2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LTD Test Drive

By dancurranjr On February 28th, 2009

toyota-highlanderMechanical and Performance

3.5L 270-HP 24-valve V6 eng. 4/dual VVT
5-speed automatic transmission w/sequential Shift
Electronic power steering system
Hill start assist controls
19-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels


Anti-lock brakes w/brake assist & EBD
Driver knee airbag/driver & front passenger seat
Mounted side airbags /3 row roll-sensing
Side curtain airbags/driver and front passenger active headrests
Daytime running lights
Second row CRS lower/top tether anchors


Color-keyed bumpers/foldable power htd
Mirr/small rear spoiler/chrome door handles
Fog lamps/in-glass ant/rear privacy glass
Puddle lamps/front var and rear intermittent wipers

Driving the Highlander, gets you caught up in the comfort, economy, and energy of the vehicle, and might just let you forget about the array of safety features found on all Highlander models.

Driver and passengers are surrounded by an array of safety features as indicated above (seven air bag systems) along with simple but helpful items such as the direct tire pressure monitoring system.

There are four braking systems and stability control technologies that help the driver avoid accidents.

Hill start assist control that helps ensure smooth hill starts by applying brake pressure to all four wheels for approximately two seconds in order to help hold the Highlander and prevent roll back.

Downhill assist control helps to control the vehicle during a steep descent by helping the driver negotiate steep low speed descent by automatically controlling the brake force at all four wheels and help reduce wheel lockup.

Enhanced Stability Control helps prevent the vehicle from losing traction while cornering in wet or other challenging conditions. The system automatically regulates engine output and brake-force distribution to the wheels, plus simultaneous electric power steering assists torque to help the driver steer in the direction that provides greatest control.

TRAC is a traction control system that uses Highlander’s advanced braking technologies to help control wheel spin when starting or accelerating on a slippery surface.

The EPA fuel economy estimates is 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg highway. During my test drive I got a little less than the estimate in town and about two more mpg on the highway. The Highlander sells for $37,000. Government safety ratings are five-star for frontal driver crash and side crash for front and rear seats, and four stars for rollover.

The emergency button was easy to identify on the console. I would have preferred the outside lights that blink indicating an emergency to be red, rather than the white-yellow color that flashed instead.

The engine was very quiet because of the hybrid engine; I had some trouble at first knowing when the engine was on. I have a hearing problem and just could not tell when it was on, so I would often try to start the engine, yet it was already running. I quickly learned that I could tell when the engine was running by watching the gauges.

SOURCE: Epoch Times

Toyota Highlander online

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