Set to hit showrooms in February alongside its conventionally powered counterpart, the all-new 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid had its official coming out party in Los Angeles. Designed with family utility in mind, the Highlander Hybrid enters its third generation with a firm focus on versatility, style, and in-vehicle technology.
Bridging the gap between mid-size and full-size SUVs, the 2014 Highlander Hybrid is nearly three inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, and 0.8 inches taller than the current model. As a result, cargo space behind the third-row seat has increased by 34 percent, while first-and-second-row seats see a slight bump in shoulder room and legroom.
On the powertrain front, the previous model's hybridized 3.5-liter V6, continuously variable transmission (CVT), and standard on-demand all-wheel drive system carryover into the 2014 lineup. Official EPA fuel economy ratings have yet to be released, but Toyota expects the 2014 Highlander Hybrid will retain the current model's 28 city/28 highway figures. For comparison, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid returns fuel economy numbers of 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Inside, the 2014 Highlander Hybrid offers an array of upscale creature comforts and tech tidbits. Features new to the nameplate include a panoramic moonroof, radar-based cruise control, automatic high beams, a heated steering wheel, and heated second-row seats. Unlike previous iterations, the 2014 Highlander Hybrid is available only as a feature-rich Limited model, meaning goodies like navigation, leather, blind spot monitoring, rear sonar proximity sensors, and JBL premium audio with Entune mobile app integration are included as standard fare.
If that feature set fails to excite your senses, the Highlander Hybrid Limited offers two options packages: The Driver Technology Package and Platinum Package. The former bundles Toyota's Safety Connect Telematics service, pre-collision warning, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, automatic high beams, and lane departure alert, while the latter adds heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a panoramic moonroof to the mix. A rear-seat Blu-Ray entertainment center comprised of a 9-inch display and RCA jacks for portable gaming systems is available as a standalone add-on.
Accounting for destination and delivery fees, prices for the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited and Platinum open at $48,160 and $50,650, respectively.
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