Some cars and trucks, and Toyotas specifically, commonly obtain described by automotive fanatics as "devices." The comparison is made in between a Camry and also a refrigerator, or a Corolla and a washering, for example. The effects (typically less than kind) is that these lorries have features that are much less fun as well as more useful. One wouldn't take a fridge to an autocross, or drag-race a washering from a stoplight. But also for millions of people worldwide, a home appliance is specifically what they desire in a car-- something they do not need to think about to utilize, that isn't eccentric or extravagant, that's trustworthy as well as straightforward. For those individuals, several Toyotas are absolutely perfect-- as well as the 2013 Highlander is the pinnacle of such appliancelike, comfortable, practical thinking.
2013 toyota highlander review
This is the last year for this style of Highlander, with a new 2014 model on its way that was unveiled at the 2013 New York City International Vehicle Show in March. However, there's a lot to like concerning the current Highlander, which has roominess, power, convenience and also energy in droves.
Nothing Fancy, Simply Fundamental Skills
The shape is familiar by now, with fairly aggressive styling that has actually been duplicated by several producers. (The brand-new Nissan Pathfinder, for instance, looks a lot like this Highlander in several ways.) It's a tidy, flowing style that endures a bit from wheels that look slightly as well small in the base V-6 trim degree I tested. If you like the means it looks, however, get one now, as the 2014 design will receive an instead substantial designing upgrade that's not to everybody's preference.
The interior is in a similar way pleasing. Nothing shocking, just well laid out, extremely comfy and made from top notch materials that have actually been screwed together well. Up front, the low, soft-touch dash as well as high seating placement integrate for a commanding sight over the hood, with exceptional presence to the sides as well as back also. Controls on the center control panel are big as well as clear, with big buttons and also chunky knobs that make running the climate-control system a wind (sorry). The gauges are intense, clear and also simple to read at a look. There's absolutely nothing exceptional regarding the forms and also textures in right here, however there's nothing to anger either-- unless you're a person that requires some aesthetic interest in your transport selection, as there's none to be discovered in the endless sea of gray plastic stretching from door to door. At least in the Highlander it's decent plastic, unlike in a few other Toyota items, like the Venza.
Seating is versatile and astonishingly spacious, especially in the 2nd row, which features amazing quantities of legroom. This is a three-row SUV, including a fold-down seat for 2 individuals in the cargo location, available with the fold-and-tumble second-row seats. That third row is large enough for full-sized adults, but legroom is seriously endangered. This is simply a midsized SUV, nevertheless, not a full-sizer like the Toyota Sequoia or Chevrolet Traverse. Folding up the second row for access to the 3rd is easy, with takes care of atop the seatbacks making for basic operation even by kids. Both the 2nd as well as third rows fold up flat, producing an enormous freight area able to hold large, bulky things.
Inside electronics are fundamental and also not terribly made complex on the entry-level Highlander (the only significant choices my examination model had were a V-6 engine and also all-wheel drive). The standard touch-screen multimedia display is big as well as easy to use, yet a 2nd, smaller display above it showed limited lorry info, too, with just a handful of screens to pick from. You can alternative up a Highlander to the handle with things like Toyota's Entune (a cloud-based home entertainment as well as information system), a navigating system and more, yet my tester had none of that-- just satellite radio and a windshield-wiper heater, part of the $60 Cold Weather Bundle. On the plus side, an absence of functions means the inside is minimalist and also uncomplicated. It likewise means there's little to do however drive.
Roly-Poly, but Not Pokey
Thankfully, driving the Highlander is just as positive as being in or taking a look at one. In the base model, power originates from a standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower, but my tester had the optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine, bumping horsepower approximately a a lot more confidence-inspiring 270 hp. In real Toyota fashion, the V-6 is the picture of smoothness, a lot to ensure that the only means to recognize it's performing at still is to blip the pedal. Struck that very same pedal while the Highlander's in gear, as well as you're awarded with solid, smooth velocity. A six-speed transmission is typical with the four-cylinder, but the V-6 comes just with a five-speed automated. A gasoline-electric hybrid variation is likewise offered. With the exception of the crossbreed, however, the drivetrain overall is a little bit behind the moments-- most competitors are supplying six-speed automatics across the array, plus turbocharging or at least direct-injection technology. Thankfully, most buyers will certainly not know any type of technological shortage thanks to the Highlander's buttery operation and also simple and easy acceleration.
Just what they may see, however, is gas economy. Highlanders with the base four-cylinder engine as well as front-wheel drive are rated 20/25 mpg city/highway-- okay for a large seven-seat cruiser. Fuel economic climate goes down to 18/24 for the larger V-6 engine, as well as additionally, to 17/22 mpg, when you include four-wheel drive. My week with the Highlander returned 19 mpg in combined driving; not bad, yet certainly not class-leading any longer. It falls well short of the new all-wheel-drive Nissan Pathfinder, ranked 19/25 mpg, as well as the new seven-seat Hyundai Santa Fe, which is available in at 18/24 mpg. It additionally usually matches the much bigger Chevrolet Traverse for mixed mileage score (19 mpg), and does 1 mpg better in the city as well as 1 mpg worse on the freeway. The Highlander lineup's fuel economic climate champ is the hybrid, ranked 28/28 mpg, but that comes at a considerable cost costs and with basic all-wheel drive.
The Highlander is clearly tuned for convenience as opposed to driving enjoyable. As the suspension is soft, the body activities are tippy as well as the whole truck rolls and lolls in quick corners. You will not be doing any type of perky driving in this family members truckster, but just what you get in return is superb ride top quality that's smooth also over a few of one of the most severely broken pavement, helped by tall sidewalls on the 17-inch tires that soak up bumps with little noise or disruption to your peacefulness. Hang an iPad on the seatback, and also the munchkins will not be troubled by road conditions in the slightest. Faster highway driving is equally as tranquil as well as hushed.
The current Highlander has actually been crash-tested by both the National Freeway Website Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Coverage Institute for Freeway Security. NHTSA rated the Highlander four from 5 star on the whole, while IIHS gave the Highlander its top score of Great in all its significant examinations, earning it Top Security Select status.
As for devices, the Highlander has all the requisite digital safety measures, like traction control, antilock brakes and also an electronic security system. Front, side, driver's knee and also side drape air bags are conventional. There was no backup camera on my examination automobile, but it's a $699 option on base models (requirement on all other trim levels), an instead obviousing noninclusion from the tools listing for a supposed household car.
Highlander on the market
The Highlander V6 all-wheel drive I tested had one significant top quality that can not be neglected: a comparatively reduced as-tested cost of $33,477, including an $845 destination fee. The beginning cost for this base V-6 model with all-wheel drive is $32,690, suggesting choices on my tester were few: just a $60 Cold Weather Plan, a $29 first-aid set, a $49 cargo internet and also a rather expensive $649 three-row floor mat set. If you wish to avoid the V-6 as well as four-wheel drive, the Highlander with a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive begins at $29,865. At the various other end of the spectrum is a completely packed Highlander Crossbreed Limited four-wheel drive, which starts at $47,215-- rather a significant variety.
Midsize SUVs have actually been taking over for minivans in family-hauling tasks, and also the number of entries in the field is higher than ever before. Calling for 7 seats does reduce the list down ever so slightly. The Highlander's main rivals are the Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9 as well as Dodge Durango. If you can live with simply 5 seats, add the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, Toyota Venza and Kia Sorento. That's greater than a loads other vehicles to consider, demonstrating just how competitive this section actually is. The closest matches are the Pathfinder, Explorer as well as Santa Fe (not the Santa Fe Sport, mind you, which is a smaller sized, five-seat version). The Pathfinder includes just a V-6 as well as constantly variable automatic transmission, while the Santa Fe's seven-seat version uses just a V-6. The Explorer supplies 2 V-6 engines as well as an optional turbo four-cylinder, all mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All are equivalent in terms of space, price as well as utility, but the Highlander's rivals generally have the advantage in fuel economic situation and also on-board innovation.
The 2014 Highlander will lastly get a six-speed transmission for its V-6 engine, which need to improve gas economy and acceleration. It also gets sitting for eight thanks to a bigger cargo location and also a bigger third-row seat. Engines will certainly carry over unmodified, nevertheless, meaning there will certainly still be no direct-injection or turbocharging. The interior and exterior updates look great and also ought to keep the Highlander affordable, which's actually all Toyota has to do to keep the Highlander's sales numbers up-- aesthetic modifications that maintain it fresh in an ultra-competitive market. Toyota already has the energy, comfort, competence as well as family-friendly components down pat. Servicing its aesthetic appeal as well as on-board technology will only strengthen the Highlander's setting.