2013 toyota Highlander Review

2013 toyota highlander review: Also in its last model year before a redesign, the 2013 Toyota Highlander is good, strong, standard family members transport-- nothing to set the heart aflame, yet eminently experienced.

Some autos, as well as Toyotas in particular, frequently get described by automobile lovers as "devices." The comparison is made in between a Camry as well as a refrigerator, or a Corolla as well as a washering, as an example. The implication (normally less than kind) is that these lorries have qualities that are much less enjoyable as well as more useful. One wouldn't take a fridge to an autocross, or drag-race a washering from a stoplight. But also for millions of people all over the world, a home appliance is precisely just what they want in a car-- something they do not have to think of to utilize, that isn't really eccentric or extravagant, that's reliable and also basic. For those people, several Toyotas are definitely perfect-- and the 2013 Highlander is the pinnacle of such appliancelike, comfy, practical thinking.

2013 toyota highlander review

This is the in 2015 for this style of Highlander, with a new 2014 model on its manner in which was revealed at the 2013 New York City International Automobile Show in March. However, there's a lot to like about the existing Highlander, which has roominess, power, comfort as well as utility in droves.

Nothing Fancy, Just Standard Skills

The form is familiar by now, with rather aggressive styling that has been copied by numerous suppliers. (The new Nissan Pathfinder, for example, looks a whole lot similar to this Highlander in several means.) It's a tidy, flowing layout that endures a little bit from wheels that look slightly as well little in the base V-6 trim degree I checked. If you like the means it looks, nevertheless, obtain one now, as the 2014 design will obtain a rather substantial designing update that's not to everybody's taste.

The interior is in a similar way pleasing. Absolutely nothing horrendous, simply well set out, incredibly comfortable and made from top quality products that have actually been screwed with each other well. Up front, the low, soft-touch dash and also high seating placement integrate for a powerful sight over the hood, with superb exposure to the sides as well as back too. Controls on the facility control panel are big as well as clear, with large switches and also beefy handles that make operating the climate-control system a breeze (sorry). The gauges are bright, clear and simple to check out at a glimpse. There's nothing amazing regarding the shapes as well as appearances in right here, but there's nothing to upset either-- unless you're a person who calls for some visual interest in your transport selection, 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 decent plastic, unlike in a few other Toyota products, like the Venza.

Seating is flexible and also amazingly spacious, especially in the second row, which showcases unbelievable quantities of legroom. This is a three-row SUV, including a fold-down seat for 2 people in the cargo area, obtainable through the fold-and-tumble second-row seats. That 3rd row is large enough for full-sized grownups, yet legroom is seriously endangered. This is simply a midsized SUV, nevertheless, not a full-sizer like the Toyota Sequoia or Chevrolet Traverse. Folding the 2nd row for access to the third is simple, with deals with atop the seatbacks creating easy operation also by children. Both the second as well as third rows fold level, developing a massive freight room able to hold large, cumbersome objects.

Inside electronic devices are fundamental and also not terribly complicated on the entry-level Highlander (the just major alternatives my test design had were a V-6 engine as well as four-wheel drive). The conventional touch-screen multimedia present is big as well as easy to use, but a second, smaller sized screen over it displayed restricted car info, too, with simply a handful of screens to select from. You can option up a Highlander to the hilt with things like Toyota's Entune (a cloud-based home entertainment as well as details system), a navigation system and more, however my tester had none of that-- just satellite radio and also a windshield-wiper heating unit, part of the $60 Winter Plan. On the bonus side, an absence of features implies the interior is uncluttered as well as straightforward. It additionally suggests there's little to do however drive.

Roly-Poly, but Not Pokey

Fortunately, driving the Highlander is just as enjoyable as sitting in or checking out one. In the base model, power originates from a common 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 horse power, however my tester had the optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine, bumping horsepower approximately a a lot more confidence-inspiring 270 hp. In real Toyota fashion, the V-6 is the picture of smoothness, a lot so that the only way to understand it's going for still is to blip the pedal. Struck that same pedal while the Highlander's in gear, and you're compensated with strong, seamless velocity. A six-speed automatic transmission is common with the four-cylinder, yet the V-6 comes only with a five-speed automatic. A gasoline-electric crossbreed variation is additionally available. With the exception of the crossbreed, however, the drivetrain overall is a little bit behind the times-- most competitors are offering six-speed automatics across the variety, plus turbocharging or at least direct-injection innovation. The good news is, the majority of customers will not know any kind of technological shortage thanks to the Highlander's buttery procedure and also simple and easy acceleration.

Just what they may notice, nonetheless, is gas 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. Gas economic climate drops to 18/24 for the larger V-6 engine, or even additionally, to 17/22 mpg, when you include all-wheel drive. My week with the Highlander returned 19 mpg in mixed driving; not bad, but certainly not class-leading any longer. It drops well except the brand-new all-wheel-drive Nissan Pathfinder, ranked 19/25 mpg, and the new seven-seat Hyundai Santa Fe, which can be found in at 18/24 mpg. It additionally usually matches the much larger Chevrolet Traverse for mixed gas mileage ranking (19 mpg), and also does 1 mpg better in the city and also 1 mpg even worse on the highway. The Highlander lineup's gas economic situation champ is the crossbreed, ranked 28/28 mpg, yet that comes at a considerable rate premium as well as with standard four-wheel drive.

The Highlander is clearly tuned for convenience instead of driving enjoyable. As the suspension is soft, the body motions are tippy and also the entire truck rolls and lolls in rapid corners. You won't be doing any type of perky driving in this family truckster, yet what you enter return is sublime flight top quality that's smooth also over several of one of the most severely busted sidewalk, helped by tall sidewalls on the 17-inch tires that take in bumps with little sound or interruption to your serenity. Hang an iPad on the seatback, and also the munchkins won't be troubled by road problems in the smallest. Faster freeway driving is just as calm and hushed.


The existing Highlander has been crash-tested by both the National Freeway Website Traffic Security Management and also the Insurance Policy Institute for Freeway Safety And Security. NHTSA rated the Highlander 4 out of 5 star generally, while IIHS offered the Highlander its leading ranking of Great in all its major examinations, making it Top Safety Pick status.

When it comes to tools, the Highlander has all the requisite electronic safety measures, like traction control, anti-skid brakes and a digital security system. Front, side, motorist's knee as well as side curtain air bags are common. There was no backup electronic camera on my examination lorry, yet it's a $699 choice on base models (requirement on all other trim levels), a rather blazing noninclusion from the tools checklist for a purported family members car.

Highlander out there

The Highlander V6 four-wheel drive I checked had one notable top quality that can not be forgotten: a comparatively low as-tested price of $33,477, consisting of an $845 destination fee. The beginning cost for this base V-6 design with four-wheel drive is $32,690, meaning choices on my tester were couple of: just a $60 Winter Package, a $29 first-aid package, a $49 cargo web and also an instead expensive $649 three-row floor mat package. If you intend to avoid the V-6 and also all-wheel drive, the Highlander with a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive starts at $29,865. At the various other end of the spectrum is a completely loaded Highlander Hybrid Limited four-wheel drive, which begins at $47,215-- quite a significant array.

Midsize SUVs have actually been taking over for minivans in family-hauling responsibilities, and the variety of access in the field is higher than ever. Requiring seven seats does reduce the note down ever so a little. The Highlander's primary competitors are the Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia, Ford Traveler, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9 and Dodge Durango. If you can cope with simply 5 seats, include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, Toyota Venza and also Kia Sorento. That's greater than a dozen various other lorries to consider, demonstrating just how affordable this sector truly is. The closest matches are the Pathfinder, Explorer and also Santa Fe (not the Santa Fe Sporting activity, mind you, which is a smaller, five-seat design). The Pathfinder features just a V-6 as well as continually variable automatic transmission, while the Santa Fe's seven-seat model supplies only a V-6. The Explorer provides two V-6 engines as well as an optional turbo four-cylinder, all mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All are similar in terms of room, cost and also energy, yet the Highlander's competitors typically have the advantage in fuel economic climate and on-board technology.

The 2014 Highlander will finally obtain a six-speed transmission for its V-6 engine, which must improve fuel economic climate and velocity. It also obtains sitting for 8 thanks to a bigger cargo location and a wider third-row seat. Engines will certainly carry over unmodified, however, meaning there will certainly still be no direct-injection or turbocharging. The exterior and interior updates look good and also should maintain the Highlander competitive, which's actually all Toyota has to do to maintain the Highlander's sales numbers up-- cosmetic modifications that keep it fresh in an ultra-competitive market. Toyota already has the utility, convenience, capability as well as family-friendly components down pat. Servicing its curb charm as well as on-board technology will just enhance the Highlander's setting.