Toyota listened to consumers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander as well as responded to needs for more cabin as well as freight area, dynamic styling and premium facilities. Ask for an extra vibrant driving experience should have been professionally ignored, however, as the 2014's harsher ride is a tradeoff I don't believe numerous midsize SUV purchasers need to need to live with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other enhancements will definitely appeal to buyers who had scratched the previous Highlander off their list or a minimum of to those who do not think about a comfy ride an essential. The 2014 Highlander's boosted cargo space behind the standard third-row seat is a much-needed improvement; plus, it's easier to get into the third row, which now sittings 3 as well as bumps basic seatsing capacity to 8.
2015 toyota Highlander Limited
With upgrades that span the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited as well as Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is currently in better form to tackle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer and also 2014 Honda Pilot.
I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder and Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.
Outside & Designing
Toyota went back to the drawing board to redesign its aging and stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any longer. The 2013's dull look changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, protruding fenders as well as vibrant front designing. Its visibility approved the 2013 New York City International Auto Show floor where it debuted, and also it looks equally as excellent rolling down the street.
Just how It Drives
The driving experience isn't the vehicle's most enticing feature, despite a selection of appealing brand-new framework as well as suspension modifications, so it excels the brand-new SUV does so numerous various other things well.
Toyota selected curvy canyon and seaside roadways in The golden state to show the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show higher levels of roadway hold and an improved steering response. It's even more athletic when excavating into a corner, though I wouldn't call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an instant strike of velocity in the hefty Highlander. It's an unlike the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" round of exhilaration to name a few comparable three-row SUVs. A six-cylinder Highlander LE with front-wheel drive is 4,244 pounds, while a V-6, front-wheel-drive Santa Fe GLS is 3,933 extra pounds.
An unfavorable result of the Highlander's newfound characteristics is a choppier trip over harsh roads. After driving 2013 and also 2014 models, I might inform the 2014 transmits even more road imperfections via the framework and right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OKAY to have an aggressive style and flight like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the advantage, the 2014 Highlander has a much more substantial sensation over rough roads, with less rattles, squeals as well as chassis flex. It's a matured experience with enhanced audio insulation, acoustic glass and a stiffer chassis assisting keep outside noise minimal.
I briefly hung around in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to represent 5 to 10 percent of sales, as well as in the brand new Highlander Hybrid. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) and also all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges as for engine noise as well as resonances. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is reasonably the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg but keeps its 28 mpg combined ranking. The transition from electric to when the engine fires up is visible with raw sounds originating from under the hood, distinct from across a parking lot. Vibrations from the change are marginal, yet the sounds are audible to take notice.
An added 353 pounds included in the crossbreed from three electric motors-- 2 in the front and also one in the back-- and also a nickel metal hydride battery is noticeable in how the Crossbreed drives as compared to the Limited V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a kicked back experience much less fired up about speeding up as well as taking care of even with 280-hp combined, and it likewise does not ride any type of smoother than the non-hybrid.
The Crossbreed's uncommonly loud engine sounds wouldn't be as much of a problem if the Highlander Crossbreed just weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller on the within. The Highlander Hybrid's deluxe vehicle rate does not mirror high-end improvement since the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Hybrid used; the less-expensive version obtained the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most fine-tuned of the number, providing smooth as well as foreseeable acceleration along with the best handling with four-wheel drive. The V-6-powered Highlander's gas mileage of 19/25/21 mpg with front-wheel drive and also 18/24/20 mpg with all-wheel drive is additionally more competitive than the outward bound 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission replacing a five-speed device on V-6 designs. The all-wheel-drive system, which is also brand-new, helps include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send out torque to the rear wheels when slippage is spotted, versus the previous system that always sent out torque to four wheels.
Part of the 2014's transformation includes dialing up the interior styling with numerous soft-touch and accent-stitched indoor panels that improve the classiness. The quality is Toyota-Avalon good with a stitched control panel, guiding wheel as well as soft-touch, top quality products in prominent areas. Plastic areas that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on par for the class. Even the base LE Highlander emanates the nearly luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Restricted trims.
Seating is comfortable in the first and also second rows with soft, wide front seats and an extremely adjustable 2nd row that moves and reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the common three-seat bench configuration-- captain's chairs are readily available on the XLE and typical on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander may have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats talk to its comfort-focused roots. Lots of people on our personnel will miss the 2013's detachable second-row center seat. I won't, as it was awkward and also cumbersome to eliminate as well as replace with the center table that stored under the center console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota enhanced size and also added an extra seat for a maximum capacity of eight residents in standard configuration. A brand-new, more small rear suspension released the extra space. The 3rd row still does not fit grownups with as much convenience as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, however it readies in a pinch. There are additionally brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, only the curbside seat folded up and also glided onward via the one-touch bar. Third-row riders likewise benefit from the second row's increased seat travel, which enables easy access as well as exit.
Comfort design & Electronics
Innovation is a huge emphasis in the 2014 Highlander as well as done extremely well. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works better than ever before compared with other Toyota lorries where I have actually made use of the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The versions I examined detected the numerous voice commands I spoke.
Those with cumbersome phones or that continuously have their phone linked to the SUV will certainly appreciate a device storage ledge listed below the climate regulates that provides a pass-through for USB cables. There should disappear Medusa-like dangling of wires entangling the equipment selector.
The basic Entune on base LE designs includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connection as well as Bluetooth streaming audio. LE And also trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio as well as 90-day satellite radio membership. The following step up is Entune Premium Audio with Navigating and Application Suite on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and app collection with Pandora, Yelp and Facebook combination with a mobile phone and going along with Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is conventional on Restricted trim levels.
The massive center storage space bin in between the pole positions could feast on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. And when you forget that Blu-ray at home, an intriguing brand-new feature called Easy Speak transfers the thriving voice of a mad mom or papa via the rear stereo speakers via the Bluetooth microphone to keep rowdy children in check. How much more family concentrated can you get compared to offering an attribute that enables parents to yell at kids?
Freight, Towing & Storage
Freight room behind the third row enhances over the previous Highlander's revealing walk, which struggled bring groceries, let alone a stroller or golf bag. The freight quantity is now rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a massive renovation, yet a minimum of it makes the area functional. It's still small compared with others in the section: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's trickery to raise freight area included relocating all 3 rows of seats forward, adding size behind the rear wheels and also making use of a much more compact back suspension.
The power liftgate is an outstanding attribute to be common on LE Plus trim degrees and above, and also has a dress up its sleeve: It adjusts to various heights, not simply one or two established elevation settings. With the liftgate in motion, individuals can stop the liftgate and also program it to available to that set height the next time. The function will certainly make much shorter drivers and also proprietors of reduced garages extremely happy. (If eviction goes expensive, shorter people might battle to get to the power-close switch on its lower edge.) Another distinct attribute on the back is an oldie however a reward: On LE And also versions and above, the back window opens for very easy gain access to independent of the cargo entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow ranking on XLE and Limited trim levels features a common towing plan that includes engine/transmission colders as well as updated radiator as well as generator. Hybrids can tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus could tow 2,000 pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is rated at 1,500 extra pounds.
The 2014 Highlander hadn't been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander offers lower anchors as well as tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, however only a secure anchor on the middle third-row seat.
Advanced safety functions are offered, though just on the costly Minimal trim degree where an unseen area tracking system and back parking assist are conventional, and also pre-collision, flexible cruise control and lane departure warning are optional. Minimal trim levels are also the only designs with a backup video camera that utilizes predictive standards to show the vehicle's course-- a backup electronic camera with fixed lines is conventional on all other trim levels.
Value in Its Class
Toyota states rates is up around $1,500 generally across the 2014 trim degrees, which include additional features over the 2013. Base prices begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE designs with all-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as include leather seatsing with heated pole positions, navigating, three-zone climate control, clever keyless entry, second-row sunshades as well as more. Rates for the XLE is extremely affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Traveler or even the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 2013 Highlander was truly a midpack three-row SUV, lagging behind in crucial areas like indoor quality, freight room and also innovation. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor looking to update-- as long as you're unconcerned regarding ride quality-- the 2014 is not just a compelling upgrade, however also worthwhile of cross-shopping the segment's ideal.