2008 Highlander Hybrid

Consumer Reviews

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

$7,127 - $16,631  MSRP Range
2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Review Score

4.9 out of 5 stars

4.9

34 Reviews
100% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.9 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.7 out of 5 stars Interior Design
5 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.7 out of 5 stars Performance
4.6 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 34 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Great Ride & Greate Mileage

by Canadian Driver from Toronto, Ontario on Thu Aug 28 2008

Just been the owner of a 2008 Highlander Hybrid Limited and am impressed so far. Managed to by a demo vehicle which already had about 8,000 miles on it so it just about at the recommended break it for optimal performance stage. Traded in an old van and the other family vehicle is a 2004 Highlander (not the hybrid). So making a comparison is easy. This version is rummier and just as comfortable. As to the gas mileage, its about 30% better than my older Highlander. On a recent highway only trip (no traffic etc.) according to cars computer we got 28.3 miles to the US gallon. This drive as 80-85% on cruise control. When combined with our typical driving pattern, we were only able to get 23.5 mpg. This pattern includes lots of very short trips dropping off the kids and then back home. These short trips do take a toll on the mileage as the engine warms up with just about every start. The one thing I do HATE in this vehicle is Toyota's built in navigation. First off, it is not intuitive at all compared to my hand held GPS or others I have tried. Secondly its database is way out of date. I've been living on my street for 3 years now, granted it was a new street three years ago, but its not in the nav system. Just shows a big blank. Also the City of Toronto was amalgamated about 5 years ago merging several cities into one big one. I needed to use the nag to find a location and it kept telling no such address exists, yet I knew it did. Turns out it was listed under the older area of Scarbrough and not Toronto. Not a big deal, because I knew basically where I was going and gave it a shot, not helpful if you're a visitor to my city. Talked to the dealer and they have no idea on when the next update is due. So I'll be forced to use the GPS in my Blackberry or take my Garmin with me which defeats the purpose of having a built-in system. Not sure if the improved mileage cost justifies this purchase, but it I love driving a SUV and this way I feel I'm getting the mileage of a mid size car and doing a little bit to help the environment.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Good SUV for the $...Good MPG for the seats

by Dallas HiHy from Dallas, Texas on Wed Nov 28 2012

I have had other SUVs and like this the best for sure. Easy in and out, good visibility and decent gas mileage. I get 24-26 normally in the city. If you really work hard and pay attention, you can get 29 but not more. I added aftermarket NAV (ADVENT) and it makes it much better for me.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Love it

by Mom from Tacoma, WA on Fri May 02 2008

Very tired of my Porsche Cayenne S and ready for a hybrid. I love my new Highlander. It's comfortable, somewhat luxurious, and the back opens with a remote. I definitely recommend it. I researched every hybrid and this one is the best, in my opinion.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Very Satisfied

by Hybrid owner from Sandy, Utah on Wed Oct 05 2011

This car is just what I was looking for. It is roomy with enough seats to transport my family and has a large cargo space. The gas milage is very good for a Hybrid SUV. It is very comfortable and smooth on the highway. One minis is the "black holes" in between the front seats and the middle console, if you drop something good luck on getting it out.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Two years with my Highlander Hybrid

by Reuben from Miami FL on Thu Aug 05 2010

I have developed a hybrid motor yacht, so I felt I should be driving a hybrid vehicle. Since I was coming out of a Mazda MPV, and since there were no hybrid mini-vans sold in the U.S., I was pretty much steered to the Highlander Hybrid. We needed the 7 passenger capability since we haul our dogs and grand kids a lot. For the first year of ownership, I was constantly surprised by the features - I seemed to discover new ones each week. This car is essentially a Lexus both styling, finish and comfort-wise - my wife had a Lexus and agrees. I'm 6'5", 220# and fit nicely in the drivers, passenger and middle row seats. I usually end up in the third row for our 4-hour drive to Disney from Miami since the girls like the middle and my wife and daughter like to chat in the front. It's OK for 4 hours, but a bit tough unwinding upon arrival. She's peppy, responds nicely, handles well, both for local and long distance driving (once per year Miami to CT and return). My son just traded in his Lexus SUV for the same high-end Highlander w/o the hybrid. Nice thing about the hybrid is the pickup with the added torque of the electric motors. Mileage is OK. Better than a pure gas SUV of this size, but nothing to brag about. I'd buy another today - I'm sure when it comes time to replace her, most likely I'll get the latest version.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Nicest car owned

by Hybrid believer from Oak Hill, VA on Tue Mar 25 2008

I purchased this car back in December as the base model. My biggest complaint is for Toyota who gives very minimal options on the base package as compared to the Limited model which costs approximately 7K more. To counter-act this, I went through the dealer to change the upholstery to leather, added heated seats, added a Pioneer AVIC D3 Nav system with XM, XM Nav Traffic, IPOD connectivity, and blue tooth. I also went through circuit city and purchased a rear entertainment Jensen 8.5" DVD player for $620 which is hardwired 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 - seats are plush and provide alot of support for long trips. I've put on about 5000 miles on the vehicle with mixed highway and city driving (wash dc metro area). I'm averaging 24.5 mpg overall. If you do live in the dc area, virginia dmv offers special plates for hybrid drivers which allow access on the HOV lanes of the Dulles Toll Road and I66 during rush hour. The car is extremely quiet and I have surprised more than several folks as I roll up in my neighborhood. I've owned several nice cars in my past (Volvo S70, 2004 Honda Accord V6) and this is by far the nicest vehicle I've owned.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

My favorite Toyota

by Roadrunner from Rural wyoming on Mon Mar 17 2008

I bought the 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid in December and already have over 6000 miles on it. I get great mileage on the vehicle and have it up to 27mpg overall with long distance interstate driving as well as city driving. I have had the mpg over 30mpg. I am careful not to gun the starts and I use my cruise control which helps stabilize the mileage. The space for luggage is very good (having taken down the third row that is redundant to me). The dash is handy and I love the optional design of the back seat area. I love the vehicle.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Still Loving It!

by DLanc1 from Chicago, lL on Thu May 07 2009

I bought this 2008 Highlander Hybrid Limited in December of 2008 used (4,200 miles). No problems love the gas mileage, have found that the way to to really watch the mpg climb is to set cruise control. The car was a little pricy, but I can't wait til paid off, to run it bill free! Comfortable ride, hauls all mny toys (Paintball equipment, etc.). I am often asked about it as it is so quiet, and stylish. Loving It!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Happy with my choice

by SUV-minded from SF Bay Area on Mon Apr 16 2012

This is the car I wanted - an SUV for good road visibility, comfortable and good mileage. I looked at all the smaller SUVs, but they were all sort of boxy and not very comfortable, particularly for longer trips. Definitely wanted the "Limited" edition with nicer, leather seats and all the gadgets - it's very well equipped. Don't really care about the Nav system (have a better one on my smartphone), but love being able to open & lock doors and start the car without taking the key out of my pocket. And separate heating controls for passenger and rear seats. This car gets as good, if not better, mileage than the small SUVs and much, much nicer ride. A new one was too expensive for me, but got a good deal on this used one. Plus, got a comprehensive 4 yr/48K warranty, so not worried about any major problems in the near future. Truly getting 24-25mpg.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Gas Saver

by Leon from Oklahoma City, OK on Fri Oct 29 2010

I am still impressed with the car just as much as 4 months ago when I bought it. Extremely quiet, just enough room for two kids and luggage. Very comfortable for road trips...took an 8-hour and a 7-hour with no complaints. Average 25-28 mpg...one of my favorite features! Good sound system with the base speaker. Wife loves the the auto lift gate, xm radio, and dvd system. Looked at many other mid-suvs out there and this one had the quietest ride and very good fit and finish. Bought 2 years old to save and benefit from the $15k in depreciation. You are not buying a hybrid to save money. I bought this one for the calm, quiet interior, lighter woodgrain, power, and overall joy to drive. Cons: Same as everyone else-should have memory driver's seat. Have to speak loudly to use bluetooth with the cell phone and person at the other end hears some background noise. Navigation is very useful but could have a more intuitive display like the volkswagen jetta. Have to stop the vehicle to enter a waypoint.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

On the surface, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid seems a fantastic idea: a hybridized version of an already relatively efficient crossover, and one of the only hybrids with an electric-only mode. Though the reality of this model is positive overall, it is an expensive alternative with only a minimal mileage advantage on the highway and an electric-only mode that — as executed — is a gimmick of little practical value. Short supply, high sale prices and the expiration of federal tax credits for Toyota hybrids all call into question the benefits of buying the Highlander Hybrid.

Kelsey Mays covered the regular 
Toyota Highlander in great detail in his review, so I'll concentrate on what makes... Read More