2014 Toyota Highlander Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
10 Reasons Why You May want to
Buy a 2014 Toyota Highlander:
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The Toyota Highlander has always been a pleasant family transport. The 2014 model continues that tradition. If you want reliability, this is the ride you’re looking for. And if you want adventure but don’t mind a vehicle that looks like it could have a baby seat and toys in the back, you’ve still come to the right place. The 2014 Highlander will get you up the mountain to the grocery store.
In fact, here are a bunch of reasons why the latest Highlander is a standout in midsized SUVs and, to be fair, a few reasons why a driver might look elsewhere.
[ For the 2015 model see - Toyota Highlander Pros and Cons ]
The 2014 Toyota Highlander is foremost a family vehicle, so the manufacturer goes the extra mile to ensure a full range of safety features. There’s a backup camera and a pressure monitoring system for the tires. It has blind spot monitoring and a rear cross traffic alert system. The Highlander comes standard with advanced front and side impact airbags, automatic high beams and lane departure warning.
- Feel and Look
Previous versions could be considered bland in overall appearance. The newest Highlander has a more masculine look about it. For 2014, Toyota offers an athletic touch with raked headlights and pronounced taillights. It’s a revolutionary design compared to past Highlander generations.
Mobility isn’t limited to personal devices anymore. More and more connectivity is finding itself on the dashboard. Toyota has always been a frontrunner in this department and the 2014 Highlander maintains the trend. The 6.1 inch multimedia touch screen has Pandora, Bing, Yelp and a string of other apps.
- Impressive Cabin
What’s always put the Highlander in family class is its roominess. It’s still a great vehicle for that with seating for eight. The cabin has exceptional stitching and accents that highlight the dashboard. The cabin’s been engineered to keep out the noise, promising as quiet a ride as you’re going to get (when the kids aren’t behind you).
- Driving Impressions
It would appear Toyota has finally managed to balance handling and ride quality. Earlier designs leaned toward the former with marginal improvements heading toward the latter. One definitely gets the impression Toyota wanted to add a little excitement to the experience. Direct steering, 185 hp four cylinder front wheel (or optional all wheel) drive and a well weighted component makes the 2014 Highlander a smooth and powerful driving machine.
Less than stellar driving dynamics in previous generations is addressed admirably here. Front strut and independent rear suspension provides firmness. With optional all wheel drive shift torque effortlessly from front to rear whenever the yaw sensors detect other aggressive driving. For those long trips and tough roads, the 18 or 19 inch wheels will come in handy.
- Solid Storage Space
The storage capacity can only be described as cavernous. There’s a center console that can hold up to 38 cans of soda. There’s 13.8 cubic feet of space between the 3rd row and the back door. If you lower the seats, you get 42.3 cubic feet behind the 2nd row and 83.7 behind the front seats. You also get a large glove box and a shelf under the dash.
- Fuel Economy
The base Highlander promises 20 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway, or 22 mpg combined. You can get the Highlander in front or all wheel drive. As determined by the EPA, the front wheel drive will give you 19/25 mpg, or 21 combined. All wheel drive delivers 18/24, or 20 mpg combined. The Hybrid has the best performance of course, with 27/28, or 28 mpg.
Critics have applauded the 2014 Highlander for feeling more like an expensive SUV than a crossover. The more muscular touch is giving family men who don’t want to own a minivan a great option. A well rounded, feature filled Highlander ended up coming in just below $39,000, which many see as a happy middle ground for what the model has to offer.
- Well Received SUV
U.S. News & World Report looked at published reviews and test drives of comparable vehicles. They also included statistics about safety and reliability. With that data in hand, they ranked the 2014 Toyota Highlander 11 out of 23 affordable midsized SUVs.
Unfortunately, to get the best out of the 2014 Highlander, you’ll need to get the optional 3.5 liter V6. The base LE trim’s 2.7 liter may be acceptable, but it doesn’t do justice for pulling a 4,500 pound vehicle.
- Third Row Lacks Comfort
While it’s great for kids, if you and some friends are getting away, no one deserves to be in that third row. Designers did not take even the smallest adult into account.
- App Navigation
While the dash comes with an impressive array of apps, Toyota has not made it easy to access them. This is a critical negative when your focus needs to be on the road.
Appealing, practical and enhanced, the 2014 Highlander is manageable, affordable and an impressive standout among midsized SUVs.
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