Toyota paid attention to customers while redesigning the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and reacted to needs for even more cabin and freight area, dynamic designing and premium amenities. Ask for a much more dynamic driving experience needs to have been professionally neglected, however, as the 2014's harsher flight is a tradeoff I don't believe many midsize SUV buyers ought to need to deal with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other improvements will undoubtedly attract customers that had actually damaged the previous Highlander off their listing or at least to those that do not think about a comfy ride an essential. The 2014 Highlander's boosted freight area behind the common third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's much easier to get right into the third row, which currently sittings 3 and also bumps common sitting capacity to eight.
toyota highlander reviews 2015
With upgrades that span the lineup of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited as well as Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is currently in better shape to tackle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer as well as 2014 Honda Pilot.
I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder and also Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.
Exterior & Styling
Toyota returned to the attracting board to revamp its aging and stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and also you can not call the Highlander boring looking any longer. The 2013's ho-hum look changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, protruding fenders and strong front styling. Its visibility was big on the 2013 New York City International Automobile Program floor where it debuted, and also it looks just as good rolling down the street.
Just how It Drives
The driving experience isn't the vehicle's most enticing feature, even with an array of appealing new chassis and also suspension adjustments, so it readies the brand-new SUV does so numerous other things well.
Toyota picked curved canyon and coastal roadways in California to demonstrate the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and also 2014 back to back, the 2014 does exhibit greater levels of road hold as well as an improved steering response. It's even more athletic when digging into an edge, though I wouldn't call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 doesn't have an instant strike of velocity in the hefty Highlander. It's an unlike the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" ball of excitement among other comparable 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 impact of the Highlander's newfound dynamics is a choppier trip over rough roads. After driving 2013 and 2014 models, I might inform the 2014 sends even more roadway flaws with the framework and also right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's ALRIGHT to have a hostile layout and also flight like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has a more considerable sensation over rough roadways, with fewer rattles, squeals as well as chassis flex. It's a matured experience with boosted sound insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer framework assisting keep outside sound marginal.
I briefly hung out in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota anticipates to make up 5 to 10 percent of sales, as well as 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 harsh around the edges as far as engine sound and also vibrations. The Hybrid's gas mileage is fairly the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city ratings to 27 mpg however preserves its 28 mpg incorporated ranking. The change from electrical to when the engine fires up is noticeable with raw sounds coming from under the hood, audible from throughout a parking lot. Vibrations from the transition are minimal, however the noises are audible to take notice.
An added 353 extra pounds included in the crossbreed from three electric motors-- two 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 Restricted V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's an unwinded experience much less ecstatic concerning increasing and also dealing with despite having 280-hp incorporated, and it also does not ride any type of smoother than the non-hybrid.
The Hybrid's unusually loud engine sounds wouldn't be as much of a problem if the Highlander Crossbreed just weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller on the inside. The Highlander Crossbreed's luxury auto price does not reflect luxury improvement since the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Hybrid supplied; the less-expensive variation obtained the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most refined of the bunch, supplying smooth and 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 as well as 18/24/20 mpg with all-wheel drive is likewise a lot more competitive compared to the outward bound 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission changing a five-speed unit on V-6 designs. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise new, aids add 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the rear wheels when slippage is discovered, versus the previous system that constantly sent out torque to four wheels.
Part of the 2014's change consists of calling up the indoor styling with many soft-touch and also accent-stitched indoor panels that improve the classiness. The high quality is Toyota-Avalon great with a sewn dashboard, steering wheel as well as soft-touch, premium materials in famous areas. Plastic areas that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on the same level for the class. Even the base LE Highlander emanates the almost luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Restricted trims.
Seating fits in the very first and 2nd rows with soft, wide pole positions and also a highly adjustable 2nd row that glides and also reclines with two captain's chairs or the basic three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are offered on the XLE and also common on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander could have been redone with dynamism in mind, yet the seats talk to its comfort-focused origins. Lots of people on our team will certainly miss out on the 2013's detachable second-row center seat. I will not, as it was uncomfortable as well as large to eliminate as well as replace with the center table that saved under the center console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota raised size and included an extra seat for a maximum ability of eight owners in standard setup. A new, a lot more compact rear suspension freed the extra area. The third row still doesn't fit adults with as much convenience as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, yet it readies in a pinch. There are also new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, just the curbside seat folded and also moved onward via the one-touch lever. Third-row riders also take advantage of the second row's increased seat travel, which permits very easy entrance and also departure.
Comfort design & Electronic devices
Innovation is a significant focus in the 2014 Highlander and also done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions much better compared to ever before compared with other Toyota cars in which I have actually utilized the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The designs I evaluated noticed the numerous voice commands I spoke.
Those with bulky phones or who regularly have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly appreciate a device storage space ledge below the environment controls that supplies a pass-through for USB cables. There ought to be no more Medusa-like dangling of wires the equipment selector.
The common Entune on base LE versions consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup video camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, complementary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connectivity as well as Bluetooth streaming sound. LE And also trims have Entune Sound And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display, HD Radio as well as 90-day satellite radio registration. The following step up is Entune Premium Sound with Navigating and also Application Suite on XLE designs with an 8-inch touch-screen as well as app collection with Pandora, Yelp and Facebook assimilation with a smartphone as well as accompanying Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is conventional on Restricted trim levels.
The large center storage container between the pole positions could feed on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the readily available rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. When you forget that Blu-ray in the house, a fascinating new attribute called Easy Speak sends the thriving voice of a mad mother or daddy with the back stereo speakers by means of the Bluetooth microphone to keep wild children in check. How much a lot more household focused can you get than giving a feature that allows parents to yell at children?
Cargo, Towing & Storage space
Freight area behind the 3rd row improves over the previous Highlander's skimpy walk, which had a hard time lugging grocery stores, not to mention an infant stroller or golf bag. The freight quantity is now rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a big improvement, yet at least it makes the area usable. It's still tiny compared to others in the segment: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet and the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's hoax to raise freight room included relocating all three rows of seats ahead, adding size behind the rear wheels and also utilizing an extra small back suspension.
The power liftgate is an outstanding attribute to be standard on LE And also trim degrees and above, as well as has a dress up its sleeve: It gets used to different elevations, not simply a couple of established elevation setups. With the liftgate in motion, users can stop the liftgate and program it to open up to that established elevation the following time. The function will make shorter motorists and proprietors of reduced garages really happy. (If the gate goes too high, shorter individuals may have a hard time to get to the power-close switch on its bottom edge.) One more unique function on the back is an oldie but a goody: On LE And also designs and above, the rear window opens for simple gain access to independent of the freight entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow rating on XLE and Limited trim degrees includes a typical towing plan that consists of engine/transmission colders and also upgraded radiator and alternator. Crossbreeds could tow 3,500 pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus could tow 2,000 pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is rated at 1,500 extra pounds.
Safety and security
The 2014 Highlander hadn't been crash-tested at the time of this writing.
The 2014 Highlander offers reduced supports and tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, yet just a secure support on the center third-row seat.
Advanced safety features are available, though just on the pricey Minimal trim degree where a dead spot surveillance system and also rear vehicle parking help are typical, and pre-collision, flexible cruise ship control and lane departure warning are optional. Restricted trim degrees are also the only models with a backup camera that uses anticipating guidelines to show the car's path-- a back-up cam with set lines is common on all other trim degrees.
Worth in Its Course
Toyota states prices is up about $1,500 typically across the 2014 trim levels, that include additional functions over the 2013. Base rates starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE models with four-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as consist of natural leather seatsing with warmed pole positions, navigation, three-zone climate control, smart keyless entry, second-row sunshades and also even more. Pricing for the XLE is really affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Traveler as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 2013 Highlander was really a midpack three-row SUV, hanging back in important areas like indoor quality, freight room and innovation. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor wanting to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned concerning flight quality-- the 2014 is not just a compelling upgrade, but additionally worthwhile of cross-shopping the section's ideal.