THE HIGHLANDER GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum L4 AWD
By: Cathy Droz
Once a year we gather our family of 17 and travel by car to a new destination. With Covid-19 things were a little different. Kids were out of school early; friends were furloughed, and businesses were starting to have their employees work from home. Family-owned businesses like ours were learning how to cope with ever-changing Covid-19 rules, mask wearing and less visitations with older loved ones.
I was still getting cars from manufacturers on a weekly basis, and they arrived so squeaky-clean, smelling of Lysol and Vicks vapor rub. They came via contactless delivery, with the keys wrapped in Clorox wipes under my front door mat. I informed Toyota of our upcoming trip to Palm Springs and they sent me a beautiful 2020 Highlander, Hybrid Platinum level with three rows of seating. There was plenty of cargo space for all the necessary items plus extra room for coolers filled with food and beverage for a “40” year old’s birthday.
I knew my imovie would capture our Highlander trip at every stage, so I chose to write about the journey and leave the technical data for the end in glorious detail.
PALM SPRINGS – RAT PACK – MID-CENTURY HOMES – GOLF and HOLLYWOOD HOMES
When it comes to seeing and exploring some of the most iconic, old Hollywood homes in California, there is no better place to visit than Palm Springs. The city isn’t just known for its luxurious spas, golf courses, stylish hotels, and hot springs, but is also famed for being a home to many iconic celebrities from the mid-20th century. Most of these homes boast a retro style and open-design plan with floor-to-ceiling windows, swimming pools, and wall-to-wall carpeting.
Normally you book a tour of the star’s homes, but with Covid-19 and temps in the high three digits, we followed the FREE route on the internet. It was girl’s day, (the guys played golf the day before) and now the adult women and oldest grandchild were free to roam the area. What better way to be outside than to take the comfy air-conditioned Highlander through the empty streets of Palm Springs elite neighborhoods. The Hybrid is so quiet, neighbors of these homes barely knew we were there.
The five of us consisted of three generations of women who may or may not have known the names of the stars. I got so excited to see Dean Martin’s home (very rundown) but Jayden said is that Ricky Martin’s father. Yikes! There was Ann Miller, Barry Manilow, Marilyn Monroe, Peter Lawford (that was a history lesson for the ladies describing the Kennedy connection and the rat pack). We saw Elvis’s home, then Sonny Bono (another story about Cher’s deceased first husband), and Liberace’s outrageous home which Gen X said, “OH, Yes, that home belongs to Michael Douglas, right?” The iconic Kaufmann House (department store titan) designed by a famous architect whose work was revered internationally. Finally, we parked in front of Leonardo DiCaprio’s home and Jayden could finally relate as she got out of the SUV for a photo.
The Highlander, also a beautifully designed piece of art fit right in when parked in front any one of these celebrities’ homes. The Highlander served us well, as so much of the city was shut down. We ate in the car (restaurant) Listened to music and books on tape (theatre) sent photos from our phone to FB
( social media) and with the quiet Hybrid got very close to Leo’s front door ( paparazzimobile ) The third row of seating, awesome color and quiet ride, made Palm Springs, a unique getaway for 17 people limited to a pool on the property of the Marriott Mountain Shadows Vacation Villas. The Highlander provided a great ride in our own little visit to the stars of yesterday and today. (Thank you Leonardo).
*Many of the homes visited are in the video.
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Everything you need to read about the Highlander Hybrid
By: Cathy Droz – Courtesy of Toyota
Engine4 Cylinder EngineDrivetrainAll Wheel, All Wheel DriveTransmissionA/T, CVT Transmission, Transmission w/Dual Shift Mode
Body styleCrossovers, SUVsSeating7RoofGeneric Sun/Moonroof, Panoramic Roof, Sun/Moonroof
BRAKING & HANDLING
Brakes4-Wheel Disc Brakes, ABSSteeringPower SteeringTiresTire Pressure MonitorWheelsAluminum Wheels
AudioHD Radio, AM/FM Stereo, Smart Device Integration, Satellite Radio, WiFi Hotspot, Premium Sound System, Auxiliary Audio Input, MP3 PlayerLocksKeyless Entry, Power Door LocksMirrorsHeated Mirrors, Power Mirror(s), Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror, Driver Vanity Mirror, Passenger Vanity Mirror, Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror, Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror, Mirror MemoryTechVariable Speed Intermittent Wipers, Intermittent Wipers, Rain Sensing Wipers, Power Liftgate, Remote Trunk Release, Fog Lamps, Navigation System, Telematics, Requires Subscription, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Bluetooth Connection, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Leather Steering Wheel, Heated Steering Wheel, Hands-Free Liftgate, Adaptive Cruise Control, Universal Garage Door Opener, Cruise Control, Keyless Start, Cargo Shade, Back-Up Camera, Remote Engine Start, Trip Computer, Heads-Up Display, Security System, Engine Immobilizer, Rear Parking Aid
Safety FeaturesBrake Assist, Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Automatic Headlights, Daytime Running Lights, Headlights-Auto-Leveling, Stability Control, Traction Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, Child Safety LocksAir BagsFront Side Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag, Front Head Air Bag, Passenger Air Bag Sensor, Driver Air Bag, Knee Air Bag, Rear Head Air Bag
Air ConditioningMulti-Zone A/C, Climate Control, Rear A/C, A/CSeat TrimLeather SeatsWindowsRear Defrost, Privacy Glass, Power WindowsSeatsBucket Seats, Driver Adjustable Lumbar, Heated Front Seat(s), Power Driver Seat, Seat Memory, Cooled Front Seat(s), Power Passenger Seat, Rear Bucket Seats, Heated Rear Seat(s), 3rd Row SeatDécorWoodgrain Interior Trim
Wheelbase (in)112.2 inLength,Overall (in)194.9 inHeight,Overall (in)68.1 inBase Curb Weight (lbs)4595 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal)17.1Spare Tire SizeCompactEPA ClassificationStandard Sport Utility Vehicles 4WD
MSRP$50,200 As Tested: $52,512
4-days with the Family – Priceless