Doug's Sounding Board


How I would change the Highlander Hybrid

We’ve had the Highlander Hybrid for 5 months now, and overall I like it. It’s comfortable and it gets better gas mileage than the Passat Wagon despite being bigger and heavier. Like 10% better.

First, to get the most out of the car, you need trips that last longer than 5 minutes. The first 5 minutes the engine always runs because that’s the warm-up period. A lot of trips in Santa Cruz are 5 minutes.

Next, to get the best mileage, yuo should be on cruise control. There’s no way for you to be able to control all the systems with just a gas pedal. As evidence, when you switch on the cruise control you can watch the gas mileage go up.

So what would I change? I don’t think the car does a good enough job at using all electric at low speeds, and there is very little you can do to control that. I would divide the range of the accelerator with a slight “bump” in the movement so that up until the “bump” the drive would eb electric and after that it could vary. It’s not like it has a physical connection to the engine anyway so this should be pretty easy to do.

Second, I would make it so if you are coasting downhill in cruise control and you are still accelerating, the car should engage B-mode (regenerative braking) to try and maintain the desired speed.

Third, I would add the button to go into B-mode on the steering wheel, maybe combine it into the cruise control lever so I wouldn’t have to use the shift lever.

Leave a Reply

Doug's Sounding Board is is proudly powered by Wordpress
Navigation Theme by GPS Gazette