Toyota Highlander Review

List of Pros

  • Nice exterior design and rich interior.
  • Soft suspension and overall driving impression. 
  • Good passing ability. 

List of Cons

  • High fuel consumption.
  • Inconvenient app navigation that distracts from the road.
  • Lack of desirable performance in default trim. 

Toyota Highlander Overview

Toyota Highlander 2014 is the third generation of the Japanese best-selling line. Even though the car was targeted for the American market, it has found fans worldwide. It continues the tradition of family cars – reliable, spacious, and comfortable, able to take you to a grocery store and up to the mountains for a family getaway equally easy. 

Exterior

An aggressive design features and distinct body lines make it different from the predecessor. A roofline and outlines of door panels create a rather rough appearance. The car is longer and wider now – extra 4 cm and 2 cm correspondingly. The front of the updated Highlander features a trapezoidal radiator grille, which is one of the highlights of the bold exterior, together with chrome inserts and stylish LED headlights. The back is less impressive but looks functional and practical thanks to a rectangular massive rear door and bumper made of unpainted plastic. The power of the crossover is emphasized by 18-inch wheels and wheel arches.

Interior

The interior has become even more spacious (though it may seem unbelievable). The car can accommodate up to eight people on board – the third row of seats is designed for three adults. A driver gets a multi-function steering wheel, a modified instrument cluster with a multi-function four-inch color screen. 

Technology & performance

Three engine options are available:

  • a 2.7-liter with 188 horsepowers, front-wheel drive, and six-speed automatic transmission in a basic trim;
  • a 3.5-liter with 249 horsepowers, four-wheel drive, and six-speed gearbox in a more expensive trim;
  • a 3.5-liter with 141 horsepowers – a compromise.

The bad news is that fuel consumption can make a driver second-guess the purchase after every refuel: the consumption is approximately 17 liters per 100 kilometers (slightly lower in the city), and a full tank is enough for 350-400 kilometers.

Seats

A driver’s and front passenger’s seats are very comfortable. There is a drawback, however: lack of lateral support, especially notable during cornering. The second row consists of two separate passenger seats, which can be transformed into three. The seats are wide, each equipped with mechanical adjustment in the basic trim and with electric one in more expensive trims. If you are ready to pay extra, you’ll get a memory function with two modes of settings. Wide and almost straight doorways make it easy to get inside and make yourself comfortable on the third row – a full-fledged three-seater sofa without a foldable pillow in the middle.

Climate Control System

All trim levels have 3-zone climate control with a full rear control panel. It has a convenient swivel washer and large buttons. The sync key synchronizes the parameters of the three climatic zones in one click. Touch buttons, however, make a driver distract from the road, which is not good. 

Infotainment System

Crossover owners will especially enjoy a modern JBL premium audio system with twelve powerful speakers and an entertainment complex for passengers in the back rows. Phone settings, various auxiliary functions, and multimedia data are displayed on a six-inch color touch screen located on the center console. The display also shows maps and high-quality images from a rear-view camera.

Storage and Space

Trunk volume amounts to 269 liters; it can be increased to 1872 liters by folding the seats of the third row or even 2370 liters by folding two rows. Passengers get various cup/bottle holders, shelves, and compartments for little things. Drivers enjoy a huge box between the front seats and a shelf that occupies ¾ of the front panel space.

Comfort

Highlander evokes an amazing feeling of confidence and security. The stabilization system, brake distribution, and eight airbags make this crossover extremely stable and completely safe. Thanks to the increase in size and the new layout, it is more convenient to sit in the first and second rows.

Seat comfort

Both parts of the second row can be individually moved back and forth; the backrest of each can be adjusted. There is so much legroom in the middle row that you can safely move it entirely forward, and then there will be enough space on the back for adult passengers to feel comfortable. You can move the second row slightly forward, to get more room for luggage, and there will be enough legroom in the back. The third row of seats makes both regular uses in urban conditions and long out-of-town trips a pleasant experience for every passenger.

Ride comfort

An all-wheel version of 2014 Toyota Highlander stands confidently in a straight line, feels convenient and reliable. In general, rides are very smooth, the control is nice and slow. Improved sound insulation is noticeable both in the city and on the highway. 

The crossover is perfectly suitable for Nigerian roads. You’ll feel the heaviness of 19-inch wheels only on large combs, bumps, and pits. The suspension deals well with all the other roughnesses. Highlander passes smoothly and confidently in sandy fields and forest roads if you keep a smart speed.

Quality

Designers use high-quality materials for the interior. More expensive trims have a rich interior finishing with wood inserts. Multifunctionality and high-quality interior trim are the main advantages of this crossover.

Safety & Reliability

There are eight airbags in the basic trim version. An updated vehicle has also received several new driver assistance systems. According to an independent assessment of the ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program), Toyota Highlander proved high safety standards – 5 stars out of 5 with the following results:

  • Front safety: 14.97 / 16.
  • Side safety: 16 / 16.
  • Passenger safety: maximum.
  • Pedestrian safety: maximum.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC): standard.

Should I Buy the Toyota Highlander?

A large crossover that easily handles light off-road conditions at an adequate price – that is definitely worth your attention. Of course, you need to understand that it is not an SUV that can handle any extreme conditions, but it suits for city drives more than any Toyota’s SUV. We won’t say it is perfect, but if you are looking for a spacious seven-seater, this would be one of the first options we’ll recommend.

How Much Does the Toyota Highlander Cost?

Good news for Highlander fans: there are used cars for all budgets on Jiji. The price for the 2014 model starts from N1,400,000 and goes up to N13,900,000, depending on trim and condition. 

You can also consider other models. Earlier cars (the first generation for example) are available at only N700,000. If you are looking to something contrary, check out luxurious 2017 vehicles, but then get ready to pay up to N53,000,000.