2015 toyota Highlander Review

2015 toyota highlander review: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of renovations make a previously dull, middle-of-the-road SUV attract attention with strong designing and enhanced family friendliness.

Toyota listened to consumers while revamping the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also replied to demands for more cabin and also cargo room, vibrant designing as well as costs services. Ask for a much more dynamic driving experience should have been respectfully disregarded, nevertheless, as the 2014's harsher flight is a tradeoff I don't believe lots of midsize SUV customers ought to have to deal with in return for sportier handling.

Still, other renovations will definitely interest buyers who had scratched the previous Highlander off their checklist or at least to those that don't take into consideration a comfortable flight a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's enhanced cargo area behind the standard third-row seat is a much-needed renovation; plus, it's simpler to get into the third row, which currently sittings 3 and also bumps conventional seating capacity to eight.

2015 toyota highlander review

With upgrades that cover the lineup of LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited as well as Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is now in far better shape to tackle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Explorer and 2014 Honda Pilot.

I drove four-cylinder, six-cylinder and Hybrid 2014 Highlanders at a Toyota media event.

Outside & Styling

Toyota went back to the attracting board to redesign its aging as well as stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, as well as you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's ho-hum look changes right into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders and also vibrant front designing. Its visibility approved the 2013 New York City International Vehicle Program floor 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 cars and truck's most enticing attribute, even with an array of encouraging brand-new framework and suspension modifications, so it readies the brand-new SUV does so several various other points well.

Toyota selected curved canyon as well as seaside roads in California to show the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and 2014 back to back, the 2014 does show higher levels of road grasp as well as an improved guiding action. It's even more athletic when excavating right into an edge, though I would not call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 doesn't have a prompt strike of acceleration in the hefty Highlander. It's an unlike the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" ball of excitement to name a few similar three-row SUVs. A six-cylinder Highlander LE with front-wheel drive is 4,244 extra pounds, while a V-6, front-wheel-drive Santa Fe GLS is 3,933 extra pounds.

A damaging result of the Highlander's newfound characteristics is a choppier trip over rough roads. After driving 2013 and 2014 models, I might inform the 2014 transmits even more road flaws with the framework and right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OKAY to have an aggressive layout as well as ride like a couch; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the advantage, the 2014 Highlander has a more substantial sensation over rough roadways, with less rattles, squeaks and framework flex. It's a matured experience with increased audio insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer chassis helping keep outside sound marginal.

I briefly hung out in the four-cylinder Highlander with front-wheel drive, which Toyota expects to make up 5 to 10 percent of sales, and in the brand new Highlander Crossbreed. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) as well as all-wheel-drive-only Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the sides as for engine noise as well as vibrations. The Crossbreed's gas mileage is relatively unmodified for 2014, down 1 mpg in city ratings to 27 mpg but maintains its 28 mpg integrated ranking. The shift from electrical to when the engine fires up is noticeable with raw noises originating from under the hood, audible from throughout a parking lot. Resonances from the transition are very little, however the noises are audible to take notice.

An added 353 extra pounds added to the crossbreed from three electric motors-- two in the front as well as one in the back-- and a nickel metal hydride battery is obvious in just how the Crossbreed drives compared with the Restricted V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's a kicked back experience much less fired up about speeding up and managing despite having 280-hp combined, and it additionally doesn't ride any kind of smoother compared to the non-hybrid.

The Crossbreed's unusually loud engine noises wouldn't be as much of a concern if the Highlander Hybrid just weren't $48,160 with location, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, though a lot smaller on the inside. The Highlander Crossbreed's deluxe vehicle rate doesn't mirror deluxe refinement since the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Hybrid used; the less-expensive version got the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is the most fine-tuned of the bunch, offering smooth and also foreseeable acceleration 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 as well as 18/24/20 mpg with four-wheel drive is likewise much more competitive 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 likewise brand-new, helps include 2 mpg highway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send torque to the rear wheels when slippage is spotted, versus the previous system that constantly sent out torque to 4 wheels.


Part of the 2014's change consists of dialing up the indoor styling with various soft-touch and also accent-stitched indoor panels that improve the classiness. The quality is Toyota-Avalon good with a stitched dashboard, steering wheel as well as soft-touch, top quality materials in prominent areas. Plastic areas that typically aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on the same level for the course. Even the base LE Highlander exhibits the virtually luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Restricted trims.

Seating fits in the very first and second rows with soft, broad front seats and a very adjustable 2nd row that slides and reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the standard three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are readily available on the XLE as well as typical on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander could have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats talk with its comfort-focused roots. Many people on our personnel will miss out on the 2013's removable second-row facility seat. I will not, as it was awkward and cumbersome to get rid of and also change with the center table that saved under the facility console.

In the 3rd row, Toyota boosted size and also added an added seat for a maximum ability of eight residents in typical configuration. A brand-new, a lot more portable rear suspension freed the additional area. The 3rd row still does not fit adults with as much convenience as the larger Chevrolet Traverse, but it excels in a pinch. There are likewise new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Previously, just the curbside seat folded up and also slid forward by means of the one-touch bar. Third-row motorcyclists likewise gain from the 2nd row's increased seat traveling, which permits simple access as well as exit.

Ergonomics & Electronics

Modern technology is a substantial emphasis in the 2014 Highlander and done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions far better than ever before compared with other Toyota automobiles in which I have actually made use of the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The designs I examined picked up on the numerous voice commands I spoke.

Those with large phones or who frequently have their phone linked to the SUV will certainly appreciate a gadget storage space step listed below the environment regulates that supplies a pass-through for USB cords. There should disappear Medusa-like dangling of wires the equipment selector.

The conventional Entune on base LE versions includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup camera, USB port with iPod connectivity, supporting input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connectivity as well as Bluetooth streaming audio. LE And also trims have Entune Audio Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio as well as 90-day satellite radio subscription. The next step up is Entune Costs Audio with Navigation and also App Suite on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and app collection with Pandora, Yelp and Facebook integration with a smart device and also accompanying Entune downloadable application. A JBL sound system is standard on Minimal trim levels.

The huge facility storage space bin between the front seats can devour anything plus-sized, like a bag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray gamer. And when you forget that Blu-ray at home, an intriguing new attribute called Easy Speak sends the flourishing voice of an angry mama or papa with the back stereo speakers using the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy children in check. What does it cost? extra household focused can you obtain than giving a feature that permits parents to yell at children?

Cargo, Towing & Storage space

Cargo room behind the third row enhances over the previous Highlander's skimpy step, which battled carrying groceries, not to mention a baby stroller or golf bag. The cargo volume is now rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a massive enhancement, but at least it makes the area functional. It's still little compared to others in the sector: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet as well as the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's trickery to increase freight space included relocating all three rows of seats forward, adding size behind the back wheels and also making use of a much more compact back suspension.

The power liftgate is an impressive attribute to be common on LE And also trim degrees as well as above, and has a trick up its sleeve: It adapts to different elevations, not simply a couple of fixed height settings. With the liftgate moving, individuals can stop the liftgate and also program it to open up to that established height the next time. The attribute will certainly make much shorter drivers and also owners of reduced garages really satisfied. (If eviction goes expensive, much shorter individuals may have a hard time to get to the power-close switch on its lower side.) One more one-of-a-kind attribute on the back is an oldie yet a goody: On LE Plus versions as well as above, the rear home window opens up for easy access independent of the freight entrance.

A 5,000-pound tow rating on XLE and Limited trim degrees features a basic towing bundle that consists of engine/transmission coolers and upgraded radiator as well as generator. Hybrids can tow 3,500 pounds, V-6 LE/LE And also could tow 2,000 extra pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is ranked at 1,500 extra pounds.


The 2014 Highlander had not been crash-tested at the time of this writing.

The 2014 Highlander provides reduced supports and tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, however only a tether support on the center third-row seat.

Advanced safety attributes are offered, though only on the expensive Limited trim level where a blind spot tracking system as well as rear car parking assist are common, and also pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control and lane departure warning are optional. Minimal trim degrees are also the only versions with a back-up cam that utilizes predictive guidelines to show the automobile's path-- a backup electronic camera with set lines is basic on all various other trim degrees.

Value in Its Course

Toyota claims pricing is up around $1,500 on average across the 2014 trim levels, which include added functions over the 2013. Base rates begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE designs with four-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as consist of leather seating with warmed pole positions, navigating, three-zone environment control, wise keyless entry, second-row sunshades and also even more. Rates for the XLE is extremely competitive to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer or even the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was truly a midpack three-row SUV, lagging behind in essential areas like interior high quality, cargo space and technology. Feel confident, if you're a Highlander owner looking to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned about flight top quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, yet additionally worthy of cross-shopping the section's best.