Toyota Highlander Reviews 2015

Toyota Highlander Reviews 2015: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of renovations make a previously bland, middle-of-the-road SUV stand out with strong styling and improved family friendliness.

Toyota heard consumers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also reacted to demands for more cabin and also freight room, dynamic designing and also premium services. Ask for an extra dynamic driving experience should have been pleasantly ignored, nevertheless, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not believe numerous midsize SUV customers should need to deal with in return for sportier handling.

Still, other improvements will unquestionably attract consumers who had actually damaged the previous Highlander off their list or a minimum of to those that do not think about a comfortable trip an essential. The 2014 Highlander's enhanced freight area behind the common third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's easier to get into the 3rd row, which currently seats 3 and also bumps standard seating capacity to eight.

Toyota Highlander Reviews 2015

With upgrades that extend the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited as well as Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is currently in much better form to take on the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Traveler and also 2014 Honda Pilot.

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

Outside & Designing

Toyota went back to the attracting board to redesign its aging as well as stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and also you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's ho-hum appearance transforms into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders and bold front designing. Its visibility was big on the 2013 New York International Automobile Show flooring where it debuted, and it looks equally as good rolling down the street.

Exactly how It Drives

The driving experience isn't really the cars and truck's most appealing quality, even with a selection of appealing brand-new chassis and suspension adjustments, so it readies the new SUV does so several other things well.

Toyota selected curvy canyon and also coastal roads in California to demonstrate the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does display higher levels of roadway hold and also an enhanced guiding reaction. It's more athletic when digging right into a corner, though I would not call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an immediate strike of acceleration in the hefty Highlander. It's a far cry from the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" sphere of enjoyment 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.

An unfavorable effect of the Highlander's newly found characteristics is a choppier trip over harsh roads. After driving 2013 and 2014 versions, I might inform the 2014 transmits even more road flaws with the framework as well as right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have a hostile design as well as ride like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the upside, the 2014 Highlander has a much more considerable feeling over rough roads, with fewer rattles, squeaks and also framework flex. It's a matured experience with raised audio insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer chassis helping keep outside sound very little.

I briefly hung out in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to account for 5 to 10 percent of sales, as well as 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 Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little harsh around the sides as far as engine sound and vibrations. The Hybrid's gas mileage is fairly unchanged for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg however keeps its 28 mpg combined score. The shift from electrical to when the engine fires up is visible with raw noises originating from under the hood, distinct from throughout a parking lot. Vibrations from the transition are minimal, yet the sounds are loud enough to take notice.

An added 353 pounds included in the hybrid from three electric motors-- two in the front and also one in the back-- as well as a nickel metal hydride battery is visible in exactly how the Hybrid drives as compared to the Restricted V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a kicked back experience much less ecstatic concerning increasing and also dealing with despite 280-hp incorporated, and it additionally does not ride any smoother than the non-hybrid.

The Crossbreed's unusually loud engine noises would not be as much of a concern if the Highlander Crossbreed just weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, however much smaller sized on the in. The Highlander Hybrid's deluxe car price does not reflect high-end refinement since the feature-loaded Crossbreed Limited is the only Hybrid used; the less-expensive variation obtained the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is the most fine-tuned of the number, providing smooth as well as predictable velocity as well as 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 four-wheel drive is likewise a lot more competitive compared to the outbound 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission replacing a five-speed unit on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise brand-new, assists include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 version. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send out torque to the rear wheels when slippage is spotted, versus the previous system that always sent torque to four wheels.


Part of the 2014's makeover includes calling up the interior styling with various soft-touch as well as accent-stitched indoor panels that enhance the classiness. The quality is Toyota-Avalon wonderful with a sewn control panel, steering wheel and also soft-touch, high-grade products in popular places. Plastic areas that aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on par for the course. Even the base LE Highlander exudes the nearly luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Limited trims.

Seats fits in the very first as well as second rows with soft, vast pole positions and a highly flexible 2nd row that glides and reclines with two captain's chairs or the typical three-seat bench configuration-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE as well as common on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander may have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats talk to its comfort-focused origins. Lots of people on our team will miss out on the 2013's detachable second-row center seat. I won't, as it was uneasy and also bulky to remove and replace with the facility table that stored under the facility console.

In the third row, Toyota raised size and also added an added seat for a maximum capacity of eight occupants in conventional arrangement. A new, a lot more portable rear suspension freed the additional area. The 3rd row still doesn't fit adults with as much comfort as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, yet it's good in a pinch. There are also new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, only the curbside seat folded and also moved onward by means of the one-touch bar. Third-row motorcyclists also take advantage of the 2nd row's raised seat traveling, which allows simple access and departure.

Ergonomics & Electronics

Technology is a significant emphasis in the 2014 Highlander and also done extremely well. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works better than ever before compared to various other Toyota lorries in which I have actually made use of the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The models I evaluated picked up on the numerous voice commands I talked.

Those with cumbersome phones or that regularly have their phone attached to the SUV will value a gadget storage space ledge listed below the climate regulates that supplies a pass-through for USB cables. There must disappear Medusa-like dangling of wires the gear selector.

The basic Entune on base LE models consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, auxiliary input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connectivity as well as Bluetooth streaming sound. LE And also trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio and 90-day satellite radio registration. The next step up is Entune Premium Audio with Navigation as well as App Suite on XLE versions with an 8-inch touch-screen as well as app suite with Pandora, Yelp and also Facebook integration with a smart device and also accompanying Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is standard on Restricted trim degrees.

The massive facility storage space bin in between the front seats 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, an intriguing new attribute called Easy Speak transfers the flourishing voice of an angry mommy or daddy via the rear stereo speakers using the Bluetooth microphone to keep rowdy youngsters in check. How much extra family focused can you obtain compared to supplying a function that permits moms and dads to chew out youngsters?

Freight, Towing & Storage

Cargo area behind the 3rd row improves over the previous Highlander's skimpy ledge, which battled carrying grocery stores, not to mention a baby stroller or golf bag. The freight quantity is currently rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a huge enhancement, but a minimum of it makes the location functional. It's still small compared with others in the sector: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's hoax to raise cargo space entailed moving all 3 rows of seats onward, including size behind the rear wheels and making use of a more small back suspension.

The power liftgate is an excellent function to be typical on LE Plus trim levels and above, and has a dress up its sleeve: It gets used to different elevations, not simply 1 or 2 predetermined elevation settings. With the liftgate moving, customers can quit the liftgate and also program it to open up to that established height the next time. The feature will make shorter chauffeurs as well as proprietors of low garages really happy. (If the gate goes too high, shorter individuals might struggle to reach the power-close switch on its bottom edge.) One more distinct attribute on the back is an oldie yet a goody: On LE And also versions and also above, the back home window opens up for simple accessibility independent of the freight entrance.

A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE as well as Limited trim levels features a common towing package that consists of engine/transmission colders and also upgraded radiator as well as alternator. Hybrids could tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus can tow 2,000 pounds as well as 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 provides lower supports and tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, but just a tether anchor on the center third-row seat.

Advanced security features are available, though just on the pricey Restricted trim level where an unseen area monitoring system and rear car parking assist are basic, as well as pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control and lane separation caution are optional. Minimal trim degrees are additionally the only models with a backup cam that makes use of anticipating standards to reveal the car's course-- a backup cam with fixed lines is standard on all various other trim degrees.

Worth in Its Class

Toyota claims prices is up around $1,500 generally across the 2014 trim degrees, which include additional functions over the 2013. Base prices begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE designs with all-wheel drive are $38,360 and also include natural leather seating with warmed front seats, navigating, three-zone environment control, smart keyless entry, second-row sunshades and also more. Prices for the XLE is really competitive to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and even the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was truly a midpack three-row SUV, hanging back in crucial areas like indoor quality, freight room and modern technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander owner seeking to update-- as long as you're unconcerned concerning flight high quality-- the 2014 is not only an engaging upgrade, however likewise worthy of cross-shopping the sector's ideal.