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I am debating between taking an AWD Platinum that the dealer has coming in, or waiting for the hybrid. Most of my driving is suburban, but I spend a LOT of time sitting in my car with it running (while kids are at sports/activities, etc...) I live in the desert southwest and experience very hot summers, and mild winters. How would the heat and time idling be handled by the hybrid? TBH, I am mostly interested in the hybrid for the extended range, not necessarily for fuel savings or environmental reasons.

Thank you!!!
 

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I am debating between taking an AWD Platinum that the dealer has coming in, or waiting for the hybrid. Most of my driving is suburban, but I spend a LOT of time sitting in my car with it running (while kids are at sports/activities, etc...) I live in the desert southwest and experience very hot summers, and mild winters. How would the heat and time idling be handled by the hybrid? TBH, I am mostly interested in the hybrid for the extended range, not necessarily for fuel savings or environmental reasons.

Thank you!!!
2 Things...
1 fuel savings for hybrid during idle would be 100% dependant on outside temp for the radiator fan, and also inside climate vs outside temp for the ac compressor. likely in a desert, the savings will be minimal... however driving will still net you the appropriate mileage boost assuming modest driving habits.
2 there is no additional fuel range on hybrid vs gas. the extra mpg you net will be offset by the smaller fuel tank (2019 gas models are 19.2 gals vs hybrid 17.2 gals) so it will likely be similar in 2020 although no fuel tank guide is printed at this time... you won't get any additional distance.

accuracy edit:
upon additional research, my above statement is incorrect, the 2020 gas model will have a fuel tank of 17.9 gal and hybrid 17.1, combined with a base performance 11 mpg combined better on the hybrid yes you can expect at least a 130-140mile longer fuel range.
 

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2 there is no additional fuel range on hybrid vs gas. the extra mpg you net will be offset by the smaller fuel tank (2019 gas models are 19.2 gals vs hybrid 17.2 gals) so it will likely be similar in 2020 although no fuel tank guide is printed at this time... you won't get any additional distance.
In 2020 MPG difference is larger and as per Toyota press release 2020 HiHy has over 600 miles range on a full tank, which is substantially more than V6 gas version (even given larger tank).
 

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I am debating between taking an AWD Platinum that the dealer has coming in, or waiting for the hybrid. Most of my driving is suburban, but I spend a LOT of time sitting in my car with it running (while kids are at sports/activities, etc...) I live in the desert southwest and experience very hot summers, and mild winters. How would the heat and time idling be handled by the hybrid? TBH, I am mostly interested in the hybrid for the extended range, not necessarily for fuel savings or environmental reasons.

Thank you!!!
Get the HiHY. It has over 600 miles range AND even if we assume you will idle in both cars (meaning in both cars internal combustion engine will be on) you will burn less fuel in idling 4 cylinder engine 2.5L vs V6 3.5L one - that's even if we won't take Hybrid battery into consideration. I don't remember exact numbers, but it's something in the range of 0.2 gal per 1 hour of idling in V6 model vs 0.17 gal per 1 hour idling in 2.5L 4 cylinder (HiHy). So not much difference, but still about 10% at the very least.
Of course having Hybrid battery will also impact every other normal driving you'll do, every acceleration, every deceleration (recouping energy) etc.
You can also have a/c on without engine idling in HiHy, but for a shorter amount of time, probably for 5-10 min max if it's hot outside. It adds up during a day.
 

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HiHy will start and stop ICE as necessary to keep traction battery between 60% and 80% state of charge. Aircon is all electric so ICE will stop for minutes at a time before starting up and running for short periods while "idling" with A/C on. Very much more efficient than standard non-hybrid in this respect.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Get the HiHY. It has over 600 miles range AND even if we assume you will idle in both cars (meaning in both cars internal combustion engine will be on) you will burn less fuel in idling 4 cylinder engine 2.5L vs V6 3.5L one - that's even if we won't take Hybrid battery into consideration. I don't remember exact numbers, but it's something in the range of 0.2 gal per 1 hour of idling in V6 model vs 0.17 gal per 1 hour idling in 2.5L 4 cylinder (HiHy). So not much difference, but still about 10% at the very least.
Of course having Hybrid battery will also impact every other normal driving you'll do, every acceleration, every deceleration (recouping energy) etc.
You can also have a/c on without engine idling in HiHy, but for a shorter amount of time, probably for 5-10 min max if it's hot outside. It adds up during a day.
Thank you!!! This is exactly the info I was hoping for! The a/c just works sooo hard here during the summer- I am glad you think it is still a good idea to go with the hybrid. My dad was a car guy- I always wish I had taken the opportunity to learn from him before he passed. This stuff is a foreign language to me.
 

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2 Things...
1 fuel savings for hybrid during idle would be 100% dependant on outside temp for the radiator fan, and also inside climate vs outside temp for the ac compressor. likely in a desert, the savings will be minimal... however driving will still net you the appropriate mileage boost assuming modest driving habits.
2 there is no additional fuel range on hybrid vs gas. the extra mpg you net will be offset by the smaller fuel tank (2019 gas models are 19.2 gals vs hybrid 17.2 gals) so it will likely be similar in 2020 although no fuel tank guide is printed at this time... you won't get any additional distance.

accuracy edit:
upon additional research, my above statement is incorrect, the 2020 gas model will have a fuel tank of 17.9 gal and hybrid 17.1, combined with a base performance 11 mpg combined better on the hybrid yes you can expect at least a 130-140mile longer fuel range.
Less trips to the gas station is a huge win! This is going to be great for road trips. Thank you for finding that info for me!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
HiHy will start and stop ICE as necessary to keep traction battery between 60% and 80% state of charge. Aircon is all electric so ICE will stop for minutes at a time before starting up and running for short periods while "idling" with A/C on. Very much more efficient than standard non-hybrid in this respect.
I can’t imagine sitting my car with the A/C on, and the engine not running. That’s going to take some getting used to for sure! Glad to know I can feel less guilty about my idling habit with the hybrid!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My brother mentioned something about the engine deactivation thing... I’m going to have to look that up! Thanks!
 

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FYI, in all Toyota hybrids, the ICE (internal combustion engine) runs only when required - relying on MG2 and the battery at low speeds and low throttle positions as long as the engine has been sufficiently warmed up and battery sufficiently charged. Thus, when the engine is warm, you can gently accelerate from a stop using only electric power. In fact, on lighter vehicles such as the Prius, you can get to 30-40 MPH before the engine must start (on level ground). At speeds (dictated by gear ratios) of about 42-46 MPH the ICE must start to prevent overspeeding MG1 which is freewheeling when under electric power. MG1 starts the ICE which thus slows the rotation of MG1. MG1 begins generating power which is used by MG2 to provide additional torque. The torque required by MG1 to produce this power is used to drive the wheels It is an absolutely ingenious and elegant system dreamed up by the Japanese supplier of the Hybrid Synergy Drive (Toyota didn't invent it).

If you've never driven a Toyota hybrid, you will be absolutely amazed and/or confused by its operation (depending on how many brain cells you can coerce into thinking about how it works). It just works - seamlessly, quietly and reliably. In fact, the hybrid models are more reliable than their non-hybrid siblings. They have no alternators, transmissions, power steering pumps or air conditioning belts and clutches - all failure-prone devices. The only belt in the whole engine bay is to run the engine-driven water pump (and that's not even present on the Prius) and the belt is under so little load that it never needs replacing.

If you buy the hybrid, you won't be disappointed except under one condition - trailer towing. While the 2019 and prior V6 HiHy can easily tow a trailer up to 3500 pounds, it cannot pass the SAE J-2807 trailer towing test with a 5000 pound trailer like its non-hybrid brother. This is solely due to its Hybrid Synergy Drive system not being able to use engine power in reverse. Due to the way the gears are arranged, the engine can only provide torque in the forward direction. Reverse is done exclusively by MG2 and MG3 (on the AWD-i models).

I strongly recommend getting the AWD-i model even if you live in a warm, dry climate. Otherwise, the HiHy is a marvelous vehicle in all respects. I am disappointed that Toyota chose to eliminate the V6 engine from the hybrid (which is why I opted for the 2019 model). I towed a 2000 odd pound trailer all over the U.S last month from North Carolina to Arizona, Texas, New Orleans and back home to New England and it did a fantastic job. For general family truckster use it will be great with lots of room and comfort (for a mid-sized crossover).

Buy the hybrid - you won't be sorry.
 

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FYI, in all Toyota hybrids, the ICE (internal combustion engine) runs only when required - relying on MG2 and the battery at low speeds and low throttle positions as long as the engine has been sufficiently warmed up and battery sufficiently charged. Thus, when the engine is warm, you can gently accelerate from a stop using only electric power. In fact, on lighter vehicles such as the Prius, you can get to 30-40 MPH before the engine must start (on level ground). At speeds (dictated by gear ratios) of about 42-46 MPH the ICE must start to prevent overspeeding MG1 which is freewheeling when under electric power. MG1 starts the ICE which thus slows the rotation of MG1. MG1 begins generating power which is used by MG2 to provide additional torque. The torque required by MG1 to produce this power is used to drive the wheels It is an absolutely ingenious and elegant system dreamed up by the Japanese supplier of the Hybrid Synergy Drive (Toyota didn't invent it).

If you've never driven a Toyota hybrid, you will be absolutely amazed and/or confused by its operation (depending on how many brain cells you can coerce into thinking about how it works). It just works - seamlessly, quietly and reliably. In fact, the hybrid models are more reliable than their non-hybrid siblings. They have no alternators, transmissions, power steering pumps or air conditioning belts and clutches - all failure-prone devices. The only belt in the whole engine bay is to run the engine-driven water pump (and that's not even present on the Prius) and the belt is under so little load that it never needs replacing.

If you buy the hybrid, you won't be disappointed except under one condition - trailer towing. While the 2019 and prior V6 HiHy can easily tow a trailer up to 3500 pounds, it cannot pass the SAE J-2807 trailer towing test with a 5000 pound trailer like its non-hybrid brother. This is solely due to its Hybrid Synergy Drive system not being able to use engine power in reverse. Due to the way the gears are arranged, the engine can only provide torque in the forward direction. Reverse is done exclusively by MG2 and MG3 (on the AWD-i models).

I strongly recommend getting the AWD-i model even if you live in a warm, dry climate. Otherwise, the HiHy is a marvelous vehicle in all respects. I am disappointed that Toyota chose to eliminate the V6 engine from the hybrid (which is why I opted for the 2019 model). I towed a 2000 odd pound trailer all over the U.S last month from North Carolina to Arizona, Texas, New Orleans and back home to New England and it did a fantastic job. For general family truckster use it will be great with lots of room and comfort (for a mid-sized crossover).

Buy the hybrid - you won't be sorry.
Oh my goodness, THANK YOU!!! This encouragement is exactly what I need! When it comes to car stuff, I definitely need to lean on the knowledge of people smarter than me :)

Your explanation makes sense. I plan to get AWD, for sure. Thank you!!
 

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Get the hybrid. You will barely notice any horsepower increase with gas and you will make up for the gas cost difference in about 30k miles. Something never really mentioned in gas to hybrid comparisons is brake life. Do you want to shell out $400 for a brake job every 30-50k miles, or do you want brakes that will virtually last forever? My Lexus ES hybrid and Prius have well over 100k miles and the brakes on both feel like a brand new car.
 

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FYI, in all Toyota hybrids, the ICE (internal combustion engine) runs only when required - relying on MG2 and the battery at low speeds and low throttle positions as long as the engine has been sufficiently warmed up and battery sufficiently charged. Thus, when the engine is warm, you can gently accelerate from a stop using only electric power. In fact, on lighter vehicles such as the Prius, you can get to 30-40 MPH before the engine must start (on level ground). At speeds (dictated by gear ratios) of about 42-46 MPH the ICE must start to prevent overspeeding MG1 which is freewheeling when under electric power. MG1 starts the ICE which thus slows the rotation of MG1. MG1 begins generating power which is used by MG2 to provide additional torque. The torque required by MG1 to produce this power is used to drive the wheels It is an absolutely ingenious and elegant system dreamed up by the Japanese supplier of the Hybrid Synergy Drive (Toyota didn't invent it).
The interactive flash diagram of the Power Split Device on this page helped me to understand this:

Regarding the AWD system, an additional motor powers the rear wheels without a mechanical connection to the system. If it's connected to the battery, shouldn't it be able to provide additional torque during acceleration without diverting power from the front motors? If so, then should the estimated system HP and/or torque be different for the 2020 Hybrid AWD vs FWD?
 

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I would think that MG1 is the main source of current for both MG2 and MG3 when acting as motors so the limit would be battery charge plus MG1's capacity. The rear motor (MG3) only runs up to 10-15 MPH so probably isn't measured or being used when peak horsepower numbers are quoted.
 

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Isn't the all wheel drive in Hybrid not the same as the ones in Gas? The rear wheels are only electronic for Hybrid. I know this is one of the reasons why Hybrid can't tow as much as Gas, but would this make any differences in traction control on ice / snow conditions? Would gas still perform better on these conditions?
 

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You are right in that it's different than the non-hybrid. There is no driveshaft linking the front and rear axles. Instead, there is an electric motor which drives the rear axle at every start and when needed due to the system sensing slippage at the front and a difference in speed between the front and rear axles.

However, the reduced towing capacity has nothing to do with the electric rear axle. In my investigations into this it would appear to be an anomaly in the way the SAE J2807 towing tests are applied to Toyota's hybrid vehicles. The Hybrid Synergy Drive system used in Toyota hybrids cannot apply engine torque in the reverse direction, meaning that the Toyota hybrids cannot pass the backing-up-a-hill performance tests in J2807 at as heavy a trailer weight as their non-hybrid siblings. That's it. That's the only difference in the towing capability the hybrid has compared to the non-hybrid. Engine and transmission cooling are both adequate, braking and handling are the same. The only place it falls down is in backing a 5000 pound trailer up a hill. It just can't generate enough power with the electric motors alone to do that. Otherwise, there's no reason the HiHy couldn't tow a 5000 pound trailer.
 

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You are right in that it's different than the non-hybrid. There is no driveshaft linking the front and rear axles. Instead, there is an electric motor which drives the rear axle at every start and when needed due to the system sensing slippage at the front and a difference in speed between the front and rear axles.

However, the reduced towing capacity has nothing to do with the electric rear axle. In my investigations into this it would appear to be an anomaly in the way the SAE J2807 towing tests are applied to Toyota's hybrid vehicles. The Hybrid Synergy Drive system used in Toyota hybrids cannot apply engine torque in the reverse direction, meaning that the Toyota hybrids cannot pass the backing-up-a-hill performance tests in J2807 at as heavy a trailer weight as their non-hybrid siblings. That's it. That's the only difference in the towing capability the hybrid has compared to the non-hybrid. Engine and transmission cooling are both adequate, braking and handling are the same. The only place it falls down is in backing a 5000 pound trailer up a hill. It just can't generate enough power with the electric motors alone to do that. Otherwise, there's no reason the HiHy couldn't tow a 5000 pound trailer.
Alright, thanks for the info. Besides the towing, would the eAWD perform well in snowy area compared to v6 2020 highlander gas model? I think the answer is no. Mechanical AWD would still be better, right?

This reviewer noted that there were some rear wheel slip when turning for Hybrid in snow at 20mph. I am not sure if winter tires were used or not.

 

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It looks like there may have been some testing of the Prius at the same Utah event, recently. The Prius’s rear electric motor offers a whopping 7hp which, apparently, is enough to offer improved capability on snow. Wheel slipping is a problem of too much torque rather than too little. That’s why snow mode reduces power to the wheels.

 
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