2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD Reviews
Coined by French realist Gustave Flaubert (writer of Madame Bovary), he could be said to have lived by this maxim. And while we don't have any notion how Flaubert moved around 18th century France, were he alive today, it is an excellent bet he had discover the orderly and routine qualities of Toyota's Highlander hybrid. Low in fire and high, the Highlander Hybrid is placed absolutely to make middle class fantasies come true.
In a bid to spice things up bit the Highlander was treated by Toyota to an entire outside makeover, replacing the previous version's boxy structure with some sharp and swoopy lines that hark back to the brand's present design direction and adding three inches. But the men in the powertrain department seemingly did not get the memo about spicing things up. Unsurprisingly, the combined net horsepower remains steadfast.
In typical day to day operation, the petrol-hybrid system stays transparent, seamlessly changing the gasoline engine on and off as needed without misery. Depress the accelerator past the three quarter mark, yet, as the CVT lets the gas engine wind up, setting the rougher side of its character front and centre, and things get noisy. Sadly, forward advancement isn't incommensurate . Neither version of the Highlander at least comforting to learn that little functionality is lost in the pursuit for environmental virtue, despite the fact that it can be classified as fast.
More telling is the 24 mpg mixed driving was recorded in by us. Just 4 mpg south of the combined amount of 28 of the EPA, it is an important advancement we recorded with a V6 version that is almost identically outfitted. But you will pay up front as the decal of our test car checked in more than $5500 higher compared to V6 non-hybrid vehicle. If this difference works in your benefit depends upon the views of your social group your individual driving customs, and fairly probably.
187 feet were consumed by braking to a stop from 70 miles per hour, within spitting distance of the 188 feet needed by our non-hybrid V6 Highlander. But beyond the amounts, we were irritated by the Highlander hybrid's somewhat schizophrenic brake pedal behaviour in day to day driving. You reach a stage where the pedal travel has a diminished effect, although first braking starts out smooth and linear. The nonlinear braking feels not completely natural. Content to remain the steering system without correction, however is slow and mostly indifferent to little corrections to follow input signals that are abrupt. Turn challenging into a corner, and the internet is important lead--our examiner labeled it "excessive"--and a heaping serving of body slim. But intensity isn't the assignment of the Highlander. Its strength is supplying transfer that is serene, consistent.
A Calming Effect
To that end, the inside tests all the boxes that are right: it is silent (69 db at 70 miles per hour), impacts muted and are nicely isolated, and contents are section-proper. You can not lose the big ledge living below the dashboard, which, despite a suitable cable pass-through that keeps private apparatus cables arranged and a soft touch surface to keep them from slipping about, probably will become an unorganized and completely observable repository for the detritus of family life. The enormous storage bin on the other hand, readily devoured two handheld video games, a radar detector, and a DSLR camera with room to save, while parked keeping them out of sight.
Worked with one lever, sliding the second-row buckets proved to be straightforward, a blessing for those who have kids to herd. Although Toyota maintains the 60/40 third-row seat is 3.3 inches broader than it was formerly, it does little to shatter the stereotype of the manner-back being appropriate only for kids and contortionists.
All in, the as-tested cost came to some whopping $51,761 (the base cost for a Highlander hybrid is an equally gallant $48,225), an amount that might throw a kink in Flaubert's entire "routine and orderly" theory.
Only keep the cost in check, lest your bourgeois contemporaries accuse you.
2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD Video Review
CAR REVIEWS »
- More Photos