Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Toyota Kluger, known as the Toyota Highlander in North America, is a crossover SUV assembled by Toyota under the Toyota brand name in its Kyūshū, Japan assembly plant and its Ikeda, Osaka, Japan assembly plant during 2008 and present. It was announced in April 2000 at the 2000 New York Auto Show and introduced as a 2001 model, arriving in late 2000 in Japan and in January 2001 in Canada as a 2001 model. American Highlander sales began as a 2002 model. The Kluger is the crossover counterpart to the 4Runner and has become Toyota's best-selling SUV until the RAV4 outsold it in 2006.

Specifications :

Production 2001–2007
Assembly Kyūshū, Japan
Engine(s) 2.4L 155 hp (116 kW) I4
3.0L 220 hp (160 kW) V6
3.3L 230 hp (170 kW) V6
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic w/3.3L
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 106.9 in (2715 mm)
Length 2001-03: 184.4 in (4684 mm)

2004-07: 184.6 in (4689 mm)
Hybrid: 185.6 in (4714 mm)
Width 71.9 in (1826 mm)
Height 2001-05 4WD: 66.5 in (1689 mm)
2001-05 Limited 4WD: 68.7 in (1745 mm)
2003-05 FWD: 66.1 in (1679 mm)
2003-05 Limited FWD: 68.3 in (1735 mm)
2006-07 FWD: 67.9 in (1725 mm)
2006-07 4WD & FWD Hybrid: 68.3 in (1735 mm)
4WD Hybrid: 68.9 in (1750 mm)
Curb weight 3784 lb (1716 kg)
Fuel capacity 19.2 US gallons (72.7 L/16.0 imp gal)

First generation (2001-2007)First generation

Under the hood of a Highlander

Called the Highlander in North America, the Kluger shared the Toyota Camry platform with its Lexus RX/Toyota Harrier cousin and came in five and seven-seat configurations. It came standard with front wheel drive, with optional all wheel drive. The Kluger was not meant for serious off roading, unlike competitors such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and Toyota's own 4Runner. It remained a sales success for Toyota in a number of markets across the world. Originally, it was longer than the 1996-2002 4Runner, but the 4Runner surpassed the Kluger in length for 2003.

The Highlander was available in three trim lines in the United States: the Base model, the Sport model, and the Limited model. The Base and Limited models were present when the Highlander was initially introduced, while the Sport model was introduced in March 2006.

The Kluger was available in three trim lines in Australia: the CV model, the CVX model, and the Grande model. A limited edition CV Sport model was also released in 2006. There is currently no hybrid model available in Australia. The only engine offered is the 3.3L 3MZ-FE V6.

2001-2003 2.4 L 2AZ-FE I4, 160 hp (119 kW)
2001-2003 3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6, 220 hp (164 kW)
2004-2007 3.3 L 3MZ-FE V6, 230 hp (172 kW)

The 3.0 L engine was able to propel the Kluger from 0-60 mph in approximately 8.8 seconds. In 2004 the Kluger was given a new 3.3L V6 engine to compete with the more powerful V6 offerings from its competitors, mainly the Nissan Murano and the Honda Pilot. The 3.3L engine made it possible for the Kluger to reach 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.8 seconds.

In addition to the 3.3L engine, 2004 V6-powered models were equipped with a new 5-speed automatic transmission, replacing a 4-speed automatic transmission, while the 4-cylinder models continue to use the old 4-speed automatic transmission. This year also saw the introduction of the optional third row seat. The unibody was slightly modified behind the second row seats to include a depression on the trunk floor to accommodate the optional third row seating. On models without third row seating, the depression on the trunk floor was made into a storage compartment. (Prior to 2004 the spare tire was accessible from inside the vehicle where the third row seating would subsequently be located; beginning in 2004 the spare tire is accessible from underneath the vehicle.) Subtle changes to the front grille, front and rear bumpers, and headlights round-out the major changes for 2004.

The Sport and hybrid models each had a distinctive grille design, differentiating themselves from the non-Sport, non-hybrid models. Wheel styling also serves to differentiate the various models -- the hybrid sports a unique twin-spoke design.

The Kluger was available with front-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive. Beginning in 2006, Highlanders sold in Canada are offered only in a V6 four-wheel drive configuration. Hybrid models are available with part-time four-wheel drive which Toyota refers to as "4WD-i" where the rear wheels are powered by the separate electric motor.

Base models are equipped with a limited slip differential, while upscale models have a stability control system.

The Japanese Kluger was released with a center console integrated with the dashboard, while the North American Highlander initially lacked this integrated center console. The integrated center console was introduced in all U.S. Highlanders and in Canadian Limited Highlanders in the 2002 model year, and in all Canadian Highlanders in the 2003 model year. However, for these early Highlanders without the integrated center console, a smaller non-integrated stand-alone center console was available as an option, which was installed at the factory or could be installed by the dealer.

Typical fuel economy using the Australian standard testing regime is 12.3 L/100 km.

Second generation (2008-)Second generation

Production 2008-
Assembly Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
Blue Springs, Mississippi (2011-, North America only)
Engine(s) 3.5L 270 hp (200 kW) 2GR-FE V6
Transmission(s) 5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 109.8 in (2789 mm)
Length 188.4 in (4785 mm)
Width 75.2 in (1910 mm)
Height 69.3 in (1760 mm)
Hybrid: 68.1 in (1730 mm)
Curb weight 4045 lb (1835 kg)

Toyota revealed the second-generation Kluger and Kluger Hybrid at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. The sole powertrain in the ‘08 Kluger is a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6 mated to a five-speed automatic (the 155 horsepower (116 kW) four-cylinder model with manual transmission has been discontinued). While the 3.5-liter has 55 more horses than the previous Kluger’s optional 3.3-liter V6, the dimensional increases add a claimed 500 pounds to the new Kluger’s curb weight which we expect to be around 4500 pounds. Despite the increase in power and weight, Toyota promises that fuel economy will be nearly on par with the previous Kluger which was 19 city/25 highway for front-wheel drive models, 18/24 for all-wheel drive. A new production facility is being built in Blue Springs, Mississippi, which will begin producing Highlanders for the North American market in the 2011 model year.

Three trim levels are offered (Base, Sport, and Limited) and buyers will also be able to choose between front-drive or all-wheel drive. Sport and Limited models get a standard rear-view camera that does not require purchasing the optional navigation system. Major options include leather seats, heated seats, a touch-screen navigation system, an upgraded stereo, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and a towing package that increases towing capacity to 5000 pounds. The five-passenger version was dropped, replaced by the 2009 Toyota Venza.

In Australia, the new generation Kluger was launched in August, 2007. There are three grades available, KX-R, KX-S and Grande. All grades are available with either 2WD or AWD. The base model KX-R is also available with either five or seven seats, whilst the latter grades are seven seaters only. Specifications are mostly similar to the US Highlander, sharing the same 3.5 litre V6 2GR-FE engine and five-speed automatic transmission. However, there are no plans at present to introduce a hybrid version of the Kluger into the Australian market.


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