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What Is The Power Mode On A Toyota Highlander

Over recent years, vehicle manufacturers have begun to install multiple driving modes which drivers can switch between depending on their situation. Toyota Highlander SUVs have been installed with a power mode feature, which some users have stated significantly improves their Toyota Highlander driving experience. Read on to find out exactly what this mode is, and how you can activate it in your SUV.

What is the Toyota Highlander Power Mode?

When activated, the power mode, also known as PWR mode, permits the internal combustion engine to continue revving. This means the SUV’s throttle will respond faster, increasing the rate of acceleration, whilst improving the smoothness of the vehicle. The PWR mode is similar to a sport mode. The acceleration of your Toyota Highlander becomes is faster and smoother, but fuel consumption is increased.

How do I turn on the Toyota Highlander PWR Mode?

Turning on power mode for your Toyota Highlander varies depending on the model and year of your vehicle. Toyota seem to have made it difficult for Highlander owners to access the power mode option. You can sometimes find the power mode option on your steering wheel, or if your Highlander is an older model, it can typically be found under your radio. The mode can also be found near the shift, or if it’s not visible, you can find it through using the console menu. Once you’ve turned it on, a light on the dashboard should illuminate saying “PWR MODE” above your vehicle’s speed.

To activate the PWR mode on a 2018 Toyota Highlander XLE, use the up, down, left and right arrows on the steering wheel, to find the icon that looks like a gear. This takes you to settings where you can scroll and turn on PWR mode. You must go to the settings through the gear icon, instead of going onto the navigation system screen – then setup – then settings, as the PWR mode option cannot be found in there.

Once you’ve found the PWR mode and turned it on, you will need to wait around 15 seconds until you experience its’ full effect, which is a much faster vehicle. To turn off the PWR mode, just push the same button, or access the option through the console menu where you found it, or select another mode such as eco. It will take a few seconds for your mode to change.

The Toyota Highlander PWR mode will be automatically deactivated when you turn off your vehicle. This means if you always want to drive in power mode, you will need to manually turn this on every time you start your car.

Does Toyota Highlander Power Mode make your vehicle faster?

According to a test by one Toyota Highlander owner, the vehicle goes from 0-60 km/hr in 6 seconds in normal mode. However, when placed in PWR mode, the SUV goes from 0-60 km/hr in just 4.5 seconds.

When should I turn on PWR Mode?

A good time to turn the power mode on your Toyota Highlander is during situations which require more immediate/responsive acceleration. This could be when you want to overtake a long vehicle such as a truck, or multiple cars. This mode is also useful when you need to pull out quickly at a buy junction.

Power mode is recommended if you’re towing another vehicle or heavy loads, as this will allow the extra weight to feel like less of a burden.

Power mode on your Toyota Highlander can also assist and stabilize your vehicle if you’re driving through snow. This helps prevent wheel spinning, and if the system detects wheels may slip, the acceleration will be recalculated to increase traction.

What’s the difference between Eco Mode and Power Mode?

The Eco mode on your Toyota Highlander dampens your inputs into the electronic control module. This means you must push down harder on your acceleration pedal to get the same acceleration as a lightly pushed pedal in power mode. However, using eco mode does not use as much fuel as power mode, and also saves energy in your battery.

Eco mode is ideal for short distances and urban driving, and also regulates heated seats, air conditioning, and other instruments that require power in your SUV. This is to relieve pressure from the engine, as it does not have to work as hard to power multiple car components at once, therefore improving fuel efficiency.

Power mode delays shifting, and because of this, there is a heavier throttle which means more torque builds up. A later shift also results in a drop in the next shift higher in the torque band in the following gear, which allows you to gain more power faster. To sum it up, it takes you longer to access the Toyota Highlander’s full power in Eco mode, whereas power mode gets you to full power A LOT faster, and makes your vehicle feel smoother.

Common Problems with Toyota Highlander PWR Mode

If your Toyota Highlander does not include a physical button for the power mode, and you cannot find it in the console’s digital menu, the reason is likely a software glitch.

If there is a delay between applying pressure to the acceleration pedal and the Highlander speeding up, then you may have a dirty throttle body, or a clogged air filter. If your throttle is dirty, the throttle door will not be able to open as fast as it could if it was clean. Re-oiling your throttle could solve this problem. There’s also a possibility your throttle is broken or damaged. If this is the case, you must replace this as soon as possible.

If you activate the power mode but the light does not appear on your dashboard, then your PWR mode is not turned on. It is likely a fault connector is not allowing the power mode to turn on. To fix this, take your vehicle to a Toyota-certified mechanic as they will know exactly how to solve this. Do not try to fix this yourself, as you may end up doing even more damage to your Toyota Highlander.

Final Thoughts

The Toyota Highlander PWR mode is a great addition to the vehicle, and is very useful in a lot of scenarios. However, it must be noted that the power mode consumes more fuel, so it is not recommended to activate this mode every time you drive your SUV.


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