At the 2013 New York Auto Show, Toyota has just lifted the wraps off the all new Toyota Highlander SUV. After teasing the car for over a week, we finally get to see the car in flesh.
Toyota says that the Highlander is a mid-size SUV, and is the third one in their lineup, making them the only company with such a distinction. Compared to the outgoing Highlander, it has a increased seating and cargo capacity without increasing exterior dimensions. It can seat 7 or 8 people.
The 2014 Toyota Highlander features new double wishbone suspension and new front Macpherson strut suspension. The car is available in front- and all-wheel-drive versions.
Toyota has increased the size of the rear quarter glass for a wider view during reversing. NVH has been enhanced; the noise levels have been reduced by 30% using sound insulating materials in the floor. Acoustic-type windshield glass has been used, which is claimed to have lowered sound levels.
The car features a dash silencer, enhanced body sealing, and revised placement of engine mounts to reduce vibration. The exhaust layout has also been revised to reduce noise and vibration levels.
Compared to the outgoing car, the width of the cabin has increased by 4.3 inches in the third-row which is a 40/60 split just like the second row. Cargo space behind the third-row has been boosted by 34%. The 2014 model offers heated seats for the front and second row. Seat materials are new. Heated steering wheel is also available, while the 8-inch navigation system is optional.
The car is fitted with a total of 8 airbags. Safety systems include Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, and ABS. All Highlander’s will have a standard backup camera and Hill-start Assist Control.
The Highlander features sweptback headlamps and wraparound taillights, and a well-sculpted hood, roof-mounted rear spoiler and a prominent front grille. On the interior, it gets leather upholstery with red stitching, faux wood trim and metallic accents on the dashboard, vents, shifter and steering wheel.
There are three powertrain options - a 2.7-liter four-cylinder VVT-i engine paired to a six-speed ECT-i, sending drive to the front wheels, a 3.5-liter VVT-i V6 engine, paired to a six speed ECT-i transmission driving all four wheels, and a Hybrid Synergy Drive which is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine and an electric motor, paired to a CVT and turning all four wheels.
Toyota says the cars will reach dealerships early next year.