Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2015

toyota highlander hybrid 2015: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of improvements make a previously dull, middle-of-the-road SUV stand apart with strong designing and improved family members friendliness.

Toyota paid attention to customers while upgrading the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and also responded to needs for more cabin and freight space, dynamic designing and premium facilities. Ask for a more vibrant driving experience must have been pleasantly disregarded, nonetheless, as the 2014's harsher flight is a tradeoff I do not believe lots of midsize SUV buyers need to need to deal with in return for sportier handling.

Still, various other renovations will definitely attract shoppers who had scraped the previous Highlander off their list or a minimum of to those that don't consider a comfortable flight a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's boosted cargo area behind the conventional third-row seat is a much-needed enhancement; plus, it's less complicated to get right into the 3rd row, which now sittings 3 as well as bumps typical sitting capacity to 8.

toyota highlander hybrid 2015

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

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

Outside & Styling

Toyota went back to the drawing board to redesign its aging and also stylistically devoid Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and also you can not call the Highlander boring looking any kind of longer. The 2013's ho-hum look transforms right into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders and also bold front styling. Its presence approved the 2013 New York City International Auto Show flooring where it debuted, and it looks just as excellent rolling down the street.

Just how It Drives

The driving experience isn't really the automobile's most enticing feature, despite an assortment of encouraging new framework and suspension changes, so it's good the brand-new SUV does so many other things well.

Toyota chose curved canyon as well as coastal roads in California to demonstrate the Highlander's brand-new handling chops. Driving a 2013 and also 2014 back to back, the 2014 does display higher levels of roadway grip and also an enhanced guiding feedback. It's even more athletic when digging right into a corner, though I would not call the Highlander fun to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 does not 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 enjoyment to name a few 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 pounds.

An unfavorable result of the Highlander's newly found dynamics is a choppier ride over rough roads. After driving 2013 and also 2014 versions, I might tell the 2014 transmits more road flaws via the chassis and into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have an aggressive layout as well as flight like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the advantage, the 2014 Highlander has a much more significant feeling over harsh roads, with less rattles, squeaks and also framework flex. It's a matured experience with boosted noise insulation, acoustic glass as well as a stiffer chassis aiding keep outside noise minimal.

I briefly hung out 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 brand new Highlander Hybrid. Both the front-wheel-drive-only four-cylinder (20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined) as well as all-wheel-drive-only Hybrid V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges as for engine sound and also resonances. The Hybrid's gas mileage is reasonably unmodified for 2014, down 1 mpg in city rankings to 27 mpg however keeps its 28 mpg combined rating. The shift from electric to when the engine fires up is recognizable with raw noises coming from under the hood, distinct from throughout a car park. Resonances from the change are very little, however the noises are loud enough to take notice.

An added 353 extra pounds added to the hybrid from three electrical motors-- two in the front as well as one in the back-- and also a nickel metal hydride battery is obvious in how the Crossbreed drives as compared to the Limited V-6 with all-wheel drive. It's a relaxed experience much less ecstatic regarding accelerating as well as managing despite 280-hp incorporated, and also it additionally doesn't ride any type of smoother than the non-hybrid.

The Hybrid's uncommonly loud engine sounds wouldn't be as much of an issue if the Highlander Hybrid weren't $48,160 with destination, $7,130 greater than 2013-- a 2014 Lexus RX 450h is $47,320, however a lot smaller on the within. The Highlander Crossbreed's high-end automobile cost doesn't show luxury refinement since the feature-loaded Hybrid Limited is the only Hybrid offered; the less-expensive variation got the axe for 2014.

The volume-seller V-6 is the most refined of the number, supplying smooth and foreseeable velocity along with 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 additionally extra affordable than the outgoing 2013 thanks to a brand-new six-speed transmission changing a five-speed unit on V-6 designs. The all-wheel-drive system, which is additionally brand-new, helps add 2 mpg freeway 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 torque to four wheels.


Part of the 2014's change includes calling up the interior styling with countless soft-touch and also accent-stitched indoor panels that boost the classiness. The quality is Toyota-Avalon great with a sewn dashboard, guiding wheel and also soft-touch, top notch products in prominent areas. Plastic areas that aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on the same level for the class. Also the base LE Highlander radiates the practically luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Minimal trims.

Seats is comfortable in the very first and also second rows with soft, broad front seats as well as a highly adjustable second row that moves and also reclines with two captain's chairs or the typical three-seat bench setup-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE and also conventional on the Limited. The rest of the Highlander may have been redone with dynamism in mind, yet the seats talk with its comfort-focused origins. Many people on our personnel will miss out on the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I won't, as it was uncomfortable and also bulky to remove and also replace with the facility table that stored under the center console.

In the third row, Toyota boosted width and included an added seat for an optimum capacity of eight passengers in conventional configuration. A brand-new, more portable rear suspension released the extra room. The third row still does not fit grownups with as much comfort as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, yet it readies in a pinch. There are additionally brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, only the curbside seat folded as well as slid ahead using the one-touch lever. Third-row bikers additionally take advantage of the second row's raised seat travel, which permits simple access and departure.

Ergonomics & Electronic devices

Technology is a big focus in the 2014 Highlander and done extremely well. Toyota's Entune multimedia system functions much better than ever compared to various other Toyota cars where I have actually utilized the system. Functioning the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The models I checked picked up on the different voice commands I spoke.

Those with cumbersome phones or that frequently have their phone linked to the SUV will appreciate a gadget storage ledge listed below the climate manages that supplies a pass-through for USB cables. There must disappear Medusa-like dangling of cords entangling the gear selector.

The common Entune on base LE models consists of a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup cam, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice acknowledgment, Bluetooth phone connectivity and Bluetooth streaming audio. LE And also trims have Entune Sound And also with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio and also 90-day satellite radio registration. The following step up is Entune Costs Sound with Navigating and App Suite on XLE models with an 8-inch touch-screen and also app suite with Pandora, Yelp and Facebook assimilation with a smartphone as well as going along with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is common on Minimal trim degrees.

The large facility storage space container in between the pole positions can feast on anything plus-sized, like a handbag, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the available rear-seat Blu-ray player. And when you forget that Blu-ray in your home, a fascinating new function called Easy Speak sends the thriving voice of a mad mama or papa with the rear stereo audio speakers through the Bluetooth microphone to maintain wild youngsters in check. Just how much more family focused can you get compared to supplying a function that allows moms and dads to chew out children?

Freight, Towing & Storage

Freight space behind the 3rd row enhances over the previous Highlander's revealing walk, which battled bring groceries, not to mention a stroller or golf bag. The freight quantity is currently rated at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a huge renovation, but at the very least it makes the location functional. It's still little compared with others in the section: The Traveler has 21 cubic feet and the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row. Toyota's hoax to raise freight room entailed relocating all three rows of seats forward, including length behind the rear wheels as well as making use of an extra portable rear suspension.

The power liftgate is an outstanding feature to be basic on LE And also trim levels as well as above, as well as has a dress up its sleeve: It adapts to different elevations, not just one or two fixed elevation settings. With the liftgate in motion, customers could stop the liftgate and also program it to open up to that established height the next time. The attribute will certainly make much shorter motorists and owners of reduced garages extremely happy. (If the gate goes too high, shorter individuals might have a hard time to get to the power-close button on its bottom side.) Another special feature on the back is an oldie yet a goody: On LE And also designs as well as above, the rear home window opens for simple access independent of the cargo gate.

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


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

The 2014 Highlander supplies lower supports and also tethers on outboard second-row seats for child-safety seats, but only a tether anchor on the center third-row seat.

Advanced security attributes are offered, though just on the costly Minimal trim degree where a blind spot monitoring system and rear auto parking help are common, and pre-collision, adaptive cruise ship control and also lane separation warning are optional. Minimal trim degrees are also the only versions with a backup video camera that makes use of anticipating standards to show the automobile's course-- a back-up electronic camera with set lines is typical on all other trim degrees.

Value in Its Course

Toyota says rates is up about $1,500 on average across the 2014 trim levels, which include extra functions over the 2013. Base pricing starts at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with destination, while volume-seller XLE models with four-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as include leather seatsing with heated pole positions, navigation, three-zone climate control, clever keyless entry, second-row sunshades and even more. Prices for the XLE is very affordable to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was really a midpack three-row SUV, lagging behind in crucial locations like interior top quality, cargo area and also modern technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander owner wanting to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned about trip high quality-- the 2014 is not only an engaging upgrade, but likewise worthwhile of cross-shopping the segment's finest.