Posts Tagged ‘highlander’

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2006 Toyota Hilux Surf

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Yesterday we got our first unofficial peak at the eighth-generation Toyota Hilux pickup truck which is set to go on sale sometime in the next few months. Although the Hilux pickup hasn’t been available in Japan for quite some time, the Hilux Surf SUV was sold there from 2002 to 2009. Today we’re looking at a 2006 Toyota Hilux Surf SSR-X Limited model.

2006 Toyota Hilux Surf

Just to set the record straight, the Toyota Hilux Surf is basically the Japanese version of the Toyota 4Runner. The only difference is that the Hilux Surf has a side-opening tailgate whereas the 4Runner’s tailgate lifts up from the bottom (at least it did in this generation of production). Otherwise, both cars run on the same double wishbone front suspension and solid rear axle for extra durability. This is in stark contrast to the Toyota Highlander – a similar size crossover that isn’t really intended for off-road use. The Hilux Surf is certainly off-road friendly.

It’s also worth noting that as a Limited model, this Hilux Surf would have come with Toyota’s new suspension technology that debuted in this generation – the X-Relative Absorber System (X-REAS) – which dramatically reduces body roll during intense cornering.

2006 Toyota Hilux Surf rear

Under the hood, the auction sheet shown at the bottom of this post tells us that this Hilux Surf is powered by a 2.7L engine. After digging around for some JDM manufacturer specs, we found that this particular engine offers 160 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm. Not too shabby, although it should be noted that other Hilux Surf models have engines up to 4.0L in displacement if you want more ‘oomph’.

2006 Toyota Hilux Surf interior

Inside, the Hilux Surf has decent cabin amenities like automatic climate control, remote keyless entry and a color DVD-based infotainment/navigation system paired up with a 10-speaker JBL sound system. However, what really sets it apart is the sheer space offered in the cabin. Looking at the pictures from the auction find, you can see the driver here has enough room to almost fully recline in the front seat! And you’ll sit extremely comfortably thanks to power driver’s lumbar support and a tilting telescopic steering wheel.

On the whole, this is a great Japanese car auction find with an overall rating of 4. The gleaming chrome alloys that you can easily make out in the pictures above are definitely our favorite part. Just like the 4Runner, the Hilux Surf is widely regarded as an easy-to-drive SUV that does exactly what it says on the box. It’s the perfect mix of reliability, comfort and utility. To learn more, you can get a full translation of the specs below the auction sheet:

2006 Toyota Hilux Surf auction sheet

“Interior B, first registered March 2006, SSR-X LTD model, CBA emissions code, FAT, AAC, gasoline engine, AM HDD navigation system, digital TV, Dolce 20 inch alloy wheels, roof rail, 2 x keyless entry keys, power steering, power windows, ABS< airbag, fog lights, floor mats, visors, keyless entry, spare key, front windscreen scratches, interior grime, wheel arch flares scratches, side steps scratches and dents, rust underneath, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map"

2014 Toyota Highlander Coming to New York Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Now that the 2013 Geneva Motor Show is oh so yesterday, the automotive blog-o-sphere is alight with previews for the New York Auto Show later this month. Yesterday we got official word from Toyota that they’d be unveiling the next generation Toyota Highlander to the press on March 27 at 9:10 AM, Eastern time. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

First, though, the press release is short enough that we’ll go ahead and give it to you below:

“All-New 2014 Next-Generation Toyota Highlander Mid-Size SUV to Make World Debut at 2013 New York Auto Show

TORRANCE, Calif., March 13, 2013 – Toyota will stage the world debut of the all-new 2014 Highlander mid-size SUV at a press conference at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

The press conference will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at 9:10 a.m. Eastern Time in the Galleria Level Four at the Jacob Javits Center.”

As you can see, they’re really not telling us anything other than that there is a new Highlander and it’s coming to New York. Fortunately, unofficial spy photos have already been unleashed on the web that give us a few hints about the new Highlander’s design.

Toyota Highlander - Autblog

From the spy photos we can tell that the 2014 Toyota Highlander features several exterior design changes over the current model. The front fascia is bigger and blockier, complete with a massive front grille. You can also see that the butt of the car is significantly raked compared to the current model.

Additionally, the wheels and the wheel-wells both look very large with a significant lip, and the camouflaged CUV in the spy shots appears to be riding pretty high off the ground. This may indicate that we’re seeing a premium trim-package, or it could just be part of the new design.

Either way, the end result is that the revamped Toyota Highlander will likely appear more aggressive and clean cut. At least, by our guess.

As for powertrain, chances are the new Highlander will feature similar options as the current model… After all, Toyota doesn’t want to change the formula too much since the current Highlander is still selling quite well. That being said, the Corolla was selling well and it got a huge redesign with the Furia, while you almost couldn’t tell that anything changed with the new Toyota Tundra. Let’s hope the new Highlander leans closer to the Furia.

Plus, even though the current Highlander is selling well, the competition in the CUV segment is only getting stronger. Between the Ford Explorer, the CUV-ified Nissan Pathfinder and the new Lambda crossovers, buyers have more good choices in this segment than ever.

Whatever you think about the 2014 Toyota Highlander so far, you’ll definitely want to stay tuned later this month for the official in-the-metal unveiling at New York. Rest assured that we’ll have the coverage!

Source: Autoblog

Toyota Highlander (Kluger) Production Moved To Indiana

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Even the mighty Toyota is suffering from the scourge of the high Yen. It just does not make much sense to build cars in Japan for export to the US. Especially SUVs like the Highlander, which in Japan is called the Kluger.

While the Highlander has been a solid performer in the US market, Japanese consumers are just not as excited about SUVs as their US counterparts. So with the bulk of production from the Fukuoka factory heading out of the country anyway, Toyota decided it was time to pull the plug and shift the entire production apparatus to the US from 2013.

The Fukuoka factory made 37,000 Highlanders last year, with 4,200 of these being the frugal-for-an-SUV hybrid model. The Highlander Hybrid will be the second hybrid model to have its production transferred to the US after the Camry hybrid. In both these cases it’s easy to see how the relative locations of production and sale were mismatched — especially in the case of the Camry Hybrid that was never even offered for sale in Japan.

So it’s big news for Indiana, but as far as Toyota is concerned a minor rationalization: I can’t see them moving core hybrid production such as that of the Prius out of Japan any time soon — even with the exchange rates as they are. There’s just too much national and corporate pride at stake.

Source: NHK (Japanese-language)