Toyota Hybrid SUV: Crossing Over

Highlander, a Toyota hybrid SUV, has crossed over from fuel-eating SUV to a fuel-efficient one.

The bulky station wagon of decades past is veering away from its image of wasteful energy consumption and eco-disaster. Thus came along the sport utility vehicles or SUVs. But these latter guys have also reached a certain level of unpopularity since they began using up tons of fuel as off-road, rough-riding, multi-purpose vehicles.

Manufacturers in the process began coming up with SUVs that will again gain acceptance by being eco-friendly, economical, safe yet stylish enough. Compact and mid-sized hatchbacks and station wagons then began growing in size, naively assuming truck-like specs but not nearly the power. Crossover SUVs, crossing over from cars and achieving near-truck status, became very much in vogue, then.

Great Handling

The Toyota Highlander 2008 capitalized on this trend and is proving to be a catch. Bringing with it the advantages of a car-crossover, the Highlander features great handling capabilities, economy, and cost. Its low center of gravity allows it to ride lower and hug the road better. Car-based as it is, the lightweight materials (compared to truck-based SUVs that is) allow for more efficient, unibody countenance. The aerodynamic shape completes the fuel-economy tag. Finally, the light-duty materials are less costly which makes this SUV’s price very friendly.

Great-Looking Exteriors

A handsome one, this Toyota Hybrid SUV, the Highlander. The Hybrid and Hybrid Limited models have standard halogen headlights on chrome bezels with integrated fog-lights. They have chrome grilles surrounding the body and on inserts. The windshield is ultra-violet light reducing. This hybrid stands on four 17-inch or 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels that go on full 4-wheel drive at a touch, on demand. Roof rails are silver-painted. At the back, the color-coordinated spoiler has LED stop lamps.

Flashy and Functional Interiors

And wait till you ride. Inside the Highlander, one is treated to CFC-free breathing by its filtered air-conditioning system. The digital system for climate control ensures this, with full-function display, filters and vents upfront, down second, and way below on third-row for an overall effect.

Whether it be the Highlander Hybrid or Hybrid Limited, you get treated to great audio with satellite radio and CD-MP3 players blasting away on six speakers. Down second row it is video this time around as you get to watch great movies with the DVD system via 9-inch monitors and wireless headphones.

Toyota Hybrid SUV~continue