Toyota paid attention to consumers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and responded to needs for more cabin and also cargo space, vibrant designing and also premium amenities. Ask for an extra dynamic driving experience should have been respectfully neglected, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher ride is a tradeoff I do not believe lots of midsize SUV purchasers should have to deal with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other enhancements will certainly interest customers that had scraped the previous Highlander off their listing or a minimum of to those who do not think about a comfy trip an essential. The 2014 Highlander's enhanced cargo room behind the conventional third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's less complicated to obtain into the third row, which now sittings 3 and bumps common seating capacity to eight.
toyota highlander 2015
With upgrades that cover the lineup of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is now in better form to take on 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 & Designing
Toyota returned to the drawing board to revamp its aging and stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any type of longer. The 2013's dull appearance transforms into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, bulging fenders and also bold front designing. Its presence was big on the 2013 New York City International Vehicle Show flooring where it debuted, and also it looks equally as great rolling down the street.
How It Drives
The driving experience isn't the vehicle's most appealing characteristic, despite an array of appealing brand-new framework and also suspension changes, so it readies the new SUV does so many other points well.
Toyota selected curved canyon and also coastal roadways in The golden state to show the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show higher levels of roadway hold and a boosted steering feedback. It's even more sports when excavating right into an edge, though I wouldn't call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an immediate punch of acceleration in the heavy 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 pounds.
An adverse impact of the Highlander's newly found dynamics is a choppier ride over harsh roadways. After driving 2013 as well as 2014 versions, I can tell the 2014 transfers even more roadway flaws through the framework and also into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive design as well as trip like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has a more considerable sensation over harsh roadways, with fewer rattles, squeaks as well as chassis flex. It's a matured experience with increased audio insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer chassis helping keep outside noise minimal.
I briefly hung around in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to make up 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 Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges regarding engine noise and also vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is relatively unchanged for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg however keeps its 28 mpg incorporated score. The shift from electric to when the engine fires up is recognizable with raw sounds originating from under the hood, distinct from across a parking lot. Resonances from the change are very little, however the noises are audible to take notice.
An extra 353 extra pounds added to the crossbreed from three electric motors-- 2 in the front as well as one in the back-- and a nickel metal hydride battery is noticeable in exactly how the Hybrid drives compared to the Restricted V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a kicked back experience less ecstatic concerning increasing as well as handling even with 280-hp combined, and also it also does not ride any smoother compared to the non-hybrid.
The Hybrid's unusually loud engine sounds 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, though a lot smaller sized on the in. The Highlander Crossbreed's deluxe vehicle rate does not reflect high-end refinement now that the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Crossbreed supplied; the less-expensive version got the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is the most refined of the lot, using smooth and also predictable velocity in addition to the very 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 four-wheel drive is also extra competitive compared to the outward bound 2013 thanks to a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission changing a five-speed unit on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise brand-new, assists include 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the rear wheels when slippage is found, versus the previous system that constantly sent out torque to 4 wheels.
Part of the 2014's improvement consists of calling up the interior styling with many soft-touch and also accent-stitched indoor panels that enhance the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon nice with a stitched control panel, guiding wheel and also soft-touch, high-quality materials in noticeable locations. Plastic areas that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on par for the class. Also the base LE Highlander shows the nearly luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.
Seats fits in the initial as well as second rows with soft, wide front seats and an extremely adjustable 2nd row that slides as well as reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the conventional three-seat bench configuration-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE and standard on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander may have been redone with dynamism in mind, however the seats talk with its comfort-focused origins. Lots of people on our team will certainly miss out on the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I will not, as it was awkward as well as bulky to eliminate and replace with the facility table that kept under the center console.
In the 3rd row, Toyota increased size as well as included an extra seat for a maximum capability of 8 occupants in conventional configuration. A brand-new, much more compact rear suspension released the added area. The third row still doesn't fit adults with as much comfort as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, yet it readies in a pinch. There are additionally new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, just the curbside seat folded up and moved forward by means of the one-touch lever. Third-row riders likewise benefit from the 2nd row's boosted seat traveling, which allows very easy entry as well as departure.
Functional design & Electronics
Modern technology is a huge focus in the 2014 Highlander as well as done quite possibly. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions much better compared to ever compared with other Toyota cars where I have actually made use of the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The versions I evaluated detected the various voice commands I talked.
Those with large phones or who regularly have their phone linked to the SUV will value a device storage ledge listed below the climate manages that supplies a pass-through for USB cables. There should disappear Medusa-like dangling of cords the equipment selector.
The common Entune on base LE models includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, complementary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connection and also Bluetooth streaming sound. LE And also trims have Entune Audio Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio and also 90-day satellite radio registration. The following step up is Entune Premium Audio with Navigating and App Suite on XLE designs with an 8-inch touch-screen and also app collection with Pandora, Yelp and Facebook integration with a mobile phone as well as coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is common on Limited trim degrees.
The large facility storage space container between the pole positions can feast 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 at home, an interesting new feature called Easy Speak transfers the growing voice of an upset mama or father through the back stereo audio speakers by means of the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy children in check. Just how much a lot more family members focused can you obtain than providing a function that enables moms and dads to yell at kids?
Freight, Towing & Storage
Freight space behind the 3rd row boosts over the previous Highlander's skimpy walk, which struggled carrying grocery stores, let alone an infant stroller or golf bag. The freight quantity is now ranked at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a massive renovation, yet at least it makes the location functional. It's still tiny compared with others in the sector: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's trickery to boost freight space entailed moving all three rows of seats ahead, including length behind the rear wheels as well as utilizing a much more compact rear suspension.
The power liftgate is an impressive function to be common on LE And also trim degrees as well as above, as well as has a dress up its sleeve: It adapts to numerous elevations, not just 1 or 2 fixed height settings. With the liftgate moving, users could quit the liftgate and also program it to available to that established elevation the next time. The function will certainly make much shorter vehicle drivers and owners of reduced garages extremely satisfied. (If eviction goes too high, shorter people could struggle to reach the power-close switch on its lower side.) Another one-of-a-kind attribute on the back is an oldie yet a goody: On LE Plus versions and also above, the rear home window opens up for very easy accessibility independent of the freight entrance.
A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and Limited trim levels features a common towing bundle that consists of engine/transmission coolers and updated radiator and generator. Crossbreeds could tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus could tow 2,000 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 gives lower anchors as well as tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, but just a secure support on the middle third-row seat.
Advanced safety attributes are available, though just on the costly Minimal trim level where an unseen area surveillance system and also back car park assist are standard, as well as pre-collision, flexible cruise control and also lane departure caution are optional. Limited trim levels are additionally the only designs with a backup electronic camera that utilizes predictive standards to reveal the vehicle's course-- a backup electronic camera with set lines is conventional on all other trim levels.
Worth in Its Course
Toyota states pricing is up around $1,500 generally throughout the 2014 trim degrees, which include added features over the 2013. Base rates begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE designs with all-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as include natural leather seatsing with heated pole positions, navigating, three-zone climate control, smart keyless entry, second-row sunshades as well as even more. Prices for the XLE is very affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Traveler or even the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The 2013 Highlander was truly a midpack three-row SUV, hanging back in important locations like interior top quality, cargo area and also modern technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor aiming to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned regarding flight quality-- the 2014 is not just a compelling upgrade, but also worthy of cross-shopping the sector's ideal.