2014 Toyota Highlander: Trip to Tennis Tourney
March 27, 2015
With tickets in hand for the BNP Paribas Open pro tennis tournament at Indian Wells, I selected the keys to our 2014 Toyota Highlander. It seemed like a good choice for a 300-mile (round trip) mostly freeway cruise. As this is the most time I'd spent in the Highlander, I can see why this is such a popular, and Edmunds "A"-rated, choice in the midsize crossover segment. Following are four reasons (in no particular order) why the Highlander made this small road trip a pleasure.
1. Seats. With the ample padding and, on the driver seat, the power adjustable seat bottom extender/retractor and lumbar support, the three-hour each-way journey (including some traffic getting out of L.A. and stopping for food), was taken in comfort.
2. Plenty of storage for road trip stuff. The massive center console compartment held the snacks, the doors held the water bottles, and the cupholders held the hot chocolate and cell phone.
3. Useful and user-friendly features. The Bluetooth system quickly paired up my phone and provided clear communication. Navigation was easy to set up and on-point. And the adaptive cruise control also deserved kudos, smoothly slowing and accelerating as need be with the flow of the light freeway traffic.
4. Impressive combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The potent V6 made short work of passing left-lane laggards and maintaining speed on hills. It also delivered a solid 23.9 mpg for the trip, pretty darn close to the EPA's 25 mpg highway estimate.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 19,361miles