2014 Toyota Highlander: Nice Dash Design
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.
It's easy to forget that a lot of people who don't internalize horsepower ratings are still enthusiastic about cars. And it's instructive, to me anyway, to observe what enthuses them. A friend and I took a ride in the 2014 Toyota Highlander recently and he was immediately impressed by the dash and instrument panel. Clean, symmetrical lines and a good look, he said. I hadn't even noticed until he mentioned it. He also found the undertray, its space lighting and the cable pass-through thoughtful touches.
My friend is a car guy in his own way. He's got a non-running Mustang of some 1960s origin in his garage. In his driveway there's a Chevy truck, a Mazda Protégé and a barely-running Fiero. He's not reading car magazines every month, but he likes burnouts, utility and, obviously, weirdness. And he likes a well-executed interior design feature that I'd only vaguely registered. In my defense, I was preoccupied with the cupholders.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor