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2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum
Class: Midsize Crossover
Miles driven: 1246
Fuel used: 44.4 gallons
2016 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD
Class: Midsize Crossover
Miles Driven: 365
Fuel Used: 20.6 gallons
Toyota revealed a refreshed Highlander at the New York Auto Show that features some styling tweaks along with notable powertrain and equipment revisions.
Chicago radio legends Steve and Johnnie take the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid for a video test drive. What did they think of their nicely equipped test vehicle? Watch and find out.
2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited AWD
Dates Tested: 6/12/2014-6/26/14
Miles Driven: 514
Fuel Used: 17.0 gallons
Driving Mix: 40% city, 60% highway
2014 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD
Dates tested: 3/17/2014-4/02/14
Miles Driven: 364
Fuel Used: 21.3 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 17.1 mpg
Toyota’s Highlander was introduced in 2001 as one of the first “crossover” midsize SUVs. Built on an automotive-type unibody platform rather than being of truck-based body-on-frame construction, it set new standards for car-like composure for the class. Although it started life as a 5-passenger vehicle, it gained an optional 3rd row for 2004 that raised capacity to seven, and added a hybrid version the following year.
A redesign for 2008 left Highlander a half-size larger, but it remained a 7-passenger vehicle offered in gas and hybrid form. By this time, many other midsize SUVs had gone the crossover route, so it no longer stood out for its car-like behavior. Nonetheless, it proved a very popular vehicle that remained a benchmark for the class.
For 2014, Highlander is being redesigned again. Due to go on sale early in 2014, it again comes in gas and hybrid versions, but gains about three inches in length and now offers seating for up to eight passengers. It also adds some new standard and available features that bring it fully up-to-date.
See Consumer Guide’s review of the 2013 Toyota Highlander.
The redesigned 2014 Toyota Highlander bows in New York. The Japanese brand’s 3-row crossover gets a major styling overhaul, a new interior, and new features.
Company officials say the revamped highlander has 30 percent more sound-deadening material, making the cabin quieter and less prone to vibration and harshness.
Highlander will seat up to 8 passengers, making it one of only three midsize crossovers to do so (the others are twins Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia and the Honda Pilot). Buyers will have the option of selecting a bench seat for the 2nd row or two-place captain’s chairs with a collapsible center storage tray. The cabin is 4.3 inches wider, allowing for more shoulder space and easier access to the 3rd row.
Available drivetrains don’t change much. Entry-level models with front-wheel drive will offer a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The volume 3.5-liter V6 returns, but for 2014 it teams with a 6-speed automatic (replacing the previous 5-speed). This engine is available on models with front- or all-wheel drive. Toyota will continue to offer a gas/electric hybrid model with standard all-wheel drive as well. It pairs a 3.5-liter V6 engine with an electric motor and is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that behaves like an automatic.