First Look: 2014 Toyota Highlander
As 2013 comes to a close, car-makers can look back and reflect upon all the hard work they’ve put in over the last year. This is especially true for Toyota, having launched four all-new vehicles for the 2014 Model Year, the most recent being the Highlander.
Oddly enough, the outgoing model just came off its best November in terms of sales since…well…ever.
New for 2014, the Highlander now boasts 34% more cargo capacity and also comes with a standard 3rd row allowing for eight passengers, or seven if you and your first mate opt for the second-row captain’s chairs.
Ever have problems finding a good place to put your cell phone or oversized purse? Toyota hears you and offers “Smart Storage” in the dash as well as a 24.5L center console. That’s a lot of liters.
With no new engines available, the big changes include a revised 6-speed automatic transmission, a new rear suspension and a reworked all-wheel drive system.
GREG CARLOSS: After driving the new 2014 Highlander I can actually feel all the hard work that Toyota has put in to making a more enjoyable driving experience. First, with the new independent double wishbone rear suspension; it feels much more refined, more on par with luxury mid-size SUVs and the all-wheel drive system was also reworked and you can feel that on tight back roads. Mainly mid corner when you feel the back end start rotating around, something you don’t normally feel in a vehicle of this size.
A hybrid will also be available, but with a price tag at close to 50-grand, you may think twice about how green you really want to be.
We’ll have plenty more on the new Highlander soon, so keep tuning in each week for a new episode of MotorWeek.