Toyota heard consumers while redesigning the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander as well as replied to demands for more cabin and also freight room, dynamic designing and costs amenities. Requests for an extra vibrant driving experience ought to have been respectfully overlooked, however, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not believe many midsize SUV customers must have to live with in return for sportier handling.
Still, various other enhancements will certainly interest shoppers that had actually damaged the previous Highlander off their listing or at the very least to those who do not think about a comfortable trip an essential. The 2014 Highlander's enhanced cargo space behind the conventional third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's less complicated to get right into the 3rd row, which now sittings three as well as bumps basic seating capacity to eight.
toyota highlander 2015 interior
With upgrades that extend the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is currently in much better shape 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.
Exterior & Styling
Toyota went back to the drawing board to upgrade its aging and also stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you can't call the Highlander boring looking any type of longer. The 2013's ho-hum appearance changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, protruding fenders as well as vibrant front styling. Its existence approved the 2013 New York International Auto Program flooring where it debuted, as well as it looks just as excellent rolling down the street.
How It Drives
The driving experience isn't really the car's most attractive attribute, despite an array of appealing new chassis as well as suspension adjustments, so it's good the brand-new SUV does so numerous other points well.
Toyota chose curvy canyon as well as coastal roads in California to show the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and also 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show higher degrees of roadway hold and an enhanced steering reaction. It's more sports when digging into an edge, 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" ball 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 pounds.
An unfavorable impact of the Highlander's newfound dynamics is a choppier trip over harsh roads. After driving 2013 as well as 2014 versions, I could tell the 2014 transfers more roadway blemishes via the framework and also into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive style and trip like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has an extra considerable sensation over rough roadways, with less rattles, squeaks as well as framework flex. It's a matured experience with enhanced audio insulation, acoustic glass and a stiffer framework assisting keep outside sound minimal.
I briefly hung out in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota anticipates to account for 5 to 10 percent of sales, as well as in the brand new Highlander Crossbreed. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) as well as all-wheel-drive-only Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little harsh around the sides regarding engine noise as well as vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is relatively unchanged for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg yet preserves its 28 mpg combined ranking. The shift from electrical to when the engine fires up is obvious with raw noises coming from under the hood, distinct from across a car park. Vibrations from the change are marginal, but the noises are audible to take notice.
An added 353 extra pounds contributed to the crossbreed from 3 electric motors-- 2 in the front as well as one in the back-- and also a nickel metal hydride battery is recognizable in how the Hybrid drives compared with the Restricted V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's an unwinded experience much less thrilled regarding accelerating and dealing with despite having 280-hp integrated, and also it likewise doesn't ride any type of smoother compared to the non-hybrid.
The Crossbreed's unusually loud engine sounds wouldn't be as much of a problem if the Highlander Crossbreed just weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, however much smaller sized on the within. The Highlander Hybrid's luxury automobile rate does not show luxury refinement now that the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Crossbreed offered; the less-expensive variation got the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most fine-tuned of the number, providing smooth and predictable acceleration 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 also much more competitive than the outgoing 2013 thanks to a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission changing a five-speed unit on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise new, helps add 2 mpg highway over the 2013 version. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send out torque to the back wheels when slippage is detected, versus the previous system that always sent torque to 4 wheels.
Part of the 2014's improvement includes calling up the indoor styling with numerous soft-touch as well as accent-stitched interior panels that enhance the classiness. The high quality is Toyota-Avalon nice with a sewn dashboard, guiding wheel and soft-touch, top quality products in noticeable areas. Plastic locations that typically aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on the same level for the course. Also the base LE Highlander emanates the practically luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Limited trims.
Seating is comfortable in the initial as well as 2nd rows with soft, broad front seats and a highly adjustable 2nd row that glides and reclines with two captain's chairs or the typical three-seat bench configuration-- captain's chairs are readily available on the XLE as well as conventional on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats speak to its comfort-focused roots. Lots of people on our personnel will miss the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I won't, as it was awkward and large to eliminate and also replace with the center table that kept under the center console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota boosted size as well as added an added seat for an optimum ability of 8 owners in typical arrangement. A brand-new, a lot more compact back suspension freed the added room. The third row still does not fit grownups with as much convenience as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, but it excels in a pinch. There are additionally brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, only the curbside seat folded and slid onward using the one-touch lever. Third-row bikers likewise benefit from the 2nd row's raised seat traveling, which enables simple access and exit.
Functional design & Electronic devices
Innovation is a significant emphasis in the 2014 Highlander and also done quite possibly. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions much better compared to ever before compared with other Toyota automobiles where I have actually utilized the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The models I examined picked up on the various voice commands I spoke.
Those with cumbersome phones or who constantly have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly value a gadget storage space walk below the environment manages that gives a pass-through for USB cables. There must disappear Medusa-like dangling of cable televisions the gear selector.
The common Entune on base LE versions includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, auxiliary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connectivity as well as Bluetooth streaming sound. LE And also trims have Entune Audio And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display, HD Radio as well as 90-day satellite radio registration. The following step up is Entune Costs Audio with Navigating and App Suite on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and application suite with Pandora, Yelp and Facebook integration with a mobile phone as well as going along with Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is basic on Restricted trim degrees.
The enormous center storage bin between the front seats can feed on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. And when you neglect that Blu-ray in the house, an intriguing brand-new function called Easy Speak transfers the booming voice of an upset mom or papa through the rear stereo audio speakers via the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy kids in check. Just how much a lot more family concentrated can you get than providing a function that enables moms and dads to chew out kids?
Cargo, Towing & Storage
Cargo room behind the 3rd row boosts over the previous Highlander's sexy step, which battled bring grocery stores, not to mention a baby stroller or golf bag. The cargo quantity is currently ranked at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a big renovation, but at least it makes the area useful. It's still little compared with others in the sector: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's trickery to increase freight room involved moving all 3 rows of seats onward, including size behind the back wheels as well as making use of an extra small back suspension.
The power liftgate is an excellent feature to be common on LE Plus trim levels and above, as well as has a dress up its sleeve: It adjusts to numerous elevations, not just a couple of predetermined height settings. With the liftgate in motion, customers can stop the liftgate and program it to available to that set height the next time. The attribute will make much shorter motorists as well as proprietors of reduced garages really delighted. (If the gate goes too expensive, much shorter individuals may have a hard time to get to the power-close button on its bottom side.) Another unique attribute on the back is an oldie but a goody: On LE Plus models and also above, the back home window opens up for very easy accessibility independent of the freight entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and Limited trim degrees features a standard towing bundle that includes engine/transmission coolers and upgraded radiator as well as generator. Crossbreeds can tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE And also can tow 2,000 extra pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is ranked at 1,500 pounds.
Safety and security
The 2014 Highlander had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander supplies reduced anchors and also tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, yet just a secure support on the center third-row seat.
Advanced safety and security functions are readily available, though just on the pricey Limited trim level where an unseen area monitoring system as well as rear car park aid are conventional, as well as pre-collision, flexible cruise ship control and also lane departure warning are optional. Restricted trim levels are also the only versions with a back-up video camera that makes use of predictive guidelines to reveal the car's course-- a back-up cam with set lines is conventional on all various other trim levels.
Value in Its Course
Toyota says prices is up about $1,500 generally across the 2014 trim degrees, which include extra features over the 2013. Base prices starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE versions with four-wheel drive are $38,360 and also consist of natural leather seating with heated front seats, navigating, three-zone environment control, wise keyless entrance, second-row sunshades and more. Prices for the XLE is extremely competitive to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer or even the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 2013 Highlander was absolutely a midpack three-row SUV, dragging in important areas like interior quality, cargo room as well as technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander owner looking to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned regarding trip high quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, however likewise worthwhile of cross-shopping the section's finest.