Toyota paid attention to consumers while redesigning the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and reacted to demands for even more cabin and freight area, vibrant designing as well as premium facilities. Ask for an extra vibrant driving experience ought to have been professionally disregarded, nevertheless, as the 2014's harsher ride is a tradeoff I do not believe several midsize SUV buyers need to need to deal with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other renovations will definitely interest consumers who had scraped the previous Highlander off their listing or at least to those that don't take into consideration a comfortable flight a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's enhanced cargo room behind the standard third-row seat is a much-needed improvement; plus, it's simpler to get right into the third row, which now seats 3 and bumps standard sitting capacity to eight.
2015 toyota highlander hybrid
With upgrades that extend the lineup of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited as well as Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is currently in better form 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.
Exterior & Styling
Toyota returned to the drawing board to upgrade its aging as well as stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any longer. The 2013's dull look transforms right into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, protruding fenders and also strong front designing. Its existence approved the 2013 New York City International Automobile Show flooring where it debuted, and also it looks equally as good rolling down the street.
Exactly how It Drives
The driving experience isn't really the car's most attractive characteristic, even with a variety of appealing brand-new chassis and also suspension modifications, so it excels the brand-new SUV does so several various other points well.
Toyota chose curved canyon as well as seaside roadways in California to demonstrate the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does exhibit greater levels of road grip as well as an improved steering feedback. It's even more athletic when digging right into a corner, though I would not call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an immediate punch 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 enjoyment among other 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.
A negative effect of the Highlander's newly found dynamics is a choppier trip over rough roads. After driving 2013 and 2014 versions, I can tell the 2014 transfers even more road flaws with the chassis and also right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OKAY to have a hostile style and trip like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has an extra considerable feeling over harsh roads, with fewer rattles, squeals and chassis flex. It's a matured experience with raised sound insulation, acoustic glass and a stiffer framework aiding keep outside noise marginal.
I briefly spent time in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to represent 5 to 10 percent of sales, as well as in the brand new Highlander Hybrid. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) and all-wheel-drive-only Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges as for engine noise and also vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is reasonably unchanged for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg yet maintains its 28 mpg combined ranking. The change from electrical to when the engine fires up is visible with raw sounds originating from under the hood, audible from across a parking lot. Vibrations from the shift are minimal, yet the sounds are audible to take notice.
An additional 353 extra pounds contributed to the crossbreed from three electrical motors-- 2 in the front and one in the back-- and also a nickel steel hydride battery is visible in how the Crossbreed drives compared with the Minimal V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's a relaxed experience much less ecstatic about speeding up and dealing with despite having 280-hp integrated, as well as it additionally 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 Crossbreed weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 more than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller on the in. The Highlander Crossbreed's luxury vehicle rate doesn't show luxury refinement now that the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Hybrid offered; the less-expensive version obtained the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is the most fine-tuned of the lot, offering smooth and also foreseeable 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 18/24/20 mpg with four-wheel drive is likewise more competitive compared to the outward bound 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission replacing a five-speed system 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 back wheels when slippage is detected, versus the previous system that constantly sent torque to 4 wheels.
Part of the 2014's makeover includes dialing up the indoor styling with numerous soft-touch and accent-stitched interior panels that improve the classiness. The quality is Toyota-Avalon good with a stitched dashboard, steering wheel and soft-touch, top notch products in noticeable places. Plastic areas that typically aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on the same level for the class. Also the base LE Highlander emanates the almost luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Limited trims.
Seats is comfortable in the very first and also second rows with soft, large front seats as well as a very flexible 2nd row that slides and also reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the standard three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are offered on the XLE and basic on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander could have been redone with dynamism in mind, however the seats speak with its comfort-focused roots. Many people on our staff will miss the 2013's detachable second-row center seat. I will not, as it was awkward and cumbersome to eliminate and also replace with the facility table that stored under the facility console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota enhanced size and included an added seat for an optimum capacity of 8 passengers in standard arrangement. A new, extra compact rear suspension released the additional room. The third row still does not fit grownups with as much comfort as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, however it's good in a pinch. There are additionally new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, just the curbside seat folded as well as glided forward through the one-touch bar. Third-row riders also gain from the second row's boosted seat traveling, which permits very easy access as well as exit.
Functional design & Electronic devices
Technology is a massive focus in the 2014 Highlander as well as done extremely well. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions better than ever compared to other Toyota cars where I've made use of the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The designs I examined picked up on the various voice commands I talked.
Those with cumbersome phones or that continuously have their phone attached to the SUV will appreciate a tool storage step below the environment regulates that gives a pass-through for USB cables. There need to be no more Medusa-like dangling of cable televisions entangling the equipment selector.
The conventional Entune on base LE versions consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup video camera, USB port with iPod connection, supporting input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connectivity as well as Bluetooth streaming sound. LE Plus trims have Entune Audio And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display, HD Radio and 90-day satellite radio registration. The next step up is Entune Costs Sound with Navigation and also Application Suite on XLE designs with an 8-inch touch-screen as well as application suite with Pandora, Yelp and Facebook integration with a mobile phone and also coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is standard on Restricted trim degrees.
The substantial facility storage bin between the pole positions could feed on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the offered rear-seat Blu-ray player. And when you forget that Blu-ray in the house, an intriguing brand-new attribute called Easy Speak sends the growing voice of an upset mom or dad through the back stereo speakers using the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy kids in check. Just how much more family members focused can you get than providing an attribute that allows parents to yell at children?
Freight, Towing & Storage
Freight space behind the 3rd row improves over the previous Highlander's skimpy ledge, which struggled bring groceries, let alone a 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 significant improvement, but at the very least it makes the area functional. It's still little compared to others in the segment: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet as well as the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's hoax to increase cargo area entailed moving all three rows of seats ahead, adding length behind the rear wheels and also utilizing a more portable rear suspension.
The power liftgate is an impressive attribute to be typical on LE And also trim levels and also above, and also has a trick up its sleeve: It adapts to numerous elevations, not just a couple of fixed height setups. With the liftgate in motion, customers can quit the liftgate as well as program it to open up to that set height the next time. The feature will certainly make much shorter drivers and owners of low garages really pleased. (If eviction goes too expensive, shorter people might battle to reach the power-close switch on its bottom edge.) Another one-of-a-kind attribute on the back is an oldie yet a reward: On LE And also designs and above, the back home window opens for very easy gain access to independent of the freight gateway.
A 5,000-pound tow rating on XLE and also Limited trim levels comes with a typical towing bundle that consists of engine/transmission colders and upgraded radiator and also alternator. Crossbreeds could 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 had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander supplies lower anchors and also tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, but only a secure support on the center third-row seat.
Advanced safety and security attributes are offered, though just on the pricey Minimal trim degree where a dead spot surveillance system and also rear car park aid are conventional, and pre-collision, flexible cruise control and also lane departure caution are optional. Minimal trim degrees are also the only designs with a backup video camera that utilizes anticipating guidelines to reveal the automobile's course-- a backup cam with fixed lines is typical on all other trim degrees.
Value in Its Course
Toyota states prices is up around $1,500 usually across the 2014 trim levels, which include extra functions over the 2013. Base pricing starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE designs with four-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as consist of leather sitting with warmed front seats, navigation, three-zone environment control, clever keyless entry, second-row sunshades as well as even more. Rates for the XLE is really 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, hanging back in essential areas like indoor quality, freight room as well as modern technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor seeking to update-- as long as you're unconcerned concerning flight top quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, but also deserving of cross-shopping the segment's ideal.