding five new ones: Magnetic Gray Metallic, Moon Dust (a striking blue premium paint), Ruby Flare Pearl (a daring red premium paint), Blueprint and Opulent Amber (a deep, luxurious brown).
       
      While Highlander’s new design will turn heads everywhere it goes, it’s also highly functional. Greater aerodynamic efficiency reduces wind noise while enhancing vehicle stability, and even the taillights and side mirror designs lend a hand.
       
      The fourth-generation Highlander is 2.36 inches (60mm) longer than before, all in the cargo area to add even greater cargo volume than before. The second row can be slid an extra 1.2-in. further up to increase distance between the second and third rows.
       
      The TNGA-K platform, which makes extensive use of high-strength steel, gives the Highlander a stiffer unibody structure than the previous model. Its inherent strength allows tuning for the front strut and rear multi-link suspension that enhances agility and a smaller turning circle while also providing a smoother and quieter ride than before.
       
       The presence of takumi is evident whenever the driver experiences the Highlander’s premium touch and feel in everyday driving. Throughout vehicle development, these highly trained master craftsmen focused on the finest technical details to ensure a higher level of operating smoothness in all driving conditions - especially at everyday speeds.
       
       
      Take It All with You
      Looking sporty does not come at the expense of practicality in the 2020 Highlander. The L and LE grades come standard with a second-row bench for seating for eight, while the XLE and Limited grades come standard with a Captain’s Chair second row with seating for seven and the option of a second-row bench for seating for eight. Finally, the Platinum grade will come standard with a Captain’s Chair second row with seating for seven. Either way, the large rear doors provide easy access, while versatile seat folding features make it easy to enter the third row. And, passengers in the third row stay comfortable thanks to standard three-zone climate control that ensures ample flow of warmed or cooled air.
       
      With all seat rows in use, Highlander offers 16.1 cu. ft. of carrying space behind the third row. Folding the 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seatbacks opens the space to 40.6 cu. ft., and then folding the second row increases that to 73.3 cu. ft. The versatile cargo area makes the most of its additional length with side surfaces and pockets shaped for maximum space usage.

      Power, Performance and Panache … with Efficiency
      Power and efficiency are a whole lot sexier when wrapped in Highlander’s striking design. The 2020 Highlander offers a choice between two advanced powertrains, a gas V6 or a new version of the Toyota Hybrid System.

      The 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is the epitome of smoothness. Its Toyota-innovated D-4S Injection system combines direct fuel injection with port fuel injectors to optimize efficiency, power and emissions in all conditions. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) likewise ensures ideal response and efficiency at all engine speeds.

      That translates into 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. of torque, which further translates into exemplary everyday performance and generous towing capability. The Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission maximizes Highlander’s acceleration and highway merging capability while operating seamlessly and transparently.

      On V6 models, the available towing package enables a 5,000-pound towing capacity. The package includes a heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler and improved fan performance. Trailer Sway Control (TSC) uses the Vehicle Stability Control to help control unwanted trailer movement.
       
      Why use fuel when you don’t need to? The Highlander’s standard Stop and Start Engine System allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop, and then instantly restarts when the driver’s foot lifts from the brake pedal. This technology reduces fuel consumption and cuts emissions.


      Hybrid Aims Even Higher 
      Toyota made “hybrid” synonymous with high fuel efficiency more than 20 years ago. Later, Toyota introduced the first hybrid SUV in its class, the 2006 Highlander. Leave it to Toyota to again raise the bar for hybrid SUV functionality by making the 2020 model the most fuel-efficient Highlander Hybrid ever.

      The new-generation Toyota Hybrid System in the 2020 Highlander Hybrid combines a high-efficiency 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with two electric motors in a system that’s more compact, and more efficient than before. The gas engine employs Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft, and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft. A variable cooling system (electric water pump, electric thermostat) and a fully variable oil pump further improve engine efficiency.

      The bottom line is an eye opener for the efficiency-minded: 240 total system horsepower and an EPA-estimated 34 combined MPG. The latter is a 17-percent improvement over the previous-generation Highlander Hybrid’s 28 combined MPG. Yet, Highlander Hybrid still delivers the everyday acceleration, power and responsiveness that family buyers expect. In another Highlander first, the hybrid is now available in either 2WD or AWD, further expanding hybrid technology to a new group of buyers.

      The transaxle mounts the electric motors (MG1 and MG2) coaxially rather than in-line, and the resulting smaller and lighter package reduces frictional losses. The gas engine and MG2 work in concert to deliver dynamic performance, while both MG1 and MG2 charge the hybrid battery.

      To reduce the transaxle’s size and weight, the reduction gear is now a parallel shaft gear, rather than a planetary, and a new multi-function gear integrates the power-split planetary ring gear, parking gear, and counter-drive gear. New computer integration and a smaller, lighter power stack installed directly above the transaxle reduce energy transmission losses.

      The battery pack is small enough to be installed under the rear seats, so it does not take up any cargo or passenger space.  

      Seamless Everyday Performance
      The Highlander Hybrid delivers its exemplary fuel economy and performance without calling attention to its high-tech powertrain operation. Quite the contrary, like all Toyota Hybrid vehicles, it simply goes about its business in a transparent way. For example, the new system optimizes the level of electric motor assistance and gas engine speed without the engine running at high revs. Engine speed is synchronized with vehicle speed, yielding effortless and quiet acceleration.

      As on many modern vehicles, the Highlander Hybrid offers selectable NORMAL, ECO and SPORT driving modes that let the driver choose the vehicle’s performance personality. The bonus is the EV mode, which allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances.

      SPORT mode unlocks boost from the hybrid system for improved acceleration response. ECO mode gets maximum efficiency from the fuel and battery, while NORMAL mode is ideal for everyday driving.

      Special, easy-to-use hybrid tech adds an element of control and fun. Using a sequential shifting feature, the driver can “downshift” to increase the regenerative braking in steps, which fosters greater control when driving in hilly areas, for example.

      The 2020 Highlander Hybrid can also coach the driver to drive as economically as possible. For example, an accelerator guide function suggests an acceleration level to the driver according to the driving conditions, and a scoring function adds a measure of fun to eco driving.
       
      Features for More Efficiency
      Highlander Hybrid’s Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) analyzes the driver’s daily driving habits and upcoming road and traffic conditions to more efficiently charge and discharge the hybrid battery accordingly alongside actual driving.

      The more the vehicle is driven, the more data is accumulated, contributing to practical fuel efficiency. Many actual roads chosen to represent common usage scenarios, such as in urban congestion or on mountain roads, were driven on and analyzed to create control that feels natural to the driver when operating to enable more efficient driving.
       
      All-Wheel Drive Gets Smarter
      The 2020 Highlander gets a grip on any road with a choice of front-wheel drive or three different available all-wheel drive systems -- two for the V6 models and a unique AWD system for the Highlander Hybrid. For the Highlander Gas L, LE and XLE models, the optional AWD system can send up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear wheels to counter wheel slip when necessary.
       
      Sounding like something from a high-end sports car, Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Drive Mode Select and Driveline Disconnect is available for the Highlander Limited and Platinum for even greater agility and capability. In addition to governing torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, this advanced system uses special couplings to actively manage torque distribution between the left and right rear wheels.
       
      Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD doesn’t need wheel slippage before springing into action. Rather, a sophisticated AWD Integrated Management (AIM) manages Electric Power Steering (EPS), throttle control, transmission shift control and drive torque distribution to continually optimize handling.
       
      Using the Multi-Terrain Select control dial on the console, the driver can maximize traction when driving through inclement weather or road conditions. Mud & Sand mode works well for beach driving, while Rock & Dirt mode optimizes AWD traction for trails. The driver can monitor, in real time, torque allocation and slip control on the Multi-Information Display (MID).

      In addition, Highlander models include the following features for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety:
        Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) Trailer Sway Control (TSC) Downhill Assist Control (DAC)  
      All-wheel drive is a great traction partner, but it’s not needed all the time, such as during steady highway cruising. In such situations, Rear Driveline Disconnect automatically disengages drive to the rear wheels and stops the propeller shaft’s rotation. As one might guess, that reduces the energy needed to propel the vehicle and therefore reduces fuel consumption. When AWD is needed, the system instantly re-engages, without the driver even noticing.
       

      Hybrid AWD
      As with the AWD system in the previous Highlander Hybrid, the 2020 model’s AWD employs a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed. Like the hybrid powertrain itself, the AWD works seamlessly and transparently.
       
      The rear electric motor operates independently, with no mechanical connection between the transmission and the rear wheels. Preemptively distributing more driving force to the rear wheels, such as when accelerating, helps suppress front wheel slip during off-the-line starts. The system also enhances cornering agility by helping to reduce understeer. And, when venturing onto a trail, the increased rear-wheel torque helps move the Highlander Hybrid confidently over rough or slippery surfaces.
       
      A New Level of Comfort
      From the L grade to the top-of-line Platinum, the 2020 Highlander offers its plushest accommodations ever. Designers took inspiration from luxury crafted interiors to create a more premium ambience. Details include softer padded surfaces and a more tailored look with stitching that continues from the door trim to the instrument panel. The dash integrates the multimedia and HVAC controls in an elegant and functional way.
       
      The 2020 Highlander cabin offers improved functionality throughout, from a center console that offers available Qi wireless charging to plenty of storage spaces and USB charging ports. On Limited and Platinum grades, new ambient LED lighting sets a relaxing mood. Inset steering wheel controls are a modern luxury touch on all grades.
       
      Highlanders have long been renowned for a quiet ride, and with the high-strength TNGA platform, Toyota pushes the bar even higher. Sound-damping and soundproofing materials have been optimized throughout the vehicle, with the takumi approach focusing particularly on minimizing noise in the frequencies that interfere with conversation.
       
      The seating color palette enhances the sense of luxury permeating the 2020 Highlander. The L and LE grades offer comfortable woven cloth in Graphite or Black; the XLE offers embossed Softex®artificial leather trim in Harvest Beige, Graphite or Black, while the Limited offers those colors in perforated leather trim. The top-of-line Platinum grade, the most luxurious Highlander ever offered, exclusively features embossed, perforated leather trim in those three colors plus Glazed Caramel, a luxuriously delicious new brown.


      Multitalented Multimedia 
      However passengers listen to music and connect with their worlds, the 2020 Highlander is ready with the latest multimedia systems.  All grades come standard with Apple Car Play®, Android Auto™, Alexa In-Car compatibility, Waze, SiriusXM®, and Wi-Fi connectivity through AT&T.
       
      All Highlander models come equipped with Toyota Safety Connect with a one-year trial subscription.
       
      LE and above grades offer Service and Remote Connectivity. A move up to XLE or Limited grade offers available Dynamic Navigation. A move up to Platinum grade offers standard Dynamic Navigation and the 12.3-inch screen.
       
      The JBL® Premium Audio System is standard for Limited and Platinum grades and rocks music of all genres with 1,200 watts of power playing through 11 speakers in nine locations. Clari-Fi®technology breathes new life into compressed digital music formats, with the result like a mobile concert. The system will not, however, settle arguments over which music to play.
       
      Exceptional Toyota Value, Naturally 
      Toyota’s typical outstanding value is clearly evident in the Highlander L grade, where the standard equipment list includes features that one might expect in an upgraded model:
       
      L: Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 18-in. alloy wheels 3-zone automatic climate control 4.2-in. Multi-information Display (MID) in instrument panel 8-way power driver’s seat Auto up/down for all power windows Multimedia with 8-inch touchscreen display Front seat reading lights and cargo area light. LED headlamps and taillamps Privacy glass on rear side, quarter and liftgate windows Smart Key entry on front doors and back door  
      LE adds over L: Power liftgate Blind Spot Monitor Additional multimedia capability LED fog lamps Leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob  
      XLE adds over LE: 10-way power driver’s seat 2nd-row sun shades 4-way power front passenger seat 7-in. Multi-information display Auto dimming rear-view mirror with garage door opener Auto LED headlamps with Auto High Beam Plated interior door handle Heated front seats LED fog lamps Machined-face alloy wheels Captain’s Chairs second row (standard) Power tilt and slide moon roof Roof rails SofTex®-trimmed seats and door trim  
      Limited adds over XLE: 120V 2nd-row power outlet 20-in. Limited style alloy wheels Ambient interior lighting Cargo area cover Driver’s seat memory Hands-free power liftgate Heated and ventilated front seats “Highlander” puddle lamp Perforated leather trimmed seats in Beige, Gray or Black Metal door scuff plates Projector beam headlamp with chrome bezels and separate, stylized DRLs Wood interior trim JBL® Audio System as standard Embedded navigation system  
      Platinum adds over Limited: 12.3-in. Multimedia head unit 20-in Platinum style wheels Adaptive, self-leveling headlamps Additional leather seating color choice: Glazed Caramel Digital display rear view mirror Embossed, perforated leather trimmed seats Head-up display Heated 2nd-row seats Illuminated door scuff plates Panoramic moonroof Rain-sensing windshield wipers Birds eye camera  
      Safety at Its Core
      The new TNGA-K platform forms the foundation for exemplary collision protection in the 2020 Toyota Highlander, while a suite of standard driver-assist technologies is designed to help prevent collisions, or to mitigate their impacts.
       
      The 2020 Highlander is equipped with the second-generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0). Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are standard on LE grade and above. Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) is available with clearance sonar on Limited and above.
       
      The standard backup camera features projected path. A Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, available on Limited and standard on Platinum, provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle.
       
      The 2020 Highlander is equipped with eight airbags, including side-curtain airbags for all three rows. Toyota’s Star Safety System includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
    • By balthazar
      Tesla's March U.S. sales numbers were as follows:
      Model S : 2,275
      Model 3 : 10,175
      Model X : 2175

      The Q1 U.S. total was 30,600 vehicles. This compares to Q4 2018's U.S. total of 77,525 units for a decline of 61%. Musk had warned of both declining volume and an operating loss for Q1, but not to such an extreme extent.

      Model 3 U.S. volume over the last 6 months ~
      Oct '18 : 17,750
      Nov '18 : 18,650
      Dec '18 : 22,250
      Jan '19 : 6,500
      Feb '19 : 5,750
      Mar '19 : 10,175

      The pertinent question stands- what is the true mean monthly demand for the Model 3, and was the volume uptick in Q4 2018 solely due to the upcoming (Jan 1, '19) halving of the tax credit?

      [Source : insideEVs.com]
    • By Drew Dowdell
      According to an article in Automotive News, Toyota plans to move the Tundra and Tacoma to a shared platform, internally called "F1".  The platform is to be used globally and will require a bit of modularity.  The platform is said to be nearing completion and the next Tundra could be debuting for the 2021 model year. 
      The Tacoma will likely join later as it was redesigned in 2015 and given a refresh for 2020 at the Chicago Auto Show along with a bunch of other TRD models like the Sequoia TRD Pro. 
      For US consumption, all Tundras and most Tacomas are built at the company's San Antonio, Texas plant. Moving to a single platform would make things easier and cheaper on Toyota.   But what of the other SUVs built on the same platforms?   The Sequoia is largely based on the Tundra and the 4Runner is related (distantly) to the Tacoma.  Those vehicles would likely be refreshed right behind the trucks.  In any case, Toyota is planning on putting some electrification into the new platform. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      According to an article in Automotive News, Toyota plans to move the Tundra and Tacoma to a shared platform, internally called "F1".  The platform is to be used globally and will require a bit of modularity.  The platform is said to be nearing completion and the next Tundra could be debuting for the 2021 model year. 
      The Tacoma will likely join later as it was redesigned in 2015 and given a refresh for 2020 at the Chicago Auto Show along with a bunch of other TRD models like the Sequoia TRD Pro. 
      For US consumption, all Tundras and most Tacomas are built at the company's San Antonio, Texas plant. Moving to a single platform would make things easier and cheaper on Toyota.   But what of the other SUVs built on the same platforms?   The Sequoia is largely based on the Tundra and the 4Runner is related (distantly) to the Tacoma.  Those vehicles would likely be refreshed right behind the trucks.  In any case, Toyota is planning on putting some electrification into the new platform. 
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