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July 20, 2005

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I don't know what kind of place you went to for your price quote, but I took delivery in mid-July of my new 2006 Highlander Hybrid w/ 4WD-i and option package #1 and the price was $34,000. Also don't forget that until Jan. 1 of 2006 you get a $2000 TAX CREDIT from the feds when you buy a hybrid car. This goes down to $500 next year (anyone care to ask why? think about it.). Everyone is trying to justify the higher price with fuel savings... what about the intangibles like SULEV?

I have to make a correction to the above post:

The purchase price on my Highlander Hybrid was actually $36,964, not $34,000 (that was the base without the option package).

Also the tax situation for this year (2005), is actually a $2000 tax DEDUCTION, not a credit as I stated. However, the nasty Energy Bill that just passed in congress does have one silver lining... there are new tax CREDITS (yes, credits) for purchasers of Hybrid vehicles starting in 2006. The range will be $1700 - $3000, depending on which model hybrid you purchase.

Sorry for the confusion, but it is always better to admit when one is wrong.

The tax credit was raised to 3100 for the first half or so of 2006 and it declines slowly over time as the number of cars sold increases.

The mileage of the Highlander Hybrid is quite challenging to maximize. I did manage to get almost 30mpg yesterday driving from San Francisco to Oakland using both local streets and highway. I was driving very mindfully to maximize my mileage and it would be hard to do this regularly. Normal mileage is around 23 mpg as others have mentioned.

Rudi, we've been averaging about 25 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. Mileage doesn't seem to vary much--about the same on constant freeway as constant urban streets. We're happy with our (leased) Highlander, but also are looking forward to an AWD SUV with better mileage.

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