Toyota paid attention to consumers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also replied to demands for even more cabin and freight area, dynamic designing as well as premium amenities. Requests for a more dynamic driving experience ought to have been professionally ignored, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I don't assume many midsize SUV purchasers need to have to cope with in return for sportier handling.
Still, various other enhancements will certainly attract buyers who had damaged the previous Highlander off their checklist or at the very least to those who don't take into consideration a comfortable trip an essential. The 2014 Highlander's enhanced cargo area behind the common third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's easier to obtain right into the third row, which currently sittings 3 as well as bumps conventional seating capability to eight.
Toyota 2015 Highlander
With upgrades that span the lineup of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited as well as Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is currently in far better shape to take on the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Traveler and 2014 Honda Pilot.
I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder and Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.
Outside & Styling
Toyota went back to the drawing board to upgrade its aging and also stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any longer. The 2013's dull appearance changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, bulging fenders and bold front designing. Its visibility was big on the 2013 New York International Vehicle Show flooring where it debuted, and also it looks just as great rolling down the street.
How It Drives
The driving experience isn't the auto's most attractive characteristic, despite having a selection of encouraging brand-new framework and also suspension modifications, so it excels the new SUV does so many various other points well.
Toyota selected curvy canyon as well as seaside roads in The golden state to demonstrate the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does display greater levels of road hold and also a boosted steering response. It's even more athletic when digging into a corner, though I would not call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have a prompt strike of velocity in the heavy Highlander. It's a far cry from the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" round of excitement 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 newly found characteristics is a choppier trip over harsh roadways. After driving 2013 and 2014 designs, I can tell the 2014 transmits even more road imperfections through the framework as well as into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have a hostile design as well as ride like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the advantage, the 2014 Highlander has a more substantial sensation over rough roadways, with less rattles, squeals and framework flex. It's a matured experience with boosted audio insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer chassis helping maintain outside noise minimal.
I briefly hung out in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to account for 5 to 10 percent of sales, and also in the brand new Highlander Crossbreed. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) and all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the sides as far as engine noise and also vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is relatively unmodified for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg yet keeps its 28 mpg incorporated ranking. The change from electric to when the engine fires up is visible with raw sounds originating from under the hood, audible from throughout a parking lot. Resonances from the shift are minimal, but the sounds are loud enough to take notice.
An additional 353 extra pounds included in the crossbreed from 3 electrical motors-- two in the front as well as one in the back-- and a nickel steel hydride battery is recognizable in how the Hybrid drives compared with the Restricted V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's an unwinded experience much less excited about accelerating and dealing with even with 280-hp incorporated, as well as it likewise does not ride any type of smoother compared to the non-hybrid.
The Crossbreed's uncommonly loud engine sounds wouldn't be as much of an issue if the Highlander Hybrid just weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 more than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, however a lot smaller sized on the within. The Highlander Hybrid's high-end car price does not mirror high-end refinement since the feature-loaded Hybrid 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 bunch, using smooth and also foreseeable acceleration 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 and 18/24/20 mpg with four-wheel drive is also more affordable compared to the outgoing 2013 thanks to a new six-speed automatic transmission replacing a five-speed unit on V-6 designs. The all-wheel-drive system, which is additionally new, helps include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 version. 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 four wheels.
Part of the 2014's change includes calling up the indoor styling with many soft-touch and accent-stitched interior panels that boost the classiness. The high quality is Toyota-Avalon wonderful with a sewn control panel, steering wheel as well as soft-touch, top quality products in prominent places. Plastic areas that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on the same level for the course. Also the base LE Highlander shows the nearly luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Limited trims.
Seats fits in the initial as well as second rows with soft, wide front seats as well as an extremely adjustable 2nd row that slides as well as reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the typical three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are readily available on the XLE as well as common on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander could have been redone with dynamism in mind, however the seats speak to its comfort-focused origins. Many individuals on our personnel will certainly miss out on the 2013's removable second-row facility seat. I won't, as it was uncomfortable and also cumbersome to eliminate as well as replace with the center table that kept under the center console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota boosted size and included an additional seat for a maximum capability of eight residents in standard arrangement. A brand-new, much more small back suspension released the extra area. The 3rd row still doesn't fit grownups with as much convenience as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, however it's good in a pinch. There are likewise new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, just the curbside seat folded and moved onward via the one-touch lever. Third-row riders likewise benefit from the 2nd row's enhanced seat traveling, which allows simple entry as well as departure.
Ergonomics & Electronic devices
Innovation is a massive emphasis in the 2014 Highlander and done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions much better than ever compared with various other Toyota lorries where I've used the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The designs I examined noticed the numerous voice commands I talked.
Those with bulky phones or who constantly have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly value a device storage space walk listed below the climate regulates that provides a pass-through for USB cables. There ought to disappear Medusa-like dangling of cables entangling the gear selector.
The standard Entune on base LE models includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup cam, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connection as well as Bluetooth streaming sound. LE And also trims have Entune Audio And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio as well as 90-day satellite radio membership. The next step up is Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and also App Collection on XLE designs with an 8-inch touch-screen and application suite with Pandora, Yelp and also Facebook assimilation with a mobile phone and coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is common on Limited trim levels.
The substantial center storage space bin in between the front seats could devour anything plus-sized, like a purse, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. And when you neglect that Blu-ray at home, a fascinating new function called Easy Speak sends the growing voice of a mad mama or daddy via the rear stereo audio speakers via the Bluetooth microphone to keep wild kids in check. What does it cost? more family concentrated can you obtain compared to supplying a function that permits moms and dads to chew out kids?
Freight, Towing & Storage
Freight room behind the 3rd row enhances over the previous Highlander's skimpy ledge, which battled carrying grocery stores, not to mention an infant stroller or golf bag. The cargo volume is currently rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a massive renovation, however at least it makes the location usable. It's still tiny compared to others in the section: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet as well as the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's hoax to boost cargo room involved moving all 3 rows of seats onward, including length behind the back wheels and also making use of a much more portable rear suspension.
The power liftgate is an outstanding function to be typical on LE Plus trim degrees and also above, and has a trick up its sleeve: It adapts to different elevations, not simply one or two predetermined elevation settings. With the liftgate moving, customers can quit the liftgate as well as program it to open to that established elevation the following time. The function will make shorter chauffeurs and proprietors of low garages really happy. (If the gate goes expensive, shorter individuals may have a hard time to get to the power-close switch on its lower side.) One more one-of-a-kind attribute on the back is an oldie yet a goody: On LE And also designs as well as above, the back window opens up for easy accessibility independent of the cargo entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE as well as Limited trim levels has a conventional towing bundle that includes engine/transmission colders and upgraded radiator as well as alternator. Hybrids could tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus can tow 2,000 pounds as well as a four-cylinder LE is ranked at 1,500 extra pounds.
The 2014 Highlander had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander provides reduced anchors and also tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, however just a secure anchor on the middle third-row seat.
Advanced safety and security features are available, though only on the costly Limited trim degree where a dead spot surveillance system as well as rear auto parking help are basic, and pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control and also lane departure caution are optional. Limited trim degrees are also the only designs with a back-up video camera that uses anticipating guidelines to reveal the vehicle's path-- a back-up video camera with fixed lines is standard on all various other trim degrees.
Value in Its Course
Toyota states rates is up around $1,500 generally across the 2014 trim degrees, which include extra features over the 2013. Base pricing starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE models with four-wheel drive are $38,360 and include leather sitting with heated front seats, navigation, three-zone climate control, clever keyless entry, second-row sunshades as well as even more. Pricing for the XLE is very affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and even the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 2013 Highlander was genuinely a midpack three-row SUV, dragging in vital locations like interior top quality, cargo area and technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander owner aiming to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned concerning trip top quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, yet additionally deserving of cross-shopping the sector's ideal.