2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid First Impressions; Why Small Car Fuel Economy Isn’t Improving | #260

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid First Impressions; Why Small Car Fuel Economy Isn't Improving | #260 1

This week we share our first impressions of the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and how it stacks up against the standard version. We also discuss why fuel economy numbers in small and compact cars don't seem to be improving at the rate of larger vehicles, whether someone entering the auto industry should forego an education in conventional cars in favor of electric vehicle (EV) specialization, and learn all about Jake's abundant tomato garden in his remote workplace.

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SHOW NOTES
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00:34 – 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid First Impressions
10:52 – Question #1: Whether someone entering the auto industry should forego an education in conventional cars in favor of electric vehicle (EV) specialization?
14:03 – Question #2: Why fuel economy numbers in small and compact cars don't seem to be improving at the rate of larger vehicles?
18:42 – Question #3: What is going on with Jake's abundant tomato garden in his remote workplace?
21:08 – Question #4: Which car would be large enough to fit a string bass plus two passenger, and that is not too tall, delivers good gas mileage, and has good handling?
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2019 New York Auto Show: 2020 Toyota Highlander

4K Review: 2017 Toyota Highlander Quick Drive

2019 New York Auto Show: 2020 Ford Escape

Coronavirus Resource Hub

2018 LA Auto Show: 2019 Toyota Prius AWD

2015 Honda Fit review

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20 Comments on "2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid First Impressions; Why Small Car Fuel Economy Isn’t Improving | #260"

  1. Alec Mitchell | June 19, 2020 at 5:02 PM | Reply

    I don’t like the new intro, but it’s nice to see a change.

  2. Jennifer Stockburger – the best Talking Cars host 👍

  3. 0:55 it has a eCVT, not CVT 🙂

  4. Jerry Greitens | June 19, 2020 at 5:22 PM | Reply

    The Highlander does NOT have a CVT like you said. It has an e-CVT with planetary gears TOTALLY different transmission than a regular CVT.

  5. Great show thanks

  6. aaronvitolins | June 19, 2020 at 5:44 PM | Reply

    You have to remember, if you’re always trying to keep it in all electric mode, you’re going to be lowing the state of charge of the hybrid battery, when the engine comes on it’s having to propelle the car down the road and have to charge the battery. So that’s a pretty heavy load. I’ve actually found in Toyota hybrids it’s actually more efficient to just drive them conservatively and let them switch to electric whenever it sees fit, if you’re trying your best to keep it all electric you’re generally going to lower the state of charge too much and engine will seem louder and more busy when the internal combustion engine must take over the load, and actually In some cases get worse fuel economy. I think Toyota purposely designed them to just be driven regularly, remember this is an electric car and it’s not trying to be so just drive it!

  7. Thanks for following up on my question about 85 in Denver.

  8. Pepperidge Cookies | June 19, 2020 at 6:08 PM | Reply

    By the way, what is the CR’s recommended microphones for semi-professional video broadcasting?

  9. Thank you Jake. I drive a Honda Fit EX Manual with Honda-Sensing (Adaptive Cruise Control!), and I didn’t choose this for gas mileage, although I’m averaging almost 37 mpg overall (based on total miles driven divided by total gallons consumed). In the US, this combination (manual with Honda-Sensing) was available for just two model years (2018, 2019). I’d guess there are less than 100 of these in the entire continent. I’m hoping to turn it into a museum piece in 20 years.

  10. 25:16 should have said “John is all about that bass” 😂

  11. Right Lane Hog | June 19, 2020 at 6:38 PM | Reply

    Jake, Thanks for explaining to Jon that the Highlander Hybrid was not primarily designed as a track focused vehicle. Satisfactorily completing all its family oriented tasks while consuming around half the gas of most 3 row, gas-guzzling CUVs is a tremendous breakthrough in this core segment. The leap to 35 mpg for the Highlander Hybrid should earn Toyota every award going around in 2020. Finally, the quoted figure of 32 mpg as the typical benchmark for compact mainstream cars only serves to underline this accomplishment. #SaveTheManuals #HaveYourCake

  12. Barrasali Ahmed | June 19, 2020 at 6:40 PM | Reply

    Nice, a new intro.

  13. Danny Ferguson | June 19, 2020 at 6:41 PM | Reply

    I agree with Jake. A manual trans. is less weight lower cost in every way and better driver engagement / control

  14. For the base car suggestion list, I’d like to add one, the Buick Regal TourX. Buicks have a great reliability, this one has a ton of space, and its pretty decent to drive.

  15. Woah, new intro

  16. Pauline Weinberger | June 19, 2020 at 7:43 PM | Reply

    Bring back Gabe 2020.

  17. Big Toyota fan minus Hybrids. Really wish CR Picked up the Highlander Limited with the new AWD system vs the XLE with old AWD. I could not find a single YouTuber who properly tested the new AWD system in 2020 Highlander Limited. I’ve seen many video where the old AWD failed. As for the transmission CVT or e-CVT not a fan at all. I still see the belt driven CVT even on the new e-cvt. 8 speed automatic on the gas Highlander is my choice.

  18. Manuals are gone because of traffic….solve the problem of sitting in traffic for hours (good luck with that), and manuals might have a come back.

  19. The highlander hybrid actually has three electric motors

  20. William Rutkowski | June 19, 2020 at 8:24 PM | Reply

    Anyone else hear the birds? 🐦🦅🦉

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