Uh, oh. Looks like Toyota's free pass from environmentalists may soon be rescinded. According to blog DetroitWonk, one San Francisco—based environmental group is not pleased that Toyota appears to be betraying the promise of the Prius by putting hybrid-drive systems in "gas guzzlers" like the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX. The group, the Bluewater Network, is running a full-page ad in Mother Jones and the New York Times calling Toyota CEO Ken Watanabe a "wolf in sheep's clothing." DetroitWonk looked up the EPA numbers and found that though they look bad, they're comparatively better than both models' gas-only numbers. Now, lop about five MPG from each of those EPA numbers to make up for the agency's best-case testing methodology. Oops.
Toyota Hybrid Fuel Efficiency: Fact or Fiction? [Detroit Wonk]
Jalopnik Reviews: Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Part 1 [internal]