Benefits of Hybrid Technology

Cleaner. Efficient. Powerful.

Fewer emissions and pollutants*... More kilometres on less fuel... power and performance second to none... and a ride with the quiet smoothness of a luxury vehicle. Toyota's hybrid technology puts vehicles on the road that are friendly both to those who drive them and the environment around them. And at a price that is not only competitive but carries built-in savings with lowered fuel costs.

Lowered Emissions

For Toyota's hybrids, outstanding driving performance and increased fuel savings just aren't enough. They also aim to be environmentally friendly and clean vehicles with ultra-low emissions that meet and surpass the most rigorous and demanding standards. With not only fewer emissions, but cleaner as well. In fact, Hybrid Synergy Drive vehicles produce 70% fewer smog-forming emissions than a typical conventionally powered new vehicle. As well, Toyota hybrid vehicles don't allow the release of "evaporative emissions," gas vapour that normally escapes from the tank and fuel lines into the air. While some diesels may achieve high fuel efficiency, it is estimated that even the best diesels produce more than 17 times the amount of smog-forming emissions than do vehicles with the Hybrid Synergy Drive. No wonder Toyota's hybrids are known far and wide as good friends of the earth.

Fuel Efficiency

Even if Toyota's hybrids offered no other benefits, fuel efficiency alone would place them at the head of the pack. By seamlessly combining both gas and electric power, the hybrid system can take full advantage of the synergies between the two thus complementing each power source. In effect, Toyota's hybrids offer the best of all possible worlds for economy and energy efficiency. Other powertrains fritter away energy at stoplights, during braking and whenever the engine isn't running at optimum speed; the Hybrid Synergy Drive actually stores that energy in the battery to be used when needed. As well, superb aerodynamics and weight-saving features help Toyota hybrids squeeze even more savings out of every litre of gas. No waste while you make haste.

Driving Performance

They said it couldn't be done: a car that was fun to drive, energetic and full of zip while boasting unsurpassed fuel efficiency at the same time. Perhaps that might be true using a conventional approach where output and torque are jacked up by increasing engine displacement, resulting in better performance but lower fuel efficiency. But "they" didn't count on Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. Thanks to the hybrid system's power split device, which automatically determines the right configuration of gas engine-electric motor power distribution, there no longer needs to be a trade-off between fuel efficiency and power. And the latest version of the system features:

  • Increased drive power through a higher output motor
  • More efficient electric power from a high rpm generator, a high input/output performance battery and a high-voltage electrical system
  • Better energy optimization management, torque-on-demand control and regenerative-brake control.

Bottom line: You get the best of both worlds in the form of outstanding acceleration, a powerful and smooth response, and top fuel economy. More power from less gas.


Thanks to a super-efficient, smooth-as-silk internal combustion engine and a silent-running, high-output electric motor, that sound you barely hear is your hybrid vehicle doing its thing. Designed to automatically allocate power in the most efficient manner possible, Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive quietly switches from gas engine to electric motor and back without you even being aware of it. Add Toyota's famed attention to detail, superior sound-proofing through the use of damping coating behind the dashboard and floor, vibration-reducing foam, and aerodynamic design to reduce wind noise--and it's no wonder a ride in a Toyota hybrid feels more like gliding than driving. Welcome to the sounds of silence.

Competitive Comparison

Where to start?

Tailpipe Emissions? When it comes to clean, Toyota's hybrids rank above the rest, with the 2006 Prius rated at the top of the mid-size class designed to meet the stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) AT-PZEV or Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions. While the Highlander Hybrid is first among mid-size SUVs designed to meet the CARB SULEV or Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle rating.

Fuel Efficiency? Can't be beat. If you don't believe us, check out the Office of Energy Efficiency's Fuel Consumption Guide. The 2007 Camry Hybrid is in a class of its own with a combined fuel consumption rate of 5.7L/100km both city and highway while the 2006 Prius comes in at a minuscule 4.0 L/100km (city) and 4.2L/100km(Hwy). As for the 2006 Highlander Hybrid, it scores 7.5 L/100km in the city and 8.1 L/100km on the highway. That ranks it higher than some subcompacts!

Driving Performance? One word: powerful. It's no secret that Toyota's hybrids deliver driving performance and power equivalent to vehicles with much larger engine displacements. For example, the Prius, with its 1.5L engine, boasts acceleration that compares to a 2.0L conventional gas-driven car. The Highlander Hybrid, with a 3.3L V6, matches a V8 4L engine SUV or 5.0L sedan in accelerating power. And the Camry Hybrid's 4-cylinder engine outperforms many conventional vehicles equipped with V6 engines.

Put it all together-clean, efficient, powerful-and it's no contest. Toyota's hybrids have only themselves to compete against, striving for even lower emissions, more fuel savings, and enhanced performance with each new generation of environmentally-friendly vehicles.