2014 Toyota Highlander: Induces Nostalgia For V6 RAV4
April 24, 2014
It would be inaccurate to call our 2014 Toyota Highlander overpowered. At around 4,350 pounds, the Highlander asks a lot of its 270-horsepower V6. But when you demand power, the 3.5-liter delivers with smooth, rich urgency. It kicks down a gear, a polite suggestion, really. Then it kicks down a second gear, sends a wave of torque steer through the column, and a jolting reminder that a two-ton object in motion tends to stay in motion, even with good brakes.
It's enough to make one nostalgic for the V6-powered RAV4. Now that car, which bowed out in 2012, was wonderfully oversauced at around 13 pounds per horsepower. You almost felt like you could shake loose the body panels if you just kept your foot in the V6 long enough. The Highlander by comparison feels like a freshly-cast ingot hurtling through a wax factory.
What remains to be seen is how this dopamine hit affects our long-term fuel economy.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor