Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,403 Posts
Not sure, depends on what type of 4-wheel drive system is used. There is more then one. Realize these ads are skewed to bring out the best and worst in cars. The Audi uses a different 4-wheel drive control system then the BMW. The Audi system as you see can break down under certain conditions. Many of these passenger car 4-wheel drive systems are just a type of traction control. Not a true 4-wheel drive as in something that a person going off road would use.

Wikipedia has a good explanation as to how the system works and there limitations.
 

·
OurayMotorsports
Joined
·
24 Posts
hybrid 4wd limitations

In this exact situation (with only the rear wheels on a frictionless surface) , the Hybrid will probably do fine, because it is primarily a front-wheel-drive vehicle and the rear wheel motors only come on when the front wheels lose traction. My 911 Carerra 4 would have the same problem as the Audi, because it is primarily rear wheel drive and is only capable of sending a small portion of the power to the front wheels--often not enough if the rear wheels are frictionless.

The Hybrid's problem is that it is equipped with a very fastidious (read "over-zealous") traction control set-up, and if the wheels are slipping a lot, particularly at low speed, as when crawling up a steep gravelly/rocky incline, the traction control system can apply the brakes to the point that the car will come to a complete halt. (This forced me to turn around on a narrow one-lane cliffside mountain road and make a 50-mile detour one day.) I suspect that this is somehow an effort to protect the electric motor system from over-revving. But it can, under the right circumstances, cause you a big headache. So far, it has not stranded me in a snow situation. Only that one gravel/rock/incline situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Oh...really? So on the hybrid 4wd version, the rear axle is only powered by the electrical motor?

I thought there's a viscosity coupling between the front axle and the rear axle on the 4wd version so that the rear axle will be powered by the engine as well. Do they actually remove that coupling from the hybrid 4wd version?
 

·
OurayMotorsports
Joined
·
24 Posts
hybrid rear wheel propulsion

That's right. There is no drive shaft from the engine to the rear differential. I just went out and looked to be sure.
 

·
TN Member
Joined
·
5,461 Posts
amis said:
Oh...really? So on the hybrid 4wd version, the rear axle is only powered by the electrical motor?

I thought there's a viscosity coupling between the front axle and the rear axle on the 4wd version so that the rear axle will be powered by the engine as well. Do they actually remove that coupling from the hybrid 4wd version?
Yeah, there's where you save weight and mechanical bits on 4WD systems. They just have an extra electric motor driving the rear wheels. Best thing is you get 4-wheel regenerative braking! (Prius and Camry only has the front wheels regenerating cause there's only motors driving the front wheels)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Another reason Toyota likely only uses electric motor on rear for the hybrid is because they realize majority of owners do not go off road, just do want to get stuck in the snow, and that people would buy a Forerunner or now FJ Cruiser if they want off roading capability.
 

·
OurayMotorsports
Joined
·
24 Posts
off-road

...which really doesn't make any sense. Why would anybody buy ANY high-clearance, 5000-lb., 24 mpg four-wheel-drive vehicle if they didn't need off-road capability? I was pretty perturbed when I found out that my $40,000 4wd HiHy wouldn't even go up a nearby gravel county road because the traction control brought it to a halt! If all I wanted was a highway-going hybrid, I would have bought a Prius.
 

·
TN Member
Joined
·
5,461 Posts
mineralfarmer said:
...which really doesn't make any sense. Why would anybody buy ANY high-clearance, 5000-lb., 24 mpg four-wheel-drive vehicle if they didn't need off-road capability? I was pretty perturbed when I found out that my $40,000 4wd HiHy wouldn't even go up a nearby gravel county road because the traction control brought it to a halt! If all I wanted was a highway-going hybrid, I would have bought a Prius.
You tell me lol. I see that FWD SUVs are available in the US. We get 4WD versions only (except the new CR-V which is available in FWD for the first time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
A boat anchor in snow!

Oh my gawd! We finally got some snow in MN. I just found out that my wife's $36,000 Highlander Hybrid is 100% absolutely useless in powder snow. This thing will leave you stranded!!!! Do not buy one of these if you will ever need to drive off the pavement!!! I knew from reading the owner's manual that the Highlander Hybrid is not to be considered an off-road vehicle. And I used to be OK with that, that's why I have a Chevy Silverado 4WD and it's awesome in deep snow. But this weekend I pulled that Highlander Hybrid into a parking lot that had about 8" of medium-weight snow (not fluffy, but not slushy either, good snowball making snow). And the vehicle instantly came to a complete stop!! Stepping on the gas pedal had NO EFFECT. The engine will not rev up, no power is applied to the wheels, and it just sits there like a freaking boat anchor!! What a horrible piece of crap!! This vehicle will leave you stranded if you ever try to drive in anything that will cause wheel slippage such as medium depth snow, loose sand, gravel, etc. In such a situation small 2WD drive cars would be able to keep going and you will be left stranded in your nearly $40,000 piece of Toyota crap!! I just called the service manager at the Toyota dealer and complained and she said "But it's unusual to drive one of these in 8" of snow". Bull crap! Our cul-de-sac often has that much snow in the event of one of our increasingly rare MN snowfalls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Highlander Hybrid Offroad Test

Hi All,

After reading the numerous posts about the traction control system preventing the Highlander from climbing slick hills, I decided to go out and test it.

Here is my setup:

2007 Highlander Hybrid Limited
All Terrain tires

I drove to a local sand hill (with a winch equipped F350 in case I got stuck) and attempted to climb the hill until I could go no further. The results were not at all what I expected. When the HiHy could climb no more, it had one front wheel (right) and one rear wheel (left) spinning while the others sat idle.

I expected the traction control to get involved with the spinning wheels but that didn't happen.

Overall - the performance offroad was quite good - the hill I tested on typically stops most 4WD vehicles attempting to climb it - and the HiHy nearly made the top.

Now I must figure out if it worked so well because the traction control isn't working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
Turn the traction control off if it doesn't move. traction control sometimes can be counter productive in really slippery conditions. My highlander doesn't have traction control and it has 4wd, I can drift around in the snow on that thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
4WDi sucks

...which really doesn't make any sense. Why would anybody buy ANY high-clearance, 5000-lb., 24 mpg four-wheel-drive vehicle if they didn't need off-road capability? I was pretty perturbed when I found out that my $40,000 4wd HiHy wouldn't even go up a nearby gravel county road because the traction control brought it to a halt! If all I wanted was a highway-going hybrid, I would have bought a Prius.
Ditto here. I got stuck again this weekend with front wheels in the mud and rear wheels on asphalt. I never had this problem with my Nissan Rogue, or my Volvo 850 AWD, or my Audi Quatro

This was the second time that I had to call a tow service because I thought I had 4WD or at least the intelligence for the system to transfer power to the rear motor/wheels.

I too bought this car to get to a cabin, drive down/up a slippery boat ramp and tow a little but it is getting frustrated as the mileage is not up to par (for a hybrid, it is the same as a std, Front WD) and it does not have 4WD. I wish there was an override switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Only with winter tires such as Michelin ICE, Bridgestone Blizzaks, or Nokian Hakkapeliitta. I used all 3 brands on various cars (Ice and Blizzaks on the HHL) with excellent results. 4WD is useless but the tires make it great driving here in the snow.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
About this Discussion
14 Replies
9 Participants
EJO
Toyota Nation Forum
ToyotaNation Forum is a community dedicated to all Toyota models. Come discuss the Camry, Tacoma, Highlander, 4Runner, Rav4 and more!
Full Forum Listing
Top