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First Drive: 2014 Toyota Highlander

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2014 Toyota Highlander

Midsize crossovers like the Toyota Highlander tend to play a thankless role in the life of today’s modern family.

That’s really too bad. With the ability to hold several hyperactive kids and tons of cargo while keeping everyone safe and comfortable in all kinds of climate conditions day in and day out, they’re true heroes in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families across the country. Yet their car-apathetic owners often immediately forget about them as soon as their work is done. And nearly all midsize crossovers are thoroughly ignored by enthusiasts whose eyes begin to glaze over at first mention of the phrase “third row.”

Toyota is looking to soften the blow somewhat by giving its midsize crossover, the Highlander, a big redesign for the 2014 model year. With a bold new look, updated suspension and a refreshed interior focused on comfort and convenience, Toyota aims to make the Highlander sportier to drive and more striking in appearance, because, as the marketing team explains, “families are going places and they want to get there in style.”

So has the Highlander finally ditched the dull and become something truly desirable to own without sacrificing its heroic nature? I headed to Carmel, CA for some seat time along the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway to find out.

Continue reading 2014 Toyota Highlander

2014 Toyota Highlander originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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December 17th, 2013

Official: 2014 Toyota Highlander to start at $30,075*

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2014 Toyota Highlander

2014 Toyota Highlander dashboardWe now have pricing for Toyota’s redesigned 2014 Highlander, which is seeing moderate price hikes across the board. Prices for the popular crossover have been bumped from less than 1 percent to less than 3 percent on lower-end models (anywhere from $125 to $890, depending on trim). Toyota has increased prices on higher-end XLE and Limited models more substantially – between 4.1 and 4.5 percent ($1,480 to $1,700). The Highlander Hybrid sees its price increase 2 percent ($930). The new model will be available in four different trims and with either front or all-wheel drive.

The absolute cheapest member of the Highlander range, the base LE, with a four-cylinder and front-wheel drive starts at $30,075, an increase of just $195. The LE is also available with a V6 and all-wheel drive, with the bigger engine upping the price to $31,380. All-wheel drive models start at $32,840. A slightly pricier LE Plus starts at $33,600 for a V6 FWD model and $35,060 if you add all-wheel drive.

Next up, we have the XLE, which starts at $36,900 for FWD models and moves up to $38,360 for AWD. The top-tier Limited model starts at $40,500 in FWD spec, grips-at-all-fours versions will retail for $41,960. For those that want the very top of the Highlander range, there’s the Platinum Pack, which adds the Driver’s Tech Pack (adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning, lane departure warning and automatic high beams), a panoramic moonroof, heated steering wheel and heated second-row seats to the already well-equipped Limited model. Highlander Platinums start at $42,990 and $44,450, depending on how many tires are doing the work. (Note: All prices include an $860 destination and handling charge.)

Last but not least, there’s the Highlander Hybrid. Available only in Limited or Limited Platinum and with all-wheel drive as standard, the fuel-sipping member of the range starts at $48,160 for the standard CUV or $50,650 for the Platinum.

We have a full press release from Toyota detailing all the individual items at each trim level, along with a handy pricing table which compares MSRPs of the 2013 model with the new 2014 Highlander. Scroll down to take a look.

Continue reading 2014 Toyota Highlander to start at $30,075*

2014 Toyota Highlander to start at $30,075* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Dec 2013 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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December 17th, 2013

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

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2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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September 4th, 2013

New York: 2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut

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2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - front three-quarter view live from 2013 NY Auto Show reveal

Toyota has pulled the wraps off its all-new, 2014 Highlander in New York this morning, giving Americans a first look at what is sure to be a heavyweight in the mid-size crossover segment.

The new third-generation Highlander will come with the buyer’s choice of three different powertrain options. The base model will be powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel-drive. Next up the ladder is a 3.5-liter V6, also mated to the 6AT, which can be had with either front-or all-wheel-drive. Finally, the Highlander Hybrid will be equipped with all-wheel drive, its 3.5-liter V6 mated to an electric motor, all hooked up to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The automaker has not released any specs for fuel economy or output yet, though we’re promised increases in both power and efficiency.

While not a revolution in terms of styling, Toyota has cleaned up the bodywork for the new model, offering a crisp, conservative look for the slightly larger Highlander. The vehicle is some three inches longer and an inch-and-a-half wider than the outgoing model, yet it has a lower roofline. Black plastic-clad wheel arches make an attempt to butch up the crossover, though to our eyes, the Highlander still has the look of a minivan around the rear view.

Inside, the most important feature of this model is that it seats eight humans. Beyond that, the automaker is crowing about contrast stitching on the seating surfaces, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and accents in wood grain, silver satin and chrome. The third row is now easier to access via a sliding second-row point of entry, and is more capacious thanks to 4.3-inches of added width. There’s also a raft of newly safety tech including lane-departure warning, pre-collision warning and blind spot monitoring systems.

Toyota tells us that this Highlander will reach dealers sometime in the first part of 2014, though pricing has not been finalized. Scroll down to read more granular info about the 2014 Toyota Highlander in the official press release, and don’t miss our galleries of both stock and live images of the CUV.

Continue reading 2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut

2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Mar 2013 10:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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March 27th, 2013

New York: 2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut

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2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - front three-quarter view live from 2013 NY Auto Show reveal

Toyota has pulled the wraps off its all-new, 2014 Highlander in New York this morning, giving Americans a first look at what is sure to be a heavyweight in the mid-size crossover segment.

The new third-generation Highlander will come with the buyer’s choice of three different powertrain options. The base model will be powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel-drive. Next up the ladder is a 3.5-liter V6, also mated to the 6AT, which can be had with either front-or all-wheel-drive. Finally, the Highlander Hybrid will be equipped with all-wheel drive, its 3.5-liter V6 mated to an electric motor, all hooked up to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The automaker has not released any specs for fuel economy or output yet, though we’re promised increases in both power and efficiency.

While not a revolution in terms of styling, Toyota has cleaned up the bodywork for the new model, offering a crisp, conservative look for the slightly larger Highlander. The vehicle is some three inches longer and an inch-and-a-half wider than the outgoing model, yet it has a lower roofline. Black plastic-clad wheel arches make an attempt to butch up the crossover, though to our eyes, the Highlander still has the look of a minivan around the rear view.

Inside, the most important feature of this model is that it seats eight humans. Beyond that, the automaker is crowing about contrast stitching on the seating surfaces, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and accents in wood grain, silver satin and chrome. The third row is now easier to access via a sliding second-row point of entry, and is more capacious thanks to 4.3-inches of added width. There’s also a raft of newly safety tech including lane-departure warning, pre-collision warning and blind spot monitoring systems.

Toyota tells us that this Highlander will reach dealers sometime in the first part of 2014, though pricing has not been finalized. Scroll down to read more granular info about the 2014 Toyota Highlander in the official press release, and don’t miss our galleries of both stock and live images of the CUV.

Continue reading 2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut

2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Mar 2013 10:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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March 27th, 2013

New York: 2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut

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2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - front three-quarter view live from 2013 NY Auto Show reveal

Toyota has pulled the wraps off its all-new, 2014 Highlander in New York this morning, giving Americans a first look at what is sure to be a heavyweight in the mid-size crossover segment.

The new third-generation Highlander will come with the buyer’s choice of three different powertrain options. The base model will be powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel-drive. Next up the ladder is a 3.5-liter V6, also mated to the 6AT, which can be had with either front-or all-wheel-drive. Finally, the Highlander Hybrid will be equipped with all-wheel drive, its 3.5-liter V6 mated to an electric motor, all hooked up to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The automaker has not released any specs for fuel economy or output yet, though we’re promised increases in both power and efficiency.

While not a revolution in terms of styling, Toyota has cleaned up the bodywork for the new model, offering a crisp, conservative look for the slightly larger Highlander. The vehicle is some three inches longer and an inch-and-a-half wider than the outgoing model, yet it has a lower roofline. Black plastic-clad wheel arches make an attempt to butch up the crossover, though to our eyes, the Highlander still has the look of a minivan around the rear view.

Inside, the most important feature of this model is that it seats eight humans. Beyond that, the automaker is crowing about contrast stitching on the seating surfaces, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and accents in wood grain, silver satin and chrome. The third row is now easier to access via a sliding second-row point of entry, and is more capacious thanks to 4.3-inches of added width. There’s also a raft of newly safety tech including lane-departure warning, pre-collision warning and blind spot monitoring systems.

Toyota tells us that this Highlander will reach dealers sometime in the first part of 2014, though pricing has not been finalized. Scroll down to read more granular info about the 2014 Toyota Highlander in the official press release, and don’t miss our galleries of both stock and live images of the CUV.

Continue reading 2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut

2014 Toyota Highlander greets the world with NYC debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Mar 2013 10:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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March 27th, 2013
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