April 30, 2015
We kept our 2014 Toyota Highlander roughly 13 months until it hit the 20,000-mile mark. As soon as it did, it was time for an appraisal at CarMax.
Edmunds True Market Value put the Highlander's trade-in value at $33,633. I had a good feeling that this car would get a sweet appraisal at CarMax. It's a three-row SUV from a popular automaker with a high resale value. I figured CarMax would offer us $35,000.
April 28, 2015
Here's a good reminder that no matter how useful the latest technology can be, it's always best to rely on your own senses first. In this case, I mindlessly backed our 2014 Toyota Highlander into a sprinkler pipe because I relied on the backup monitor instead of turning my head first.
April 10, 2015
I've been watching a lot of Roadkill episodes on YouTube recently. Now those guys know how to make a road trip eventful. To elevate my recent 2014 Toyota Highlander road trip to similar levels of excitement, I feel like I should have: a) disabled two out of the Highlander's six sparkplugs; b) replaced the Highlander's suspension bits with those from a 1973 Corolla; c) let a family of squirrels live in the interior for a month prior; and d) wear nothing but Freiburger-approved shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops.
Alas, I did none of the above. But I did complete my road trip up with a total of approximately 800 miles while also vaulting past 20,000 miles on the odometer. I'm also not sunburned, frostbitten, exhausted, filthy or otherwise deranged. I'll consider that a win.
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 17, 2015
Last fall, a friend I've known more than half my life announced his plans to marry. I and many of his friends raised a hallelujah. I'd only met his lady a few times, but it was enough to see that she was smart, pretty and ambitious, and that our boy was fortunate to be even a waterboy in this girl's league.
She'd grown up spending winter vacations in Park City, Utah, when her parents would load the kids in a wagon and Dad would put the hammer down and cover the distance from their Chicago home in a day. So they decided to marry in Park City since it was a fairly equidistant point to gather both sides of friends and family. A wedding in a ski town is not an opportunity to waste.
I asked fleet whisperer Mike Schmidt if he could spare a four-wheel-drive for the occasion. Another friend would join me for the drive and the Ram 1500 was an obvious choice. But it had plenty of miles already and this was before its recent meltdown. The F-150 and Chevy Colorado were other options, but Mike asked if I'd consider our 2014 Toyota Highlander.
February 27, 2015
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander last visited the dealer in October. A couple of days ago, the big blue crossover notified us it was due for routine service. The 15,000-mile interval called for a tire rotation and visual inspections of the brakes, wiper blades and fluids. I took the Highlander to Puente Hills Toyota just after noon.
January 30, 2015
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander has crossed the 15,000-mile mark with few hiccups. Other than basic maintenance and a single recall notice, there have been no incidents. We did have one dead battery, but we're not sure if that was driver error or not.
December 19, 2014
Oak Glen, California is a small town just east of Yucaipa on the southeast portion of the San Bernardino Mountains. I try to go every fall to visit some of the area's many apple orchards and stock up on the beautifully cloudy apple cider. You can mosey around the rows of trees and pick your own apples during the autumn, but my schedule prevented me from visiting during the busy season. I couldn't procure my own apples in December, but I still wanted to grab some of the good stuff to use in a Warm Vanilla Cider recipe I found one day as I casually lurked on Martha Stewart's Web site. So I grabbed a few friends, tossed them into the 2014 Toyota Highlander and headed for the mountains.
December 3, 2014
I like the 2014 Toyota Highlander the more I drive it. It's a car in my wheelhouse: big, roomy and versatile without consuming a massive footprint. Although I know it's a crossover, I can almost persuade myself that it's a direct descendent of the Land Cruiser and 4Runner with all of Toyota's off-road legend and tradition baked into its bones. As such, I believe all I need is a map, some sunglasses and a smattering of Spanish to drive it from L.A. to Buenos Aires. Maybe I will try this. It would make for great writing, especially the leg through Honduras.
October 29, 2014
As Kelly mentioned in her last post, the 2015 Toyota Highlander is already for sale. It also just received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. That's the same rating our long-term 2014 model received.
The 2015 Highlander received four stars in the front crash test, five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover crash test. How two 4s and one 5 average out to an overall top score of 5 I don't understand.
October 28, 2014
October 22, 2014
I'm not sure which door I opened most during the past three days while driving our 2014 Toyota Highlander, the driver's door or the rear hatch.
September 15, 2014
Somehow, when nobody was looking, our 2014 Toyota Highlander crossed the 10,000-mile mark.
September 11, 2014
I quite liked driving our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander this weekend. It was the first time I've driven it.
But today it sprinkled a little bit in usually sunny Southern California, and I noticed this odd squeak/squelch/squerch when I was closing the driver-side window.
I took a video of it. Check it out.
August 7, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander isn't going to wow you like our new Jaguar F-Type. It's just a vehicle for getting it done. It's there for taking your kids to school. Going to work. Picking up your kids from school. Going grocery shopping. Taking your kids to an Organized Sport that you hope will somehow benefit them but really just seems to suck up all of your weekend time and forces you to stand around talking to other parents who you really don't like anyway.
But if you're going to live this life of paradise, you might as well do it with a Highlander.
July 30, 2014
It's summertime. It's time to pack up your family and head out for the Great American Road Trip to Wally World. But what are you going to drive? "A Tesla Model S!" you might say, having gained inspiration from our record-setting LA-to-NYC drive (and back).
The more practical and obvious choice, though, would be something like our 2014 Toyota Highlander.
July 21, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander is equipped with the Driver Technology package. It's a $1,400 option that includes lane departure warning, pre-collision braking assistance, automatic high-beams, subscription-based emergency services and radar-guided cruise control. I've driven numerous examples of adaptive cruise from various manufacturers, and I have to say, the Highlander does it well.
July 10, 2014
Last weekend the Oldhams packed up the Edmunds long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander and we went glamping.
That's glamping with a gl. As in glam camping. It's how the modern urbanite roughs it. And it's kinda become a thing.
July 1, 2014
Most of the interior pieces in our 2014 Toyota Highlander fit well and look decent. But the knobs controlling temperature for the dual-zone climate control could be better. They move laterally way too much and utterly lack precision.
June 30, 2014
Our 2014 Toyota Highlander came with this first aid kit. It's a family car. Families need Band Aids.
But wait, there's more...
May 13, 2014
On the way to the office this morning, I delivered our 2014 Toyota Highlander to Toyota Santa Monica for regular service. I did not call ahead for an appointment, and there were three other vehicles already in the service drive when I pulled up.
May 7, 2014
Our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander popped up the alert you see above upon startup the other day. There's no missing it, as the alert was accompanied by an audible chime.
May 6, 2014
May 1, 2014
Remember Ethanol? It was the hot alternative fuel there for a while not too long ago. GM even put yellow gas caps on all E85 capable vehicles to encourage people to uh..."go yellow."
Those drums aren't beating very hard anymore for various reasons, but there are still plenty of stations that serve up gasoline mixed with varying levels of ethanol. And there are still plenty of vehicles that are certified to burn both, but our Highlander isn't one of them.
April 2, 2014
The long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander joined our fleet recently and also made some Edmunds history. It was the first vehicle we purchased with Edmunds Price Promisesm. Here's how it went down.
I was instructed to buy a 2014 Highlander Limited with the Driver Technology package and preferably a dark interior color. I searched the local inventory and started to notice a pattern.