Toyota heard consumers while redesigning the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also reacted to demands for even more cabin as well as freight area, vibrant designing and costs features. Requests for a much more vibrant driving experience ought to have been respectfully neglected, nevertheless, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not assume several midsize SUV customers must have to live with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other renovations will undoubtedly attract buyers that had scratched the previous Highlander off their list or at least to those that don't consider a comfy ride an essential. The 2014 Highlander's increased cargo space behind the conventional third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's less complicated to get right into the third row, which now seatses 3 as well as bumps common seatsing ability to 8.
2015 toyota highlander review
With upgrades that span the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is currently in better form to tackle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Traveler and also 2014 Honda Pilot.
I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder and also Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.
Exterior & Designing
Toyota returned to the drawing board to revamp its aging and stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you can not call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's ho-hum appearance changes right into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, bulging fenders and strong front styling. Its existence was big on the 2013 New York City International Vehicle Program floor where it debuted, as well as it looks just as excellent rolling down the street.
Just how It Drives
The driving experience isn't really the car's most attractive quality, despite an assortment of appealing brand-new framework and also suspension adjustments, so it excels the new SUV does so numerous other points well.
Toyota selected curved canyon as well as coastal roads in California to demonstrate the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and 2014 back to back, the 2014 does display greater degrees of roadway hold and also an enhanced guiding reaction. It's more athletic when digging right into a corner, though I wouldn't call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 doesn't have a prompt punch of acceleration in the heavy Highlander. It's a far cry from the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" round of exhilaration among other comparable three-row SUVs. A six-cylinder Highlander LE with front-wheel drive is 4,244 extra pounds, while a V-6, front-wheel-drive Santa Fe GLS is 3,933 extra pounds.
A negative effect of the Highlander's newly found dynamics is a choppier flight over rough roads. After driving 2013 as well as 2014 versions, I can tell the 2014 sends more roadway blemishes via the framework and right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OKAY to have a hostile design as well as trip like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the advantage, the 2014 Highlander has an extra substantial sensation over harsh roadways, with less rattles, squeals as well as chassis flex. It's a matured experience with enhanced sound insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer framework aiding keep outside sound very little.
I quickly hung around in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to make up 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) as well as all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little harsh around the sides as far as engine sound as well as vibrations. The Hybrid's gas mileage is reasonably the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city ratings to 27 mpg yet maintains its 28 mpg integrated ranking. The shift from electrical to when the engine fires up is noticeable with raw sounds originating from under the hood, audible from throughout a parking lot. Resonances from the change are minimal, however the noises are loud enough to take notice.
An additional 353 pounds included in the crossbreed from three electric motors-- two in the front as well as one in the back-- as well as a nickel metal hydride battery is obvious in how the Crossbreed drives compared to the Limited V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a loosened up experience much less excited regarding increasing and handling even with 280-hp incorporated, as well as it likewise does not ride any type of smoother than the non-hybrid.
The Crossbreed's unusually loud engine noises would not be as much of an issue if the Highlander Hybrid weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 more than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller on the in. The Highlander Crossbreed's high-end auto price does not show deluxe refinement now that the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Crossbreed supplied; the less-expensive variation got the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most refined of the number, providing smooth and also predictable velocity in addition to the most effective handling with four-wheel drive. The V-6-powered Highlander's gas mileage of 19/25/21 mpg with front-wheel drive as well as 18/24/20 mpg with all-wheel drive is also more competitive compared to the outward bound 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission changing a five-speed device on V-6 designs. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise new, aids add 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send out torque to the rear wheels when slippage is detected, versus the previous system that always sent out torque to 4 wheels.
Part of the 2014's transformation consists of calling up the interior styling with countless soft-touch as well as accent-stitched interior panels that improve the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon good with a sewn dashboard, guiding wheel and soft-touch, top quality materials in prominent places. Plastic locations that typically aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on par for the course. Also the base LE Highlander exhibits the virtually luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Restricted trims.
Seats is comfortable in the very first as well as 2nd rows with soft, wide front seats as well as a very adjustable second row that glides and reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the common three-seat bench setup-- captain's chairs are offered on the XLE as well as typical on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats speak with its comfort-focused origins. Many individuals on our staff will miss the 2013's detachable second-row center seat. I won't, as it was uncomfortable and also bulky to get rid of as well as change with the center table that saved under the facility console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota boosted width as well as added an extra seat for an optimum capacity of 8 occupants in common arrangement. A new, extra compact rear suspension freed the additional area. The 3rd row still doesn't fit adults with as much comfort as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, however it readies in a pinch. There are also brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, only the curbside seat folded as well as glided onward through the one-touch lever. Third-row motorcyclists likewise gain from the 2nd row's raised seat traveling, which permits simple entrance and also leave.
Functional design & Electronics
Modern technology is a huge focus in the 2014 Highlander and also done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions better compared to ever compared to various other Toyota automobiles where I have actually utilized the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The models I examined noticed the various voice commands I talked.
Those with bulky phones or who continuously have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly value a tool storage space walk below the environment controls that supplies a pass-through for USB cables. There should be no more Medusa-like dangling of cables the gear selector.
The typical Entune on base LE models consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, complementary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connection as well as Bluetooth streaming audio. LE And also trims have Entune Audio And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio and also 90-day satellite radio membership. The following step up is Entune Premium Sound with Navigation and Application Suite on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and application suite with Pandora, Yelp and also Facebook integration with a smart device as well as going along with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is conventional on Restricted trim degrees.
The enormous center storage space bin between the front seats could feast on anything plus-sized, like a bag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the readily available rear-seat Blu-ray player. When you forget that Blu-ray in the house, a fascinating new feature called Easy Speak transmits the growing voice of an upset mom or papa through the back stereo audio speakers via the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy children in check. How much more family members focused can you obtain compared to providing a function that enables moms and dads to chew out children?
Freight, Towing & Storage
Freight area behind the third row boosts over the previous Highlander's skimpy step, which battled lugging grocery stores, not to mention a stroller or golf bag. The freight volume is now rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a huge enhancement, however a minimum of it makes the location usable. It's still small compared with others in the segment: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet as well as the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's hoax to enhance freight room entailed relocating all 3 rows of seats ahead, including length behind the rear wheels as well as utilizing an extra compact back suspension.
The power liftgate is a remarkable attribute to be conventional on LE And also trim levels and also above, and also has a dress up its sleeve: It adjusts to different heights, not simply 1 or 2 fixed elevation settings. With the liftgate moving, users could quit the liftgate as well as program it to open to that set elevation the next time. The attribute will make shorter vehicle drivers and also owners of low garages really delighted. (If eviction goes too high, shorter folks may have a hard time to reach the power-close switch on its bottom side.) One more special feature on the back is an oldie but a reward: On LE Plus models and above, the rear home window opens up for simple accessibility independent of the cargo gateway.
A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and also Limited trim degrees includes a basic towing package that includes engine/transmission coolers as well as upgraded radiator and also generator. Crossbreeds can tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus can tow 2,000 pounds as well as a four-cylinder LE is rated at 1,500 extra pounds.
Safety and security
The 2014 Highlander had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander supplies lower anchors and also tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, but just a secure support on the center third-row seat.
Advanced safety functions are available, though just on the costly Restricted trim degree where an unseen area surveillance system as well as back auto parking help are standard, and also pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control and lane separation caution are optional. Restricted trim degrees are additionally the only models with a backup camera that uses anticipating standards to show the car's course-- a backup video camera with set lines is conventional on all other trim degrees.
Worth in Its Class
Toyota states prices is up about $1,500 on average throughout the 2014 trim degrees, which include additional attributes over the 2013. Base rates begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE versions with four-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as consist of natural leather sitting with heated front seats, navigating, three-zone environment control, wise keyless entrance, second-row sunshades and also even more. Rates for the XLE is very affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Traveler and even the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 2013 Highlander was truly a midpack three-row SUV, hanging back in important areas like interior quality, freight area and also modern technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor wanting to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned about trip top quality-- the 2014 is not only a compelling upgrade, however additionally worthwhile of cross-shopping the segment's ideal.