Toyota listened to consumers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and replied to needs for more cabin and also freight area, dynamic styling and premium amenities. Ask for a much more vibrant driving experience ought to have been pleasantly ignored, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher flight is a tradeoff I do not assume lots of midsize SUV customers need to need to cope with in return for sportier handling.
Still, other enhancements will definitely interest buyers who had damaged the previous Highlander off their checklist or at the very least to those who don't take into consideration a comfy ride a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's raised cargo room behind the basic third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's easier to obtain right into the 3rd row, which now sittings 3 as well as bumps common seatsing capacity to 8.
toyota highlander hybrid 2015
With upgrades that extend the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and also Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is currently in better form to handle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer and also 2014 Honda Pilot.
I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder and Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.
Exterior & Styling
Toyota went back to the attracting board to redesign its aging and stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and also you can't call the Highlander boring looking any type of longer. The 2013's ho-hum appearance changes right into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, protruding fenders and bold front styling. Its presence approved the 2013 New York City International Automobile Program floor where it debuted, and also it looks just as great rolling down the street.
How It Drives
The driving experience isn't the car's most attractive quality, despite a selection of promising new framework and suspension changes, so it's good the brand-new SUV does so many various other things well.
Toyota selected curved canyon and 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 exhibit greater degrees of road grip as well as an improved guiding reaction. It's even more athletic when excavating right into an edge, though I would not 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 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 damaging impact of the Highlander's newly found dynamics is a choppier flight over rough roadways. After driving 2013 and 2014 designs, I might inform the 2014 transmits even more roadway flaws with the framework and also into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OKAY 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 substantial feeling over rough roads, with fewer rattles, squeals and also chassis flex. It's a matured experience with boosted sound insulation, acoustic glass and a stiffer chassis assisting maintain outside sound very little.
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, and also in the brand new Highlander Crossbreed. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) and also all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges as far as engine sound and also vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is fairly unmodified for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg but preserves its 28 mpg incorporated ranking. The change from electric to when the engine fires up is obvious with raw noises originating from under the hood, audible from throughout a parking lot. Resonances from the transition are minimal, but the sounds are loud enough to take notice.
An additional 353 extra pounds included in the crossbreed from 3 electric motors-- 2 in the front as well as one in the back-- and also a nickel metal hydride battery is noticeable in exactly how the Hybrid drives compared with the Minimal V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a relaxed experience much less fired up regarding accelerating as well as dealing with even with 280-hp combined, and it additionally does not ride any kind of smoother compared to the non-hybrid.
The Hybrid's unusually loud engine noises would not be as much of a concern if the Highlander Hybrid just weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 more than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, however much smaller on the within. The Highlander Hybrid's luxury car cost does not mirror high-end refinement now that the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Hybrid used; the less-expensive version obtained the axe for 2014.
The volume-seller V-6 is the most refined of the bunch, using smooth and also foreseeable acceleration in addition to the most effective handling with four-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 also extra affordable compared to the outward bound 2013 thanks to a new six-speed automatic transmission changing a five-speed device on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise brand-new, helps include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the rear wheels when slippage is spotted, versus the previous system that always sent out torque to 4 wheels.
Part of the 2014's improvement includes dialing up the indoor styling with countless soft-touch and also accent-stitched indoor panels that improve the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon wonderful with a sewn control panel, steering wheel and also soft-touch, top quality materials in noticeable locations. Plastic areas that typically aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on par for the course. Also the base LE Highlander radiates the nearly luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Restricted trims.
Seats is comfortable in the very first and also 2nd rows with soft, wide front seats and also an extremely flexible second row that glides and also reclines with two captain's chairs or the basic three-seat bench configuration-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE and also conventional on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats talk to its comfort-focused origins. Many people on our team will miss out on the 2013's removable second-row facility seat. I will not, as it was awkward and also large to remove and replace with the center table that stored under the facility console.
In the third row, Toyota raised width and also included an extra seat for a maximum capability of 8 occupants in basic arrangement. A new, much more portable back suspension released the added space. The 3rd row still does not fit grownups with as much comfort as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, however it's good in a pinch. There are likewise brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, only the curbside seat folded up as well as slid forward through the one-touch lever. Third-row riders likewise take advantage of the second row's boosted seat traveling, which permits very easy entry and also departure.
Ergonomics & Electronics
Innovation is a massive focus in the 2014 Highlander as well as done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions far better compared to ever compared with other Toyota cars in which I've made use of the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The designs I examined noticed the different voice commands I spoke.
Those with cumbersome phones or who frequently have their phone connected to the SUV will appreciate a tool storage ledge below the environment manages that supplies a pass-through for USB cords. There ought to disappear Medusa-like dangling of cables entangling the gear selector.
The standard Entune on base LE models consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connectivity and also Bluetooth streaming audio. LE Plus trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio and also 90-day satellite radio registration. The next step up is Entune Premium 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 assimilation with a smartphone and going along with Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is conventional on Limited trim degrees.
The large center storage bin in between the front seats could feed on anything plus-sized, like a bag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the offered rear-seat Blu-ray player. When you neglect that Blu-ray at home, an interesting new feature called Easy Speak transmits the flourishing voice of an angry mom or papa through the back stereo audio speakers using the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy kids in check. How much extra family focused can you get than supplying an attribute that allows parents to yell at youngsters?
Cargo, Towing & Storage space
Freight area behind the 3rd row boosts over the previous Highlander's skimpy step, which battled bring grocery stores, not to mention 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 significant improvement, yet at least it makes the location useful. It's still little compared with others in the sector: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's trickery to enhance cargo room involved moving all 3 rows of seats ahead, including size behind the rear wheels and also making use of a much more compact rear suspension.
The power liftgate is an impressive function to be conventional on LE Plus trim degrees and also above, and has a dress up its sleeve: It gets used to numerous heights, not simply a couple of fixed height setups. With the liftgate moving, individuals could stop the liftgate and program it to open to that set elevation the next time. The function will certainly make shorter vehicle drivers and owners of reduced garages very happy. (If the gate goes expensive, much shorter individuals could battle to get to the power-close switch on its lower edge.) Another special feature on the back is an oldie but a reward: On LE Plus designs and above, the back window opens for very easy gain access to independent of the freight gateway.
A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and also Limited trim degrees has a basic towing package that consists of engine/transmission coolers and also updated radiator and also generator. Crossbreeds can tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus could tow 2,000 extra pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is ranked 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 provides reduced supports and tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, however just a tether support on the middle third-row seat.
Advanced safety and security functions are available, though just on the pricey Restricted trim degree where a blind spot tracking system and back car park assist are basic, and pre-collision, adaptive cruise control and lane separation caution are optional. Limited trim levels are additionally the only versions with a backup camera that utilizes predictive standards to reveal the automobile's path-- a backup electronic camera with set lines is conventional on all various other trim degrees.
Value in Its Class
Toyota says prices is up about $1,500 generally throughout the 2014 trim degrees, which include additional functions over the 2013. Base prices starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE models with all-wheel drive are $38,360 and also include natural leather seatsing with heated pole positions, navigating, three-zone environment control, wise keyless entrance, second-row sunshades and also more. Pricing 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 absolutely a midpack three-row SUV, dragging in important areas like indoor high quality, cargo room and modern technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander proprietor aiming to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned regarding trip quality-- the 2014 is not only a compelling upgrade, yet also deserving of cross-shopping the sector's finest.