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Derek77

2008 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid

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February 7, 2007 – Chicago - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc., unveiled the all-new next-generation Highlander and Highlander Hybrid mid-size sport utility vehicles (SUV) at a press conference today at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show.

"Highlander holds a unique distinction within the Toyota brand and within the industry," said Don Esmond, TMS senior vice president, automotive operations. "Along with the 4Runner and the FJ Cruiser, it anchors one of the industry's only three-vehicle, mid-size SUV line-ups. Equally important, along with Prius and Camry Hybrid, it is a key component in the industry's only three-vehicle hybrid strategy."

The 2008 Highlander is significantly larger, roomier and more powerful than the vehicle it replaces. Yet its fuel efficiency will be virtually unchanged. It is noticeably quieter, smarter, with improved versatility and ride comfort. It will offer the highest level of standard safety equipment in a segment where safety is at the top of purchase considerations. And, it's all wrapped in a package designed for buyers who want to stand out and make a statement.

Highlander will have no equal to its comprehensive list of standard safety features. It will provide a segment-leading total of seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag and roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three rows.

As with all Toyota SUVs for the last three years, Highlander will provide Toyota's STAR safety system, featuring:

• anti-lock brakes,

• traction control,

• electronic brake-force distribution,

• brake assist,

• and for the first time, enhanced vehicle stability control,

• with electronic power steering.

On all models except the base models, it will provide a stand-alone backup camera with a multi-information screen, not tied to a navigation system. And, Highlander will have the distinction of being the first Toyota division vehicle to feature both active head restraints and a new hood and fender system designed to crumple on impact with a pedestrian.

On the outside, Highlander moves away from traditional SUV styling cues with a statement of strength instead of ruggedness; of intelligence over toughness. Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif. sculpted clean, crisp lines, a wide, stable stance and muscular contours to give Highlander an advanced, contemporary, forceful and dynamic personality.

Highlander rides on an all-new chassis derived from the current Camry and Avalon. It is nearly four inches longer and three inches wider, with an inch more ground clearance and three inches of additional wheelbase.

Interior designers took full advantage of Highlander's substantial dimensions. Design intelligence is carried through to the refined interior, where smart and sophisticated blend with practical, flexible and versatile.

The passenger compartment is open and airy. Convenient and innovative interior features such as flexible seating arrangements, and ease of entry and exit, were directly related to customer input.

For example, Highlander's second-row features captain's chairs with armrests that, if needed, can be converted to a bench seat for three passengers. A "Center Stow" seat, when not in use, is hidden in a compartment under the front center console. In its place, passengers can easily snap in the provided center stow center console or choose to leave the area open as a walk-through to the third row. The second row also slides forward and back 4.7 inches and reclines.

Clever and convenient standard features include:

• a third-row bench seat with foldable headrests for a flat rear cargo area,

• a rear glass hatch for quick access to the back (optional on base grades),

• and Smart Start and Entry for Limited and all hybrid models.

When Highlander arrives in July, it will be offered in Base, Sport and Limited grades. All three grades will be powered by a new 3.5-liter V6 that delivers an impressive 270 horsepower -- a 55 horsepower gain over the previous generation's 3.3-liter engine.

Two months later, the all-new Highlander Hybrid will arrive at dealerships. Offered in both Base and Limited grades, all Highlander hybrids will feature Toyota's advanced VDIM stability system. The system integrates:

• full-time four-wheel drive with intelligence,

• electronic brake and throttle control,

• with true electronically-controlled active steering.

Highlander's advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive system has been extensively upgraded and refined for 2008 for both power and economy. The new Highlander gained about 500 pounds, growing significantly in every dimension and receiving extensive body and chassis reinforcement, aimed specifically at achieving best-in-class crash ratings. Not only were engineers able to increase output to 270 net horsepower, they were able to maintain Highlander Hybrid's impressive fuel economy at 31 city and 27 highway.

The Highlander will be loaded with standard-equipped comfort and convenience features. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels will be standard on both Sport and Limited gas models and both hybrid models.

An array of options and accessories will be offered, such as a power backdoor that can be opened and closed with a key fob, a navigation system with an eight-inch screen, a rear-seat entertainment system with a nine-inch screen, and three-zone air conditioning.

Other options include:

• JBL audio with six-disc changer and nine speakers with Bluetooth,

• third-row seat delete to create a second-row model,

• leather seat trim and heated seats,

• and a tow package with a 5000-lbs. maximum towing capacity (class-leading for car & van-based mid SUVs).

"The 2008 Highlander takes the car-based SUV concept to a new level," said Esmond. "I say that with conviction, because it's a category we invented."

The Toyota RAV4, now in its third generation, was the world's-first car-based SUV. In 1998, Lexus established a whole new category of car-based luxury SUVs when it launched the RX300. The debut of Highlander in 2001 marked the beginning of a shift in the mid-size SUV segment, from truck platforms to car platforms.

"As you can see, the new Highlander has raised the bar significantly," said Esmond. "Last year we did the same with RAV4. And in about a year, we'll do the same with both Land Cruiser and Sequoia. The Toyota division now markets a six-vehicle SUV lineup that appeals to specific buyer demographics and life-stages. It is a lineup that gives us enormous flexibility in responding to shifts in the marketplace. We are committed to keeping our products fresh and at the front of the pack."

TOYOTA 2008 HIGHLANDER PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

POWERTRAIN

3.5 Liter V6 – 270 hp

249 ft.-lbs. torque

5-speed automatic

4WD or 2WD

3.3 Liter V6 Hybrid – 270 net hp

Torque not available for hybrid powertrain

ECVT

4WD-i

DIMENSIONS (inches)

Overall Length: 188.4

Overall Width: 75.2

Overall Height: 69.3

Wheelbase: 109.8

Ground Clearance: Gas 8.1 / Hybrid 7.3

Seating Capacity: 5 or 7 passengers

Wheels: 17- or 19-inch wheels

2008 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid

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The Highlander has been long overdue for an update, especially by Toyota standards.

This one, for some reason, reminds me of the Hyundai Santa Fe. It is certainly outstyled by the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia (and unlike with other vehicles, I'm sure most would agree with me here).

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I think Toyota will have a homerun with this. The exterior is elegant if not Santa Fe-ish (not a good thing) but I love the exhaust. I'm glad Toyota stuck with a square-ish design instead of following the Murano/Edge and eliminating passenger/cargo room. The interior looks good, though the black and grey buttons on the center stack/console should be either black or grey, not both. I think it looks better than the upcoming Veracruz and OUTLOOK but the Acadia looks a little bit better, more masculine.

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No comparison to any of the Lambda's exterior wise, the ymop the floor with this thing. I see the Sante Fe resemblance...so now Toyota is benchmarking Hyundai? That's priceless. So I guess if you crash a RAV-4 into a Sante Fe you get a new Highlander? It squints too. I like the interior though, except that ugly steering wheel.

Edited by Dodgefan

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I think Toyota will have a homerun with this. The exterior is elegant if not Santa Fe-ish (not a good thing) but I love the exhaust. I'm glad Toyota stuck with a square-ish design instead of following the Murano/Edge and eliminating passenger/cargo room. The interior looks good, though the black and grey buttons on the center stack/console should be either black or grey, not both. I think it looks better than the upcoming Veracruz and OUTLOOK but the Acadia looks a little bit better, more masculine.

What's so nice about the exhaust? I think you might think the reflecters in the back are dual exhaust pipes.

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It's over a foot shorter than the Lambdas. The interior looks pretty good, even if it is a Honda rip-off, and the gauges are weird.. The exterior looks like complete crap, however. I'm not sure if I can think of a worse looking SUV in this class. It looks like a mix between the RAV4, Santa Fe, and Forester. I will get to see it in person in just a couple days, so I'll see if it really looks so terrible in person. The Lambdas crush this, though it will be interesting to see how much they are cross-shopped. This looks rather cramped inside in comparison (notice the very skinny opening to get to the third row). I really think this is like the Edge or Santa Fe, but pricing might be similar to the Lambdas.

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What's so nice about the exhaust? I think you might think the reflecters in the back are dual exhaust pipes.

Oops. At first glance it looks like the exhaust pipes come out the rear bumper. I thought it was surprising for Toyota to do it. Thanks for correcting me.

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If I looked up "UGLY" in a dictionary and there was a photo of this POS there

my only response to it would be that it is a GROSS understatement. Ffffugly!

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I take it Toyoguy isn't too impressed since he hasn't already gloated over this. :lol:

But still... why a 5-Sp automatic when Toyota knows GM's debuted with 6?

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I take it Toyoguy isn't too impressed since he hasn't already gloated over this. :lol:

Actually I've been pretty busy lately.

Overall it's not for me, if it had more "personality" I bet it would end up cannibalizing 4runner sales.

Technically I'm not and I doubt anyone else on the board is in the market for an SUV with three rows for their non-existant family. So I doubt it really matters.

But still... why a 5-Sp automatic when Toyota knows GM's debuted with 6?

Minimize costs, the Avalon, RX350 use it.

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They should rename it the Toyota Outclassed. Interior design is boring and the exterior is completely generic.

Outlook and Acadia are better in very measurable fashion (save a few horsepower, but their torque is better). GMs second-row folding is better as well.

It'll likely still outsell the Outlook and Acadia, after all the sheeple snap up anything with a Toyota or Honda badge regardless of how much better the Lambda's are.

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They should rename it the Toyota Outclassed. Interior design is boring and the exterior is completely generic.

Yeah, everyone else's interiors are original

Outlook and Acadia are better in very measurable fashion (save a few horsepower, but their torque is better).

And you've driven them, so you know which engine is quieter, smooter, and offers better fuel economy right?

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Well, after seeing it from more angles and in more colors, I can see where Toyota has "manned" this truck up and given it a lot more beefiness and elegance. Still, that doesn't mean it isn't uninteresting, uninspired, and artistically challenged. Even the interior seems cheap and unimagintive....not at all really befitting of a truck that could cost up to $40k and compete with lower levels of the Enclave and loaded Acadias. It should continue to be a success with the fanbase that already loved it, and that will be more than enough. They have left the door open for GM to create a good image around thier Lambdas though.

Edited by turbo200

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Yeah, everyone else's interiors are original

And you've driven them, so you know which engine is quieter, smooter, and offers better fuel economy right?

Compared to the Highlander? Quite original I'd say. You'll get similarity among vehicles by the same manufacturer, but Toyota's is a mish mash of several inspirations, the most obvious of which is Honda.

I'm sure the 3.6L isn't a screaming nightmare, its in enough vehicles and I never read anyone bitching, and I know Toyota's V6 is quiet and smooth because I've driven a current Highlander on several occasions and was impressed by how quiet it is, even when flogged.

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Are you kidding Turbo?

I'm being 100% honest when I say that is IMO one of the femenine

crossover-SUVs I've ever seen in my life. And that's saying a LOT,

I think 95% of todays unibody SUVs look more "college girl cute"

than a MINI Cooper. If I got this for a company car I would just tell

them to keep the effin thing and I'd buy a hot pink Geo Tracker so

I could retain SOME of my dignity.

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So Lexus is discontinuing the RX350?

Currently, a fully loaded Limited V6 MSRP is $37,585, according to carsdirect.com. you don't think a price increase is a possibility? you don't think it could come close to or go above $40k?

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Are you kidding Turbo?

I'm being 100% honest when I say that is IMO one of the femenine

crossover-SUVs I've ever seen in my life. And that's saying a LOT,

I think 95% of todays unibody SUVs look more "college girl cute"

than a MINI Cooper. If I got this for a company car I would just tell

them to keep the effin thing and I'd buy a hot pink Geo Tracker so

I could retain SOME of my dignity.

well I didn't say it was masculine, just more masculine than before. And it really is a lot more masculine, and that should be applauded since they recognized a major problem with the last one which was that it looked to soft and weak. The end result is somehting far from what I would call the most feminine looking crossover out there. Then again, GM doesn't seem to have a problem with this at all.

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I'm sure the 3.6L isn't a screaming nightmare, its in enough vehicles and I never read anyone bitching, and I know Toyota's V6 is quiet and smooth because I've driven a current Highlander on several occasions and was impressed by how quiet it is, even when flogged.

just as an FYI Toyota isn't using the same V6 engine or tranny in the new Highlander.

Compared to the Highlander? Quite original I'd say. You'll get similarity among vehicles by the same manufacturer, but Toyota's is a mish mash of several inspirations, the most obvious of which is Honda.

Really, last I checked Toyota has been using electrolumincent recessed gauges, long before Honda.

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Are you kidding Turbo?

I'm being 100% honest when I say that is IMO one of the femenine

crossover-SUVs I've ever seen in my life. And that's saying a LOT,

I think 95% of todays unibody SUVs look more "college girl cute"

than a MINI Cooper. If I got this for a company car I would just tell

them to keep the effin thing and I'd buy a hot pink Geo Tracker so

I could retain SOME of my dignity.

68's right, there's nothing masculine about the Highlander anymore.

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