Test Drive: Toyota Highlander pricey, pleasant

24 Фев 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Toyota Highlander

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The 2014 Toyota Highlander. Toyota)

You gotta love shamelessly pitching yet another carryover vehicle as all new.

OK, the Highlander crossover SUV isn’t carried over from But you can make a strong case most of the changes either are or are a step backward.

Remarkably, the overall package amounts to the Highlander ever. And, for one obvious example, it’s how Toyota worked that

The 2014’s base engine a couple of horsepower. The third-row is further marginalized for more space behind it and a little front legroom. The 2014 gain 100 to 200 pounds vs. the 2013.

But economy rises slightly on the V-6 engine, due largely to a big, change: A six-speed automatic replaces the 2013’s five-speed. is, indeed, all-new and worth the And in addition to eking out a bit more it makes Highlander much to drive.

Chassis specifications pretty match the 2013’s. But in what appear to be backsliding, the front and stabilizer bars are thinner. typically makes a car feel in turns and have more lean. Not so in this case.

So, engines, same platform, the same overall size, chassis dimensions and nearly the chassis hardware — in our lexicon eliminates any legitimate claim to the all new

Toyota cares not. It did the on the 2012 Camry. In fact, it even further and said it Camry.

The latest Highlander is the most-pleasant all-around vehicles in — an excellent blend of ride handling agility for a family performance and interior space.

It suffuses you with mild and enjoyable anticipation as you stumble to it a hard day in the salt mine. Not a grin-mobile, but endearingly, unfailingly

The styling updates didn’t us, but they weren’t ugly,

The redone interior is a nice to spend time, but switches are The test Highlander, an XLE with drive (AWD), was optioned to but still had plastic plugs in unused switch openings, scorning you for not spending even for every feature.

The second row of slides very far forward or With it forward, you can accommodate humans in the the third row (barely) or cargo space with the row folded. With it back, you can second-row riders generous at the expense of the third row.

One When the second row’s far the seat tracks on the floor are We expect they’ll wind up a cuff or scraping an ankle.

In the dashboard/console area, Toyota provides a power-cord pass-through allows the cord to run from the near the gearshift lever up to a meant to hold phones and the Minimizes cord tangle and the cup holders available for actual instead of being wrong-shaped holders.

The Highlander’s cord from the charger on the console to the shelf that runs the two-thirds of the dashboard and holds all devices. A pop-out cover is to the (Photo: Fred Meier, USA

Touch-sensitive buttons were not our feature. Such controls are all the but they lack the feedback you get a push-button, and they aren’t enough to instantly activate the they control.

And we fervently to Toyota considering the navigation just another application, and you to hit the app button then choose Sorry; navi’s a thing of its above and beyond mere

Outside, we’d have the $599 running boards, on almost any vehicle except a truck, serve only to road muck onto leg.

Highlander, derived Camry’s underpinnings, was among the pioneers in the midsize crossover SUV starting with the initial Highlander. Toyota understood were headed away big SUVs into smaller, crossovers.

So raise a glass to the insight. And give a second to the surprisingly appealing way Toyota has the latest Highlander.

The buttons on side of the dash screen move or click, but sense touch. The slight indentation you hit them, but they don’t and feedback. To get to the navi you first to touch the apps button at left. (Photo: Fred USA TODAY)


What? Updates to midsize, crossover SUV, available front-wheel drive (FWD) or drive (AWD), gasoline or hybrid power.

When? On since January.

Where Princeton, Ind.

How much? at $30,075 including $860 for base FWD, four-cylinder; for Limited Platinum AWD, $48,160, hybrid. XLE AWD V-6 test $39,302.

What makes it go? 4-cylinder, 185 horsepower at 5,800 184 pounds-feet of torque at 4,200. 3.5-liter V-6, 270 hp at 6,200, 248 at 4,700. Both use six-speed transmission. Hybrid: 280 hp.

How big? to Hyundai Santa Fe. Weighs to 4,354 lbs. (Hybrid, lbs.) Carries 1,385 to lbs. of people, cargo, (Hybrid, 1,305 lbs.) 5,000 lbs. (Hybrid, lbs.)

Cargo: 13.6 feet (AWD) or 13.8 behind rear seat. 83.7 cu. ft. seats folded.

Turning circle diameter, ft.

How thirsty? Rated 20 mpg city, 25 22 combined city/highway (4-cyl. 19/25/21 (V-6, FWD); (V-6, AWD). Hybrid:

Test model, XLE V-6 AWD, got mpg (5.18 gallons per 100 miles) in city driving.

Burns tank holds 19.2 (Hybrid, 17.2 gal.)

Pricey, practical, very

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