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Reader Review of the Week: 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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“I purchased this car back in December as the base model. My biggest complaint is that Toyota offers very minimal options on the base package as compared to the Limited model, which costs approximately $7K more. To counteract this, I went through the dealer to change the upholstery to leather, add heated seats and add a Pioneer AVIC D3 Nav system with XM, XM Nav Traffic, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth. I also went through Circuit City and purchased a rear entertainment Jensen 8.5-inch DVD player for $620 and hardwired it to the Pioneer system.

“The result: a beautiful car, inside and out, with all of the gadgets one would ever hope for. The ride is very comfortable. The seats are plush and provide a lot of support for long trips. I’ve put about 5,000 miles on the vehicle with mixed highway and city driving (in the Washington D.C.-metro area). I’m averaging 24.5 mpg overall. If you do live in the D.C. area, the Virginia DMV offers special plates for hybrid drivers that allow access to the HOV lanes of the Dulles toll road and I-66 during rush hour. The car is extremely quiet and I have surprised more than several folks when I roll up in my neighborhood. I’ve owned several nice cars in my past (Volvo S70, 2004 Honda Accord V-6) and this is by far the nicest.”

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