2014 Toyota Highlander: Great for Glamping
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.
Our glamp of choice was the Auto Camp in Santa Barbara, California, about 120 miles north of our Santa Monica office. I've always wanted to sleep in an old Airstream trailer, and this was my chance.
Unlike most glamps, there are no tents at the Auto Camp. No tents. No sleeping bags. The entire hotel is made up of five nicely restored and fairly modernized old Airsteams ranging from a 1959 Overlander to a 1972 Sovereign. I booked Airstream #4, a 26-foot 1962 Overlander that sleeps four and features a full bath with a stand-up shower.
Situated in the shade of a 100-year-old oak tree, #4 featured all the modern conveniences of home including a microwave, a Mr. Coffee and two bikes. It's not exactly the famous Santa Barbara Biltmore, which is just a mile or so away, but it's definitely more glam than a tent in a KOA.
And so we drove our four-month-old Highlander to our 52-year-old Overlander. And it was the perfect vehicle for the trip. The Toyota proved to be extremely comfortable for the four of us, and its cargo area swallowed our blatant over-packing with ease. We also made full and frequent use of its power tailgate, and I found its navigation system to be easy to program and very accurate in its directions.
Although my kids appreciated the Highlander's rear air conditioning controls and its heated captain's chairs, the heated driver's seat was a bit too weak for me, even on its highest of three settings. Come on, Toyota, I wanna feel the burn.
I did, however, very much like the Sport setting on the crossover's six-speed automatic transmission, as well as its manual shift gate. Both make it easy to ring out all 270 horsepower from our Toyota's big V6. At the expense of fuel economy, of course.
But hey, when you're living the glam lifestyle, what are a few miles per gallon among friends.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 7,135 miles