Toyota paid attention to customers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander as well as reacted to needs for even more cabin and cargo area, vibrant designing and premium facilities. Ask for a much more dynamic driving experience should have been respectfully disregarded, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher flight is a tradeoff I do not think several midsize SUV purchasers should have to deal with in return for sportier handling.
Still, various other enhancements will certainly appeal to consumers that had scratched the previous Highlander off their checklist or at least to those that do not consider a comfortable trip a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's increased freight space behind the basic third-row seat is a much-needed enhancement; plus, it's easier to obtain into the third row, which currently sittings three and bumps common seatsing ability to 8.
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With upgrades that cover the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and also Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is currently in better form to handle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer as well as 2014 Honda Pilot.
I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder as well as Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.
Exterior & Designing
Toyota returned to the drawing board to upgrade its aging as well as stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's ho-hum appearance transforms right into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders and vibrant front styling. Its visibility was big on the 2013 New York City International Automobile Program floor where it debuted, and also it looks equally as excellent rolling down the street.
Exactly how It Drives
The driving experience isn't really the cars and truck's most appealing characteristic, even with an assortment of appealing brand-new framework and also suspension changes, so it excels the new SUV does so numerous other points well.
Toyota chose curved canyon and seaside roadways in California to show the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and 2014 back to back, the 2014 does exhibit greater levels of road hold as well as an enhanced steering action. It's more athletic when digging into an edge, though I wouldn't call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 doesn't 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" ball 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 pounds.
An adverse impact of the Highlander's newly found dynamics is a choppier ride over harsh roads. After driving 2013 and 2014 models, I could tell the 2014 sends more roadway imperfections through the framework and into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive style and also trip like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has an extra substantial sensation over harsh roads, with fewer rattles, squeaks as well as chassis flex. It's a matured experience with raised audio insulation, acoustic glass and a stiffer chassis assisting keep outside noise very little.
I quickly spent time in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to represent 5 to 10 percent of sales, and also in the all-new Highlander Crossbreed. 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 regarding engine noise and vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is fairly unmodified for 2014, down 1 mpg in city rankings to 27 mpg but preserves its 28 mpg integrated rating. The shift from electrical to when the engine fires up is obvious with raw sounds originating from under the hood, audible from throughout a parking area. Vibrations from the transition are marginal, yet the sounds are audible to take notice.
An extra 353 extra pounds included in the crossbreed from 3 electrical motors-- two in the front and also one in the back-- and a nickel metal hydride battery is visible in exactly how the Crossbreed drives compared to the Restricted V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's an unwinded experience less fired up regarding increasing and managing even with 280-hp incorporated, as well as it likewise doesn't ride any kind of smoother compared to the non-hybrid.
The Hybrid's uncommonly loud engine noises would not be as much of an issue if the Highlander Hybrid just weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller sized on the in. The Highlander Crossbreed's deluxe vehicle cost doesn't mirror luxury improvement now that the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Hybrid supplied; the less-expensive version got the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is the most refined of the lot, using smooth and also predictable velocity along with the best handling with all-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 four-wheel drive is additionally a lot more competitive compared to the outward bound 2013 thanks to a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission changing a five-speed device on V-6 designs. The all-wheel-drive system, which is additionally new, helps include 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the back wheels when slippage is spotted, versus the previous system that constantly sent out torque to four wheels.
Part of the 2014's change consists of calling up the interior styling with countless soft-touch as well as accent-stitched interior panels that boost the classiness. The high quality is Toyota-Avalon nice with a stitched dashboard, steering wheel as well as soft-touch, top quality materials in popular areas. Plastic areas that typically aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on the same level for the course. Even the base LE Highlander exudes the practically luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.
Seating fits in the initial and second rows with soft, wide front seats and a very flexible 2nd row that glides and reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the conventional three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are offered on the XLE as well as conventional on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander may have been redone with dynamism in mind, yet the seats talk with its comfort-focused roots. Many people on our personnel will miss the 2013's detachable second-row facility seat. I won't, as it was awkward as well as large to get rid of as well as replace with the center table that saved under the center console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota raised width as well as included an added seat for an optimum ability of 8 occupants in standard setup. A new, much more compact back suspension released the additional room. The 3rd row still does not fit grownups with as much convenience as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, but it's good in a pinch. There are also brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, only the curbside seat folded and moved forward through the one-touch bar. Third-row cyclists also gain from the second row's raised seat traveling, which permits very easy entrance and also departure.
Comfort design & Electronic devices
Innovation is a big focus in the 2014 Highlander as well as done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works much better compared to ever before compared to other Toyota lorries where I have actually used the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The models I tested picked up on the numerous voice commands I talked.
Those with large phones or who continuously have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly value a gadget storage space ledge listed below the climate controls that supplies a pass-through for USB cables. There should disappear Medusa-like dangling of cords ensnaring the equipment selector.
The conventional Entune on base LE versions consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup camera, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connection and also Bluetooth streaming sound. LE Plus trims have Entune Sound 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 Audio with Navigation and Application Collection on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and also app suite with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook combination with a smartphone and coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is conventional on Limited trim levels.
The huge facility storage bin between the front seats could feed on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the offered rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. When you fail to remember that Blu-ray at home, an interesting brand-new function called Easy Speak transmits the thriving voice of an angry mom or daddy via the back stereo speakers using the Bluetooth microphone to keep wild youngsters in check. What does it cost? extra family members concentrated can you get compared to offering a function that allows parents to chew out kids?
Freight, Towing & Storage
Cargo area behind the third row enhances over the previous Highlander's sexy ledge, which struggled lugging groceries, let alone a stroller or golf bag. The cargo quantity is now rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a significant renovation, however a minimum of it makes the location usable. It's still tiny compared to others in the sector: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet and the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's hoax to increase freight space involved moving all three rows of seats onward, adding length behind the rear wheels as well as making use of a much more portable back suspension.
The power liftgate is a remarkable function to be typical on LE Plus trim degrees and also above, and also has a trick up its sleeve: It gets used to numerous heights, not simply 1 or 2 predetermined height setups. With the liftgate moving, users can quit the liftgate and also program it to available to that established height the next time. The feature will certainly make shorter chauffeurs and also owners of low garages extremely pleased. (If eviction goes expensive, shorter individuals may struggle to reach the power-close switch on its lower edge.) One more distinct function on the back is an oldie yet a goody: On LE Plus designs and also above, the rear home window opens up for very easy access independent of the cargo entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and also Limited trim levels includes a conventional towing plan that consists of engine/transmission coolers and upgraded radiator and also alternator. Hybrids can tow 3,500 pounds, V-6 LE/LE And also can tow 2,000 pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is rated at 1,500 extra pounds.
The 2014 Highlander had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander provides lower supports as well as tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, but just a tether anchor on the center third-row seat.
Advanced security features are offered, though just on the pricey Restricted trim level where a blind spot monitoring system and also rear auto parking assist are typical, as well as pre-collision, flexible cruise ship control as well as lane separation caution are optional. Minimal trim levels are additionally the only designs with a backup electronic camera that uses anticipating standards to show the vehicle's path-- a backup cam with set lines is typical on all other trim degrees.
Value in Its Course
Toyota claims pricing is up around $1,500 on average across the 2014 trim levels, which include added attributes over the 2013. Base prices begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE versions with four-wheel drive are $38,360 and also include natural leather seatsing with heated pole positions, navigating, three-zone climate control, clever keyless entry, second-row sunshades and also even more. Prices for the XLE is extremely competitive to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Traveler or even the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 2013 Highlander was really a midpack three-row SUV, dragging in essential locations like indoor quality, freight space as well as technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander proprietor seeking to update-- as long as you're unconcerned regarding trip high quality-- the 2014 is not only an engaging upgrade, but also worthwhile of cross-shopping the segment's finest.