2015 toyota Highlander Review

2015 toyota Highlander Review: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of enhancements make a previously boring, middle-of-the-road SUV stick out with vibrant styling and boosted family members kindness.

Toyota listened to consumers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander as well as responded to needs for even more cabin as well as cargo area, dynamic designing and also premium amenities. Requests for an extra dynamic driving experience should have been respectfully overlooked, however, as the 2014's harsher trip is a tradeoff I do not assume numerous midsize SUV customers need to need to deal with in return for sportier handling.

Still, various other improvements will undoubtedly attract customers that had damaged the previous Highlander off their list or a minimum of to those who do not take into consideration a comfy trip a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's increased cargo room behind the conventional third-row seat is a much-needed enhancement; plus, it's easier to get into the third row, which now seatses 3 and also bumps conventional sitting capability to 8.

2015 toyota Highlander Review

With upgrades that extend the schedule of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and also Limited Platinum trim degrees, the 2014 Highlander is now in better shape to take on 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 revamp its aging and stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you can't call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's dull look changes right into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders as well as bold front styling. Its presence was big on the 2013 New York City International Automobile Program 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 auto's most attractive feature, even with a selection of appealing brand-new framework and also suspension adjustments, so it readies the brand-new SUV does so many other things well.

Toyota selected curved canyon and also coastal roadways in California to show the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show greater levels of road grip as well as a boosted guiding feedback. It's even more sports when digging right into an edge, though I would not call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 doesn't have an instant 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 pounds, while a V-6, front-wheel-drive Santa Fe GLS is 3,933 extra pounds.

A negative impact of the Highlander's newly found characteristics is a choppier flight over rough roads. After driving 2013 and also 2014 models, I can tell the 2014 transfers more roadway imperfections through the chassis and into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive style and also ride like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the benefit, the 2014 Highlander has a more significant sensation over harsh roadways, with fewer rattles, squeals and also framework flex. It's a matured experience with enhanced sound insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer chassis helping maintain outside noise minimal.

I briefly spent time in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to account for 5 to 10 percent of sales, and in the brand new Highlander Hybrid. 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 rough around the sides regarding engine sound and also resonances. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is reasonably the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city ratings to 27 mpg yet keeps its 28 mpg combined score. The change from electrical to when the engine fires up is obvious with raw noises coming from under the hood, distinct from across a car park. Vibrations from the shift are marginal, yet the noises are loud enough to take notice.

An added 353 extra pounds contributed to the crossbreed from 3 electric motors-- two in the front and one in the back-- and a nickel metal hydride battery is recognizable in just how the Crossbreed drives compared to the Restricted V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's a kicked back experience much less ecstatic about increasing and handling even with 280-hp combined, as well as it likewise doesn't ride any kind of smoother than the non-hybrid.

The Crossbreed's uncommonly loud engine noises would not be as much of an issue if the Highlander Crossbreed just weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 more than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller on the inside. The Highlander Crossbreed's high-end vehicle cost does not reflect high-end refinement now that the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Crossbreed offered; the less-expensive variation obtained the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most improved of the number, supplying smooth and foreseeable velocity in addition to the 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 four-wheel drive is additionally more affordable compared to the outward bound 2013 thanks to a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission replacing a five-speed system on V-6 models. The all-wheel-drive system, which is also new, aids include 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 version. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the rear wheels when slippage is identified, versus the previous system that always sent torque to four wheels.


Part of the 2014's transformation consists of dialing up the indoor styling with countless soft-touch as well as accent-stitched indoor panels that improve the classiness. The high quality is Toyota-Avalon good with a stitched control panel, steering wheel and also soft-touch, high-quality products in prominent locations. Plastic areas that aren't textured, stitched or covered are still on par for the class. Also the base LE Highlander exhibits the almost luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Restricted trims.

Seating fits in the first and second rows with soft, wide front seats and a very adjustable second row that moves as well as reclines with two captain's chairs or the common three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are readily available on the XLE and conventional on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats speak with its comfort-focused roots. Many people on our staff will certainly miss the 2013's removable second-row facility seat. I won't, as it was uneasy as well as large to eliminate and also change with the center table that stored under the facility console.

In the 3rd row, Toyota enhanced width and also included an extra seat for an optimum capacity of 8 owners in basic setup. A brand-new, much more small rear suspension released the added area. The 3rd row still doesn't fit grownups with as much convenience as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, but it readies in a pinch. There are likewise new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, only the curbside seat folded as well as moved onward using the one-touch bar. Third-row bikers additionally benefit from the 2nd row's enhanced seat travel, which allows simple access and also leave.

Comfort design & Electronics

Modern technology is a substantial emphasis in the 2014 Highlander and done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works far better than ever compared with other Toyota automobiles in which I've made use of the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The versions I checked picked up on the numerous voice commands I talked.

Those with cumbersome phones or that continuously have their phone connected to the SUV will value a gadget storage step listed below the environment regulates that provides a pass-through for USB cords. There should disappear Medusa-like dangling of cables the gear selector.

The conventional Entune on base LE versions consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup camera, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connectivity and also Bluetooth streaming audio. LE Plus trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio and 90-day satellite radio registration. The following step up is Entune Costs Sound with Navigation and App Collection on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen as well as app collection with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook combination with a mobile phone and also coming with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is common on Restricted trim degrees.

The enormous facility storage space container in between the front seats could feast on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the offered rear-seat Blu-ray player. And when you neglect that Blu-ray in the house, a fascinating new feature called Easy Speak transfers the growing voice of an upset mom or papa through the back stereo speakers by means of the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy kids in check. What does it cost? more family focused can you get than supplying a feature that allows moms and dads to yell at kids?

Cargo, Towing & Storage

Cargo room behind the 3rd row enhances over the previous Highlander's skimpy ledge, which struggled carrying groceries, let alone an infant 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 significant enhancement, but at the very least it makes the area useful. 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 hoax to increase cargo space included moving all 3 rows of seats ahead, including length behind the rear wheels and making use of an extra portable back suspension.

The power liftgate is a remarkable attribute to be basic on LE Plus trim levels and also above, and also has a dress up its sleeve: It adjusts to various elevations, not simply one or two predetermined height settings. With the liftgate in motion, individuals could quit the liftgate and program it to available to that set elevation the next time. The attribute will make much shorter vehicle drivers and proprietors of low garages extremely pleased. (If the gate goes too expensive, much shorter people might battle to reach the power-close button on its bottom side.) An additional one-of-a-kind function on the back is an oldie yet a goody: On LE Plus versions and also above, the rear home window opens up for easy access independent of the freight gateway.

A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE and also Limited trim degrees comes with a common towing plan that consists of engine/transmission colders as well as upgraded radiator and also generator. Hybrids could tow 3,500 extra pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus can tow 2,000 extra pounds and a four-cylinder LE is ranked 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 reduced anchors and tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, however just a secure support on the middle third-row seat.

Advanced security functions are offered, though only on the pricey Minimal trim level where a blind spot surveillance system and rear car parking aid are typical, and pre-collision, flexible cruise ship control as well as lane departure caution are optional. Limited trim degrees are also the only designs with a back-up video camera that utilizes predictive guidelines to show the car's course-- a backup camera with set lines is standard on all various other trim degrees.

Value in Its Course

Toyota states pricing is up around $1,500 usually throughout the 2014 trim levels, which include added attributes over the 2013. Base rates starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE models with all-wheel drive are $38,360 and consist of natural leather seating with heated front seats, navigating, three-zone environment control, smart keyless access, second-row sunshades and also more. Rates for the XLE is very affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Traveler or even the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was absolutely a midpack three-row SUV, hanging back in vital locations like interior quality, cargo room and innovation. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander proprietor looking to update-- as long as you're unconcerned regarding flight quality-- the 2014 is not only a compelling upgrade, yet additionally worthwhile of cross-shopping the sector's ideal.

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