Toyota Highlander Limited 2015

Toyota Highlander Limited 2015: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of renovations make a formerly boring, middle-of-the-road SUV stand out with strong designing and also enhanced household kindness.

Toyota paid attention to customers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also responded to demands for even more cabin and also freight room, vibrant designing and also premium features. Ask for an extra vibrant driving experience should have been respectfully overlooked, however, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not believe several midsize SUV purchasers ought to have to deal with in return for sportier handling.

Still, various other improvements will definitely appeal to customers that had scratched the previous Highlander off their checklist or a minimum of to those who don't consider a comfy trip a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's raised freight area behind the common third-row seat is a much-needed enhancement; plus, it's easier to get into the third row, which currently seats three and bumps standard sitting capacity to 8.

Toyota Highlander Limited 2015

With upgrades that extend the lineup of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is currently in far better form to handle 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.

Exterior & Styling

Toyota went back to the attracting board to upgrade its aging as well as stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you can not call the Highlander boring looking any longer. The 2013's dull look changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier position, bulging fenders and also strong front designing. Its presence approved the 2013 New York City International Car Program floor where it debuted, and also it looks equally as good rolling down the street.

Just how It Drives

The driving experience isn't the car's most attractive characteristic, despite having an assortment of appealing new framework and also suspension changes, so it readies the new SUV does so many other things well.

Toyota chose curvy canyon as well as coastal roadways in The golden state to show the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and also 2014 back to back, the 2014 does exhibit greater degrees of road grasp and an enhanced steering reaction. It's even more athletic when digging into an edge, though I wouldn't call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 doesn't have a prompt strike of velocity in the hefty Highlander. It's an unlike the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" ball of excitement 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 extra pounds.

An adverse impact of the Highlander's newfound dynamics is a choppier flight over rough roadways. After driving 2013 and also 2014 versions, I could tell the 2014 transfers even more roadway flaws through the framework as well as right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive layout as well as trip like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the upside, the 2014 Highlander has an extra significant feeling over harsh roads, with less rattles, squeaks and chassis flex. It's a matured experience with boosted sound insulation, acoustic glass and also a stiffer chassis helping maintain outside sound marginal.

I briefly spent time 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 brand new Highlander Hybrid. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) as well as all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges as for engine sound and resonances. The Hybrid's gas mileage is relatively unmodified for 2014, down 1 mpg in city ratings to 27 mpg but keeps its 28 mpg combined rating. The transition from electric to when the engine fires up is recognizable with raw sounds originating from under the hood, distinct from throughout a parking area. Vibrations from the transition are marginal, but the noises are audible to take notice.

An additional 353 pounds added to the hybrid from three electric motors-- two in the front and one in the back-- and a nickel metal hydride battery is visible in exactly how the Hybrid drives compared with the Limited V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's an unwinded experience less thrilled regarding accelerating and taking care of despite having 280-hp integrated, and also it likewise doesn't ride any kind of smoother than the non-hybrid.

The Crossbreed's abnormally loud engine sounds would not be as much of a problem if the Highlander Hybrid weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, however much smaller on the inside. The Highlander Crossbreed's high-end cars and truck rate does not reflect high-end improvement since the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Crossbreed supplied; the less-expensive version obtained the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most improved of the lot, providing smooth and foreseeable velocity in addition to the very 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 all-wheel drive is additionally a lot more competitive than the outgoing 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission replacing a five-speed system on V-6 models. The all-wheel-drive system, which is additionally brand-new, helps add 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 version. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the back wheels when slippage is discovered, versus the previous system that always sent out torque to 4 wheels.


Part of the 2014's transformation includes dialing up the indoor styling with many soft-touch and accent-stitched interior panels that boost the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon nice with a stitched dashboard, steering wheel and soft-touch, high-grade materials in famous areas. Plastic areas that typically aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on par for the course. Even the base LE Highlander exhibits the almost luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.

Seats is comfortable in the very first and 2nd rows with soft, wide front seats as well as a highly adjustable second row that slides and reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the standard three-seat bench setup-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE and also conventional on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander could have been redone with dynamism in mind, yet the seats talk with its comfort-focused roots. Lots of people on our team will certainly miss the 2013's detachable second-row facility seat. I won't, as it was uneasy as well as cumbersome to get rid of and replace with the center table that saved under the center console.

In the third row, Toyota increased size and also included an extra seat for an optimum capability of eight passengers in conventional setup. A new, more small back suspension released the added area. The 3rd row still does not fit grownups with as much comfort as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, however it's good in a pinch. There are additionally brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, just the curbside seat folded and moved ahead using the one-touch lever. Third-row cyclists likewise gain from the second row's increased seat travel, which permits very easy access as well as departure.

Ergonomics & Electronics

Modern technology is a substantial emphasis in the 2014 Highlander and also done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works much better than ever compared to other Toyota vehicles in which I've utilized the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The versions I evaluated detected the numerous voice commands I spoke.

Those with large phones or that regularly have their phone attached to the SUV will certainly appreciate a device storage space ledge listed below the environment controls that supplies a pass-through for USB cables. There ought to disappear Medusa-like dangling of cables ensnaring the equipment 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, supporting input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connection and Bluetooth streaming sound. LE And also trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display, HD Radio as well as 90-day satellite radio registration. The following step up is Entune Costs Audio with Navigation and also App Collection on XLE versions with an 8-inch touch-screen and application collection with Pandora, Yelp and also Facebook integration with a smartphone and coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is conventional on Minimal trim degrees.

The massive facility storage space bin in between the front seats could devour anything plus-sized, like a purse, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray player. And when you neglect that Blu-ray at home, an interesting new attribute called Easy Speak sends the booming voice of an upset mom or dad with the back stereo speakers using the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy kids in check. How much extra family members focused can you obtain than supplying a feature that enables parents to chew out children?

Freight, Towing & Storage space

Freight space behind the 3rd row boosts over the previous Highlander's sexy walk, which had a hard time carrying groceries, let alone a stroller or golf bag. The cargo volume is currently rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a substantial enhancement, yet at the very least it makes the area functional. It's still little compared to others in the sector: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's trickery to enhance freight room included moving all 3 rows of seats forward, adding length behind the back wheels and also utilizing a much more compact back suspension.

The power liftgate is an impressive function to be common on LE And also trim degrees as well as above, as well as has a trick up its sleeve: It gets used to various heights, not simply one or two established height settings. With the liftgate in motion, individuals can stop the liftgate and program it to open up to that established elevation the following time. The attribute will make shorter vehicle drivers as well as proprietors of low garages extremely delighted. (If eviction goes expensive, much shorter individuals could battle to get to the power-close switch on its lower side.) Another unique function on the back is an oldie however a goody: On LE Plus versions and above, the back window opens for very easy accessibility independent of the cargo entrance.

A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and Limited trim degrees features a common towing package that includes engine/transmission coolers and upgraded radiator and also generator. Crossbreeds could 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 pounds.


The 2014 Highlander hadn't 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, but just a secure support on the middle third-row seat.

Advanced safety features are readily available, though just on the costly Restricted trim degree where a blind spot monitoring system and also back car parking help are conventional, and pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control and lane departure warning are optional. Restricted trim levels are also the only models with a back-up electronic camera that utilizes predictive standards to reveal the vehicle's course-- a back-up electronic camera with set lines is basic on all various other trim levels.

Value in Its Course

Toyota says pricing is up about $1,500 usually across the 2014 trim degrees, which include added attributes over the 2013. Base prices starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE versions with four-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as consist of natural leather seatsing with warmed front seats, navigation, three-zone environment control, wise keyless access, second-row sunshades as well as even more. Prices for the XLE is extremely affordable 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 vital areas like interior quality, cargo space and also innovation. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander proprietor wanting to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned about ride quality-- the 2014 is not only a compelling upgrade, however also worthwhile of cross-shopping the segment's ideal.