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March 27, 2015
With tickets in hand for the BNP Paribas Open pro tennis tournament at Indian Wells, I selected the keys to our 2014 Toyota Highlander. It seemed like a good choice for a 300-mile (round trip) mostly freeway cruise. As this is the most time I'd spent in the Highlander, I can see why this is such a popular, and Edmunds "A"-rated, choice in the midsize crossover segment. Following are four reasons (in no particular order) why the Highlander made this small road trip a pleasure.
March 23, 2015
You know that moment, when brakes suddenly light up in front of you and the freeway traffic comes to near-crashing halt.
This morning as I stood on our 2014 Toyota Highlander's brake pedal, I glanced in the rearview mirror, praying the guy behind me was paying attention.
March 19, 2015
Of course it does. Impressive, right?
But there are a few other reasons why the 2014 Toyota Highlander, especially one with all-wheel drive (our long-termer is not), makes a solid winter mountain transport.
March 17, 2015
Last fall, a friend I've known more than half my life announced his plans to marry. I and many of his friends raised a hallelujah. I'd only met his lady a few times, but it was enough to see that she was smart, pretty and ambitious, and that our boy was fortunate to be even a waterboy in this girl's league.
She'd grown up spending winter vacations in Park City, Utah, when her parents would load the kids in a wagon and Dad would put the hammer down and cover the distance from their Chicago home in a day. So they decided to marry in Park City since it was a fairly equidistant point to gather both sides of friends and family. A wedding in a ski town is not an opportunity to waste.
I asked fleet whisperer Mike Schmidt if he could spare a four-wheel-drive for the occasion. Another friend would join me for the drive and the Ram 1500 was an obvious choice. But it had plenty of miles already and this was before its recent meltdown. The F-150 and Chevy Colorado were other options, but Mike asked if I'd consider our 2014 Toyota Highlander.
March 11, 2015
We had just arrived in Newhall Ranch for my daughter's choir competition (some 60 miles away) when a migraine hit me, full force. Suffering for years with chronic migraines, I've learned that the fastest way through the pain is to shut down immediately — no noise, no lights.
I pulled up the 2014 Toyota Highlander's side window shades, flipped down the third-row seats and dove into the cargo area.
March 10, 2015
Although I have driven our 2014 Toyota Highlander countless times during the past 10 months, I have only just realized that the family hauler we picked traded a rear-seat DVD package for a giant sunroof.
March 5, 2015
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander continued to do its thing throughout the month of February, carrying people and cargo to a variety of local events. With no long road trips on the schedule, the Highlander still racked up nearly 1,500 miles.
February 27, 2015
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander last visited the dealer in October. A couple of days ago, the big blue crossover notified us it was due for routine service. The 15,000-mile interval called for a tire rotation and visual inspections of the brakes, wiper blades and fluids. I took the Highlander to Puente Hills Toyota just after noon.
February 9, 2015
You'd expect pretty much any car seat to fit into a large, family-first vehicle like our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander. For a personal Highlander, I'd probably go with one of the lower-line models (below our Limited Platinum) so I could get a center seat in the second row. But the captain's chairs in our long-term Highlander are still very car seat-friendly, particularly with their nice, flat seat-bottom cushions and multiple seat-back recline positions.
My child's very large rear-facing convertible car seat fit easily. And I was blown away by how much legroom still remained for the front passenger.
February 5, 2015
January turned out to be one of the busiest months for our 2014 Toyota Highlander. Thanks in no small part to senior editor Matt Jones's road trip to Las Vegas, Big Blue racked up an impressive 2,018 miles last month.
February 4, 2015
Like many new parents, I labor under the delusion that I haven't acquired too much baby gear. For example, I decided that we didn't need the most deluxe stroller out there. An umbrella stroller would do the job and be easy to store besides, right? Well, after much research, I went out and bought one of the largest, heaviest umbrella strollers on the market. See, I wanted a sturdy one. And I had to have one with four-wheel suspension (yes, really, that's a thing). So we now own a 17-pound umbrella stroller that accommodates children up to 55 pounds.
January 30, 2015
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander has crossed the 15,000-mile mark with few hiccups. Other than basic maintenance and a single recall notice, there have been no incidents. We did have one dead battery, but we're not sure if that was driver error or not.
January 19, 2015
My son was back home from college for winter break, and I thought it would be fun to take him and his girlfriend to a concert in Las Vegas. I selected our 2014 Toyota Highlander from our long-term fleet for the trip.
Home to Vegas is about 300 miles, and I figured I could get some good conversation with the kid and his girlfriend on the way over. I'd share with them sage words of wisdom, and in exchange, they could keep me in the loop with what the cool kids were doing these days.
I should have known better.
January 9, 2015
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander didn't see too much action in December, starting the month with 12,970 miles and finishing with 13,972.
Grand total of 1,002 miles.
No long trips to report, other than a 2.5-hour road trip in search of apple cider.
Click through for the details:
December 19, 2014
Oak Glen, California is a small town just east of Yucaipa on the southeast portion of the San Bernardino Mountains. I try to go every fall to visit some of the area's many apple orchards and stock up on the beautifully cloudy apple cider. You can mosey around the rows of trees and pick your own apples during the autumn, but my schedule prevented me from visiting during the busy season. I couldn't procure my own apples in December, but I still wanted to grab some of the good stuff to use in a Warm Vanilla Cider recipe I found one day as I casually lurked on Martha Stewart's Web site. So I grabbed a few friends, tossed them into the 2014 Toyota Highlander and headed for the mountains.
December 12, 2014
When I drive the 2014 Toyota Highlander I feel like a little kid sitting in her parent's car. The long seat bottom cushion hits my short legs about mid-calf. And the headrest of the driver seat is slightly above my head, even when lowered as far as it will go. Not an ideal driving position for me.
For the record, Magrath says he doesn't feel he needs any thigh support when he drives the Highlander because the seats fit his longer legs just fine.
December 9, 2014
I'm doing the easy work and answering a question posed by s197gt. "What does the fuel gauge indicate when the light goes on?"
The photo above is what the highlander indicates, st197gt.
Let's go deeper.
December 3, 2014
I like the 2014 Toyota Highlander the more I drive it. It's a car in my wheelhouse: big, roomy and versatile without consuming a massive footprint. Although I know it's a crossover, I can almost persuade myself that it's a direct descendent of the Land Cruiser and 4Runner with all of Toyota's off-road legend and tradition baked into its bones. As such, I believe all I need is a map, some sunglasses and a smattering of Spanish to drive it from L.A. to Buenos Aires. Maybe I will try this. It would make for great writing, especially the leg through Honduras.
December 2, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander has been with us for 8 months now, and during that time we've run the odometer up to 12,970 miles.
November wasn't a particularly heavy month, only 1,499 miles, but this included a quicky road trip out to La Quinta, and a whole lotta city commuting. Did either of these things have an impact on our overall fuel economy?
December 1, 2014
OK, so it's no surprise that the 2014 Toyota Highlander can haul stuff. What's more impressive is the packaging efficiency of the cargo area. In this case, I managed a four-piece drumkit, cymbals and hardware in the 42.3 cubic-feet of space behind the second row seats. There's still loads of vertical room to spare. In my Jeep, where I usually haul this same or similar setup, the drums seemingly consume most of the 60 cubic-feet offered behind the Cherokee's front seats.
November 20, 2014
Last week I drove our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander out to La Quinta, California to visit my parental units. La Quinta is about 150 miles due east of my home base, all of which is covered on Interstate 10, a major roadway.
When the trip was complete, imagine my surprise when, despite averaging 22.1 mpg over the 306.7 miles, the Highlander was in need of a refill.
November 13, 2014
Unique features are rare these days in the car world. Today it seems every car has this and every car has that.
But the flip-up rear window on our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander is pretty unique, and I dig it.
November 5, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander averaged 19.4 mpg over 1,362 miles of mixed driving in October. No big road trips this month, just normal commuter duty.
This slightly dropped its lifetime fuel economy over a total of 11,879 miles to 19.9 miles. As such, we're presently falling 1 mpg below the EPA's combined estimate of 21 mpg.
October 30, 2014
I'm on a mission to declutter my life and home. I started adopting the 15-minute plan. I set a timer then tackle a project for 15 minutes. When the alarm goes off I move on to another task. It really helps keep things in order. And if you despise cleaning as much as I do, you don't feel so bad knowing you only have to do it for 15 minutes.
I have a way of accumulating a lot of stuff. To help with clean-up I took a trip to The Container Store. If you give any credence to astrological signs having certain personality traits, you'll want to know that this store is a Virgo's dream. That store has a solution to organize anything in your life. They even have a hanging tissue box holder.
For the record, I decided not to get it. But I got lots of other bins and cabinet organizers and piled all of my purchases into the back of our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander.
October 29, 2014
As Kelly mentioned in her last post, the 2015 Toyota Highlander is already for sale. It also just received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. That's the same rating our long-term 2014 model received.
The 2015 Highlander received four stars in the front crash test, five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover crash test. How two 4s and one 5 average out to an overall top score of 5 I don't understand.
October 28, 2014
October 23, 2014
As the maintenance minder in our 2014 Toyota Highlander finally changed from "maintenance required soon" to "take me to a dealership now or suffer the consequences," we made an appointment at our local dealership to placate the SUV's incessant startup message.
October 22, 2014
I'm not sure which door I opened most during the past three days while driving our 2014 Toyota Highlander, the driver's door or the rear hatch.
October 21, 2014
Dan Edmunds recently praised the navigation in our long-term 2015 Porsche Macan. The vehicle position icon, instead of being centered, is offset to allow for more map space in the vehicle's projected path. Luckily for me, our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander has a similar design.
October 6, 2014
We added about 800 miles to our 2014 Toyota Highlander's odometer in September. It suffered a dead battery, endured a little rain, helped out some Girl Scouts, and passed the 10,000-mile mark.
September 22, 2014
Parties, picnics and potlucks have eaten up my last few summer weekends, and the 2014 Toyota Highlander has been a big help in safely delivering my family and our "assigned" dishes.
Last weekend's high school choir picnic required enough homemade Chinese Chicken Salad to feed 12 people.
September 18, 2014
The time had come for my Girl Scout troop to "bridge" from Cadettes to Senior-level scouts.
Since this ceremonial adventure typically includes a real bridge, we packed our 2014 Toyota Highlander full of outdoor party supplies and headed to a local expanse of greenish grass, complete with a drought-stricken stream and wooden-plank bridge.
September 15, 2014
Somehow, when nobody was looking, our 2014 Toyota Highlander crossed the 10,000-mile mark.
September 11, 2014
I quite liked driving our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander this weekend. It was the first time I've driven it.
But today it sprinkled a little bit in usually sunny Southern California, and I noticed this odd squeak/squelch/squerch when I was closing the driver-side window.
I took a video of it. Check it out.
September 8, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander didn't see much action during the month of August. With no big end-of-summer road trips on the calendar, the comfy SUV was pretty much regulated to moving people 'n stuff around town.
September 5, 2014
Rushing out the front door, hands full of laptop bag, gym bag and things-I-must-mail-at-the-post-office bag, I fumble for the 2014 Toyota Highlander's key fob. I press "unlock." Nothing. I press it again. Twice. Still nothing.
August 28, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander test vehicle is nearing a trip to the dealer. I know this because this morning, the Highlander flashed me the "maintenance soon" sign, prompting me to glace at the odometer.
August 22, 2014
Back in July Matt reported that his hands were too large to be able to reach the USB port in our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander. It's hidden away in this tiny space behind the shifter.
August 13, 2014
Dan Edmunds has previous extolled the virtues of our 2014 Toyota Highlander's interior storage space, and specifically the deep center console. However, he failed to answer a very important question: Is it big enough for a cereal box?
August 12, 2014
It's summer. It's hot, as in 108 degrees hot. You're perspiring profusely as you hop into your sunbaked 2014 Toyota Highlander to go home from work. It's got cooled front seats. That should be a godsend. But it's not.
August 7, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander isn't going to wow you like our new Jaguar F-Type. It's just a vehicle for getting it done. It's there for taking your kids to school. Going to work. Picking up your kids from school. Going grocery shopping. Taking your kids to an Organized Sport that you hope will somehow benefit them but really just seems to suck up all of your weekend time and forces you to stand around talking to other parents who you really don't like anyway.
But if you're going to live this life of paradise, you might as well do it with a Highlander.
August 6, 2014
July was a fairly quiet month for our 2014 Toyota Highlander. We added about 1,300 miles commuting around Southern California and posted fuel economy similar to what we've seen in prior months.
August 5, 2014
We received this recall notice for our 2014 Toyota Highlander. The supplemental restraint system electronic control unit requires a software update because it does not conform to the Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard. That's a mouthful. In simpler terms, the SRS ECU fails to meet the FMVSS.
August 4, 2014
If you're a parent with more than one kid, there has probably been a time when you've been driving and needed to yell at your little miscreants in back. You've likely said things like, "Bobby, stop touching your sister." "Jackie, for the tenth time, stop kicking my seat." "If you guys can't get along I'm just going to turn around right now."
With the 2014 Toyota Highlander, Toyota is hoping to make this a little easier with the Driver Easy Speak feature.
July 31, 2014
The 2014 Toyota Highlander comes standard with a third-row seat, giving it either a seven-passenger or eight-passenger capacity depending on whether you've got the captain's chairs (like ours) or the second-row bench. So maybe you've got to take your spouse, your two kids and your in-laws out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. How's the Highlander going to do?
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