Toyota Highlander Engine
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The Toyota Highlander debuted in 2000 and stayed with the first generation design until 2008. The Highlander had 2 engine options, the economy version 2.4 liter 2AZ and the 3.0 liter 1MZ-FE. The 2.4 liter engine has been used in the Toyota Camry as well. The 3.0 liter engine has been used in the Lexus RX300, Toyota Camry, Lexus ES300 and the Toyota Sienna van. The base platform for the Highlander is the Toyota made Lexus RX300. The transmissions available for the Highlander are a 4 speed automatic and a 5 speed automatic. Certain 3.0 liter Highlanders came with an all-wheel drive. If the vehicle was an all-wheel drive, the 3.0 liter engine had a different bell housing design to accommodate extra mounts so it will only fit a Lexus RX300 and a Toyota Highlander.
In 2004 the Highlander got a drivetrain upgrade with the 3.3 3MZ-FE engine as well as the 2.4 liter and the 3.0 liter was still available. The 3.3 liter was offered from 2004-2007 in a FWD and an AWD version. Starting in 2006-2007 the Highlander was offered as a hybrid also. The hybrid used the 3.3 liter engine and combined electric motors, electric brakes, electric power steering and electric air conditioning compressor instead of belt drive.
When the High was introduced to the North American market, it was built to compete with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Chevy Trailblazer. However, the Jeep was much more capable off-road and should be compared to the Toyota 4Runner instead.
From 2008 to present the Highlander uses the 3.5 liter 2GR-FE engine and is buckled to a 5 speed automatic transmission. The 2.4 liter engine was dropped in 2008 but brought back in 2009. Now the Highlander powertrain line really grew. The engine options were a 2.7 liter 1AR, a 3.5 liter 2GR, 3.3 3MZ hybrid and a 3.5 liter 2GR hybrid. All engine sizes were only available with the 5 speed automatic transmission.