2014 Toyota Highlander: Smooth, Easily Accessible Power
April 30, 2014
Do you really need a V6 for a midsize crossover? Not always, but now that the 2014 Toyota Highlander has grown to truly gigantic proportions, it's worth the extra money.
That's probably why the 270-hp V6 is now standard on every trim level except the base LE. Good thing, too, as it's able to deliver the kind of low-end torque that gets it up to highway speeds even when there's a full load of kids and cargo on board. That's the kind of power you miss with a four-cylinder.
Reduced mileage is usually the big drawback, but even that's not as much of an issue as it used to be. Our front-wheel drive V6 is rated to deliver 21 mpg in combined driving while the four-cylinder model with the same setup only bumps that number to 22 mpg.
Factor in the smooth, responsive power of the V6 and it's definitely a worthwhile upgrade. If there's a drawback to the extra power, it's the fact that the Highlander tends to sit back on its haunches too much under full throttle. If that's the only price to pay, I'd say pay it.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor