Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2013

Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2013: Even in its final design year prior to a redesign, the 2013 Toyota Highlander readies, strong, standard family members transportation-- absolutely nothing to set the heart aflame, but incomparably skilled.

Some cars and trucks, as well as Toyotas particularly, often obtain described by vehicle enthusiasts as "home appliances." The comparison is made in between a Camry and also a fridge, or a Corolla as well as a washering, for instance. The implication (normally less than kind) is that these lorries have qualities that are less fun and also better. One wouldn't take a refrigerator to an autocross, or drag-race a washing machine from a stoplight. However, for countless people all over the world, a home appliance is specifically what they want in a vehicle-- something they don't need to consider to make use of, that isn't really eccentric or extravagant, that's reputable and also basic. For those individuals, many Toyotas are absolutely perfect-- as well as the 2013 Highlander is the pinnacle of such appliancelike, comfy, practical thinking.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2013

This is the in 2015 for this style of Highlander, with a new 2014 model on its way that was revealed at the 2013 New York International Automobile Show in March. Even so, there's a great deal to like about the existing Highlander, which has roominess, power, comfort and also utility in droves.

Nothing Fancy, Simply Basic Proficiency

The form recognizes by now, with rather aggressive styling that has actually been replicated by numerous suppliers. (The brand-new Nissan Pathfinder, for instance, looks a whole lot such as this Highlander in several means.) It's a clean, streaming style that endures a bit from wheels that look slightly as well small in the base V-6 trim level I tested. If you like the way it looks, nonetheless, get one now, as the 2014 design will get an instead substantial designing upgrade that's not to everyone's liking.

The interior is similarly pleasing. Absolutely nothing outrageous, simply well set out, incredibly comfy and also made from top quality materials that have actually been screwed together well. Up front, the reduced, soft-touch dash as well as high seats placement combine for a commanding view over the hood, with excellent presence sideways and also back too. Controls on the facility control panel allow and clear, with big switches and chunky knobs that make operating the climate-control system a breeze (sorry). The determines are intense, clear and also very easy to review at a glimpse. There's absolutely nothing remarkable about the shapes and also structures in here, yet there's nothing to upset either-- unless you're someone who requires some aesthetic interest in your transport option, as there's none to be discovered in the unlimited sea of grey plastic extending from door to door. At the very least in the Highlander it's suitable plastic, unlike in other Toyota products, like the Venza.

Seats is functional and also amazingly roomy, specifically in the 2nd row, which includes impressive amounts of legroom. This is a three-row SUV, including a fold-down seat for two individuals in the freight location, available via the fold-and-tumble second-row seats. That 3rd row is wide enough for full-sized adults, however legroom is seriously jeopardized. This is just a midsized SUV, after all, not a full-sizer like the Toyota Sequoia or Chevrolet Traverse. Folding up the 2nd row for entry to the 3rd is simple, with deals with atop the seatbacks making for basic operation even by youngsters. Both the second and third rows fold level, producing a huge cargo space able to hold huge, bulky things.

Inside electronics are basic and not awfully made complex on the entry-level Highlander (the only major alternatives my examination design had were a V-6 engine and four-wheel drive). The typical touch-screen multimedia present is huge as well as easy to use, however a 2nd, smaller sized screen over it displayed limited car information, as well, with just a handful of display screens to select from. You could option up a Highlander to the hilt with things like Toyota's Entune (a cloud-based home entertainment as well as info system), a navigation system and more, but my tester had none of that-- just satellite radio and a windshield-wiper heating system, part of the $60 Cold Weather Bundle. On the bonus side, a lack of features indicates the interior is uncluttered as well as uncomplicated. It also indicates there's little to do but drive.

Roly-Poly, but Not Pokey

Fortunately, driving the Highlander is equally as enjoyable as sitting in or looking at one. In the base version, power originates from a standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower, but my tester had the optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine, bumping horsepower approximately a far more confidence-inspiring 270 hp. In real Toyota fashion, the V-6 is the picture of smoothness, a lot to make sure that the only means to know it's going for still is to blip the pedal. Struck that very same pedal while the Highlander's on duty, and also you're compensated with strong, smooth velocity. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with the four-cylinder, yet the V-6 comes just with a five-speed automated. A gasoline-electric crossbreed version is also readily available. With the exception of the hybrid, however, the drivetrain overall is a bit behind the times-- most competitors are offering six-speed automatics throughout the variety, plus turbocharging or a minimum of direct-injection innovation. Fortunately, many customers will certainly not recognize any type of technical shortage thanks to the Highlander's buttery procedure and also simple and easy velocity.

Exactly what they may notice, nonetheless, is gas economy. Highlanders with the base four-cylinder engine as well as front-wheel drive are ranked 20/25 mpg city/highway-- tolerable for a huge seven-seat cruiser. Gas economic situation drops to 18/24 for the larger V-6 engine, or even better, to 17/22 mpg, when you include all-wheel drive. My week with the Highlander returned 19 mpg in mixed driving; not bad, yet absolutely not class-leading any longer. It drops well short of the brand-new all-wheel-drive Nissan Pathfinder, ranked 19/25 mpg, and the brand-new seven-seat Hyundai Santa Fe, which is available in at 18/24 mpg. It likewise typically matches the much larger Chevrolet Traverse for mixed gas mileage rating (19 mpg), and also does 1 mpg better in the city as well as 1 mpg even worse on the freeway. The Highlander lineup's gas economic climate champ is the hybrid, rated 28/28 mpg, however that comes at a substantial rate premium and with basic all-wheel drive.

The Highlander is clearly tuned for comfort rather than driving enjoyable. As the suspension is soft, the body motions are tippy as well as the entire vehicle rolls and lolls in fast edges. You won't be doing any kind of spirited driving in this family members truckster, but exactly what you get in return is superb ride high quality that's smooth even over a few of the most badly damaged sidewalk, aided by high sidewalls on the 17-inch tires that soak up bumps with little noise or disturbance to your peacefulness. Hang an iPad on the seatback, and also the munchkins won't be bothered by roadway problems in the tiniest. Faster highway driving is just as tranquil and also hushed.


The current Highlander has actually been crash-tested by both the National Highway Website Traffic Safety And Security Administration as well as the Insurance Policy Institute for Freeway Safety And Security. NHTSA ranked the Highlander 4 out of 5 star generally, while IIHS offered the Highlander its top score of Great in all its significant tests, earning it Leading Safety Select condition.

When it comes to devices, the Highlander has all the requisite electronic safety measures, like grip control, anti-skid brakes and also an electronic security system. Front, side, vehicle driver's knee as well as side drape airbags are common. There was no backup electronic camera on my examination lorry, however it's a $699 option on base designs (standard on all various other trim degrees), an instead blazing omission from the equipment list for a supposed family vehicle.

Highlander on the market

The Highlander V6 four-wheel drive I checked had one remarkable high quality that can not be neglected: a relatively low as-tested rate of $33,477, consisting of an $845 location fee. The beginning cost for this base V-6 design with four-wheel drive is $32,690, meaning alternatives on my tester were couple of: just a $60 Winter Package, a $29 first-aid package, a $49 cargo internet as well as an instead expensive $649 three-row floor mat package. If you wish to skip the V-6 as well as all-wheel drive, the Highlander with a four-cylinder engine as well as front-wheel drive begins at $29,865. At the other end of the range is a totally loaded Highlander Hybrid Limited all-wheel drive, which begins at $47,215-- quite a significant array.

Midsize SUVs have been taking control of for minivans in family-hauling obligations, and also the number of access in the field is higher than ever. Requiring seven seats does reduce the list down ever before so somewhat. The Highlander's major competitors are the Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia, Ford Traveler, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9 and Dodge Durango. If you can cope with simply 5 seats, add the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, Ford Side, Toyota Venza as well as Kia Sorento. That's greater than a loads various other automobiles to consider, demonstrating exactly how affordable this segment actually is. The closest matches are the Pathfinder, Traveler and Santa Fe (not the Santa Fe Sporting activity, mind you, which is a smaller, five-seat design). The Pathfinder features just a V-6 as well as constantly variable transmission, while the Santa Fe's seven-seat model uses just a V-6. The Explorer offers two V-6 engines and also an optional turbo four-cylinder, all mated to a six-speed transmission. All are equivalent in regards to area, cost and utility, but the Highlander's competitors usually have the advantage in fuel economy and on-board technology.

The 2014 Highlander will finally obtain a six-speed transmission for its V-6 engine, which ought to improve fuel economy as well as acceleration. It likewise gets seatsing for eight thanks to a bigger cargo location and also a bigger third-row seat. Engines will certainly carry over unchanged, however, suggesting there will certainly still be no direct-injection or turbocharging. The interior and exterior updates look great and should maintain the Highlander competitive, which's actually all Toyota needs to do to maintain the Highlander's sales numbers up-- aesthetic changes that maintain it fresh in an ultra-competitive market. Toyota already has the utility, convenience, proficiency and family-friendly components down pat. Working on its aesthetic allure and on-board technology will only strengthen the Highlander's setting.