I have owned this vehicle for about a month and a half now; Prox. 4000 miles. Bought the XLE over the LE Plus as the price difference was minimal as compared to some of the luxury upgrades that are standard with the XLE package; ie: Leather, heated seats, larger touch screen radio, moon roof, etc. My family also owns a 2011 Toyota Sienna with the limited trim package. The Highlander has a much more quiet ride, comfier seats, plenty of room in the 2nd & 3rd rows (I'm 6'-4") so I do not fit in most mid-size SUV's...
Bought a Limited Platinum 2014 highlander which now has a bit over 4,000 miles on it. It started making a "bump bump" sound when braking...sounds like something is rolling around in a truck, except there is no trunk! And, nothing at all 2nd and 3rd row seating except seats!
Took it into to Toyota to get the noise fixed...and they heard it, checked it out for a couple of day. The final response we received from Toyota Corporate was keep driving it until they had enough complaints to recall or more thoroughly investigate it. That is not the espouse you want when you pay almost 50k on a new vehicle! If your vehicle has the same issue, please respond...
I have owned my new Highlander Limited with platinum package for a week and a half now, and I must say this SUV is totally different from my 2008 Highlander. From the upgraded luxury of materials inside, to the super quiet and smooth ride with the new 6 speed transmission, it is fun to drive. The steering is a favorite improvement..you can feel the road with precise handling and no sloppy feeling to the wheel. The seats are very comfortable, with plenty of room front and back. All of the tech features are great, and a big help. The multi info system is awesome, and it is right between the gauges .The JBL stereo is great, and I enjoy the big screen for Entune and navigation. So many apps!
I purchased the 2014 Highlander after owning a 2006 model for eight years and 130K miles, with minimal problems.
The 2006 was a hybrid, and I miss the better MPG, but without a tax credit I couldn't justify the additional $12K (2014 hybrids only come in the highest trim levels).
I'm 6'3", and the new model is just enough bigger inside to sleep in comfortably with the second and third rows down.
I'm a conservative driver, and so far (1900 miles) I'm getting 20.6 mpg overall; when it's time for a tire change, Michelins with lower rolling resistance may add a mile or two.
The steering is more responsive than the previous model.
I have the XLE AWD and am still loving the vehicle. On a road trip I set the speed at 73 on the interstates and averaged 25.7 mpg. Pretty good for a fairly large vehicle and the ride is smooth and quiet to boot. Only complaint that I have is that in 4WD it kicks off at 30mph. My 4Runners were much better at towing than is the Highlander. In AWD and on fairly routine off road gravel the SUV handles it well. A little rougher terrain and the Highlander begs for some toughness. I just replaced the factory tires and should have done it sooner---the new wheels make for a world of difference on snow and ice. Factory tires are part of the planned obsolecsens of modern cars and consumers should be made aware of this. There are NO 85000 mile tires on new vehicles, replace at 30-40K.