Tag Archive | "Toyota Highlander"

Such Great Heights: Toyota Unleashes It’s 2014 Highlander in New York

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The latest version of the Toyota Highlander is roomier, quieter and got a bit of a makeover.

 

Toyota unveiled the third-generation Highlander at the March 27 New York Auto Show, with some major differences. The door panels and fenders have been rounded off, which gives it a more sporty look, as opposed to the boxy look it had before. The new Highlander is three inches longer and 1.5 inches wider than the 2013, all while having a lower roof line. The new lift-gate in the back is powered by a one-touch control for opening and closing. This gives easy access to the added cargo space behind the third-row seating, which is up to 34 percent larger than the 2013, according to Toyota.

 

The Engine

The one knock on the Highlander is a little change in the engine from the 2013. The 187 horsepower, 2.7-liter four cylinder with a six-speed automatic transmission was, and still is standard. The 3.5-liter V6 has the same transmission, with the option of all-wheel drive. The V6 also has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The hybrid has an electric motor in addition to the V6 engine, and an electronic continuously variable transmission.

 

The Interior

 

The biggest difference in the 2014 Highlander’s interior is the third-row seating. Buyers have the option of a three-passenger bench or two bucket seats. This potentially increases seating capacity from seven to eight total passengers, which may be enough to convince you to want to trade your car in, especially if your family is growing or if you’re needing the extra space. The third-row seats can adjust (slide) three additional inches, which gives passengers that much more leg room.

 

Toyota’s Entune multimedia system will come pre-installed in all 2014 Highlanders. It features a 6.1-inch touch screen, equipped with Bluetooth and vocal recognition software. The system can be upgraded to an eight inch touch screen and 12 speakers for music lovers.

 

Bottom Line

 

Toyota sold 121,000 Highlanders last year and expects to sell 135,000 this year, Jim Lentz, the North American division’s top executive told Fox News. He said the company will produce all Highlanders in the United States and will export them to various countries starting next year. There has been no pricing information released, nor any fuel efficiency ratings. The 2013 went for $29,000, so expect next year’s model to be in that same ballpark. Neither the engines, nor the transmissions are much different, so the 20/25 mpg for the four cylinder, and 18/24 mpg for the V6 can be expected once again. The 2013 Hybrid got 28 mpg for both highway and city.

 

Photo from Toyota USA

 

The 2014 is larger, sleeker, and has several new safety features, including a blind-spot monitor. One of Highlander’s chief competitors, the Ford Explorer, seats one less passenger and its V6 version costs a couple thousand dollars more in 2013. That alone should give it a competitive edge. The new Highlanders are expected to go on sale in early 2014.

 

 

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