2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Toyota has significantly revised its Highlander Hybrid crossover sport utility vehicles for 2011.
The 2011 Highlander Hybrid features a new, more powerful 3.5-liter V6 for 2011, replacing the previous 3.3-liter V6. The system pairs the gasoline V6 engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator for total system output of 209 kW (280 net horsepower). A second rear-mounted motor provides automatic on-demand four-wheel drive traction.
The 2011 Highlander Hybrid receives EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 28 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. The 2010 Highlander Hybrid carries an EPA rating of 27 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.
The 4WD Highlander Hybrid uniquely generates rear-wheel power with a separate electric motor (MGR) that provides additional drive torque on demand. Thus, the Highlander Hybrid 4WD-i system does not require power-transfer gearing or a driveshaft from the front. The system electronically varies front and rear torque distribution depending on traction conditions.
Activating an EV mode switch located on the front center console allows the driver to operate strictly in electric-mode under certain conditions for a limited distance at low speeds, or in some stop-and-go driving conditions. A new ECON drive mode switch activates a throttle control program that reduces the throttle response during acceleration, enhancing fuel economy. The Hybrid System Indicator in the instrument gauge panel provides the driver with a guideline to help maximize fuel consumption.
All Highlander Hybrid models are equipped with four-wheel-drive with intelligence and available in Base and Limited grades.
Highlander comes standard with Toyota's Star Safety System. This system integrates operation of enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electric Power Steering (EPS) and the anti-lock brake system (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA).
Enhanced VSC helps the driver maintain control by automatically adjusting engine output and braking force at each wheel under certain conditions while also providing steering assistance in the appropriate direction through Electric Power Steering (EPS). Gasoline Highlander models are also equipped with a straight-line steering feature. When varying traction causes ABS to apply different left/right braking force, the system can apply steering torque to help offset left/right pull.
The Highlander Hybrid employs the advanced Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. VDIM is designed to enhance handling, traction and braking systems that normally react to vehicle driving conditions by anticipating tire slippage before a skid, slide or wheel spin occurs and helps to make corrections in a smooth, progressive way. In addition to integrating all of the Highlander's dynamic control systems (VSC, TRAC, BA, EPS, EBD and ABS), the VDIM system also employs powerful proprietary software to integrate the Electronic Throttle Control with intelligence (ETC-i) and Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB).
All Highlander models incorporate a corner-braking feature. Harnessing the integration of the vehicle’s dynamic control systems, this feature limits brake pressure on inside wheels during cornering to help enhance control through the turn. Standard on all models, Hill-Start Assist Control helps prevent the vehicle from rolling backward from a stop by applying braking pressure for approximately two seconds.
Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is standard equipment on all gas 4WD models. The DAC feature is designed to maintain a constant speed and maintain handling and steering control by reducing wheel lock under braking even at slow speeds on slippery descents.
Highlander comes standard with seven airbags. These include advanced driver and front passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and a driver's knee airbag. Roll-sensing side curtain airbags help to protect the occupants of all three rows in the event of certain side collisions or vehicle rollovers. Additionally, all Highlander models are standard equipped with front active headrests.
All Highlander models now will include a standard 50/50-split third row with rear climate control, as well as a new front and rear fascias.
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