Toyota Highlander 2015 Reviews

Toyota Highlander 2015 Reviews: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of renovations make a previously dull, middle-of-the-road SUV stand out with strong designing as well as boosted family kindness.

Toyota heard consumers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also reacted to demands for more cabin and also cargo room, vibrant designing and costs features. Ask for an extra dynamic driving experience ought to have been respectfully neglected, however, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not assume several midsize SUV customers need to have to live with in return for sportier handling.

Still, various other enhancements will most certainly attract shoppers who had actually damaged the previous Highlander off their list or at the very least to those that don't take into consideration a comfortable trip a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's raised freight space behind the typical third-row seat is a much-needed enhancement; plus, it's simpler to get right into the third row, which now seatses 3 as well as bumps conventional seating capacity to 8.

Toyota Highlander 2015 Reviews

With upgrades that cover the schedule of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is currently in far better shape to handle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer 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 redesign its aging and stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you can not call the Highlander boring looking any type of longer. The 2013's ho-hum appearance changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders and also vibrant front styling. Its existence approved the 2013 New York International Car Show flooring where it debuted, as well as it looks just as excellent rolling down the street.

Just how It Drives

The driving experience isn't really the automobile's most attractive characteristic, even with a variety of appealing brand-new framework as well as suspension modifications, so it excels the new SUV does so lots of various other things well.

Toyota chose curvy canyon and seaside roadways in California to demonstrate the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and also 2014 back to back, the 2014 does exhibit higher degrees of roadway hold as well as an improved steering reaction. It's even more sports when digging right into an edge, though I wouldn't call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not have an immediate punch of acceleration in the heavy Highlander. It's a far cry from the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" sphere of excitement 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 impact of the Highlander's newfound dynamics is a choppier trip over rough roads. After driving 2013 and also 2014 versions, I can tell the 2014 transmits even more road blemishes via the chassis as well as right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OKAY to have a hostile layout and ride like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has a more considerable feeling over harsh roads, with fewer rattles, squeaks as well as framework flex. It's a matured experience with boosted sound insulation, acoustic glass and also a stiffer framework assisting maintain outside sound very little.

I quickly hung around in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota anticipates 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 also all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little harsh around the sides as for engine noise and resonances. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is relatively unchanged for 2014, down 1 mpg in city ratings to 27 mpg but maintains its 28 mpg integrated score. The change from electric to when the engine fires up is obvious with raw noises originating from under the hood, distinct from throughout a car park. Resonances from the change are marginal, yet the sounds are audible to take notice.

An extra 353 pounds included in the crossbreed from three electric motors-- two in the front and also one in the back-- as well as a nickel metal hydride battery is recognizable in how the Hybrid drives as compared to the Restricted V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a kicked back experience less ecstatic about accelerating and also handling despite 280-hp integrated, and also it additionally does not ride any kind of smoother than the non-hybrid.

The Crossbreed's unusually loud engine noises would not be as much of a problem if the Highlander Crossbreed just weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 more than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller on the in. The Highlander Hybrid's high-end auto price doesn't show deluxe refinement since the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Hybrid offered; the less-expensive version obtained the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is the most fine-tuned of the number, supplying smooth and also predictable acceleration along with the very best handling with four-wheel drive. The V-6-powered Highlander's gas mileage of 19/25/21 mpg with front-wheel drive and also 18/24/20 mpg with all-wheel drive is also much more affordable compared to the outgoing 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission replacing a five-speed device on V-6 versions. The all-wheel-drive system, which is also new, aids include 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 variation. 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 improvement consists of dialing up the indoor styling with numerous soft-touch as well as accent-stitched indoor panels that enhance the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon good with a sewn control panel, steering wheel as well as soft-touch, high-quality products in prominent places. Plastic locations that typically aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on par for the course. Also the base LE Highlander exudes the practically luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.

Seating fits in the first as well as second rows with soft, large front seats and a very adjustable 2nd row that moves and also reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the common three-seat bench configuration-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE and basic on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander could have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats speak with its comfort-focused origins. Many people on our staff will certainly miss the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I won't, as it was awkward and bulky to remove and replace with the center table that stored under the center console.

In the third row, Toyota raised width and added an added seat for an optimum capacity of 8 residents in common arrangement. A brand-new, a lot more small back suspension freed the additional area. The 3rd row still doesn't fit adults with as much convenience as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, however it readies in a pinch. There are additionally new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, only the curbside seat folded up and moved onward via the one-touch lever. Third-row cyclists additionally take advantage of the second row's boosted seat travel, which permits easy entrance and also departure.

Ergonomics & Electronic devices

Modern technology is a huge 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 where I've used the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands goes over. The versions I tested noticed the different voice commands I spoke.

Those with bulky phones or that continuously have their phone connected to the SUV will certainly value a gadget storage space walk listed below the environment controls that offers a pass-through for USB cords. There must be no more Medusa-like dangling of cable televisions the gear selector.

The basic Entune on base LE designs consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup electronic camera, USB port with iPod connection, complementary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connection and Bluetooth streaming audio. LE Plus trims have Entune Audio And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio and also 90-day satellite radio registration. The next step up is Entune Costs Sound with Navigation as well as App Collection on XLE versions with an 8-inch touch-screen as well as application collection with Pandora, Yelp and also Facebook assimilation with a mobile phone and accompanying Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is typical on Limited trim degrees.

The massive center storage container between the front seats can devour anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. And when you fail to remember that Blu-ray in your home, an intriguing brand-new attribute called Easy Speak sends the booming voice of an upset mommy or father via the rear stereo speakers by means of the Bluetooth microphone to keep wild youngsters in check. What does it cost? a lot more family concentrated can you obtain than offering a function that enables parents to chew out children?

Cargo, Towing & Storage space

Freight room behind the 3rd row enhances over the previous Highlander's skimpy step, which had a hard time carrying groceries, let alone a stroller or golf bag. The cargo volume is currently ranked at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a massive improvement, but at the very least it makes the area useful. It's still tiny compared with others in the sector: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet and the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's trickery to raise freight room included relocating all three rows of seats ahead, adding size behind the back wheels as well as making use of an extra small rear suspension.

The power liftgate is an impressive function to be basic on LE Plus trim levels and also above, and has a trick up its sleeve: It gets used to numerous heights, not just one or two fixed elevation setups. With the liftgate moving, customers can quit the liftgate and program it to open to that set elevation the next time. The feature will certainly make much shorter chauffeurs and also proprietors of reduced garages extremely pleased. (If eviction goes too expensive, shorter people may struggle to reach the power-close switch on its bottom side.) Another unique function on the back is an oldie but a goody: On LE Plus versions and above, the rear window opens up for simple access independent of the cargo entrance.

A 5,000-pound tow rating on XLE and Limited trim levels features a standard towing plan that consists of engine/transmission coolers and upgraded radiator and also alternator. Crossbreeds could tow 3,500 pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus could tow 2,000 pounds and a four-cylinder LE is rated at 1,500 extra pounds.

Safety and security

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

The 2014 Highlander provides reduced supports as well as tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, but only a tether support on the middle third-row seat.

Advanced safety attributes are available, though only on the expensive Restricted trim level where a blind spot surveillance system as well as rear vehicle parking aid are conventional, and pre-collision, flexible cruise control as well as lane departure warning are optional. Restricted trim levels are likewise the only designs with a back-up cam that uses anticipating standards to reveal the automobile's course-- a back-up cam with fixed lines is standard on all various other trim levels.

Worth in Its Class

Toyota states rates is up about $1,500 on average throughout the 2014 trim degrees, that include additional features over the 2013. Base prices begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE models with all-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as consist of natural leather seatsing with heated pole positions, navigation, three-zone environment control, clever keyless entry, second-row sunshades and also more. Pricing for the XLE is very affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and even the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was really a midpack three-row SUV, hanging back in crucial areas like interior high quality, freight space as well as innovation. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander owner looking to update-- as long as you're unconcerned about trip quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, yet also worthy of cross-shopping the segment's best.

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