April 7, 2015
By my count, Edmunds editors have taken our 2014 Toyota Highlander on seven long-distance, road-trip-like drives so far. Dan's trip to Oregon was the big one, but we've done plenty of shorter trips within California, too. I'm adding another one to that list, about 700 miles roundtrip for a family road trip over the Easter weekend.
It's fair to say that we like the Highlander when the open road beckons.
March 19, 2015
Of course it does. Impressive, right?
But there are a few other reasons why the 2014 Toyota Highlander, especially one with all-wheel drive (our long-termer is not), makes a solid winter mountain transport.
March 11, 2015
We had just arrived in Newhall Ranch for my daughter's choir competition (some 60 miles away) when a migraine hit me, full force. Suffering for years with chronic migraines, I've learned that the fastest way through the pain is to shut down immediately — no noise, no lights.
I pulled up the 2014 Toyota Highlander's side window shades, flipped down the third-row seats and dove into the cargo area.
February 4, 2015
Like many new parents, I labor under the delusion that I haven't acquired too much baby gear. For example, I decided that we didn't need the most deluxe stroller out there. An umbrella stroller would do the job and be easy to store besides, right? Well, after much research, I went out and bought one of the largest, heaviest umbrella strollers on the market. See, I wanted a sturdy one. And I had to have one with four-wheel suspension (yes, really, that's a thing). So we now own a 17-pound umbrella stroller that accommodates children up to 55 pounds.
December 1, 2014
OK, so it's no surprise that the 2014 Toyota Highlander can haul stuff. What's more impressive is the packaging efficiency of the cargo area. In this case, I managed a four-piece drumkit, cymbals and hardware in the 42.3 cubic-feet of space behind the second row seats. There's still loads of vertical room to spare. In my Jeep, where I usually haul this same or similar setup, the drums seemingly consume most of the 60 cubic-feet offered behind the Cherokee's front seats.
November 13, 2014
Unique features are rare these days in the car world. Today it seems every car has this and every car has that.
But the flip-up rear window on our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander is pretty unique, and I dig it.
October 30, 2014
I'm on a mission to declutter my life and home. I started adopting the 15-minute plan. I set a timer then tackle a project for 15 minutes. When the alarm goes off I move on to another task. It really helps keep things in order. And if you despise cleaning as much as I do, you don't feel so bad knowing you only have to do it for 15 minutes.
I have a way of accumulating a lot of stuff. To help with clean-up I took a trip to The Container Store. If you give any credence to astrological signs having certain personality traits, you'll want to know that this store is a Virgo's dream. That store has a solution to organize anything in your life. They even have a hanging tissue box holder.
For the record, I decided not to get it. But I got lots of other bins and cabinet organizers and piled all of my purchases into the back of our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander.
September 18, 2014
The time had come for my Girl Scout troop to "bridge" from Cadettes to Senior-level scouts.
Since this ceremonial adventure typically includes a real bridge, we packed our 2014 Toyota Highlander full of outdoor party supplies and headed to a local expanse of greenish grass, complete with a drought-stricken stream and wooden-plank bridge.
August 13, 2014
Dan Edmunds has previous extolled the virtues of our 2014 Toyota Highlander's interior storage space, and specifically the deep center console. However, he failed to answer a very important question: Is it big enough for a cereal box?
June 27, 2014
If you haven't sat in the back of a 2014 Toyota Highlander then you can't fully appreciate the space and utility available there. One of the SUV's coolest second-row features is this flip-down cup holder/table.
June 19, 2014
Our front-wheel-drive, Limited trim level 2014 Toyota Highlander is rated to handle 1,385 pounds of payload. That's not the Highlander's max rating, though. An LE model can handle an additional 70 pounds.
April 29, 2014
Crossover shoppers may note that the 2014 Toyota Highlander's cargo capacity has been cut by nearly 12 cubic feet compared to the 2013 Highlander. The latest Highlander now offers a total 83.7 cubes.
April 15, 2014
A car tends to accumulate lots of random stuff in the course of a long road trip, and our run to Reed College and the University of Oregon in our new 2014 Toyota Highlander long-term test vehicle is no exception.
Fortunately, the Highlander's design team has built in a few clever storage features, the most prominent of which is The Shelf.
The Shelf runs under the dash from a point just out of range of the driver's right knee to the passenger's door. It looks unobtrusive and somewhat stylish when empty, and the list of the things it can hold is long: keys, phones, those little travel size Kleenex packets, pens, pay-to-park receipts, iPhone cords (there's even a hatch in the bottom to thread the business end to the USB jack below), Starbucks gift cards, my wallet and those archaic paper foldy things called road maps.
The surface is slightly tacky so our junk doesn't scoot around much in corners. However, as Confuscious once said, "Pens and pencils are easy to roll. Deal with it."
April 14, 2014
The timing couldn't have been better. My wife and I needed something spacious to take on a Spring Break road trip with our eldest daughter and her friend, and our brand-new 2014 Toyota Highlander long-term test vehicle arrived at the perfect moment. And Toyota's fairly simple break-in procedure, which lasts just 621 miles, was complete just before we were scheduled to load up and head north.
The girls have been accepted to colleges in Oregon. My daughter is about 90-percent sure she'll attend the University of Oregon this fall. Her friend has been accepted at Reed College in Portland but hasn't yet seen the state, let alone the city or the campus. The TV show Portlandia is her only reference point.
A side trip to visit my parents on the Oregon coast will make this a 2,500-mile journey when all is said and done.
For now, we've only just crossed the border on the first leg of our journey. But I can already tell the 2014 Toyota Highlander is much better suited to this trip than our 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe proved to be last fall on the very same roads in almost identical circumstances. The difference is night and day.