2014 Toyota Highlander SUV - Rating Details


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Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested 2014 Toyota Highlander XLE V6 AWD SUV (3.5L V6 AWD 6-speed Automatic) Driven On 2/25/2014 Ratings Summary The Toyota Highlander V6 continues to evolve and improve year over year. The welcome changes made in 2014 maintain its enviable position as a top pick in the ever-more-competitive 3-row SUV segment. Highlights include stirring-yet-efficient performance, exceptional quality and comfort, and remarkable value.
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Performance A stealthy combination of a powerful V6, proficient brakes and intuitive, precise steering, plus good handling, superior towing and capable off-road credentials place the Highlander V6 XLE at the top of its class, and almost effortlessly so.
Acceleration
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Near-silent 270-hp V6 is complemented by a liquid-smooth 6-speed automatic you might expect in a Lexus. With all-wheel drive, it's at the top of its class with a 7.3-sec 0-60 time.
Braking
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Despite a vague-feeling pedal, the Highlander provides substantial braking effectiveness (shortest stops in its class) and very good fade resistance.
Steering
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Intuitive response and reassuring feedback when cornering, isolated straight-line stability on the highway and a cinch to park. About as good as it gets for a large SUV.
Handling
B
A confident and competent handler, right up to the relatively low limit set by the electronic-stability system that really lets you know when you're asking too much of it.
Driveability
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Drives 'bigger' than its predecessor, but 'smaller' than many other 3-row SUVs. Its size is evident, however, in tight parking garages. Still, eminently easy to drive and live with.
Towing
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A properly equipped V6 XLE or Limited Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds which is tops for its class. Only a V8 or diesel SUV will do better.
Off-Road
B
No low-range gears, but a sophisticated AWD system, 8-inches of clearance, hill-hold/descent and advantageous approach/departure angles give the Highlander admirable off-road capabilities.
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Comfort Lexus-like. The Highlander's seats, ride comfort and utter silence are as good as any luxury SUV
Seating Comfort
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Heated leather front seats are as comfy as furniture and offer tons of adjustment, including extendable thigh support; 2nd-row are firmer, but slide/recline in a wide range; 3rd row is surprisingly livable.
Ride Comfort
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One of the Highlander's best qualities is its ride comfort; highly isolated and confident without feeling like a floating barge. Very few, if any, road irregularities intrude.
Quietness
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One of the quietest SUVs we've ever measured. Only an occasional wisp of wind noise is evident on a gusty highway pass.
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Interior With only a couple of exceptions (some long reaching and lack of augmented safety/visibility systems), the Highlander's interior is highly competitive in terms of access, scale and storage options.
Ergonomics
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Technology is sound (no infuriating software glitches) but the long reach to the touchscreen and some oft-used buttons (like the tuning knob) is an oversight. All else is intuitive, including folding seats.
Ingress/Egress
B
Front and middle rows are easily accessed with large doors and reasonable seat heights. Retractable grab handles help, but the third row is a little arduous, as most are.
Space/Room
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Big and accommodating where it matters (front/middle rows), but there are others with more ultimate space and larger measurements.
Visibility
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XLE comes with rearview camera, but only the top-end Limited model is available with rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitor and pre-collision systems.
Cargo/Storage
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Clever cubbies abound: cavernous center console swallows a large handbag; nifty center-console shelf with power-cord access is perfect for mobile devices; ample-sized pockets and cup-holders.
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Value Sure, the Highlander is a class-leader elsewhere, but it also is a leader in value due in part to its superior build quality, fuel economy and ownership experience. All that, and it's not the most expensive in its class either.
Build Quality (vs. $)
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Despite worries that Toyota has lost its grip on build quality, this Indiana-built Highlander showed otherwise: tight, quiet, excellent seams and surfaces.
Features(vs. $)
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XLE's standard leather, Sat/HD radio, USB input, keyless ignition/entry, Bluetooth and navigation represent a strong value compared to similar SUVs at around the same price.
Cost
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At $38,360, the XLE is worth it, not just because of its standard equipment list, but also because it dominates in several other categories (Performance, Comfort, Value).
MPG
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We recorded a real-world 23 mpg on our evaluation loop, eclipsing the EPA's 20 mpg Combined (18 City/24 Hwy). Other in its class are even less frugal with fuel and less powerful.
Warranty
B
Basic is 3 years/36,000 miles (typical in the class), but the 5-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty is a little light compared to others in its class.
Ownership
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You can expect worry-free miles in this Toyota, but just in case, it comes with 2 years/25,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance.
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Fun To Drive Perhaps we should rename this category "Rewarding-to-Drive" because while the Highlander isn't thrilling, it is immensely satisfying and more capable than it probably needed to be -- and that feels very rewarding.
Driving Experience
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The Highlander is remarkably quick and satisfying to drive, with low-impact, near-luxury comfort. To us, these are all excellent qualities for its intended buyers.
Personality
B
Sleeker styling for 2014 doesn't look as much like a giant station wagon or Family Truckster. Still, it essentially functions almost as well as the minivan alternative it is.
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Toyota Highlander Suv in VA is:

$160 per month*
* Explanation
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