Toyota heard consumers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander as well as responded to needs for more cabin and also cargo room, vibrant designing and premium services. Requests for an extra dynamic driving experience should have been respectfully disregarded, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher ride is a tradeoff I don't think numerous midsize SUV buyers must have to live with in return for sportier handling.
Still, various other improvements will undoubtedly interest buyers who had actually scraped the previous Highlander off their checklist or at least to those who do not think about a comfortable trip an essential. The 2014 Highlander's raised freight space behind the standard third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's easier to obtain into the third row, which currently sittings 3 as well as bumps basic seating ability to 8.
2015 toyota highlander xle
With upgrades that span the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is now in much better form to tackle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer and also 2014 Honda Pilot.
I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder and also Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.
Exterior & Designing
Toyota went back to the attracting board to upgrade its aging and stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and also you can not call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's ho-hum appearance changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders and also vibrant front styling. Its visibility was big on the 2013 New York City International Vehicle Show flooring where it debuted, and it looks just as good rolling down the street.
Just how It Drives
The driving experience isn't really the car's most enticing quality, even with a selection of encouraging new chassis as well as suspension adjustments, so it readies the new SUV does so several other things well.
Toyota selected curvy canyon and also seaside roads in The golden state to demonstrate the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show higher levels of road grasp as well as an enhanced guiding reaction. It's more sports when excavating into an edge, though I would not 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" ball of enjoyment to name a few 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 negative effect of the Highlander's newly found characteristics is a choppier ride over rough roadways. After driving 2013 and 2014 models, I could tell the 2014 transfers more road flaws via the chassis and right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive layout and ride like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the upside, the 2014 Highlander has a much more significant feeling over harsh roadways, with less rattles, squeals and framework flex. It's a matured experience with enhanced noise insulation, acoustic glass and also a stiffer chassis assisting maintain outside noise marginal.
I quickly hung out in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to account for 5 to 10 percent of sales, and in the brand new Highlander Crossbreed. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) and all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges as far as engine noise as well as vibrations. The Hybrid's gas mileage is fairly the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg yet maintains its 28 mpg incorporated ranking. The transition from electric to when the engine fires up is obvious with raw noises coming from under the hood, distinct from across a parking lot. Vibrations from the shift are very little, however the noises are audible to take notice.
An extra 353 extra pounds contributed to the crossbreed from 3 electric motors-- 2 in the front and one in the back-- as well as a nickel metal hydride battery is recognizable in just how the Crossbreed drives compared to the Limited V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a relaxed experience less ecstatic concerning increasing and also dealing with even with 280-hp integrated, as well as it additionally doesn't ride any type of smoother than the non-hybrid.
The Crossbreed's unusually 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, though a lot smaller sized on the in. The Highlander Hybrid's luxury vehicle price does not show luxury improvement since the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Hybrid offered; the less-expensive variation obtained the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is the most refined of the number, providing smooth as well as predictable 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 likewise more competitive than the outward bound 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission replacing a five-speed unit on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is additionally new, assists add 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 out torque to 4 wheels.
Part of the 2014's transformation includes calling up the interior styling with numerous soft-touch and accent-stitched interior panels that boost the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon good with a stitched control panel, steering wheel and also soft-touch, premium materials in famous areas. Plastic locations that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on par for the class. Also the base LE Highlander exudes the virtually luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Limited trims.
Seats is comfortable in the first and also second rows with soft, large front seats and also an extremely adjustable 2nd row that moves as well as reclines with two captain's chairs or the typical three-seat bench setup-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE and also basic on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, however the seats talk to its comfort-focused origins. Many individuals on our team will miss the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I will not, as it was unpleasant and also cumbersome to get rid of and also change with the center table that saved under the center console.
In the third row, Toyota enhanced width and also added an extra seat for a maximum capacity of 8 owners in typical arrangement. A brand-new, extra small rear suspension released the extra area. The third row still does not fit grownups with as much comfort as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, but it's good in a pinch. There are likewise new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, just the curbside seat folded up as well as glided ahead through the one-touch bar. Third-row bikers likewise take advantage of the second row's increased seat travel, which enables easy entrance and departure.
Ergonomics & Electronic devices
Modern technology is a significant focus in the 2014 Highlander as well as done very well. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works better compared to ever before compared with various other Toyota automobiles where I've utilized the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The designs I checked noticed the numerous voice commands I talked.
Those with large phones or that continuously have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly value a gadget storage ledge listed below the climate regulates that offers a pass-through for USB cables. There ought to disappear Medusa-like dangling of cords entangling the gear selector.
The typical Entune on base LE designs includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup cam, USB port with iPod connectivity, auxiliary input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connection as well as Bluetooth streaming audio. LE Plus trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio as well as 90-day satellite radio registration. The following step up is Entune Costs Sound with Navigation as well as Application Suite on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and application collection with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook integration with a smart device as well as coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is common on Limited trim levels.
The substantial facility storage space container in between the front seats could feast on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray player. When you neglect that Blu-ray at home, a fascinating brand-new feature called Easy Speak transmits the flourishing voice of an angry mother or father through the rear stereo audio speakers through the Bluetooth microphone to keep rowdy youngsters in check. Just how much more family concentrated can you obtain compared to supplying an attribute that enables moms and dads to chew out kids?
Cargo, Towing & Storage
Cargo area behind the third row improves over the previous Highlander's skimpy step, which struggled carrying groceries, not to mention a baby stroller or golf bag. The freight volume is now ranked at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a massive improvement, yet at least it makes the area usable. It's still little compared with others in the segment: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet as well as the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's trickery to boost cargo room involved relocating all 3 rows of seats forward, adding size behind the back wheels and utilizing a more small rear suspension.
The power liftgate is an excellent feature to be common on LE And also trim levels and above, and has a trick up its sleeve: It gets used to different heights, not just one or two predetermined elevation settings. With the liftgate in motion, customers could stop the liftgate and program it to open up to that set height the following time. The feature will make much shorter drivers and also proprietors of low garages really pleased. (If the gate goes too high, shorter individuals could battle to get to the power-close switch on its lower side.) One more distinct function on the back is an oldie yet a reward: On LE Plus designs and also above, the rear home window opens for very easy gain access to independent of the freight entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE as well as Limited trim degrees features a conventional towing package that includes engine/transmission coolers and updated radiator and also generator. Crossbreeds could tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE And also can tow 2,000 pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is ranked at 1,500 pounds.
Safety and security
The 2014 Highlander hadn't been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander provides reduced anchors as well as tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, however only a tether anchor on the middle third-row seat.
Advanced security functions are readily available, though just on the pricey Minimal trim level where a blind spot tracking system and also back car park assist are common, and pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control and lane separation warning are optional. Restricted trim degrees are additionally the only versions with a back-up cam that uses anticipating guidelines to reveal the car's path-- a backup video camera with fixed lines is typical on all other trim levels.
Value in Its Course
Toyota states pricing is up around $1,500 typically throughout the 2014 trim levels, that include additional functions over the 2013. Base prices begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE versions with all-wheel drive are $38,360 and include leather seatsing with heated pole positions, navigation, three-zone environment control, wise keyless entry, second-row sunshades as well as more. Rates for the XLE is really competitive to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Traveler and even the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 2013 Highlander was absolutely a midpack three-row SUV, dragging in essential locations like interior high quality, freight room and technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander proprietor wanting to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned about ride quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, but also deserving of cross-shopping the sector's finest.