Rapid Review: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

I spent a brief amount of time with the new Highlander hybrid. I have always loved the Highlander, but the 2014 Toyota Highlander hybrid brings a ton of positive changes, starting with the exterior looks. It is larger than last year’s model and is much sleeker. Also new is a much cleaner and nicer interior. It is nice enough that this Highlander could easily be mistaken for a Lexus.

The hybrid system has a 3.5-liter V6, unusual for a hybrid to be a 6-cylinder. It has a CVT transmission and the rear wheels and the front wheels, are powered by an electric motor. Together they produce 280-horses. They are all all-wheel drive.

There is nice room in the second row seat, and the third row would hold two adults but kids would be more comfortable. Toyota built in 36% more room behind the third row seat and it has a ton of room in the back. Open the electric tailgate and you’ll have lots of room. There is also a window that will pop open in the tailgate, something a lot of SUVs are getting away from.

Second row seats slide easily forward for entry into the third row seating, which provides a flat surface when the seats are folded down. I wish the third row was electric, but they do operate easily both up AND down.

My tester is super loaded with heated and cooled seats, a huge panoramic sunroof, and a really cool feature where the driver can amplify his or her voice to talk to people in the 3rd row through the radio speakers.

It has a great navigation system and rearview camera. This very large SUV gets an amazing 28 miles per gallon combined and although a hybrid, it will tow 5000 pounds. Toyota knocked the ball out of the park with this one!

  • MSRP: As equipped, $47,740.
  • Manufacturers website: Toyota
  • Dealers: We have great dealers for all Toyota products in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Fresno, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Jose, and Los Angeles.
Photo Credit: Toyota
  1. craig 4 years ago

    Have you had a chance to look at the new Highlander AWD version? How would you rank it against others in that segment (e.g.Explorer, Durango, Infiniti, Acadia)?

    • Jerry 4 years ago

      Craig, I’ve had the Highlander hybrid, but forget the powertrain, the vehicle itself was awesome, I just loved it. I think it’s an excellent choice and Toyota makes a super all-wheel system.

      Email me and tell me which market you listen from, I’ll recommend a good dealer for you. jerry@carproshow.com

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      • Dave 4 years ago

        Hi Jerry,
        It seems strange but out here in the Crossover crazy SF Bay Area, I have not seen many of the new Highlanders on the road. Is it not selling well? (Good buying opportunity?). The Lexus and the Highlander are almost the same price (no 3rd row in the Lexus though), is the Hybrid worth the extra $7,000? i.e. higher resale?

        • Jerry 4 years ago

          Dave, good to hear from you. I think your area generally goes for the true mid-sized SUVs. The Highlander is AWESOME and i’ve driven at length the hybrid and I think it is WELL worth the extra money, it’s just an incredible SUV all around. I recommend it all the time.

          Talk to my friends at Livermore Toyota by clicking here: https://www.carprousa.com/dealer/livermore-toyota

          Thanks for listening to the show.

          Jerry Reynolds, President
          Car Pro Radio Network

  2. Ron Johnson 4 years ago

    Hi Jerry-
    Your show this last weekend got me thinking about swapping out my older Odyssey for a Highlander. I see your last test/ review was on a 2014 Hybrid Highlander. I see quite a few new 2014’s available locally and wonder what (if any) changes have taken place on the 2015’s? As I am just as happy with last year’s model if they are just as good. I have no preference for the Hybrid probably will look at the models that have leather seats at a minimum. But am open to all versions. Anyway, I appreciate your show and it was of the only talk shows on the weekend worth listening to.

    • Jerry 4 years ago

      Ron, thanks for listening. No real change for 2015, it’s virtually the same vehicle, so I would opt for the 2014.

      Let me know which market you listen from, I’ll recommend a great Toyota dealer for you. Email me from the website.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

  3. James Vega 4 years ago

    Hi Jerry love your show. I’m looking to get into a 2015 Highlander. Any Toyota dealserships you would recommend near the 90713 area code in southern California?

  4. Jim Tuel 3 years ago

    Any Toyota dealer in Chicago area you recommend?

    • Michele Sanders 3 years ago

      Not yet, but we are looking for the best dealers now. We will have a Toyota dealer there in the next couple of weeks I’m sure.

      THANKS for listening!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

  5. Jim Hodge 3 years ago

    I just bought a 2016 Toyota Highlander hybrid Limited platinum this is truly an awesome vehicle and I am blown away at all the gadgets this high lander is loaded

  6. Jennifer Gilbert 2 years ago


    I am looking at trading in my 2013 GMC Terrain due to repeated EVAP error codes. After four gas caps and $800 later I am still getting EVAP codes and I am getting tired of it. I was thinking about the 2016 Toyota Highlander. Any thoughts? Is this a good move? Is there a safer SUV that you would recommend? Thanks for your help. (I live in the Houston area)

    • Michele Sanders 2 years ago

      Jennifer, good to hear from you. Your plan is a good one, Highlander is amazing. On my website, click car reviews at the top, I just had the Highlander recently and loved it. Next to that tab, click Certified Dealers and email Toyota of Katy. Michael Hartmann is very good to my listeners, and he is having a big sale through July 5th,

      GOOD LUCK!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

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