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Texans vote the 2014 Toyota Highlander number one activity vehicle

In a side-by side comparison, 50 automotive experts vote the new Toyota Highlander the Activity Vehicle of Texas.

The 2014 Toyota Highlander earned the top spot in its category this past week at the Texas Auto Writer’s Association (TAWA) auto roundup event. The 2014 Highlander is all-new for Toyota and it finished first in the voting in the Activity Vehicle class.

Toyota and Texas are like peas and carrots or Forest and Jenny. Toyota has been insourcing jobs in Texas for over a decade and builds all of its Tundras and most of its Tacoma pickups in the state. Highlanders are built in the US, but not in Texas, so the runner ups cannot claim bias (much). The Texas-Toyota relationship is about to get even more cozy. This past week Toyota announced that it will be moving most of its operations and its headquarters out of high-tax states and into the state of Texas. Texas has no corporate or personal income tax.

The TAWA event is held each spring at the Texas Motor Speedway. This year 50 active members of the automotive press based in Texas put cars from all over the globe through their paces. Toyota is an active supporter of automotive groups in the US and is often one of the largest sponsors and provider of test vehicles. The company actively encourages writers to try their vehicles first-hand and tell readers what they think.

The all-new 2014 Highlander has leapt out of the gates in terms of sales. Year to date the new Highlander is up 23% over last year’s previous design. That is quite an accomplishment considering the previous Highlander’s sales were already robust. At its present sales rate Toyota would produce about 150,000 Highlanders per year for the North American market.

Customers can now choose between an 8 passenger model, and a 7 passenger version of this sport utility crossover. The Highlander’s new transmission and other changes make the vehicle very competitive in terms of fuel economy and the Highlander Hybrid’s fuel economy simply cannot be beaten in a vehicle this size. The Highlander is also one of the few vehicles in its class that can earn the industries highest safety rating, the IIHS' Top Safety Pick+.

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