Monday, January 12, 2009

Toyota Hybrid Highlander not worth it

I am deeply saddened by the turn of events that lead my into returning the Toyota Hybrid Highlander LTD 2008 model. I was enamored with the gadgets: My GPS is gorgeous, a pleasure in navigation. Best to update your DVD map. I was stuck in Hollywood Hills or Echo park near Dodger Stadium at a beautiful, dark dead end. I still was unable to get clear stereo sound from the Apple iPhone (old hardware-Latest Software). I found the jack (1/8 inch stereo plug) must be connected as well as the cigarette lighter power adapter to the iPhone. Without the power adapter I was getting a strange, low-output echoey version of the music. (The Porcupine Tree channel all day here) Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyway the Highlander was billed by the EPA to rate 28hwy 22city [I believe at the time]. I was barely able to get 19. Now I drive conservativaely and fast sometimes down hill. I am by no means a pedal to the metal aspirant. I even had the conservaton button pressed. No matter how hard I tried, couldn't get the thing over 20mpg.

Here's the problem: If you return a vehicle early, you are liable for the loss in value. Toyota let us out of the Hybrid in exchange for the purchase of a Toyota Prius. Which is now cost $37,000 if you tack on the loss of almost $8,000 on the Hybrid.

Too bad. That Highlander fit my house call veterinarian gear much better. Oh well back to the 2004 Ungreen gas-powered Highlander LTD. I fixed the broken sunroof which was allowing rain and leaves in. But the DVD map needs to be changed. On the way to mountain top client in the Sepulveda Pass, I found myself too far into the valley side to access. The map said to head up what turned out to be a fire road; dead-end to civilization. I had to go around and burn MORE gas to get up there and help the dog.

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