Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2015

toyota highlander hybrid 2015: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of improvements make a formerly bland, middle-of-the-road SUV stand out with bold styling as well as boosted family friendliness.

Toyota heard customers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also responded to demands for more cabin as well as freight area, vibrant styling as well as premium features. Ask for a more dynamic driving experience should have been professionally ignored, nevertheless, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not believe several midsize SUV purchasers ought to need to live with in return for sportier handling.

Still, other renovations will unquestionably appeal to customers that had damaged the previous Highlander off their checklist or at the very least to those who do not take into consideration a comfortable ride a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's enhanced freight room behind the conventional third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's much easier to obtain right into the 3rd row, which now seats 3 as well as bumps standard seating capability to eight.

toyota highlander hybrid 2015

With upgrades that span the lineup of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited and also Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is now in much better form to tackle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer and also 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 attracting board to upgrade its aging and stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's dull look changes right into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, protruding fenders as well as strong front styling. Its visibility was big on the 2013 New York International Vehicle Program flooring where it debuted, and it looks equally as great rolling down the street.

Just how It Drives

The driving experience isn't really the vehicle's most appealing feature, despite an assortment of appealing brand-new chassis and suspension modifications, so it excels the brand-new SUV does so several other points well.

Toyota chose curved canyon and also seaside roadways in The golden state to show the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and 2014 back to back, the 2014 does exhibit higher degrees of roadway hold and also an improved guiding feedback. It's more sports when digging right into a corner, though I wouldn't call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an immediate punch of velocity in the hefty Highlander. It's an unlike the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" sphere of exhilaration to name a few 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 damaging result of the Highlander's newfound dynamics is a choppier ride over rough roads. After driving 2013 and 2014 designs, I might tell the 2014 sends even more road imperfections through the framework as well as into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have a hostile design as well as trip like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the advantage, the 2014 Highlander has a much more significant feeling over rough roads, with less rattles, squeaks as well as framework flex. It's a matured experience with enhanced 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 anticipates to represent 5 to 10 percent of sales, as well as in the all-new Highlander Hybrid. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) and also all-wheel-drive-only Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges regarding engine sound as well as resonances. The Hybrid's gas mileage is reasonably the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg yet keeps its 28 mpg combined score. The shift from electric to when the engine fires up is recognizable with raw sounds originating from under the hood, audible from throughout a car park. Vibrations from the change are marginal, but the noises are audible to take notice.

An additional 353 extra pounds added to the crossbreed from three electrical motors-- two in the front and one in the back-- and also a nickel metal hydride battery is visible in just how the Crossbreed drives as compared to the Minimal V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's a kicked back experience much less excited concerning speeding up and also dealing with despite having 280-hp incorporated, as well as it likewise does not ride any smoother than the non-hybrid.

The Hybrid's abnormally loud engine sounds wouldn't be as much of a concern if the Highlander Hybrid weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller sized on the in. The Highlander Crossbreed's luxury auto price doesn't mirror luxury refinement now that the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Hybrid offered; the less-expensive variation obtained the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most fine-tuned of the lot, using smooth and predictable acceleration along with the 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 also extra affordable than 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 new, aids include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 version. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send out torque to the back wheels when slippage is identified, versus the previous system that always sent torque to four wheels.


Part of the 2014's makeover includes calling up the indoor styling with various soft-touch and also accent-stitched interior panels that boost the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon good with a stitched dashboard, steering wheel and also soft-touch, top quality materials in noticeable places. Plastic locations that typically aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on the same level for the class. Also the base LE Highlander emanates the virtually luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.

Seats fits in the very first and also 2nd rows with soft, vast pole positions and a very adjustable 2nd row that moves and reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the conventional three-seat bench setup-- captain's chairs are offered on the XLE as well as basic on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander could have been redone with dynamism in mind, however the seats talk with its comfort-focused origins. Many people on our team will certainly miss the 2013's detachable second-row facility seat. I won't, as it was awkward and cumbersome to remove and change with the facility table that saved under the center console.

In the 3rd row, Toyota increased width as well as added an extra seat for an optimum ability of 8 passengers in standard configuration. A new, much more small back suspension freed the extra area. The 3rd row still does not fit grownups with as much convenience as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, yet it readies in a pinch. There are also new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, only the curbside seat folded and also slid ahead using the one-touch lever. Third-row cyclists likewise take advantage of the second row's raised seat travel, which permits easy entrance as well as exit.

Ergonomics & Electronic devices

Modern technology is a substantial focus in the 2014 Highlander and also done quite possibly. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions much better than ever compared with other Toyota cars in which I've made use of the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The designs I examined picked up on the various voice commands I talked.

Those with bulky phones or that constantly have their phone attached to the SUV will value a device storage ledge below the environment manages that offers a pass-through for USB cables. There should disappear Medusa-like dangling of cords entangling the equipment selector.

The common Entune on base LE designs includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup camera, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connection as well as Bluetooth streaming audio. LE And also trims have Entune Audio And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio as well as 90-day satellite radio subscription. The following step up is Entune Costs Audio with Navigating and also Application Suite on XLE designs with an 8-inch touch-screen and app collection with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook combination with a mobile phone and accompanying Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is common on Restricted trim levels.

The large facility storage container between the pole positions can feast on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the offered rear-seat Blu-ray player. And when you fail to remember that Blu-ray in your home, a fascinating new feature called Easy Speak sends the booming voice of a mad mommy or daddy through the back stereo speakers using the Bluetooth microphone to keep rowdy kids in check. How much a lot more family members focused can you get compared to providing a feature that permits parents to yell at children?

Cargo, Towing & Storage

Cargo area behind the 3rd row improves over the previous Highlander's sexy ledge, which had a hard time carrying grocery stores, let alone a stroller or golf bag. The cargo volume is now ranked at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a huge renovation, however at the very least it makes the location usable. It's still little compared with others in the section: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet and the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's trickery to enhance freight room entailed moving all 3 rows of seats forward, adding length behind the rear wheels as well as making use of an extra compact rear suspension.

The power liftgate is an excellent function to be conventional on LE And also trim levels as well as above, and has a trick up its sleeve: It adjusts to different heights, not simply one or two established elevation settings. With the liftgate in motion, individuals could quit the liftgate and also program it to open up to that set height the following time. The attribute will make much shorter drivers and proprietors of low garages extremely pleased. (If the gate goes too expensive, much shorter folks could have a hard time to reach the power-close switch on its lower edge.) One more unique feature on the back is an oldie but a goody: On LE Plus designs and also above, the rear home window opens for simple gain access to independent of the cargo gate.

A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and also Limited trim levels features a standard towing bundle that includes engine/transmission coolers and also updated radiator and alternator. Hybrids can tow 3,500 pounds, V-6 LE/LE And also could tow 2,000 pounds as well as a four-cylinder LE is ranked at 1,500 extra pounds.


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

The 2014 Highlander offers lower anchors and also tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, however just a secure anchor on the middle third-row seat.

Advanced security features are readily available, though just on the costly Minimal trim degree where a dead spot tracking system and back auto parking assist are common, and also pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control and also lane separation caution are optional. Limited trim levels are likewise the only designs with a backup video camera that uses anticipating guidelines to reveal the vehicle's path-- a backup video camera with set lines is standard on all various other trim degrees.

Worth in Its Class

Toyota states rates is up around $1,500 usually throughout the 2014 trim levels, which include extra attributes over the 2013. Base prices starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE models with four-wheel drive are $38,360 and also consist of natural leather sitting with heated pole positions, navigating, three-zone climate control, wise keyless access, second-row sunshades as well as more. Rates for the XLE is very affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was genuinely a midpack three-row SUV, dragging in essential areas like indoor high quality, freight room and technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander owner looking to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned concerning flight quality-- the 2014 is not only a compelling upgrade, but additionally worthy of cross-shopping the segment's best.