Toyota listened to consumers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also responded to demands for more cabin and freight area, vibrant designing and also premium amenities. Requests for a more dynamic driving experience should have been pleasantly overlooked, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not assume numerous midsize SUV customers need to need to live with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other enhancements will undoubtedly appeal to customers who had actually damaged the previous Highlander off their list or a minimum of to those who don't consider a comfortable flight a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's increased cargo room behind the common third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's less complicated to get into the third row, which now sittings 3 as well as bumps typical seating ability to eight.
2015 toyota highlander interior
With upgrades that cover the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited as well as Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is now in better form to tackle 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 revamp its aging and also stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as 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 position, protruding fenders as well as bold front styling. Its existence approved the 2013 New York City International Auto Program floor where it debuted, as well as it looks just as excellent rolling down the street.
Exactly how It Drives
The driving experience isn't really the vehicle's most appealing quality, despite having an assortment of encouraging brand-new chassis and also suspension adjustments, so it readies the new SUV does so many various other things well.
Toyota picked curvy canyon and coastal roads in California to demonstrate the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and also 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show higher levels of roadway grip as well as an enhanced steering response. It's even more athletic when excavating into a corner, though I wouldn't call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have a prompt punch of velocity in the hefty Highlander. It's an unlike the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" round of exhilaration 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.
An unfavorable impact of the Highlander's newfound dynamics is a choppier trip over harsh roadways. After driving 2013 as well as 2014 models, I could tell the 2014 transfers even more road flaws via the chassis as well as into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive style as well as flight like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the upside, the 2014 Highlander has a more significant sensation over rough roadways, with less rattles, squeals and chassis flex. It's a matured experience with raised audio insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer chassis assisting maintain outside noise minimal.
I quickly hung out in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota anticipates 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) and all-wheel-drive-only Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little harsh around the edges as far as engine noise and vibrations. The Hybrid's gas mileage is relatively unchanged for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg but preserves its 28 mpg integrated score. The change from electrical to when the engine fires up is recognizable with raw sounds originating from under the hood, distinct from throughout a parking lot. Resonances from the change are marginal, but the sounds are audible to take notice.
An additional 353 pounds included in the hybrid from 3 electrical motors-- 2 in the front and one in the back-- and also a nickel steel hydride battery is obvious in exactly how the Hybrid drives compared with the Minimal V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a kicked back experience much less ecstatic regarding accelerating as well as taking care of even with 280-hp integrated, as well as it likewise doesn't ride any type of smoother than the non-hybrid.
The Hybrid's abnormally loud engine noises would not be as much of an issue if the Highlander Hybrid weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, however a lot smaller sized on the within. The Highlander Hybrid's deluxe auto cost doesn't reflect high-end refinement since the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Crossbreed offered; the less-expensive variation obtained the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is the most refined of the number, offering smooth and predictable velocity along with the most effective handling with all-wheel drive. The V-6-powered Highlander's gas mileage of 19/25/21 mpg with front-wheel drive as well as 18/24/20 mpg with all-wheel drive is additionally a lot more competitive than the outward bound 2013 thanks to a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission replacing a five-speed unit on V-6 models. The all-wheel-drive system, which is additionally new, aids include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the back wheels when slippage is discovered, versus the previous system that always sent torque to four wheels.
Part of the 2014's makeover consists of dialing up the interior styling with numerous soft-touch and also accent-stitched indoor panels that improve the classiness. The high quality is Toyota-Avalon great with a stitched dashboard, guiding wheel and soft-touch, high-grade materials in popular areas. Plastic areas that typically aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on par for the course. Also the base LE Highlander exhibits the almost luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Limited trims.
Seating is comfortable in the initial and also second rows with soft, broad front seats as well as a highly adjustable second row that moves as well as 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, yet the seats speak to its comfort-focused origins. Many people on our staff will certainly miss out on the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I won't, as it was uncomfortable and cumbersome to remove and also replace with the facility table that stored under the facility console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota increased width as well as included an extra seat for a maximum capability of 8 occupants in conventional configuration. A brand-new, more compact back suspension released the added area. The third row still does not fit adults with as much convenience as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, but it excels in a pinch. There are likewise new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, just the curbside seat folded up and also slid ahead using the one-touch lever. Third-row cyclists likewise gain from the 2nd row's boosted seat travel, which enables easy access as well as departure.
Ergonomics & Electronics
Technology is a substantial focus in the 2014 Highlander and done very well. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works far better than ever before compared with other Toyota lorries where I've used the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The designs I checked noticed the various voice commands I talked.
Those with large phones or who continuously have their phone connected to the SUV will appreciate a tool storage ledge below the climate manages that offers a pass-through for USB cables. There must be no more Medusa-like dangling of wires ensnaring the equipment selector.
The conventional Entune on base LE versions includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup video camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, complementary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connectivity and also Bluetooth streaming sound. LE And also trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio and 90-day satellite radio subscription. The next step up is Entune Costs Sound with Navigating as well as Application Collection on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and app collection with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook assimilation with a smart device as well as coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is common on Restricted trim degrees.
The enormous center storage bin in between the front seats can feast on anything plus-sized, like a purse, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the readily available rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. And when you neglect that Blu-ray at home, an interesting new attribute called Easy Speak transmits the flourishing voice of a mad mom or papa with the back stereo audio speakers by means of the Bluetooth microphone to maintain wild children in check. How much a lot more family members concentrated can you get than providing a feature that allows moms and dads to yell at kids?
Freight, Towing & Storage space
Freight room behind the 3rd row improves over the previous Highlander's revealing ledge, which battled lugging groceries, let alone an infant 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 substantial enhancement, but at least it makes the area usable. It's still tiny compared with others in the sector: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's trickery to raise cargo space entailed relocating all three rows of seats forward, including length behind the rear wheels as well as making use of a much more portable back suspension.
The power liftgate is an excellent function to be conventional on LE And also trim degrees and also above, as well as has a trick up its sleeve: It adapts to various heights, not just a couple of fixed height settings. With the liftgate moving, users could stop the liftgate and program it to available to that set height the next time. The attribute will certainly make much shorter motorists as well as owners of low garages really pleased. (If eviction goes expensive, much shorter folks may struggle to reach the power-close button on its lower side.) An additional distinct attribute on the back is an oldie yet a goody: On LE And also models and also above, the back home window opens up for easy gain access to independent of the freight gate.
A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE as well as Limited trim levels comes with a basic towing bundle that consists of engine/transmission colders and also upgraded radiator and also alternator. Crossbreeds can tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus could tow 2,000 pounds and also 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 offers reduced anchors and also tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, yet only a tether anchor on the center third-row seat.
Advanced safety and security functions are readily available, though just on the costly Minimal trim degree where an unseen area surveillance system as well as back car parking aid are basic, and also pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control as well as lane departure caution are optional. Minimal trim levels are additionally the only models with a backup cam that makes use of anticipating standards to reveal the lorry's path-- a back-up cam with fixed lines is common on all other trim levels.
Value in Its Course
Toyota states rates is up around $1,500 on average across the 2014 trim degrees, that include extra functions over the 2013. Base prices begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE models with four-wheel drive are $38,360 and include natural leather sitting with heated pole positions, navigation, three-zone climate control, smart keyless entrance, second-row sunshades as well as more. Rates 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 really a midpack three-row SUV, hanging back in crucial areas like indoor high quality, freight area and technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander owner seeking to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned regarding flight top quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, however additionally worthy of cross-shopping the section's ideal.