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Discussion Starter #1
https://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/world-premiere-of-all-new-2020-highlander-at-new-york-international-auto-show.htm

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.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well - at least changing the spark plugs will be a much easier job.

I assume they know what they're doing putting a four cylinder engine in a car this big.

They don't mention towing capacity but I bet it's less than the Gen 3 if even recommended at all.

 

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Yeah, sure, it will deliver just that - everyday acceleration.
In my stupidity, I bought NX200t, with 4 cyl forced induction engine.
Though I told myself many times to never buy 4 cyl again.
That was pain. Lagging, strain sounding engine, constantly needing to be stabbed into high revs to actually move.
That car lasted in my hands inglorious 8 months or so.
I can only imagine how much less powerful (yes, I get it, it has 2 electric motors, but I already had 2 hybrids with electric motors, so I know how goes it) 4 cyl will be "performing" with a much heavier vehicle.
Nothing beats good V6 or V8.
 

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Yeah, sure, it will deliver just that - everyday acceleration.
In my stupidity, I bought NX200t, with 4 cyl forced induction engine.
Though I told myself many times to never buy 4 cyl again.
That was pain. Lagging, strain sounding engine, constantly needing to be stabbed into high revs to actually move.
That car lasted in my hands inglorious 8 months or so.
I can only imagine how much less powerful (yes, I get it, it has 2 electric motors, but I already had 2 hybrids with electric motors, so I know how goes it) 4 cyl will be "performing" with a much heavier vehicle.
Nothing beats good V6 or V8.

I know the 6cyl hybrid is snappier than the non-hybrid, I'd hope the 4cyl would be the same. Regardless, not thrilled about this change at all. If I wanted a dinky powerless engine, I'd get a Prius.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Toyota lists the new engine as having a combined 240 HP. No break down of the engine or electric motors individually.

The Camry Hybrid also has a 2.5 four cylinder engine. The engine itself is listed at 176 HP/163 ft/lb torque - the electric motors are listed as 118 HP/149 ft/lb torque - combined power listed as 208 HP. The two sources don't just add the two which would be 294 HP but there's a system that only uses a portion of each that maxes out at 208 HP.

So either the Highlander has bigger, more powerful electric motors to get a combined output of 240 HP than the Camry or they have tweaked the engine to produce more power or a combination of both.

Probably the Highlander will be quick off the line due to the instant torque of the electric motors but my concern would be traveling on an interstate and having to negotiate long stretches of uphill grades - like in the mountains - and maintaining highway speeds especially if you're carrying passengers and gear.

EDIT - probably should also include RAV4 Hybrid which has a combined output of 219 HP.
 

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V6 is going extinct. Before I bought my V8, I scanned all SUVs, there's not much left unless you go small mortgage ones, like Sequoia or Lexus breed. I ain't paying $75K for SUV. Everyhting is now force induction 4 cyl. Damn, even pickups are now that way.
 

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Right about now I'm feeling very fortunate for picking up one of the last 2018 Highlander Hybrid Limited's in Black available in Western Canada last October. The 2020 is apparently 6cm's bigger than the previous generation and the fact that they're suggesting that it has a smaller battery pack than mine is something I view as a negative not a positive. I was hoping they'd up the battery size and make it a plug-in Hybrid. Toyota seems to be going in the opposite direction.


My 3rd gen with all the bells and whistles incl. the factory tow package is a heavy f*****g vehicle. No idea what they're thinking by switching to an anemic 4 banger engine. 3rd Gen HiHy have a 3500lbs towing capacity, what's this one going to have? 5 passengers and a few bags of groceries? Very very glad I didn't wait and got mine when I got it.


If I hadn't got mine when I did and I waited till 2020, I would have either gotten the regular gas powered V6 Highlander or would have just waiting even longer for the next gen 4Runner and be done with it.


Stupid stupid move Toyota putting a 4 cyl engine in this class of vehicle.
 

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Toyota is neither stupid or wise. It is simply vehicle manufacturer.

Take a broader look. EVERYONE is switching to 4 cyl or less forced induction engines, trucks included. This happened literally simultaneously, makes one think that command was given from a command center that runs all of them as they wish.

If you want to listen to our Russian brethren, they will tell you why - designed obsolesce. Large engines run fraction of their power and run forever, under normal use. Take any four banger and put it into a heavy vehicle = continuous stress geared towards fast engine failure. So you either buy new engine or new car. Car manufacturers are in cars SALE business, not in making ever lasting vehicles business. Who will, outside of alpha buyers, buy a new car, if current one does fine as is? But if it starts giving you grief, you are forced to move on.
It's strictly business, Great T is no different, really.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Stupid stupid move Toyota putting a 4 cyl engine in this class of vehicle.
I'm skeptical but not willing to throw in the towel yet until after it's actually road tested by professional reviewers probably in the late fall.

I'm happy with my 2017 HH put may be looking to "sell" mine to my daughter as her current vehicles are getting long in the tooth and I think the HH would be a good fit for her, her husband and their two kids.

I'd like to get another hybrid and 34 mpg combined sounds great but the four cylinder worries me. Could be that with the new TGNA platform the HH is actually lighter than the current version (?) so maybe not too bad.

The Subaru Ascent only has a four cylinder and performs well. It does have a turbo but then no electric motors to augment performance.
 

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EVERYONE is switching to 4 cyl or less forced induction engines, trucks included.
Yes, so it seems. Everyone does seem to be going the way of small to mid-sized 4cyl turbo charged engines.

makes one think that command was given from a command center that runs all of them as they wish.
My understanding is that forced fuel efficiency requirements are pushing the industry in this direction. No sure how true that is but that's my understanding behind why this is the growing trend.

designed obsolesce. Large engines run fraction of their power and run forever, under normal use. Take any four banger and put it into a heavy vehicle = continuous stress geared towards fast engine failure. So you either buy new engine or new car.
Yep, hence my disappointment. I love the fact that my 3.5l V6 hihy seems to have solid power everywhere. Ample torque and very smooth power delivery which is typical for V6/V8 engines. Yes the delayed reaction from CV transmission is a little annoying but I can live with it given the overall milage I get.

You're absolutely right btw. It goes without saying a smaller displacement, higher compression 4cyl engine with a turbo/supercharger slapped on it is going to wear out faster than a larger displacement V6 assuming both setups are maintained properly.

Was really hoping Toyota wouldn't go down that road hence my disappointment.

Car manufacturers are in cars SALE business, not in making ever lasting vehicles business. Who will, outside of alpha buyers, buy a new car, if current one does fine as is? But if it starts giving you grief, you are forced to move on.
My understanding was that was Toyota's value proposition. The fact that they made good albeit boring vehicles that lasted forever. Perhaps they are slowly bucking that trend like everyone else.

It's strictly business, Great T is no different, really.
So I pretty much agree with everything you said. I just think it's wrong and short sighted.
 

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I am sorry for reviving this old thread but I am new here. I want to buy the 2020 Highlander. I want to get the hybrid over the V6, but I am concerned that it will be a slug. I will, of course, test drive both. I do know that Toyota knows what they are doing when it comes to hybrids, but the specs look pretty poor. Do you guys think it will be a slug?
 

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I think you should sit tight and buy full electric when it comes out. If you have an itch, scratch it, goes away in 2 weeks. I know, I had my share of itches. Also, it is highly unwise to buy a first run of any new power train vehicle. Be a guinea pig.
 

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I think you should sit tight and buy full electric when it comes out. If you have an itch, scratch it, goes away in 2 weeks. I know, I had my share of itches. Also, it is highly unwise to buy a first run of any new power train vehicle. Be a guinea pig.

You just gave 2 conflicting sets of advice in the same post. If it's unwise to buy the first run of a new vehicle train mod (it certainly is), then why should he be the guinea pig and buy it?
 

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Test drive both, once the 2020 hybrid shows up early in 2020.

The 2.5L hybrid powertrain works great in the Camry, with performance that's much better than the gas four and only a bit worse than the V6, but the Highlander is obviously a heavier vehicle. Hopefully the 2.5L Highlander Hybrid will be significantly lighter than the current one, but even so it's not likely to be super fast. I'll be interested to see performance numbers.
 

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I think you should sit tight and buy full electric when it comes out. If you have an itch, scratch it, goes away in 2 weeks. I know, I had my share of itches. Also, it is highly unwise to buy a first run of any new power train vehicle. Be a guinea pig.
I do think ldeveraux is correct. Toyota may have just released an all-electric car. However, an all-electric SUV would be a new product. Like commented on, Toyota has used the 2.5 in other hybrids. Possibly not with electric motors this big and not in an SUV. I can't tell if you're being sarcastic. It's sometimes hard to tell with posts. You are talking about itches and scratching them. I just need something because I am driving a 2004.
 

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No, I am not. I am dead serious. I get those car buying itches ever so often. I learned just to wait them out, they go away in about 2 weeks. It's simple psychology. You want to develop new habit - 2-3 weeks. Want to get rid of a habit - 2-3 weeks. That;s how we are. No, no sarcasm. Absolute down to earth friendly suggestion.
Toyota promised to offer electric vehicle in any model line up by 2020. PLENTY of various sized SUVs full electric already offered. The way it goes, it is very likely that hybrids and ICE vehicles will become obsolete. China talks about banning ICE engines in 2028. Quite a few countries joined it. China is the largest electric manufacturer in the world - and the largest market. It is rather hard to presume that China will, and the rest will not. Besides, it's basic simple way to force people to buy more cars. Diesels are already banned in some cities and countries. So that is coming.

IMHO, it is safer to buy electric, than to buy something that may end up as scrap in several years.

Hey, and glad you asked about sarcasm. Folks just make assumptions. get p-oed. Much better approach - ask. Thank you.
 

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No, I am not. I am dead serious. I get those car buying itches ever so often. I learned just to wait them out, they go away in about 2 weeks. It's simple psychology. You want to develop new habit - 2-3 weeks. Want to get rid of a habit - 2-3 weeks. That;s how we are. No, no sarcasm. Absolute down to earth friendly suggestion.
Toyota promised to offer electric vehicle in any model line up by 2020. PLENTY of various sized SUVs full electric already offered. The way it goes, it is very likely that hybrids and ICE vehicles will become obsolete. China talks about banning ICE engines in 2028. Quite a few countries joined it. China is the largest electric manufacturer in the world - and the largest market. It is rather hard to presume that China will, and the rest will not. Besides, it's basic simple way to force people to buy more cars. Diesels are already banned in some cities and countries. So that is coming.

IMHO, it is safer to buy electric, than to buy something that may end up as scrap in several years.

Hey, and glad you asked about sarcasm. Folks just make assumptions. get p-oed. Much better approach - ask. Thank you.
I kind of assumed you were being serious. My question was one of these thought-provoking ones and kinda dumb. I am just going to test drive both and make my decision. However, your responses and this thread have me thinking. I will probably just want to go to with gas model. Especially since my use case doesn't really favor a hybrid. My daily commute is 15 minutes at the most, half of it is a highway, and it's rarely in traffic. I don't drive that much aside from commuting to work and maybe the odd errand. I may see very little advantage from going hybrid anyway. Posting and reading here made me think more about it.
 

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Correct. You should have started with driving parameters. Winter time it takes 15 min just to warm up hybrid drive.
On FWY, it runs like a regular car anyway. You will have minuscule advantage with significantly higher bill. Plus, hybrids are 30% more in repairs.
Nothing really beats old school Civic with manual.
From your permission, I'll push your envelope a little farther. Are you sure you need a new car? Is that an utmost necessity? As whatever you will buy, will become outdated in matter of like a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Correct. You should have started with driving parameters. Winter time it takes 15 min just to warm up hybrid drive.
On FWY, it runs like a regular car anyway. You will have minuscule advantage with significantly higher bill. Plus, hybrids are 30% more in repairs.
I think you're painting an overly grim picture here.

My experience in the winter is that within two miles of a cold start even at 30 F the car will start running in EV mode. Again that has been my observation - purely anecdotal. If I remember correctly you had an older HH - my 2017 has some kind of adjustable valve timing that allows super fast heating of the emission system. If you're talking about below 0 F then not so fast but neither is a non hybrid.

Also I'm not sure what you mean by significantly higher bill - price difference between my XLE Hybrid and the XLE non hybrid was only $1,600 and it's even less with the Limited trim. As far as 30% more for repairs I'm not sure that's the case - what would make it cost more? In fact some cost would be less as hybrids are know for extending the life of the brakes to perhaps twice the usual plus no alternator to replace and the 12V battery is of much higher quality than the non hybrid. I had a 2007 Altima Hybrid - actually a Toyota system that Nissan bought from Toyota ( even had Toyota written on the Inverter) - and the 12V battery lasted 10 years.

EDIT - Sorry - senior moment - I meant no starter to fail instead of alternator although there is no alternator either.
 

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Of course.
And the world is torn, as usual, between "hybrids cost less" and "hybrids cost more" opinions.
About 3-4 years ago, there was a research I came across that pointed towards 30% higher repairs cost for hybrids. of course, I can't find it now.
Of course, ever since then, hybrids got better and ICE vehicles are doing better mpg.
This likely will be good balanced study to review (HiHy is not on the 7 best to own hybrids)

Winter is winter. Takes longer to warm up+ICE runs more to maintain warm coolant+to maintain cat and EVAP at best operating temperature.

I'd say, it's better to be afraid than to get scared. Better to be very cautious and expect worse, than to go overly optimistic to find out that mpg is not as expected, AWD has its quirks, reverse has it quirks, and, suddenly, hybrid battery went bad. Or brake actuator.
 
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