Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2013

Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2013: Also in its last version year prior to a redesign, the 2013 Toyota Highlander excels, solid, fundamental family members transportation-- nothing to establish the heart aflame, yet eminently competent.

Some cars and trucks, and also Toyotas particularly, typically get referred to by auto lovers as "appliances." The contrast is made in between a Camry as well as a refrigerator, or a Corolla as well as a washing machine, as an example. The ramification (normally less than kind) is that these automobiles have qualities that are much less enjoyable and more useful. One wouldn't take a refrigerator to an autocross, or drag-race a washering from a stoplight. But also for millions of people all over the world, an appliance is exactly what they want in a cars and truck-- something they don't have to think of to utilize, that isn't really quirky or extravagant, that's reputable as well as simple. For those people, numerous Toyotas are absolutely excellent-- as well as the 2013 Highlander is the pinnacle of such appliancelike, comfy, utilitarian reasoning.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2013

This is the last year for this style of Highlander, with a new 2014 model on its way that was introduced at the 2013 New York City International Auto Show in March. Nevertheless, there's a lot to like concerning the current Highlander, which has roominess, power, convenience and also utility in droves.

Absolutely Nothing Fancy, Just Basic Skills

The form recognizes now, with relatively aggressive styling that has actually been replicated by a number of suppliers. (The brand-new Nissan Pathfinder, as an example, looks a whole lot such as this Highlander in several ways.) It's a tidy, flowing style that suffers a bit from wheels that look a little too small in the base V-6 trim level I checked. If you like the method it looks, however, obtain one now, as the 2014 model will certainly get an instead considerable designing update that's not to every person's preference.

The interior is likewise pleasing. Nothing outrageous, simply well set out, extremely comfy as well as made from high-quality materials that have actually been screwed with each other well. In advance, the reduced, soft-touch dash as well as high seats setting integrate for a powerful sight over the hood, with outstanding presence sideways and rear also. Controls on the facility control board are big and also clear, with huge switches as well as beefy handles that make running the climate-control system a wind (sorry). The gauges are intense, clear and also simple to review at a glimpse. There's absolutely nothing exceptional about the forms as well as textures in below, however there's absolutely nothing to offend either-- unless you're someone that needs some visual interest in your transport option, as there's none to be located in the endless sea of gray plastic stretching from door to door. At least in the Highlander it's good plastic, unlike in some other Toyota items, like the Venza.

Seating is versatile and extraordinarily roomy, specifically in the 2nd row, which showcases unbelievable amounts of legroom. This is a three-row SUV, consisting of a fold-down seat for two individuals in the cargo area, easily accessible with the fold-and-tumble second-row seats. That 3rd row is broad sufficient for full-sized grownups, however legroom is seriously endangered. This is just a midsized SUV, nevertheless, not a full-sizer like the Toyota Sequoia or Chevrolet Traverse. Folding up the 2nd row for access to the 3rd is simple, with takes care of atop the seatbacks making for simple procedure also by kids. Both the second and 3rd rows fold flat, creating a huge freight space able to hold big, bulky things.

Interior electronics are standard and not terribly made complex on the entry-level Highlander (the only major alternatives my examination design had were a V-6 engine as well as all-wheel drive). The conventional touch-screen multimedia display is big and also easy to use, but a second, smaller display above it showed limited car details, as well, with just a handful of display screens to select from. You can alternative up a Highlander to the handle with things like Toyota's Entune (a cloud-based home entertainment as well as details system), a navigating system and also even more, however my tester had none of that-- just satellite radio and also a windshield-wiper heating unit, part of the $60 Cold Weather Plan. On the bonus side, a lack of features implies the inside is clean and uncomplicated. It also means there's little to do yet drive.

Roly-Poly, however Not Pokey

The good news is, driving the Highlander is just as pleasant as being in or checking out one. In the base design, power comes from a conventional 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 horse power, but my tester had the optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine, bumping horsepower as much as a far more confidence-inspiring 270 hp. In true Toyota style, the V-6 is the picture of level of smoothness, a lot so that the only method to understand it's performing at still is to blip the pedal. Struck that same pedal while the Highlander's in gear, as well as you're rewarded with strong, seamless acceleration. A six-speed automatic transmission is conventional with the four-cylinder, but the V-6 comes only with a five-speed automated. A gasoline-electric crossbreed version is also offered. With the exception of the hybrid, nonetheless, the drivetrain overall is a little bit behind the moments-- most rivals are supplying six-speed automatics throughout the range, plus turbocharging or at the very least direct-injection modern technology. Fortunately, many buyers will not recognize any technological deficiency thanks to the Highlander's buttery procedure and effortless acceleration.

Just what they might discover, however, is fuel economic climate. Highlanders with the base four-cylinder engine as well as front-wheel drive are ranked 20/25 mpg city/highway-- okay for a large seven-seat cruiser. Fuel economic situation goes down to 18/24 for the larger V-6 engine, or even better, to 17/22 mpg, when you include all-wheel drive. My week with the Highlander returned 19 mpg in mixed driving; not bad, yet absolutely not class-leading anymore. It falls well short of the brand-new all-wheel-drive Nissan Pathfinder, ranked 19/25 mpg, and the brand-new seven-seat Hyundai Santa Fe, which can be found in at 18/24 mpg. It likewise generally matches the much larger Chevrolet Traverse for combined gas mileage rating (19 mpg), and does 1 mpg much better in the city and also 1 mpg even worse on the freeway. The Highlander lineup's fuel economic situation champ is the hybrid, ranked 28/28 mpg, but that comes with a considerable price premium as well as with conventional four-wheel drive.

The Highlander is obviously tuned for comfort rather than driving enjoyable. As the suspension is soft, the body motions are tippy as well as the entire truck rolls and lolls in quick corners. You won't be doing any type of perky driving in this family members truckster, however exactly what you enter return is sublime flight quality that's smooth even over some of the most terribly broken pavement, helped by high sidewalls on the 17-inch tires that absorb bumps with little sound or disturbance to your serenity. Hang an iPad on the seatback, as well as the munchkins won't be troubled by road conditions in the smallest. Faster highway driving is just as calm as well as hushed.


The existing Highlander has actually been crash-tested by both the National Highway Web Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Policy Institute for Highway Safety And Security. NHTSA rated the Highlander four from 5 star on the whole, while IIHS gave the Highlander its top score of Excellent in all its significant examinations, making it Top Safety Pick status.

As for tools, the Highlander has all the requisite digital precaution, like grip control, anti-skid brakes as well as a digital security system. Front, side, vehicle driver's knee as well as side drape airbags are typical. There was no back-up electronic camera on my examination automobile, but it's a $699 alternative on base versions (requirement on all various other trim degrees), an instead obviousing omission from the tools list for a purported family members vehicle.

Highlander out there

The Highlander V6 all-wheel drive I evaluated had one significant high quality that can not be ignored: a comparatively reduced as-tested cost of $33,477, including an $845 location charge. The starting cost for this base V-6 version with all-wheel drive is $32,690, indicating options on my tester were few: just a $60 Winter Bundle, a $29 first-aid set, a $49 freight web and an instead pricey $649 three-row floor mat set. If you want to skip the V-6 and four-wheel drive, the Highlander with a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive begins at $29,865. At the various other end of the range is a completely packed Highlander Hybrid Limited four-wheel drive, which starts at $47,215-- fairly a significant range.

Midsize SUVs have actually been taking control of for minivans in family-hauling duties, as well as the number of entries in the field is above ever before. Calling for seven seats does cut the list down ever before so a little. The Highlander's main competitors are the Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia, Ford Traveler, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9 and also Dodge Durango. If you could cope with just five seats, add the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, Toyota Venza as well as Kia Sorento. That's more than a loads various other lorries to consider, demonstrating how competitive this sector truly is. The closest matches are the Pathfinder, Explorer as well as Santa Fe (not the Santa Fe Sport, mind you, which is a smaller sized, five-seat version). The Pathfinder features only a V-6 and also constantly variable automatic transmission, while the Santa Fe's seven-seat model offers just a V-6. The Explorer offers 2 V-6 engines and also an optional turbo four-cylinder, all mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All are comparable in terms of space, cost and energy, but the Highlander's competitors typically have the advantage in gas economic situation and also on-board innovation.

The 2014 Highlander will finally get a six-speed transmission for its V-6 engine, which must improve fuel economic situation and also velocity. It likewise obtains seating for eight thanks to a larger freight location and also a larger third-row seat. Engines will rollover unchanged, however, implying there will certainly still be no direct-injection or turbocharging. The exterior and interior updates look good and also need to maintain the Highlander affordable, and that's actually all Toyota needs to do to keep the Highlander's sales numbers up-- aesthetic modifications that maintain it fresh in an ultra-competitive market. Toyota already has the energy, comfort, competence as well as family-friendly parts down pat. Dealing with its aesthetic appeal as well as on-board technology will only enhance the Highlander's setting.

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