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Old 06-06-14, 03:50 PM   #31
Allannde
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Well! I promised to report what happened.

After careful reconsideration of out of town Lexus dealers, contact with an Acura dealer and a Volvo dealer, I went to a Toyota dealer to look at a Toyota Highlander Hybrid and was impressed at how similar it is to the RX450h. It is slightly larger inside and out, not quite as high quality finish but no slouch, ether and uses the same engine and hybrid system,

I accomplished in three hours what the Lexus dealer took four months to do and I will take delivery of my new Toyota Highlander Hybrid in two weeks at about the same time that I would have taken delivery of the Lexus RX450h!

If you lived in Japan and purchased a Highlander Hybrid, it would have been imported from the Princeton, Indiana factory where all such vehicles are assembled. Domestically sold Highlanders go by train to the ports for finishing touches just like imported vehicles and then they go to dealers, usually by truck.

Here is about what my Highlander will look like. This is even the same color as my RX50h would have been:
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Last edited by Allannde; 06-06-14 at 03:54 PM. Reason: speling
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Old 06-06-14, 04:41 PM   #32
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^^^ Although it's a little too big for my needs, I like the new Highlander. This new gen is 95% an RX in refinement and ride. Interior materials and NVH levels are impressive, despite the wood grain being fake (looks real). And that shelf in the dash with the wire passthru plus the huge center console - so convenient!

Congrats and I'm happy you've had closure. Here's a good review on the V6 model.

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Old 06-06-14, 05:25 PM   #33
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Congrats Allannde!! That's awesome you kept it semi in the family. You'll have to give us the full report and maybe make the 450h owners a little jealous, LOL! I'm so happy for you.
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Old 06-06-14, 05:38 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by corradoMR2 View Post
^^^ Although it's a little too big for my needs, I like the new Highlander. This new gen is 95% an RX in refinement and ride. Interior materials and NVH levels are impressive, despite the wood grain being fake (looks real). And that shelf in the dash with the wire passthru plus the huge center console - so convenient!

Congrats and I'm happy you've had closure. Here's a good review on the V6 model.

http://youtu.be/EUR81WtMNdY
Thank you corrado AND Anita

That review WAS interesting and in areas which are important to us, this car excels. Reliability, economy, handling, comfort and cargo capacity (for our recumbent trikes). Rather than one local Lexus dealer, there are three local Toyota dealers who compete with each other for service customers and it shows in the way customers are treated.

My wife often said to me that "this will all turn out for the better" and I suspect that she was and is correct. It seems odd that I feel more connected to CL and less qualified for it at the same time. After all, we live and move in much the same world.

Regards

Allan

Last edited by Allannde; 06-06-14 at 05:45 PM. Reason: to include a
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Old 06-07-14, 03:22 AM   #35
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^^^Allan, you're always welcome here and having owned several Toyota and Lexus products over the years, they have similarities such as the powertrain with certain models like the RX. Lexus calls it "Lexus Hybrid Drive" and Toyota calls it "Hybrid Synergy Drive". You may find tips and tricks in this forum that applies to the Highlander as well.

If this is your first (Toyota) hybrid, as your first tip, make sure to search for "pulse and glide" technique to optimize your hybrid mileage. YES, you can and will get better mileage than the EPA city rating (highway, not so much) with just a little bit of effort (initially), then becomes (good) habit. Got that with my Gen2 RXh (and even more so on my previous CT which got over 50 mpgs city during the summer months).

All the best and come visit and post!
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Old 06-07-14, 05:07 AM   #36
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And they also share the wiper blade refill size, LOL! That's great to hear how well the Highlander drives. Haven't driven one myself but always wondered about it. We'll be looking forward to your reports. It's obvious you're a person who appreciates the hybrid technology. And I want to see a picture of your plug in Prius next to your new Highlander Hybrid when you get it. Please keep us updated.
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Old 06-07-14, 09:46 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by kitlz View Post
And they also share the wiper blade refill size, LOL! That's great to hear how well the Highlander drives. Haven't driven one myself but always wondered about it. We'll be looking forward to your reports. It's obvious you're a person who appreciates the hybrid technology. And I want to see a picture of your plug in Prius next to your new Highlander Hybrid when you get it. Please keep us updated.
Anita - I will post photos.

The new car will be called "Heather the Highlander" or just "Heather".

Indeed this is larger than the RXh. How much? It is 2" wider, 4" longer, and 4" taller. The cargo area with all seats folded is 8" deeper, 1" wider and 6" taller. The curb weight is 341lb. greater (7.5%).

However, the mechanical system is MUCH simpler because of a very sophisticated and well proven electronic management system. In addition, after 8 years of living with this system, I am comfortable and a bit knowledgeable of it. One can work and tweak and get better mpg, and I have done that to the exhaustion of my wife and likely others on the road. But I have discovered that just driving the car produces results which are almost as good.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the difference in gasoline gasoline consumed in 100 miles at 18 mpg and 28 mpg is 2 gallons. Think about that. At 18 mpg you consume about 5.5 gallons and at 28 mpg you consume about 3.5 gallons for a savings of 43%! That is almost cutting gas consumption in HALF. That is what we do with our cars.

The Toyota/Lexus hybrid system is REMARKABLE.
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Old 07-03-14, 08:02 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by kitlz View Post
And they also share the wiper blade refill size, LOL! That's great to hear how well the Highlander drives. Haven't driven one myself but always wondered about it. We'll be looking forward to your reports. It's obvious you're a person who appreciates the hybrid technology. And I want to see a picture of your plug in Prius next to your new Highlander Hybrid when you get it. Please keep us updated.
Anita, here they are together. I just had the final 3M trim and window tinting done on the Highlander which we have given the name "Heather". This photo emphasizes how much taller that "Heather" is..

I have yet to find a situation where Heather will permit EV operation. In this my experience is an echo of all of that which has been reported here.

Allan
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Old 07-04-14, 04:17 AM   #39
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Allan, thanks for posting a picture. The Highlander dwarfs the Prius, LOL! But each has their purpose. And interesting comment about EV mode in the Highlander. So maybe you can delve into that further after all. Enjoy them both.
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Old 07-04-14, 09:35 AM   #40
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Allan, thanks for posting a picture. The Highlander dwarfs the Prius, LOL! But each has their purpose. And interesting comment about EV mode in the Highlander. So maybe you can delve into that further after all. Enjoy them both.
Anita, I do have two comments

The first is that there is clearly a family resemblance between these cars which would be the case if the new car was an RXh, as well. The heavier car is much more luxurious and the different feeling of riding higher is VERY noticeable. I am sure that those who have both a Prius and an RXh know that. The Highlander is soooo quiet! They must put a very lot of sound deadeners in it. In this, I suspect it is a lot like an RXh. So far I am getting only 26 mpg but the engine is still very tight at 105 miles.

The second thing I have to say is about the dealer which was the start of this thread.

I met a gentleman at Quality Auto Trim where I had the detail work done on Heather who said he had owned several Lexus cars but had a Camry in for similar detail work. He reported that instead of a cancelled order, he went out of town to purchase a Lexus. The local dealer would not match the price of the out of town dealer. The local dealer would not wash his car after service and was not helpful giving service. This man stopped owning a Lexus even though he believes that they are the better car.

Perhaps this cancelation was a favor to me. Heather is not an RXh but seems to be close and may serve our purposes better because of the greater room to carry our recumbent trikes.
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