Prince Edward Highlander / Days 12 & 13 – Fueling around
Rain, or the threat thereof, kept our day tripping during the remaining days of our Prince Edward Island sojourn to close-by destinations. But after nearly two weeks behind the wheel of our loaned 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, I now have a decent idea of what kind of fuel economy this large-ish crossover can obtain.
Keep in mind, the type of driving we’ve experienced here on the Island may not match your daily grind. Except for trolling around the provincial capital of Charlottetown one day, we never experienced stop-and-go traffic, where the Highlander H’s stop-start system has a big advantage. And because the lack of four-lane express routes here, highway driving is primarily in the 80 km to 120 km speed range.
As you’ve heard for decades, your mileage may vary, blah-de-blah. After over 2,000 km, though, I'm avaeraging 8.2 L/100 km in the hybrid Toyota. But based on combined city/highway ratings, how does the $42,850 (all MSRP starting prices) Highlander Hybrid’s projected overall running costs compare to the regular $35,750 V6 AWD Highlander and one of the more fuel efficient gas-only rivals, the new $32,999 2011 Ford Explorer V6 mit AWD?
Based on fuel costs alone (using what seems to be the new normal price of regular gas, $1.25 per litre), over the course of an “average” 24,000 km in one year of driving, the Highlander Hybrid definitley comes out on top. It’s combined 6.9L/100 km rating results in $1,656 in gas used annually. The gas-only Highlander—rated at 9.0L/100 km combined—comes in at $2,700. The Explorer (based on my own calculations with a combined rating of 10.0L/100 km) will cost you an even $3,000 in fuel costs.
So, yes. The Highlander Hybrid will sip less fuel than its gas-only rivals. But like all hybrids, its initial price premium means how much you drive and how long you keep your car need to be considered.
Total kms: 2,088
Av. L/100 km: 8.2