Toyota heard consumers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander as well as reacted to demands for more cabin as well as cargo area, vibrant styling as well as costs facilities. Requests for a much more dynamic driving experience needs to have been respectfully ignored, however, as the 2014's harsher flight is a tradeoff I do not think several midsize SUV customers need to have to cope with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other improvements will definitely attract shoppers who had actually scraped the previous Highlander off their list or a minimum of to those who do not think about a comfortable flight a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's increased cargo space behind the basic third-row seat is a much-needed enhancement; plus, it's much easier to obtain right into the third row, which now seatses 3 and also bumps conventional seatsing capacity to eight.
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With upgrades that span the schedule of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is currently in far better form to handle 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 & Designing
Toyota returned to the drawing board to upgrade its aging and also stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any longer. The 2013's dull look transforms into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, protruding fenders and also bold front designing. Its existence approved the 2013 New York International Vehicle Program flooring where it debuted, and also it looks equally as excellent rolling down the street.
Exactly how It Drives
The driving experience isn't the vehicle's most appealing characteristic, even with a selection of promising new framework as well as suspension changes, so it excels the new SUV does so numerous various other points well.
Toyota picked curved canyon as well as coastal roadways 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 grasp and also a boosted guiding feedback. It's more athletic when digging right into a corner, though I wouldn't call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an immediate strike of acceleration in the hefty Highlander. It's an unlike the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" ball 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 pounds.
A damaging effect of the Highlander's newly found dynamics is a choppier flight over harsh roadways. After driving 2013 and also 2014 models, I might inform the 2014 sends even more roadway imperfections via the framework and right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's ALRIGHT to have an aggressive style and trip like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has a much more considerable feeling over rough roads, with fewer rattles, squeals and also chassis flex. It's a matured experience with boosted noise insulation, acoustic glass and a stiffer framework assisting keep outside noise minimal.
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, and 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 Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little harsh around the edges as for engine noise as well as vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is fairly unchanged for 2014, down 1 mpg in city ratings to 27 mpg but preserves its 28 mpg integrated score. The transition from electric to when the engine fires up is recognizable with raw noises coming from under the hood, audible from across a car park. Resonances from the transition are very little, however the sounds are loud enough to take notice.
An extra 353 pounds included in the hybrid from three electrical motors-- 2 in the front as well as one in the back-- and a nickel steel hydride battery is visible in exactly how the Hybrid drives compared with the Limited V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's a loosened up experience less thrilled about increasing and also managing even with 280-hp incorporated, as well as it also does not ride any smoother compared to the non-hybrid.
The Hybrid's unusually loud engine noises wouldn't be as much of a concern if the Highlander Hybrid just weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 more than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though much smaller on the in. The Highlander Crossbreed's luxury vehicle rate doesn't reflect high-end refinement since the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Hybrid used; the less-expensive variation obtained the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most fine-tuned of the bunch, using smooth as well as foreseeable acceleration 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 compared to the outward bound 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission replacing a five-speed device on V-6 models. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise brand-new, assists add 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 version. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the rear wheels when slippage is identified, versus the previous system that always sent out torque to 4 wheels.
Part of the 2014's improvement consists of dialing up the indoor styling with countless soft-touch and also accent-stitched indoor panels that improve the classiness. The quality is Toyota-Avalon nice with a sewn control panel, guiding wheel and also soft-touch, high-grade products in famous places. Plastic areas that typically aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on par for the class. Even the base LE Highlander exhibits the virtually luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Restricted trims.
Seats fits in the first as well as 2nd rows with soft, wide front seats and also a highly flexible second row that moves and also reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the standard three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE as well as typical on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander may have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats talk with its comfort-focused origins. Lots of people on our personnel will certainly miss out on the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I will not, as it was awkward and also bulky to get rid of and also change with the facility table that saved under the facility console.
In the third row, Toyota enhanced size and also added an additional seat for an optimum ability of eight passengers in standard arrangement. A new, a lot more compact rear suspension released the added space. The third row still does not fit adults with as much comfort as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, but it readies 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 moved ahead through the one-touch bar. Third-row riders also gain from the second row's enhanced seat travel, which enables very easy access and exit.
Functional design & Electronic devices
Technology is a huge emphasis in the 2014 Highlander and also done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works much better compared to ever compared with other Toyota automobiles in which I've utilized the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The versions I checked picked up on the different voice commands I spoke.
Those with bulky phones or that regularly have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly appreciate a device storage space ledge below the environment manages that gives a pass-through for USB cords. There need to be no more Medusa-like dangling of cables the gear selector.
The standard Entune on base LE designs includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup camera, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connectivity and Bluetooth streaming audio. LE Plus trims have Entune Sound And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio and 90-day satellite radio membership. The next step up is Entune Premium Audio with Navigating and also Application Suite on XLE versions with an 8-inch touch-screen and application suite with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook combination with a mobile phone and also going along with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is standard on Limited trim degrees.
The substantial center storage bin between the front seats can feast on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the offered rear-seat Blu-ray player. When you neglect that Blu-ray in the house, an intriguing brand-new function called Easy Speak transfers the booming voice of a mad mama or dad via the back stereo speakers via the Bluetooth microphone to keep rowdy children in check. How much extra family members concentrated can you get compared to offering a feature that permits moms and dads to yell at kids?
Freight, Towing & Storage space
Cargo area behind the 3rd row boosts over the previous Highlander's sexy step, which had a hard time carrying grocery stores, let alone a 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 substantial renovation, yet at least it makes the location usable. It's still small compared with 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 enhance freight area included relocating all three rows of seats ahead, including length behind the back wheels as well as utilizing a more small rear suspension.
The power liftgate is an excellent function to be conventional on LE And also trim levels as well as above, as well as has a dress up its sleeve: It adapts to numerous heights, not just 1 or 2 established elevation settings. With the liftgate in motion, individuals could stop the liftgate and also program it to open to that established height the following time. The function will certainly make shorter drivers and owners of low garages very delighted. (If the gate goes expensive, shorter individuals might battle to get to the power-close switch on its lower side.) Another special function on the back is an oldie however a reward: On LE Plus models and also above, the back home window opens for simple gain access to independent of the cargo entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow rating on XLE and Limited trim degrees features a conventional towing plan that includes engine/transmission colders as well as upgraded radiator and also alternator. Crossbreeds can tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus could tow 2,000 extra pounds and a four-cylinder LE is ranked at 1,500 extra pounds.
The 2014 Highlander hadn't been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander provides lower anchors and tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, however only a tether support on the center third-row seat.
Advanced security features are available, though only on the pricey Minimal trim level where a dead spot monitoring system as well as back parking help are standard, and pre-collision, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning are optional. Minimal trim levels are also the only models with a back-up video camera that utilizes predictive standards to show the automobile's course-- a backup cam with set lines is typical on all other trim levels.
Worth in Its Class
Toyota states rates is up around $1,500 usually throughout the 2014 trim levels, which include added functions over the 2013. Base prices begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE designs with four-wheel drive are $38,360 and include natural leather sitting with heated pole positions, navigating, three-zone environment control, wise keyless entrance, second-row sunshades as well as 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, lagging behind in vital areas like indoor top quality, freight space as well as modern technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor wanting to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned concerning ride high quality-- the 2014 is not only an engaging upgrade, but additionally worthwhile of cross-shopping the segment's best.