What will past Toyota Highlander owners think of the all-new 2014 model?
The 2014 Toyota Highlander is a completely new design with significant changes to all aspects of the vehicle. This is an important vehicle for Toyota and one of its top sellers. Torque News is testing two separate versions, the XLE, and also the top-of-the-line Limited. Coincidental to this testing, I own a 2007 Highlander Sport, which is the model-trim equal of the current XLE. I have driven it as my daily driver for about 7 years. I have also owned a current-generation Lexus RX 350. What I found driving the new 2014 Highlander is that it stays true to the original generation’s mission, but takes liberally from the Lexus to provide a lot more refinement.
Differences Between 1st Generation and New 3rd Generation Highlander
The original Highlander evolved over time, but by its last model year in 2007 most were V6 powered, 3-row, all-wheel-drive crossovers. The vehicle was a smashing success for Toyota. Families with 1, 2, or 3 kids loved the vehicle for its combination of “right-size,” power, smooth ride, durability, and family-friendly features. The 3rd row was always intended for use by children. That extra seating is perfect for dinners with grandma and grandpa. They get to sit in the middle row, which is extremely easy to get into and out of, and the kids hop in the way-back. It also makes the car a viable substitute for the maxi-van for families that car pool their kids to sports and school.