Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
HOME

Redesigned Toyota Highlander: Better Than Ever



Toyota Highlander

There are many enviable characteristics that have helped separate Toyota from most of its competitors in the automobile world for more than a decade. The basic reason is this - they make very good cars!

Search up and down the Toyota lineup and there simply isn't a vehicle that can be deemed a failure. Some models like the Camry sell incredibly well, but even lesser-known vehicles like the Yaris slip into a category that fills a niche for Toyota and are viewed as quality automobiles.

Personally, the sport utility vehicle offerings by Toyota have always been a favorite. Whether shopping for a compact SUV or a super-sized model, there is something in the Toyota lineup for everyone. If one includes the Venza, which some folks consider a wagon, Toyota has seven SUVs overall.

The Toyota SUV list includes the RAV4, 4Runner, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Venza, and the somewhat quirky FJ Cruiser. And if one desires a more upscale SUV, Lexus (Toyota's luxury division) has a variety of options to peruse.

One of the more highly-rated Toyota SUVs is the Highlander, a sensible, well designed crossover. The Highlander is a three-row, family-friendly midsize crossover that's offered in four trim models (LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited) and a hybrid version.

The 2014 Highlander comes with a redesign that features a more chiseled, beefy look that gives it a bolder appearance than previous models. The new Highlander is not as rounded and its more aggressive exterior styling might be more appealing to men than its previous bland look.

Answering its critics, Toyota responded with more cabin and cargo room, styling changes, and added some premium amenities to the Highlander.

Major Changes for 2014 Toyota Highlander

  • New dashboard. Toyota upgraded from its previously hard panels to curvier surfaces.
  • Extra 3.7 inches of width added to third row, making Highlander one of the few midsize crossovers that seats eight people.
  • Refined driving experience, thanks to new six-speed automatic transmission.
  • Height-adjustable power liftgate with memory height settings

The Highlander provides two engine choices - we prefer the V6 option. The V6 Highlander is a 3.5-liter with 270 horsepower that elicits 248 pound-feet of torque. It's been clocked at 7.3 seconds going from 0-60-mph, which is about a second faster than many of its segment rivals.

The base Highlander (LE) is a front-wheel drive, 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

The Highlander hybrid also has a 3.5-liter, V6 gas engine, but gets assistance from a pair of electric motors to produce 280 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque. The gas mileage is an estimated 27-28 mpg.

2014 Toyota Highlander

  • Performance: 2.7-liter, four-cylinder, 185 horsepower; 3.5-liter, V6, 270 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 20-25 mpg; 18-24 mpg
  • Estimated price: $29,215 to $41,960
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 2 years/25,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited

Toyota predicts that 90 percent of all 2014 Highlander models sold will have the V6 engine and 60 percent of those will be equipped with the optional all-wheel drive.

Interior changes are impressive with the 2014 Highlander. The gauges now feature a more contemporary look and are clustered together in a sensible fashion. A dashboard shelf is a great innovation and the storage box under the console can occupy a sizable purse. Another positive change is increasing the space to 13.8 cubic feet behind the third row.

We also admire the optional "driver easy speak" that utilizes a Bluetooth microphone to broadcast your voice to third-row folks, the underlying reason (of course) is to get the attention of misbehaving kids.

Thanks to the numerous changes, the Highlander remains one of the primary choices in this crowded field of midsize crossover SUVS that includes Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Flex, Mazda CX-9, and Dodge Durango.





Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.



Placer County News Headlines

Transportation Sales Tax Closer to Ballot MeasureThe Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) Board of Directors, acting as the Placer County Local Transportation Authority, unanimously adopted the Keep Placer Moving Transportation Investment Plan

Beach House Restaurant in Pacific GrovePacific Grove, CA- Gazing upon the ebb and flow of the cool, clear Pacific waters as they lap against the shore of Monterey Bay as the sun gently descends toward the horizon is a damn fine way

Placer County Grand Jury Report Critical of Local Government Operations This year's Placer County Grand Jury Final Report contains some individual reports which are critical of local government operations

Placer County Fair in Roseville 2016ROSEVILLE, CA. Just in time to head off the summer vacation blues, the Placer County Fair, June 23-36, comes to life with fabulous fair food, swirling carnival rides, farm animals

Summer of Free Museums in Placer CountyMuseums throughout Placer County will offer free admission on select days all summer as the Heritage Trail Museums Tour returns for its ninth year

Python Snake on the Loose in Rocklin LocatedRocklin, CA- The Rocklin Police Department was informed the snake that escaped from its owner was located.

Rocklin Police Investigating Suspicious CircumstanceRocklin, CA- On Monday, June 20, 2016, Rocklin Police responded to a report of a suspicious person inside a gated community near Hillcrest Drive.

Lexus RX 350: Revised and Not Just for WomenRoseville, CA- Although enamored with this Lexus model in previous years, the thinking here was the Lexus RX was a luxury, midsize crossover sport utility vehicle

Placer County to Limit Medical Marijuana CultivationCommercial medical marijuana cultivation and sale will not be allowed in unincorporated Placer County, after the board of supervisors voted 3-2

California Fires Update Summary (6.22.16)Over 5,000 firefighters are battling 4 large wildfires in California, while firefighters around the rest of the state battled dozens of new fires

Roseville Gas Prices Holding SteadyRoseville, CA- Roseville gas prices have been holding relatively steady this past week. As usual, Costco, Sam's Club and ARCO dominate the low price leaderboard

Students Impacted by Walsh Family ScholarshipsRocklin, CA - Sierra College students who received the John G. and Lillian M. Walsh Family Scholarship say that it encouraged them to come to Sierra College


NEWS: In Case You Missed It