For 2014, Toyota’s Highlander has been updated for the first time since 2008, and is now in its third generation iteration. It is a car-based mid-sized SUV with seven-passenger, three row seating. Sales of the Highlander (127,572 in 2013) places its revenue right in the middle of the Toyota SUV lineup.
This past week I was able to test a Highlander, a Limited top-of-the-line unit that carried an M.S.R.P. of $44,675.00, including freight. The Limited’s base price of $43,590.00 had as an option a set of carpeted floor and cargo mats ($225.00). It was what was called the Platinum Package edition, and that meant inclusion of a technology package, a panoramic moonroof, heated steering wheel, and heated perforated leather second-row captain’s chairs. The extra technology equipment included radar adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, automatic high beam headlamps, and pre-collision warning.
Limited model items on my test car included power liftgate with glass hatch, 19” five-spoke alloy wheels, anodized roof rails, three zone climate control, JBL/Entune navigation with 8” screen, perforated black leather seats, pushbutton starter, proximity keyless entry, tilt/telescope, heated and air conditioned front bucket seats, backup camera, and nice Optitron instrumentation.
Styling, with the 2014 revision, was great. So was the opulent-looking gray paint, “Limited” badging, and polished Chromtec finish on the wheels. The tires mounted on the alloys were 245/55R19 Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 mud and snow radials.
Power for the Highlander is supplied by a 3.5 liter V-6 with 270 horsepower and 248 lb. ft. of torque. The transmission is a six-speed automatic with snow mode and full-time four-wheel drive. A unitized body is employed and four-wheel independent suspension and disc brakes are, as well. EPA fuel economy ratings are 18-city and 24-highway, with a combined rating of 20. For the week that I drove the Toyota, my observation was of 23.5 mpg. Weight is 4,508 lbs., towing capacity is 6,000 lbs. and the fuel tank holds 19.2 gallons. Overall length is 191.1”, 3” longer than a 2013, and cargo volume behind the third-row seat is 13.8 cubic feet, another improvement over the 2013 Highlander.
I enjoyed the styling, interior comfort, visibility, road noise (or lack of), and guidance of the Highlander. The ride was satisfactory, and I feel that this year’s Highlander makes a nice family hauler and/or travel vehicle.