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2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2006 Toyota Highlander HybridEnlarge Photo
A recently introduced hybrid-powered version of Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV boosts both the vehicle's performance and its fuel economy. This is the same Hybrid Synergy Drive system that's also available in the Lexus RX, with which the Highlander otherwise shares platforms and components. The Highlander Hybrid combines a 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant with a high-torque electric drive motor/generator to deliver the acceleration of a V-8 with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder engine (33 mpg in city driving, 28 mpg on the highway). A gearless continuously variable automatic transmission and an electric power steering system are included. As in the standard versions, a choice of front or all-wheel drive is offered; the latter includes two separate electric motor/generators, one at each axle. Elsewhere in the line a fuel-efficient 160-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission remains the standard powertrain, while the conventional version of the aforementioned 3.3-liter 230-horsepower V-6, mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox, is optional. Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control system, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution come standard. A third-row seat is available to expand the Highlander's seating capacity to seven riders.
2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid by John Pearley
Take the RX400h, subtract the attitude.