Car Review: 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited Hybrid


There is no doubt that Toyota has been focused on styling with new models recently, and the 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited Hybrid keeps that spirit alive and well. The all-new Highlander is a no-compromise, mid-size, three-row SUV that brings together the best in style, technology, comfort, capability and safety. Its exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, which complements a totally redesigned interior that will raise the bar in its segment. We drove the new Highlander for a week and had the chance to see exactly where Toyota is headed.


I first want to comment on the silver sky metallic paint, because so many people took notice of the color and complimented on the appearance and paint for the whole testing period. It’s a very clean color that also looks very modern and stylish. Sophisticated and dynamic, the new Highlander Hybrid features a progressive silhouette, a lower roofline for improved aerodynamics and sculptured side-door panels. The exterior has grown in length by approximately three inches, while width has increased one-half inch, conveying a sleek and strong appearance.

From the front, Highlander’s hood merges with a redesigned trapezoidal grille, wraparound headlamps and deeply chiseled fenders for a more aggressive appearance. The length of the profile, from the front fenders to the rear quarter panels, boldly stands out with sculptured wheel wells at the corners, allowing for prominently protruding wheels. The total package is capped off by a newly designed height-adjustable rear lift-gate with an available one-touch power open/close and driver selectable memory height settings, and taillights and a bumper that exude style and strength. The chromtec roofrails were also a nice touch!


This is where Toyota has really stepped things up with the 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited Hybrid, delivering a luxurious cabin with more space than appears from the exterior. Toyota engineers raised the bar on interior design for the mid-size SUV segment by adding even more refinement and functionality to the new Highlander and Highlander Hybrid. The 2014 model offers a premium interior highlighted by increased spaciousness for up to eight people, and an array of standard comfort, convenience and technology features.

The new Highlander’s interior utilizes premium materials to offer an upscale experience, with most models featuring standard contrast seat stitching. All Highlanders come equipped with a soft-touch instrument panel and silver-painted, satin and chrome-plated accents that are thoughtfully placed throughout the interior. Wood-grain pattern trim can be found on the front dash and door trim. The Limited grade model we tested adds touches of elegance. Premium fabrics, available smooth and perforated leather-trim seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob add to Highlander’s redesigned upscale interior. The adoption of a high-quality knit roof lining and available second-row sunshades add to Highlander’s refinement and comfort.

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Toyota Aims for Better Design

Toyota is seeking to reinvent itself after a disastrous few years when trade collapsed due to the global financial crisis and Toyota experienced its greatest ever loss, production was impeded after the earthquake and tsunami in Tōhoku in 2011, and the company mounted the world’s largest recall campaign in 2009 which blemished the company’s once-immaculate safety record.

One solution

For decades, Toyota emphasized its staid reliability, which is oft-mentioned by, a leading source of automotive news. In 2012, however, it announced that it wanted to be one of the cool kids. The largest automaker in Japan said it would re-jig its development system to grant engineers greater freedom to experiment with designs that were bolder and more daring. Chief executive, Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the company’s founder, declared, “We want to take more risks.”

Previously, as many as 100 executives could review design changes, but the process is no longer democratic, and less executives are now involved. More research and development work will be devolved to teams in emerging economy nations so that models can be tailored to local needs. Engineers will be constrained by pressure to reduce costs by employ standard parts.

The Camry – a boring, beige appliance

The Camry is an eminently sensible means of obtaining groceries and the best-selling car in North America, but its design has long been mocked. A 2011 article by Motor Trend magazine stated that terms such as “boring,” “appliance,” and “beige” were often used to describe it. Tokuo Fukuichi, who became Toyota’s chief designer in 2011, said this was the result of a consensus-driven process that attempted to please everybody but consequently excited nobody. Fukuichi said that if people are to be passionate about a design, some people are going to hate it. He knows of what he speaks, having designed the first generation Previa – the “egg van” – which is among Toyota’s most love-it-or-hate-it vehicles.

The Kluger is now more masculine

toyota kluger

One example that shows that Toyota is achieving its goal is the Kluger, which is sold in the United States as the Highlander. It was a favorite of busy mothers but was made more masculine to increase its appeal to males. It’s now longer and marginally wider than its predecessor and features improved aerodynamics, sculptured side-door panels, and a progressive silhouette. Toyota hopes that this auto’s increased sophistication and dynamism will tilt the Kluger’s balance more to yang than yin, and Toyota Kluger reviews will attest to its success in this venture.

Designer were given free reign with the Avalon

Then, there is the Avalon, for which U.S. designers were given free rein in its re-styling. Reviewers acknowledged that wraparound taillights and a trapezoidal grille had changed the way the vehicle feels to a great degree. When Toyoda first clapped eyes on the revised vehicle, he is said to have exclaimed, “Cool! Don’t change a thing.”

And, finally…

Toyota’s engineering and production was once driven by kaizen, the making of continual, incremental improvements rather than radical changes. Fukuichi said that this could produce a fashion model but not an actress who was unforgettable even if her figure were less attractive and her face unusual.

When asked if Toyota’s design process could soon emulate that of Apple, which is famed for eschewing market research and going with its designers’ tastes, Toyoda said his company was “headed more in that direction” and needed to be “more visionary.”


Insure Your Car Before You Drive


Have you seen the 2013 Toyota Highlander Limited 4WD? Wow! You could be the king of the road with that car. With interiors and exteriors that will match your style and taste. What more could you ask for?

Insure Your Car Now

No matter what model or make of your car, the insurance is imperative to protect yourself against the cost in case of an accident. There is a study that the safe drivers are not always charged the lowest insurance. Non-driving factors such as income, education and work seem to be more important in getting lower insurance rates.

If you can afford the new Toyota Highlander Limited 4WD, your income bracket must be in the upper scale. Make sure to insure such a handsome car.

Proper Maintenance of Your Car

To avoid any road accidents, you should keep your car in good condition. Not everyone can afford a brand new car every year. Therefore, proper maintenance of your car is necessary. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Have a regular tune-up-have your car serviced regularly to keep it in good condition and to replace parts that are already worn out.
2. Check your brakes, clutch, tire pressure, battery and battery water-it is important to have these items checked to avoid any mishaps on the road.
3. Drive efficiently-do not overstep on the gas and brakes. Do not be a clutch driver either for those who do not drive an automatic car. These will wear out your car faster.
4. Change the oil when it is scheduled to be changed-oil change used to be every 3,000 miles, It is done now when your car schedule calls for it.

Aside from prolonging the life of your car, car maintenance also keeps you and the public safe. Make this a priority today.

Safety is the Issue

Most car buyers look at the design,, the color, the features of the car. However, safety should be the issue in buying a car. You have to be protected out there when you are driving on the road. Some say that European cars have more safety features. Others say that American cars are sturdier. Japanese car makers will counter that their cars have a lot of safety features.

It is not just the car that makes driving safe, it is also the driver. Therefore, follow these guidelines to be safe on the road.

1. Always drive with your driver’s license inside your wallet
2. Do not drink alcoholic drinks if you are driving
3. Do not drive if you feel drowsy or sleepy
4. Do not drive if you are easily
o unsettled,
o hot-tempered
o irritated

Having a car is a responsibility to drive safely. You owe this to yourself and to the public. Make sure that your car is insured to minimize any costs due to an accident. The car and the driver must be in good condition before they hit the road. Drive defensively and reach your destination safely.


Car Review: 2013 Toyota Highlander Limited 4WD


We drive a lot of cars, and sometimes, redesigned aren’t always much better than outgoing models, but that’s not the case with the 2013 Toyota Highlander Limited 4WD. The first-generation Highlander pioneered the midsize crossover utility vehicle segment, ushering in car-like performance, comfort and fuel efficiency with SUV-like roominess and versatility. The current, second-generation Highlander amplifies those attributes and is among the leaders in the segment in standard active and passive safety features. Toyota has really taken serious steps forward with the Highlander as this is one very impressive vehicle.


The Highlander now has that wow factor that you don’t regularly see in an SUV, but it’s real. Designed at Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., the second-generation Highlander conveys a contemporary, dynamic presence via clean, sculpted lines, a wide, stable stance and muscular contours. The Highlander grade could be mistaken for an upgrade model with its six-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels, color-keyed power outside mirrors and silver-painted front grille.

The Highlander Limited as tested has a luxurious appearance with sporty 19-inch alloy wheels, chrome door handles and roof rails, puddle lamps and rear spoiler. The 2013 Highlander Hybrid is distinguished from the gasoline model by its own unique grille and bumper design, color-keyed rockers with chrome accents, plus vertically stacked fog lamps. The projector-beam headlights and taillights feature blue lens covers. Our classic silver metallic test model looked refined and upscale with an overall sleek look.


Continuing with that upscale feel, the 2013 Toyota Highlander Limited really hit a homerun with the cabin quality, design and fit and finish. All Highlander models feature a standard 50/50 split third-row seat and rear climate control. Generous standard features on the Highlander grade include front and rear air conditioning; eight-way adjustable driver’s seat; power door locks and windows with driver’s window jam protection and auto-up/down feature; manual tilt and telescopic steering wheel; cruise control; multi-function keyless entry system; UV-reduction windshield and rear privacy glass; digital clock; conversation mirror; illuminated entry system; scheduled maintenance indicator light; full-size spare tire and more.

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