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 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.
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 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 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?
July 28, 2014
When writing about cars for a living, one of the things you have to guard against is falling down the enthusiast well. We all have an idea of what makes an enthusiast. He or she is the car expert in their social circle, the one who subscribes to the magazines, reads the Web sites, follows new models and commits 0-60 times to memory. It's tempting to write for this reader because you don't have to explain as much.
July 25, 2014
A friend told me he recently moved into product planning at a major automaker. He comes from the engineering corps, but apparently you can't wait for old engineers to peel off into retirement if you want to rise in that department. Not if you want a steadily rising paycheck, anyway.
July 10, 2014
Last weekend the Oldhams packed up the Edmunds long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander and we went glamping.
That's glamping with a gl. As in glam camping. It's how the modern urbanite roughs it. And it's kinda become a thing.
July 08, 2014
I have big hands. Not long, just...pudgy. I don't think the 2014 Toyota Highlander was made for people with fat hands. At least the front shelf storage area isn't.
July 1, 2014
Most of the interior pieces in our 2014 Toyota Highlander fit well and look decent. But the knobs controlling temperature for the dual-zone climate control could be better. They move laterally way too much and utterly lack precision.
June 30, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander came with this first aid kit. It's a family car. Families need Band Aids.
But wait, there's more...
June 27, 2014
If you haven't sat in the back of a 2014 Toyota Highlander then you can't fully appreciate the space and utility available there. One of the SUV's coolest second-row features is this flip-down cup holder/table.
June 26, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander has a massive center console. Seriously, this thing is big.
April 15, 2014
A car tends to accumulate lots of random stuff in the course of a long road trip, and our run to Reed College and the University of Oregon in our new 2014 Toyota Highlander long-term test vehicle is no exception.
Fortunately, the Highlander's design team has built in a few clever storage features, the most prominent of which is The Shelf.
The Shelf runs under the dash from a point just out of range of the driver's right knee to the passenger's door. It looks unobtrusive and somewhat stylish when empty, and the list of the things it can hold is long: keys, phones, those little travel size Kleenex packets, pens, pay-to-park receipts, iPhone cords (there's even a hatch in the bottom to thread the business end to the USB jack below), Starbucks gift cards, my wallet and those archaic paper foldy things called road maps.
The surface is slightly tacky so our junk doesn't scoot around much in corners. However, as Confuscious once said, "Pens and pencils are easy to roll. Deal with it."
April 14, 2014
The timing couldn't have been better. My wife and I needed something spacious to take on a Spring Break road trip with our eldest daughter and her friend, and our brand-new 2014 Toyota Highlander long-term test vehicle arrived at the perfect moment. And Toyota's fairly simple break-in procedure, which lasts just 621 miles, was complete just before we were scheduled to load up and head north.
The girls have been accepted to colleges in Oregon. My daughter is about 90-percent sure she'll attend the University of Oregon this fall. Her friend has been accepted at Reed College in Portland but hasn't yet seen the state, let alone the city or the campus. The TV show Portlandia is her only reference point.
A side trip to visit my parents on the Oregon coast will make this a 2,500-mile journey when all is said and done.
For now, we've only just crossed the border on the first leg of our journey. But I can already tell the 2014 Toyota Highlander is much better suited to this trip than our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe proved to be last fall on the very same roads in almost identical circumstances. The difference is night and day.
April 11, 2014
This is easily one of the best features in the new 2014 Toyota Highlander. It's just a plain old storage shelf, but its location in the middle of the dash makes it perfect for holding keys, a wallet or even the largest of cellphones.
April 4, 2014
Apparently, Toyota didn't quite learn its lesson with the Tundra pickup. You might recall that when the big Tundra debuted in 2006, it had a pretty glaring issue with the design of its center stack.