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Initially they blamed ‘Operation Desert Storm’ or what was formerly known as the Gulf War for the increasing fuel prices. Well, with Iraq dumping 400 million US gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf, a hike in fuel prices was not off the charts. Add to that, losing 6 million barrels of oil each day in Kuwait oil fires. Then, we had the second war in Iraq, which seriously affected the fuel prices across the globe. While many car manufacturers worried about how the increasing fuel prices would affect the sales of their cars. Toyota was already working towards manufacturing a vehicle that would rise to the dawn of fuel crisis.

The Toyota Highlander – First Generation (2000 – 2007)

It was at the New York Auto Show in April 2000 that Toyota announced its intention to launch a midsize Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Japan witnessed the first edition of the Toyota Highlander in late 2000. This was followed by its launch in North America in January 2001. Toyota built the Highlander on the platform of Camry and was basically a midsize crossover SUV. The first generation Highlander was launched with both five and seven seat options. This first generation Highlander was known for on – road comfort and good fuel economy. It was an instant hit and soon became a sales success at that time. The fuel economy was the best in its class, making it a winner among consumers.

The Toyota Highlander – Second Generation (2000 – 2013)

Following the success of the first edition, Toyota was all set now to launch not one but two Highlanders. They announced the second generation Highlander and the Highlander Hybrid. The second generation non – hybrid Highlander was equipped with a 3.5 liter double overhead cam (DOHC) V–6 engine that produced 270 horsepower. On the other hand, the Highlander Hybrid produces only 209 horsepower and 212 lb ft of torque with a 3.3 liter V–6 engine and Toyota’s Hybrid Snergy Drive System with electric motors. The Highlander Hybrid was soon classified as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV).

Looks Good – But, What About The Fuel Economy?

Many car manufactures claim best fuel economy by throwing all sorts of numbers but do these cars match up to those numbers. Toyota made tall claims about Highlander’s fuel economy and so, it was test driven by several consumers to verify their claim. The Highlander was tested in both city and highways to determine if the second generation is good at fuel economy just like the first one.

Well, knowing the loyalty of Toyota over generations we were not surprised to find out that the Highlander not just delivered but exceeded the claims made by Toyota. The official estimate of gas mileage for the Highlander Hybrid Limited was 23 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. During the road test, Highlander delivered 25 mpg in city and 28.9 on the highway. This is the best mpg for a SUV in its class. Toyota has really taken the worry factor off the minds of its potential customers.

At the recent New York International Auto Show, Toyota unveiled the third generation Highlander and they plan to make it available in the market by 2014. Hopefully, keeping in sync with the first and second generation Highlanders, the new generation of Highlander too will remain committed to providing the best fuel economy SUV’s.

This article is authored by Richard Kershaw, a successful and reputable car dealer. He has a vast knowledge about cars and other automobiles. For more information about the local cars for sale you can visit his website.