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Jimmy Buffett

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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Jimmy Buffett

Wondering whether anyone has towed with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 3500 lbs max towing capacity. The Sunsetter LXi will push that. I don't go far - maybe 10 miles, mostly flat to slight grades. Any thoughts?

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Malibudude
Wondering whether anyone has towed with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.  3500 lbs max towing capacity.  The Sunsetter LXi will push that.  I don't go far - maybe 10 miles, mostly flat to slight grades.  Any thoughts?

The boat and trailer will exceed the towing limits of that vehicle. Towing short distance is probably okay but most of the times I need a full size truck for control and braking is closer to home. Just seems more close calls have happend withing 10-20 miles of home. Also going up launch ramp could be fun. We pulled our LXI w/ an S-10 Blazer for the first year and that had a tow rating of 5k. I wouldn't ever go back to it.

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UWSkier

Not enough vehicle to pull any Bu, except maybe an empty Sporty.

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LS-One
Wondering whether anyone has towed with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.  3500 lbs max towing capacity.  The Sunsetter LXi will push that.  I don't go far - maybe 10 miles, mostly flat to slight grades.  Any thoughts?

good luck,

My wifes Lexus Rx 300 says the same thing but it won't get out of its own way.

Remember most accidents occur within 3 miles of home. :)

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jetskipro550

I tried towing my friends 18' I/O with our 99 V6 explorer (which was rated to tow that boat) and it was scary! The thing couldn't stop, couldn't corner, and it barely went up the hills.

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Faceplant409

For a summer I towed a 18' bigblock jet with a '89 Ford Ranger 4 banger....

Looking back that was scary!!! Going uphill or down.... Shocking.gif

To the OP: I would not do it.

Pat

Edited by Faceplant409

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DNA'er

Parrothead:

If you were just going to pull it out and put it in at the begining and end of the season, I would say sure. If you are towing on a regular basis...awfully risky. I just bought a Hummer H3 which has a 4500lb rating and pulled the boat out of the lake for the season and only towed it the 1 mile from the ramp to the cottage and it seemed fine. The problem you run into(literally)is emergency stopping distances and avoidence manuevers with the smaller vehicle...I sure feel more confident using the wifes Tahoe. Also remember that pulling the SLXI with trailer UP the ramp out of the water is putting alot more than 3500 lbs of towing weight on your vehicle. Hybrids are relatively new technology and I sure would not want to stretch the limits of their capabilities, even if it is a Toyota. Good luck regardless.

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obski

I stretched the limits of my Toyota Sienna with the old boat and paid for it with a rebuilt tranny.

I love my Tahoe pulling the boat.

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JohnDoe

The thing to remember is that in MOST situations, the tow rating is not what "the engine will pull" or the brakes will "stop", it's how much of a deviation from "normal" that the car can safely deal with. So, in reality, you could use the i force and a new brembo system, and the towable weight would be very similar.

Gettintg to the point: thats not a safe setup. The holdback is not the power, but the entire chassis, wheelbase, and components that go into a higher tow rating. In an emergency situation, that highlander would jackknife in no time.

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LS-One

Also keep in mind the Highlander and Lexus are Unibody construction so there is no frame for the hitch to be mounted to. I'd probably be comfortable pulling a jet ski with our Lexus but that would be about it.

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DNA'er

Mechanical componants in a vehicle have a rated life expectancy based on rated loads.

Overloading decreases the affected componants life expectancy significantly.

Translation....plan on spending more $ in the shop.

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BlastRlxi

I would agree that it will overwhelm the Highlander. If you want a Toyota, look at the V8 4Runner. The engine has a lot of torque and it pulled both my 2000 VLX and my 2005 Response Lxi great! You will have plenty of engine and braking power and also have the Toyota quality.

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Lakenut

The more towing I do, I am starting to think a 1/2 ton truck is not enough. (and I only have a SLXi. Can't imagine what it is like towing an LSV) The next truck I get WILL be a 3/4 ton.

Edited by Lakenut

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jgouveia3
Mechanical componants in a vehicle have a rated life expectancy based on rated loads. 

Overloading decreases the affected componants life expectancy significantly.

Translation....plan on spending more $ in the shop.

i agree. interesting thing though, i sold my '87 toyota 4-Runner (with a 4 banger in it, no less) with 180K on it. everything except the clutch was still original. used it to tow since the day it was new. It was fine around the ramp (just stick it in 4 Low). It was OK in the flats, terrible on hills, and couldn't stop (although it was much better once I got a boat with trailer brakes). For my current situation (tow twice a year), I would do it again. If I towed weekly, I would stick with a full size vehicle.

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mbwagoner
Remember most accidents occur within 3 miles of home.  :)

That's why I moved Surprised.gif

seriously... the tow ratings also account for highway speed. If your 10 miles are all at 25 it will make a difference. I was looking at the Highlander up until I found out twins were in my future. But in my case I didn't want to push limits so I wanted a full size. 30 miles of hills up to 55. Then if I want to travel to another lake.

On the half vs 3/4 ton... I have both, I love my 3/4 ton but my 1/2 has great brakes and a good engine so it does really well. If I'm not carrying people the 3/4 will always be my choice for towing, but the 1/2 does very well for when the family needs to come along. I wouldn't want anything smaller though for highway or hilly driving.

3/4 ton = '99 2500 Dodge ram V10 4x4 5spd

1/2 ton = '03 GMC Yukon XL Denali 6.0 AWD

Edited by mbwagoner

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Jimmy Buffett

Alright, you've convinced me the Highlander won't get the job done. Plus it only has 10 cf of cargo space, whereas my Yukon has 70 IIRC. We also looked at the 4Runner, the V8 will tow 7,000 lbs or so. Think I'll stick with my Yukon for now, but the 11 mpg in the city is killing me. On a side note, the EPA estimates 16/20 mpg for the Yukon...total bs...I get more like 11/16 on a good day. Closer to 10 mpg on my short commute to work though city streets. Going to the Highlander would only save me about $90/mo in gas, which is not enough to justify buying a new more expensive vehicle IMO. They need to lower the price of the hybrids and show real gains in efficiency to justify the cost.

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JohnDoe

Well I just saw the article about how oil companies made RECORD profits this quarter, so I don't see the price of gas falling any time soon. I have driven the highlander hybrid, it'd be a nice vehicle, but not to tow.

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mrothwell
Alright, you've convinced me the Highlander won't get the job done.  Plus it only has 10 cf of cargo space, whereas my Yukon has 70 IIRC.  We also looked at the 4Runner, the V8 will tow 7,000 lbs or so.  Think I'll stick with my Yukon for now, but the 11 mpg in the city is killing me.  On a side note, the EPA estimates 16/20 mpg for the Yukon...total bs...I get more like 11/16 on a good day.  Closer to 10 mpg on my short commute to work though city streets.  Going to the Highlander would only save me about $90/mo in gas, which is not enough to justify buying a new more expensive vehicle IMO.  They need to lower the price of the hybrids and show real gains in efficiency to justify the cost.

Something is wrong with your Yukon, or you have a VERY heavy foot. My Suburban (bigger than your Yukon with same motor) gets 13 mpg around town with my wife driving and 14 around town with me driving (She is either on the gas or on the brake, no in-between). Fully loaded with family of six and enough camping gear to outfit the cast of The Lord of the Rings, I got better than 18mpg driving at 80 mph on a 500 mile trip.

Every report that I have read regarding the hybrids says that it is almost impossible to justify the extra cost with the gas savings.

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UWSkier

Yeah, that 11 sounds WAY low for the Yukon, unless you're feeding a Yukon XL 2500 with the 6.0L... and even THAT's bad.

I'm looking at the same vehicles. I like the 4Runner but I don't know if I can go with an SUV. I keep my ski with me all the time and usually just leave it in my pickup bed (tonneau cover keeps it somewhat safe). I don't want stinky wet gear in my cab all the time. Might end up getting a Taco, not sure though.

I don't fit in the Nissans, but the Pathfinder is also really nice and will get better mileage than the 4Runner V8 with the same towing capacity. Might be worth a look unless you're 6'3" or taller.

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Jimmy Buffett

You think something might be wrong with the Yukon? Any ideas? It's just the 5.4L V8, not the big boy.

I don't have that heavy of a foot. From home to work I drive 3 miles, on city streets, never more than 1/4 mile between stoplights, and I don't get above 40 mph. Average over 3 days of round trips to work I got 10.3 mpg. Including weekend driving around town, I get 11.4 mpg (according to the onboard computer thingy). Interstate driving at 80 mph for 2 hrs got me 16.3 mpg last weekend. No way I get close to 13 or 14 mpg. I'm going to try driving like a granny the next couple days and see what I get...I wonder if the computer is wrong.

Edited by Jimmy Buffett

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RTS

The onboard computer tells me I'm getting 18 in my Sequoia, but the pump tells me I'm actually getting only about 16 (IF I'm not towing the Sunsetter, then I get about 12 Cry.gif )

Moral: Those fuel economy meter in vehicles can be off sometimes, check it at the pump and see if it's accurate...

Edited by rts

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mrothwell

My 18mpg at 80 is based off the computer and checked at the pump. The computer on this vehicle is dead on. I dont drive it with a light foot, and have never dropped below 13 in town.

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SacRiverRat

Hard to believe that mileage... my 97 suburban w/ 350 gets ~12mph (no computer, this is calculated off each tank when filled) ~9-10 with the boat.

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Malibudude
You think something might be wrong with the Yukon?  Any ideas?  It's just the 5.4L V8, not the big boy.

I don't have that heavy of a foot.  From home to work I drive 3 miles, on city streets, never more than 1/4 mile between stoplights, and I don't get above 40 mph.  Average over 3 days of round trips to work I got 10.3 mpg.  Including weekend driving around town, I get 11.4 mpg (according to the onboard computer thingy).  Interstate driving at 80 mph for 2 hrs got me 16.3 mpg last weekend.  No way I get close to 13 or 14 mpg.  I'm going to try driving like a granny the next couple days and see what I get...I wonder if the computer is wrong.

I think you mean the 5.3L depending upon the year of the vehicle. I'd check all the standard filters air,fuel etc. I get 13 mpg when towing 18-19 on the highway of course its a truck but shouldn't be getting that crappy of mpg. I'd calculate it the old fashion wayand see what your results are.

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Jimmy Buffett

Yes, 5.3L. I drove like a granny on the way home, coasted down hills and was light on the pedal...got almost 13. I'll try the old fashioned method and see what I get. Not due for filter changes for a couple thousand miles. Maybe I'll check it anyway.

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