This Toyota Highlander video review covers all you need to know about this three-row, eight-passenger family crossover. We discuss fuel economy, price, safety ratings, interior space, its in-car electronics and how it compares to other SUVs.
The Highlander was completely redesigned for 2014 and seriously improved. Let's start with the third row. It's a 60/40 split that folds into floor, and not only does it have enough room for adults, there are three seat belts. That means you can load up the Highlander with as many as eight people — most competitors can only seat seven.
The second row slides and reclines, and provides lots of space. This particular Highlander has the captain's chairs, which are a bit more comfortable, but do lower total capacity to seven.
The interior itself features a more modern look and richer materials, many of which are soft to the touch or covered in a leather-like material. There's also an abundance of storage space. This shelf is a handy place to store your cell phone, while the enormous center bin can swallow a purse.
There are two electronics interfaces. One is the smaller touchscreen found in many Toyota vehicles that is perfectly useable, but bettered by other systems. The one here is basically the same interface, but made bigger and with navigation added. Some of its surrounding buttons can be hard to reach.
The base Highlander LE comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder good for 185 horsepower and 22 mpg combined. That fuel economy is barely better than the V6 that's optional on the LE and standard on everything else. It not only has 85 more horses, but makes the Highlander one of the quickest full sized crossovers.
The government gave the Highlander a five-star overall crash rating, and the IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick Plus.
The Toyota Highlander is easily one of our top recommended family crossovers. It may not be as involving to drive as the Mazda CX-9, nor is it as spacious as a Chevy Traverse or Ford Flex, but it's well rounded and should serve your family well.