Toyota Highlander 2015

Toyota Highlander 2015: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of renovations make a previously dull, middle-of-the-road SUV attract attention with vibrant styling and enhanced family members friendliness.

Toyota listened to consumers while redesigning the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and replied to demands for even more cabin and also cargo room, vibrant styling and also premium services. Ask for a more vibrant driving experience ought to have been professionally overlooked, nevertheless, as the 2014's harsher ride is a tradeoff I don't believe many midsize SUV purchasers ought to have to live with in return for sportier handling.

Still, various other improvements will certainly appeal to consumers that had damaged the previous Highlander off their list or at least to those who do not take into consideration a comfy ride an essential. The 2014 Highlander's boosted freight room behind the standard third-row seat is a much-needed enhancement; plus, it's much easier to get right into the 3rd row, which currently seatses three and bumps typical sitting ability to eight.

Toyota Highlander 2015

With upgrades that extend the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is now in much better form to handle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Traveler and also 2014 Honda Pilot.

I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder and Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.

Outside & Styling

Toyota returned to the drawing board to redesign its aging and stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you can't call the Highlander boring looking any type of longer. The 2013's ho-hum look transforms into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, bulging fenders and strong front designing. Its presence approved the 2013 New York City International Automobile Program flooring where it debuted, as well as it looks equally as excellent rolling down the street.

Exactly how It Drives

The driving experience isn't the cars and truck's most attractive quality, despite an array of promising new chassis and also suspension changes, so it readies the brand-new SUV does so many various other things well.

Toyota chose curved canyon and seaside roadways in The golden state to demonstrate the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and also 2014 back to back, the 2014 does display greater degrees of road grip as well as an enhanced guiding feedback. It's more sports when digging right into a corner, though I wouldn't call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have a prompt strike of velocity in the heavy Highlander. It's a far cry from the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" sphere of exhilaration among other similar three-row SUVs. A six-cylinder Highlander LE with front-wheel drive is 4,244 pounds, while a V-6, front-wheel-drive Santa Fe GLS is 3,933 pounds.

A negative result of the Highlander's newly found dynamics is a choppier flight over harsh roadways. After driving 2013 and 2014 models, I might inform the 2014 transfers even more roadway blemishes through the chassis and into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive style and flight like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the advantage, the 2014 Highlander has a much more significant feeling over harsh roads, with less rattles, squeals and chassis flex. It's a matured experience with boosted sound insulation, acoustic glass and also a stiffer framework helping maintain outside sound minimal.

I briefly spent time 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 all-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 sides as for engine sound and also vibrations. The Hybrid's gas mileage is relatively unchanged for 2014, down 1 mpg in city rankings to 27 mpg yet keeps its 28 mpg incorporated ranking. The transition from electric to when the engine fires up is recognizable with raw sounds originating from under the hood, audible from throughout a parking area. Resonances from the change are marginal, however the sounds are loud enough to take notice.

An additional 353 pounds contributed to the crossbreed from three electrical motors-- 2 in the front and one in the back-- and also a nickel metal hydride battery is visible in how the Crossbreed drives compared to the Minimal V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's an unwinded experience less excited regarding accelerating and taking care of despite 280-hp combined, and it likewise does not ride any kind of smoother compared to the non-hybrid.

The Crossbreed's unusually loud engine sounds would not be as much of a concern if the Highlander Hybrid just weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though much smaller sized on the within. The Highlander Crossbreed's luxury car price does not mirror deluxe improvement since the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Crossbreed offered; the less-expensive version got the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is the most fine-tuned of the bunch, using 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 18/24/20 mpg with four-wheel drive is additionally more affordable than the outgoing 2013 thanks to a brand-new six-speed automatic 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 out torque to the back wheels when slippage is found, versus the previous system that constantly sent torque to four wheels.


Part of the 2014's makeover includes dialing up the indoor styling with many soft-touch and accent-stitched interior panels that improve the classiness. The high quality is Toyota-Avalon nice with a stitched dashboard, guiding wheel and also soft-touch, high-grade products in popular areas. Plastic locations that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on par for the class. Even the base LE Highlander radiates the nearly luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.

Seating fits in the first and also second rows with soft, large pole positions and an extremely flexible second row that glides as well as reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the common three-seat bench setup-- captain's chairs are offered on the XLE and standard on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, yet the seats talk with its comfort-focused origins. Lots of people on our personnel will certainly miss out on the 2013's removable second-row facility seat. I won't, as it was unpleasant and large to get rid of and also replace with the center table that kept under the facility console.

In the 3rd row, Toyota enhanced size and included an extra seat for a maximum capability of eight owners in basic setup. A new, extra compact back suspension released the extra room. The 3rd row still doesn't fit grownups with as much convenience as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, but it excels in a pinch. There are also new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, just the curbside seat folded up and also moved forward through the one-touch bar. Third-row motorcyclists additionally benefit from the 2nd row's boosted seat travel, which allows simple entrance and also exit.

Ergonomics & Electronic devices

Innovation is a massive focus in the 2014 Highlander and also done extremely well. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions much better compared to ever before compared to various other Toyota automobiles in which I have actually made use of the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The models I checked noticed the numerous voice commands I talked.

Those with bulky phones or who frequently have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly appreciate a tool storage space walk below the climate controls that offers a pass-through for USB cords. There ought to disappear Medusa-like dangling of cords ensnaring the gear selector.

The basic 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 sound. LE Plus trims have Entune Sound And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio and 90-day satellite radio membership. The following step up is Entune Premium Audio with Navigating and Application Collection on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and app collection with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook combination with a smartphone as well as coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is typical on Restricted trim degrees.

The large center storage space bin in between the pole positions can devour anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the readily available rear-seat Blu-ray player. And when you neglect that Blu-ray at home, a fascinating brand-new feature called Easy Speak transmits the growing voice of a mad mommy or father via the rear stereo speakers by means of the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy children in check. How much extra family members concentrated can you get than providing an attribute that allows moms and dads to chew out kids?

Freight, Towing & Storage

Freight area behind the third row enhances over the previous Highlander's sexy walk, 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 renovation, but at least it makes the location usable. It's still small compared with others in the sector: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's hoax to increase cargo area included moving all 3 rows of seats forward, adding size behind the back wheels and making use of an extra portable rear suspension.

The power liftgate is an outstanding attribute to be standard on LE Plus trim degrees as well as above, and has a trick up its sleeve: It adapts to numerous elevations, not simply one or two predetermined height setups. With the liftgate moving, users could stop the liftgate and also program it to open up to that set height the following time. The attribute will certainly make shorter motorists and also owners of reduced garages extremely satisfied. (If the gate goes expensive, shorter folks may battle to reach the power-close switch on its lower side.) Another special function on the back is an oldie yet a reward: On LE Plus designs as well as above, the back home window opens for simple accessibility independent of the freight gateway.

A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and also Limited trim levels features a basic towing bundle that consists of engine/transmission colders as well as upgraded radiator and also alternator. Crossbreeds could tow 3,500 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 had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing.

The 2014 Highlander supplies lower anchors and also 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 readily available, though only on the pricey Limited trim degree where an unseen area monitoring system and also back car park aid are conventional, and pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control as well as lane separation caution are optional. Limited trim degrees are also the only designs with a back-up video camera that utilizes anticipating guidelines to reveal the vehicle's path-- a back-up video camera with fixed lines is common on all other trim levels.

Value in Its Class

Toyota says pricing is up about $1,500 usually across the 2014 trim levels, which include additional functions over the 2013. Base rates starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE models with all-wheel drive are $38,360 and also include leather seating with heated front seats, navigating, three-zone climate control, clever keyless access, second-row sunshades as well as even more. Prices for the XLE is extremely 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, lagging behind in crucial areas like indoor high quality, cargo room and also modern technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander owner wanting to update-- as long as you're unconcerned about ride quality-- the 2014 is not only a compelling upgrade, however additionally worthy of cross-shopping the segment's finest.