Toyota paid attention to consumers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and responded to demands for more cabin and also cargo area, dynamic styling and premium facilities. Ask for a much more dynamic driving experience ought to have been professionally ignored, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not think numerous midsize SUV buyers need to need to cope with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other renovations will definitely appeal to consumers that had actually scraped the previous Highlander off their list or at least to those that don't take into consideration a comfy flight a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's boosted cargo room behind the typical third-row seat is a much-needed enhancement; plus, it's simpler to obtain into the 3rd row, which now seatses 3 as well as bumps standard seating capacity to 8.
toyota highlander 2015 review
With upgrades that span the schedule of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited and also Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is currently in better shape to take on the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer and 2014 Honda Pilot.
I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder as well as Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.
Outside & Styling
Toyota returned to the drawing board to revamp its aging as well as stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you can't call the Highlander boring looking any type of longer. The 2013's dull appearance changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, protruding fenders and also bold front styling. Its visibility approved the 2013 New York City International Vehicle Show flooring where it debuted, as well as it looks just as good rolling down the street.
Just how It Drives
The driving experience isn't really the cars and truck's most appealing feature, despite an assortment of encouraging new framework and suspension adjustments, so it readies the new SUV does so lots of other points well.
Toyota selected curvy canyon and seaside roadways in California to show the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show higher degrees of roadway grasp and also an improved guiding action. It's more sports when digging into an edge, though I wouldn't call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an instant punch of acceleration in the hefty Highlander. It's an unlike the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" sphere of enjoyment among other similar 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 damaging effect of the Highlander's newly found characteristics is a choppier flight over rough roadways. After driving 2013 and also 2014 versions, I could tell the 2014 sends even more roadway imperfections through the framework and right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's ALRIGHT to have an aggressive style and also flight like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has a much more significant feeling over rough roadways, with fewer rattles, squeaks as well as chassis flex. It's a matured experience with raised audio insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer chassis assisting maintain outside sound marginal.
I briefly hung around in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to make up 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 Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the sides as for engine sound and also vibrations. The Hybrid's gas mileage is fairly the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg but keeps its 28 mpg incorporated rating. The shift from electric to when the engine fires up is noticeable with raw noises originating from under the hood, audible from across a parking lot. Resonances from the transition are marginal, however the sounds are loud enough to take notice.
An added 353 pounds added to the crossbreed from three electrical motors-- 2 in the front as well as one in the back-- and a nickel metal hydride battery is recognizable in exactly how the Crossbreed drives compared to the Limited V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's a loosened up experience less ecstatic regarding accelerating and also managing even with 280-hp combined, as well as it additionally doesn't ride any kind of smoother compared to the non-hybrid.
The Crossbreed's abnormally loud engine sounds would not be as much of a problem 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 much smaller sized on the in. The Highlander Hybrid's luxury car price does not mirror deluxe refinement since the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Hybrid supplied; the less-expensive version got the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most improved of the bunch, providing smooth as well as predictable velocity in addition to 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 all-wheel drive is also a lot more competitive than the outgoing 2013 thanks to a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission replacing a five-speed device on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is also new, assists include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 version. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the rear wheels when slippage is detected, versus the previous system that constantly sent torque to 4 wheels.
Part of the 2014's improvement includes calling up the indoor styling with countless soft-touch and accent-stitched indoor panels that enhance the classiness. The quality is Toyota-Avalon great with a stitched control panel, guiding wheel and soft-touch, top notch products in noticeable places. Plastic locations that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on the same level for the class. Even the base LE Highlander shows the nearly luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.
Seating is comfortable in the first and also 2nd rows with soft, large front seats and a very adjustable 2nd row that moves and also reclines with two captain's chairs or the typical three-seat bench configuration-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE and common on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, yet the seats speak to its comfort-focused roots. Many people on our team will certainly miss out on the 2013's detachable second-row center seat. I will not, as it was unpleasant as well as bulky to eliminate as well as change with the center table that kept under the facility console.
In the third row, Toyota raised width as well as included an added seat for an optimum ability of 8 occupants in typical arrangement. A brand-new, a lot more portable back suspension released the extra space. The third row still does not fit adults with as much comfort as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, yet it's good in a pinch. There are likewise brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, just the curbside seat folded up as well as slid ahead via the one-touch lever. Third-row motorcyclists likewise take advantage of the second row's enhanced seat traveling, which enables easy entrance and also departure.
Ergonomics & Electronics
Modern technology is a big emphasis in the 2014 Highlander as well as done extremely well. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works much better than ever compared to other Toyota vehicles where I've made use of the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The models I examined picked up on the different voice commands I talked.
Those with cumbersome phones or who constantly have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly appreciate a device storage space walk below the climate manages that offers 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 versions includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, complementary input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connectivity and also Bluetooth streaming audio. LE And also trims have Entune Sound And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio and also 90-day satellite radio registration. The following step up is Entune Costs Sound with Navigation as well as Application Suite on XLE versions with an 8-inch touch-screen and application suite with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook integration with a smartphone and coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is conventional on Limited trim degrees.
The huge facility storage container in between the front seats could devour anything plus-sized, like a bag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. And when you forget that Blu-ray in the house, a fascinating new feature called Easy Speak transfers the thriving voice of an upset mama or papa through the back stereo audio speakers using the Bluetooth microphone to keep rowdy youngsters in check. Just how much more household focused can you get compared to giving a function that permits parents to yell at kids?
Freight, Towing & Storage
Freight area behind the 3rd row boosts over the previous Highlander's sexy walk, which had a hard time bring groceries, let alone a baby stroller or golf bag. The freight volume is currently rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a massive renovation, yet at the very least it makes the area useful. It's still little compared to others in the segment: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet as well as the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's hoax to raise cargo space involved relocating all 3 rows of seats onward, including length behind the rear wheels and using a much more portable rear suspension.
The power liftgate is an excellent function to be typical on LE Plus trim degrees and above, and also has a trick up its sleeve: It gets used to various heights, not simply 1 or 2 established height settings. With the liftgate moving, users could stop the liftgate and also program it to open to that established height the next time. The attribute will make much shorter vehicle drivers as well as proprietors of reduced garages very delighted. (If the gate goes expensive, shorter people might struggle to get to the power-close switch on its bottom edge.) One more one-of-a-kind feature on the back is an oldie but a reward: On LE And also designs as well as above, the rear window opens up for simple accessibility independent of the cargo entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow ranking on XLE and also Limited trim levels has a common towing plan that consists of engine/transmission coolers and also upgraded radiator and also generator. Hybrids can tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus can tow 2,000 extra 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 provides reduced anchors and also tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, yet only a secure support on the center third-row seat.
Advanced safety and security attributes are readily available, though just on the pricey Minimal trim degree where a dead spot tracking system and also back car park assist are conventional, as well as pre-collision, flexible cruise ship control as well as lane departure warning are optional. Restricted trim degrees are likewise the only versions with a back-up camera that uses predictive standards to reveal the lorry's course-- a back-up camera with set lines is typical on all other trim levels.
Worth in Its Course
Toyota says pricing is up about $1,500 on average across the 2014 trim degrees, which include extra attributes over the 2013. Base prices starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE designs with four-wheel drive are $38,360 and include leather seatsing with warmed front seats, navigating, three-zone climate control, wise keyless access, second-row sunshades as well as even more. Prices for the XLE is very competitive 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, lagging behind in essential locations like indoor quality, cargo room and modern technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander owner wanting to update-- as long as you're unconcerned concerning ride quality-- the 2014 is not only an engaging upgrade, but also worthwhile of cross-shopping the sector's ideal.