Toyota Hybrid SUV
A Toyota Hybrid SUV that is currently being manufactured and
sold is the Highlander. Of course, since
Toyota owns Lexus, you can call the Lexus
RX400h a Toyota Hybrid SUV as well. Both the Toyota
Highlander and the Lexus RX400h share the same Hybrid
Synergy Drive system featuring a 3.3-liter DOHC 24-valve VVT-i
V6 gasoline engine combined with a high-torque electric motor.
RX400h Hybrid SUV
Both Toyota Hybrid SUV's feature
a regenerative braking system. A regenerative braking
system means that when putting your foot upon the brakes,
the electric motors turn into electric generators and
recharge the battery pack.
Highlander Hybrid SUV
It is a common misconception that the batteries need charging
in the hybrid vehicles, as they do in all electric vehicles.
With a regenerative braking system, the vehicles automatically
recharges itself. The battery pack is also under warranty for
8-years or 100,000 miles. Right now a new battery pack will
cost approximately $4,000 to replace. Toyota is assuring everyone
that by the time the warrantee will expire the cost will come
down into the $1000 region.
Both Toyota Hybrid SUV's share other features as well such
as the Electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission
(ECVT), the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that manages the power
flow between the generator, battery and motor and a Vehicle
Dynamics Integrated Management system (VDIM), which monitors
vehicle and road conditions to help drivers avoid accident and
improves smoothness of handling.
The cost difference between the two is approximately $10,000
as the Lexus RX400h Hybrid has additional style features
such as a DVD entertainment center and DVD navigation system,
noise reduction, rear view camera and 18-inch wheels that
the Highlander does not have. If you don't mind paying for
style, then the Lexus may be a good choice, otherwise the
Highlander is just about the same vehicle without the bells
and whistles. But, take heart in that there is currently
a several month long waiting list for both models, which
is a great sign that hybrids will be popular for many years
to come and over time, the environment will be getting cleaner