2015 toyota Highlander Review

2015 toyota highlander review: The 2014 Toyota Highlander's cavalcade of enhancements make a previously dull, middle-of-the-road SUV stand apart with vibrant designing and also enhanced family kindness.

Toyota heard customers while redesigning the seven/eight-seat 2014 Highlander and reacted to demands for more cabin as well as freight space, dynamic styling as well as premium services. Requests for an extra dynamic driving experience must have been pleasantly neglected, nevertheless, as the 2014's harsher ride is a tradeoff I do not assume numerous midsize SUV customers must need to cope with in return for sportier handling.

Still, other improvements will definitely attract shoppers that had damaged the previous Highlander off their listing or at the very least to those that don't think about a comfy ride a must-have. The 2014 Highlander's raised freight room behind the conventional third-row seat is a much-needed improvement; plus, it's simpler to get into the third row, which currently sittings 3 and bumps basic seating capability to eight.

2015 toyota highlander review

With upgrades that extend the lineup of LE, LE And Also, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels, the 2014 Highlander is now in much better form to tackle the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2014 Ford Traveler and also 2014 Honda Pilot.

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

Exterior & Styling

Toyota returned to the drawing board to redesign its aging as well as stylistically empty Highlander. Fast-forward to 2014, and you cannot call the Highlander boring looking any type of longer. The 2013's dull appearance changes into a hulking SUV with a beefier stance, bulging fenders as well as vibrant front styling. Its presence was big on the 2013 New York City International Auto Program floor where it debuted, and also it looks just as good rolling down the street.

How It Drives

The driving experience isn't the automobile's most attractive attribute, despite a variety of encouraging brand-new chassis and also suspension adjustments, so it readies the new SUV does so lots of other points well.

Toyota picked curvy canyon and also seaside roadways in The golden state to show the Highlander's new handling chops. Driving a 2013 as well as 2014 back to back, the 2014 does exhibit greater degrees of roadway grip and a boosted guiding reaction. It's more athletic when excavating into an edge, though I wouldn't call the Highlander enjoyable to drive. The 270-horsepower V-6 doesn't have a prompt strike of velocity in the hefty Highlander. It's a far cry from the lighter, 290-hp Hyundai Santa Fe, which is a "little" sphere of excitement among other 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.

An adverse result of the Highlander's newfound characteristics is a choppier trip over rough roadways. After driving 2013 and 2014 designs, I might inform the 2014 sends more road blemishes via the framework as well as right into seats. Hey, Toyota: It's OK to have a hostile design and trip like a sofa; see the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

On the upside, the 2014 Highlander has a much more substantial sensation over harsh roadways, with less rattles, squeaks and framework flex. It's a matured experience with raised noise insulation, acoustic glass and also a stiffer chassis helping maintain outside sound minimal.

I briefly hung out 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 also all-wheel-drive-only Crossbreed V-6 (27/28/28 mpg) are a little rough around the edges as for engine noise as well as vibrations. The Hybrid's gas mileage is fairly the same for 2014, down 1 mpg in city ratings to 27 mpg however maintains its 28 mpg combined score. The shift from electric to when the engine fires up is visible with raw sounds coming from under the hood, distinct from across a parking lot. Resonances from the transition are marginal, however the sounds are loud enough to take notice.

An additional 353 pounds added to the hybrid from three electrical motors-- 2 in the front and one in the back-- and a nickel metal hydride battery is visible in exactly how the Hybrid drives compared to the Minimal V-6 with four-wheel drive. It's a loosened up experience less thrilled about accelerating and handling despite 280-hp integrated, and it also doesn't ride any kind of smoother compared to the non-hybrid.

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

The volume-seller V-6 is one of the most fine-tuned of the lot, offering smooth and foreseeable acceleration as well as the most effective handling with all-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 more competitive compared to the outgoing 2013 thanks to a new six-speed transmission replacing a five-speed unit on V-6 models. The all-wheel-drive system, which is likewise new, assists include 2 mpg freeway over the 2013 variation. All-wheel-drive Highlanders send out torque to the back wheels when slippage is identified, versus the previous system that constantly sent out torque to four wheels.


Part of the 2014's transformation consists of calling up the interior styling with countless soft-touch as well as accent-stitched indoor panels that boost the classiness. The top quality is Toyota-Avalon great with a stitched control panel, guiding wheel and also soft-touch, top notch materials in noticeable places. Plastic areas that aren't textured, sewed or covered are still on par for the course. Even the base LE Highlander emanates the nearly luxurylike niceness of the higher-optioned Restricted trims.

Seats is comfortable in the very first and also second rows with soft, vast pole positions as well as an extremely adjustable 2nd row that moves and also reclines with 2 captain's chairs or the standard three-seat bench arrangement-- captain's chairs are available on the XLE and basic on the Limited. The remainder of the Highlander might have been redone with dynamism in mind, but the seats speak to its comfort-focused roots. Lots of people on our personnel will miss the 2013's removable second-row center seat. I won't, as it was uneasy and also large to eliminate and change with the center table that kept under the center console.

In the third row, Toyota increased width and added an extra seat for a maximum capability of 8 owners in conventional setup. A brand-new, much more portable back suspension released the added area. The 3rd row still does not fit grownups with as much comfort as the bigger Chevrolet Traverse, however it's good in a pinch. There are additionally brand-new one-touch folding second-row seats on both sides. Formerly, just the curbside seat folded and also glided ahead via the one-touch lever. Third-row cyclists likewise benefit from the second row's increased seat travel, which permits easy entrance as well as departure.

Functional design & Electronics

Innovation is a significant emphasis in the 2014 Highlander as well as done effectively. Toyota's Entune multimedia system works better than ever compared with other Toyota vehicles in which I've made use of the system. Working the Entune system's voice commands is impressive. The versions I tested detected the different voice commands I talked.

Those with bulky phones or that frequently have their phone attached to the SUV will certainly appreciate a tool storage space ledge listed below the environment controls that supplies a pass-through for USB cables. There should disappear Medusa-like dangling of wires ensnaring the equipment selector.

The typical Entune on base LE models includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen with backup cam, USB port with iPod connection, auxiliary input, voice recognition, Bluetooth phone connectivity and Bluetooth streaming sound. LE Plus trims have Entune Sound Plus with a higher-resolution 6.1-inch display screen, HD Radio and also 90-day satellite radio membership. The next step up is Entune Costs Sound with Navigation and also App Suite on XLE designs with an 8-inch touch-screen as well as app collection with Pandora, Yelp as well as Facebook integration with a mobile phone as well as going along with Entune downloadable application. A JBL stereo is typical on Restricted trim levels.

The huge center storage space container between the front seats can devour anything plus-sized, like a purse, iPad or Blu-ray collection for the offered rear-seat Blu-ray player. And when you forget that Blu-ray at home, an intriguing new attribute called Easy Speak sends the booming voice of a mad mom or papa via the back stereo audio speakers through the Bluetooth microphone to maintain rowdy children in check. How much a lot more household focused can you obtain compared to providing a feature that allows moms and dads to chew out children?

Cargo, Towing & Storage space

Cargo space behind the 3rd row enhances over the previous Highlander's skimpy walk, which battled carrying groceries, let alone a baby stroller or golf bag. The freight quantity is currently ranked at 13.8 cubic feet, up from 10.3 cubic feet. It's not a big enhancement, however a minimum of it makes the area usable. It's still little compared to others in the sector: The Explorer has 21 cubic feet and also the Pilot has 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Toyota's hoax to raise freight area involved moving all three rows of seats onward, including length behind the rear wheels and utilizing an extra small back suspension.

The power liftgate is an outstanding feature to be common on LE Plus trim degrees and above, and has a dress up its sleeve: It gets used to numerous heights, not simply 1 or 2 predetermined height settings. With the liftgate moving, customers can quit the liftgate as well as program it to available to that set height the following time. The feature will make shorter chauffeurs as well as owners of low garages really delighted. (If the gate goes too high, much shorter people could battle to get to the power-close button on its lower edge.) An additional distinct attribute on the back is an oldie but a reward: On LE Plus versions and also above, the rear window opens up for very easy accessibility independent of the freight gate.

A 5,000-pound tow score on XLE as well as Limited trim levels has a common towing plan that includes engine/transmission colders and also updated radiator and also alternator. Hybrids could tow 3,500 pounds, V-6 LE/LE Plus can tow 2,000 pounds and also a four-cylinder LE is ranked at 1,500 pounds.


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

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

Advanced security attributes are available, though just on the expensive Limited trim level where a blind spot monitoring system as well as rear car park aid are common, as well as pre-collision, adaptive cruise control as well as lane departure warning are optional. Minimal trim degrees are additionally the only designs with a backup cam that makes use of predictive standards to show the car's course-- a backup camera with fixed lines is basic on all various other trim degrees.

Value in Its Course

Toyota claims prices is up around $1,500 usually across the 2014 trim degrees, which include added functions over the 2013. Base rates begins at $30,075 for a base four-cylinder LE with location, while volume-seller XLE versions with four-wheel drive are $38,360 as well as include leather seatsing with heated front seats, navigation, three-zone climate control, smart keyless entry, second-row sunshades as well as even more. Pricing for the XLE is very competitive to three-row midsize SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Traveler or even the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The 2013 Highlander was genuinely a midpack three-row SUV, lagging behind in important areas like indoor high quality, cargo area and also technology. Rest assured, if you're a Highlander proprietor seeking to upgrade-- as long as you're unconcerned regarding flight top quality-- the 2014 is not just an engaging upgrade, yet additionally deserving of cross-shopping the section's best.

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