Toyota Highlander 2015

toyota highlander 2015: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of enhancements make a previously dull, middle-of-the-road SUV stand out with strong designing and also enhanced family kindness.

Toyota paid attention to customers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also reacted to demands for more cabin as well as freight room, vibrant styling as well as costs services. Requests for a much more vibrant driving experience needs to have been respectfully disregarded, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher ride is a tradeoff I don't think numerous midsize SUV purchasers need to have to deal with in return for sportier handling.

Still, various other renovations will certainly attract consumers who had scratched the previous Highlander off their listing or a minimum of to those who do not consider a comfortable trip an essential. The 2014 Highlander's raised cargo room behind the standard third-row seat is a much-needed improvement; plus, it's simpler to obtain right into the 3rd row, which currently sittings three and bumps basic sitting capability to eight.

toyota highlander 2015

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

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

Outside & Designing

Toyota returned to the attracting board to redesign its aging and stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any type of longer. The 2013's dull look transforms right into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders as well as vibrant front styling. Its presence approved the 2013 New York International Automobile Program flooring where it debuted, and also it looks equally as good rolling down the street.

Just how It Drives

The driving experience isn't really the car's most appealing quality, despite having a selection of promising brand-new framework as well as suspension changes, so it's good the new SUV does so several various other things well.

Toyota picked curved canyon and coastal roadways in California to demonstrate the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and also 2014 back to back, the 2014 does display higher levels of road grasp and also a boosted steering response. It's even more athletic when excavating into a corner, though I wouldn't call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an immediate strike of velocity in the hefty Highlander. It's a far cry from the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" round of excitement among other comparable 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.

An adverse effect of the Highlander's newfound dynamics is a choppier trip over harsh roads. After driving 2013 and 2014 designs, I can tell the 2014 transfers even more roadway flaws with the framework and into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's ALRIGHT to have a hostile layout and ride like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has an extra significant feeling over rough roadways, with fewer rattles, squeaks and also framework flex. It's a matured experience with boosted sound insulation, acoustic glass and a stiffer chassis helping maintain outside noise minimal.

I briefly hung around in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to make up 5 to 10 percent of sales, and in the brand new Highlander Crossbreed. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) and also all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little harsh around the sides regarding engine noise as well as vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is relatively unmodified for 2014, down 1 mpg in city scores to 27 mpg yet maintains its 28 mpg integrated ranking. The change from electric to when the engine fires up is obvious with raw noises originating from under the hood, audible from across a parking lot. Resonances from the change are marginal, however the sounds are loud enough to take notice.

An extra 353 pounds added to the crossbreed from 3 electric motors-- 2 in the front and one in the back-- and also a nickel steel hydride battery is noticeable in how the Crossbreed drives as compared to the Restricted V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a loosened up experience much less ecstatic about accelerating as well as managing even with 280-hp integrated, and also it also doesn't ride any smoother than the non-hybrid.

The Crossbreed's uncommonly loud engine sounds would not be as much of an issue if the Highlander Hybrid just weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, however a lot smaller on the inside. The Highlander Hybrid's luxury vehicle rate does not show luxury refinement now that the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Crossbreed used; the less-expensive version got the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is the most refined of the number, providing smooth and also foreseeable acceleration as well as the most effective handling with all-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 also extra affordable than the outgoing 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission changing a five-speed unit on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise brand-new, aids include 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send out torque to the rear wheels when slippage is discovered, versus the previous system that always sent torque to four wheels.


Part of the 2014's change includes calling up the interior styling with countless soft-touch and accent-stitched interior panels that enhance the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon nice with a sewn control panel, steering wheel and soft-touch, premium products in popular places. Plastic areas that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on the same level for the course. Also the base LE Highlander emanates the almost luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.

Seating is comfortable in the very first and also 2nd rows with soft, broad pole positions and also a very adjustable second row that glides and reclines with two captain's chairs or the standard three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are readily available on the XLE as well as common on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander may have been redone with dynamism in mind, yet the seats speak with its comfort-focused roots. Lots of people on our personnel will miss the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I will not, as it was unpleasant as well as bulky to get rid of as well as change with the facility table that kept under the facility console.

In the 3rd row, Toyota enhanced width and also included an extra seat for a maximum capability of 8 occupants in conventional arrangement. A brand-new, more portable rear suspension freed the additional room. The third row still doesn't fit grownups with as much convenience 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. Previously, only the curbside seat folded and also slid onward via the one-touch bar. Third-row cyclists additionally take advantage of the 2nd row's boosted seat traveling, which enables easy entrance as well as departure.

Ergonomics & Electronics

Technology is a massive emphasis in the 2014 Highlander as well as done quite possibly. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works better compared to ever compared to other Toyota vehicles in which I've used the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The models I examined picked up on the numerous voice commands I talked.

Those with bulky phones or who regularly have their phone attached to the SUV will appreciate a gadget storage ledge listed below the climate regulates that supplies a pass-through for USB cords. There need to be no more Medusa-like dangling of cords ensnaring the gear selector.

The standard Entune on base LE models consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, complementary input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connection and Bluetooth streaming sound. LE Plus trims have Entune Audio And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio and also 90-day satellite radio subscription. The following step up is Entune Premium Sound with Navigation as well as App Suite on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen as well as app suite with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook assimilation with a smartphone as well as going along with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is standard on Minimal trim levels.

The huge facility storage bin in between the pole positions could devour 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 in your home, a fascinating new function called Easy Speak transmits the thriving voice of an angry mother or daddy with the back stereo speakers by means of the Bluetooth microphone to keep rowdy kids in check. Just how much more family members concentrated can you obtain than giving an attribute that permits parents to chew out children?

Freight, Towing & Storage

Freight area behind the 3rd row improves over the previous Highlander's skimpy step, which had a hard time bring grocery stores, not to mention an infant stroller or golf bag. The freight quantity is now rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a significant improvement, yet at least it makes the location functional. It's still little compared with others in the segment: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet and the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's trickery to increase cargo room entailed relocating all three rows of seats forward, including length behind the rear wheels and making use of a much more portable back suspension.

The power liftgate is an impressive feature to be standard on LE And also trim levels as well as above, and also has a trick up its sleeve: It adjusts to various heights, not just a couple of fixed height setups. With the liftgate moving, customers can quit the liftgate and also program it to available to that established elevation the next time. The function will make shorter motorists and owners of low garages really satisfied. (If the gate goes too high, much shorter individuals may have a hard time to get to the power-close button on its lower side.) One more special function on the back is an oldie but a reward: On LE And also models and also above, the back home window opens for easy access independent of the cargo entrance.

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

Safety and security

The 2014 Highlander had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing.

The 2014 Highlander supplies lower anchors and tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, yet only a secure support on the center third-row seat.

Advanced safety attributes are offered, though just on the pricey Minimal trim level where a blind spot tracking system and also rear car park help are typical, and also pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control as well as lane departure warning are optional. Restricted trim levels are also the only versions with a back-up electronic camera that utilizes predictive guidelines to reveal the car's course-- a backup electronic camera with set lines is basic on all other trim levels.

Value in Its Course

Toyota says prices is up around $1,500 on average across the 2014 trim degrees, that include added features over the 2013. Base prices starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE versions with all-wheel drive are $38,360 and also consist of natural leather seatsing with warmed front seats, navigation, three-zone environment control, clever keyless entrance, second-row sunshades and also even more. Rates for the XLE is very competitive to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer or even the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was genuinely a midpack three-row SUV, hanging back in essential locations like interior top quality, cargo room and modern technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor looking to update-- as long as you're unconcerned about trip quality-- the 2014 is not just a compelling upgrade, but additionally deserving of cross-shopping the segment's ideal.