Toyota’s Family-Hauler gets a Makeover
Toyota took it’s popular, but some might say almost-invisible Highlander in for a re-design…and out came a bit of a “looker”.
The ’14 Highlander has a stronger, somewhat more “chiseled’ look about it. It’s three inches longer and a half an inch wider than it’s predecessor…but will still fit into the average garage with no issues.
You’ll find it quieter, roomier, and a bit safer than previous models…with better visibility, too.
While you might find an occasional Highlander with a 2.7 liter 4-cylinder, most will have a 3.5 liter, 270 HP regular-gas V-6 coupled to a new 6-speed automatic. You can also order the Highlander in Hybrid trim, should you like. The 6 is rated at 19 city and 25 highway. We came in right in the middle….around 22.5 in mixed city / highway.
With second row captains’ chairs, the Highlander seats 7….or with a bench in the second row, 8.
The Highlander has a number of family-friendly features, as you’d expect. Sliding, reclining second-row seats and a power rear hatch with a flip-up rear window are just a few.
Highlanders will come in four flavors….LE…LE Plus…XLE and Limited.
A base LE will sticker around 30K. Our test Highlander was an XLE…with just about everything. 18” alloys, heated leather seating with power lumbar, moonroof, roof-rails, second row sunshades and all the connectivity that you’d expect.
It’s a driver-friendly vehicle as well. The roll-top console can swallow a handbag, and Toyota has designed a shelf running under the length of the dash…a perfect place for cell phones, sunglasses and odds ‘n ends.
The Highlander has been a good seller for Toyota. My guess is that the ’14 Highlander will prove to be even more popular.