Toyota Highlander 2015 Reviews

Toyota Highlander 2015 Reviews: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of renovations make a formerly dull, middle-of-the-road SUV attract attention with bold styling as well as enhanced family members friendliness.

Toyota heard customers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander as well as reacted to demands for more cabin as well as freight room, dynamic designing and also costs features. Requests for a more vibrant driving experience must have been pleasantly overlooked, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher ride is a tradeoff I don't think several midsize SUV buyers ought to need to cope with in return for sportier handling.

Still, other enhancements will most certainly appeal to shoppers who had actually scratched the previous Highlander off their list or a minimum of to those that do not consider a comfortable ride a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's boosted cargo room behind the basic third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's much easier to get right into the 3rd row, which now seats 3 and also bumps standard sitting ability to eight.

Toyota Highlander 2015 Reviews

With upgrades that cover the lineup of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited as well as Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is now in better shape to tackle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Traveler and 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 drawing board to upgrade its aging and also stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's ho-hum look changes right into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, bulging fenders and also bold front styling. Its presence approved the 2013 New York City International Vehicle Show floor where it debuted, and also it looks just as excellent rolling down the street.

How It Drives

The driving experience isn't really the automobile's most enticing attribute, despite having a selection of appealing new framework and suspension adjustments, so it's good the new SUV does so many various other points well.

Toyota selected curved canyon as well as coastal roads in The golden state to demonstrate the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show higher levels of roadway grip as well as an enhanced guiding feedback. It's even more sports when digging into a corner, though I would not call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 doesn't have a prompt strike of acceleration in the heavy Highlander. It's a far cry from the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" ball of excitement 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 pounds.

A negative effect of the Highlander's newfound characteristics is a choppier flight over rough roadways. After driving 2013 and also 2014 versions, I might inform the 2014 sends more road flaws with the chassis as well as right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OKAY to have an aggressive design and flight like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the upside, the 2014 Highlander has a much more considerable sensation over harsh roads, with less rattles, squeals and framework flex. It's a matured experience with enhanced audio insulation, acoustic glass and also a stiffer chassis aiding maintain outside sound marginal.

I quickly hung out in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota anticipates to account for 5 to 10 percent of sales, and in the all-new Highlander Crossbreed. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) as well as all-wheel-drive-only Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the sides as far as engine sound and vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is reasonably the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg however keeps its 28 mpg integrated score. The change from electric to when the engine fires up is obvious with raw sounds originating from under the hood, audible from across a parking lot. Vibrations from the transition are very little, however the noises are audible to take notice.

An additional 353 extra pounds included in the hybrid from three electric motors-- 2 in the front and also one in the back-- and a nickel metal hydride battery is obvious in just how the Crossbreed drives compared with the Limited V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's a relaxed experience less fired up regarding increasing and also managing even with 280-hp incorporated, and it also does not ride any type of smoother than the non-hybrid.

The Crossbreed's abnormally loud engine sounds wouldn't be as much of an issue if the Highlander Crossbreed just weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 more than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though much smaller on the in. The Highlander Hybrid's deluxe automobile cost does not show high-end improvement since the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Crossbreed offered; the less-expensive variation got the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is the most fine-tuned of the bunch, using smooth and foreseeable acceleration as well as the very best 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 likewise extra competitive compared to the outgoing 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission changing a five-speed device on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise brand-new, aids include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 version. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the back wheels when slippage is discovered, versus the previous system that constantly sent torque to 4 wheels.


Part of the 2014's change consists of dialing up the interior styling with numerous soft-touch and accent-stitched indoor panels that enhance the classiness. The quality is Toyota-Avalon great with a sewn dashboard, steering wheel as well as soft-touch, high-quality products in prominent areas. Plastic areas that aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on par for the course. Also the base LE Highlander radiates the practically luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.

Seats fits in the initial as well as second rows with soft, wide pole positions as well as a very flexible second row that glides and also reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the standard three-seat bench setup-- captain's chairs are readily available on the XLE as well as common on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats speak to its comfort-focused origins. Lots of people on our personnel will miss out on the 2013's detachable second-row facility seat. I won't, as it was uneasy and cumbersome to eliminate as well as change with the center table that stored under the facility console.

In the third row, Toyota enhanced size and also included an extra seat for a maximum capability of 8 passengers in standard configuration. A new, more portable 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 excels in a pinch. There are likewise new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, just the curbside seat folded as well as glided onward using the one-touch bar. Third-row bikers likewise gain from the second row's boosted seat traveling, which enables very easy entrance as well as leave.

Ergonomics & Electronics

Technology is a huge focus in the 2014 Highlander as well as done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works far better than ever compared with various other Toyota cars in which I have actually made use of the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The versions I examined noticed the different voice commands I spoke.

Those with bulky phones or that frequently have their phone attached to the SUV will appreciate a tool storage space ledge below the environment controls that supplies a pass-through for USB cords. There should be no more Medusa-like dangling of cable televisions ensnaring the equipment selector.

The typical Entune on base LE versions consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connection, complementary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connection and Bluetooth streaming audio. LE And also trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio and 90-day satellite radio registration. The next step up is Entune Premium Audio with Navigating as well as Application Suite on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and app suite with Pandora, Yelp and also Facebook assimilation with a smartphone as well as accompanying Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is typical on Restricted trim degrees.

The enormous center storage container between the pole positions could feed on anything plus-sized, like a purse, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the offered rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. And when you forget that Blu-ray at home, an intriguing new feature called Easy Speak transmits the thriving voice of an upset mother or father via the rear stereo audio speakers via the Bluetooth microphone to maintain wild kids in check. How much a lot more household focused can you get than providing a function that allows moms and dads to yell at kids?

Cargo, Towing & Storage space

Freight room behind the third row improves over the previous Highlander's skimpy ledge, which struggled lugging grocery stores, let alone a 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 massive enhancement, yet a minimum of it makes the area functional. It's still little 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 cargo space entailed moving all 3 rows of seats ahead, including length behind the rear wheels and using an extra portable rear suspension.

The power liftgate is an outstanding function to be standard on LE Plus trim levels and above, and has a trick up its sleeve: It gets used to various elevations, not just 1 or 2 predetermined height settings. With the liftgate in motion, customers can quit the liftgate and also program it to open up to that set height the next time. The feature will make shorter vehicle drivers and proprietors of low garages very delighted. (If the gate goes too expensive, shorter people could battle to get to the power-close switch on its lower side.) Another special feature on the back is an oldie however a goody: On LE Plus versions as well as above, the back window opens up for easy accessibility independent of the cargo entrance.

A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE as well as Limited trim levels has a conventional towing package that consists of engine/transmission colders and also upgraded radiator and generator. Hybrids can tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE And also could tow 2,000 extra pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is rated at 1,500 pounds.


The 2014 Highlander hadn't been crash-tested at the time of this writing.

The 2014 Highlander gives reduced supports and tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, yet only a tether support on the center third-row seat.

Advanced safety and security features are readily available, though only on the pricey Minimal trim degree where an unseen area monitoring system and also rear car park assist are typical, and also pre-collision, adaptive cruise control and also lane separation caution are optional. Limited trim degrees are additionally the only versions with a backup cam that utilizes predictive guidelines to reveal the lorry's course-- a back-up camera with set lines is basic on all other trim degrees.

Worth in Its Class

Toyota says pricing is up about $1,500 usually across the 2014 trim degrees, that include additional features over the 2013. Base pricing starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE designs with all-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as include leather sitting with heated front seats, navigating, three-zone climate control, smart keyless access, second-row sunshades and also more. Rates for the XLE is extremely affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was absolutely a midpack three-row SUV, lagging behind in essential areas like interior quality, cargo space as well as innovation. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor aiming to update-- as long as you're unconcerned concerning ride quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, yet additionally deserving of cross-shopping the segment's finest.