2013 Los Angeles: Toyota’s new 2014 Highlander Hybrid prepares for soccer practice at LA

At the LA Auto Show, Toyota has unveiled another chapter in the trendy and crowded soccer mom and soccer dad arena: the 2014 Highlander Hybrid. Mated to a 3.5 liter V6, an electric motor will cream little Jimmy and Sally off to their next match with a swift and silent ‘whoosh’ and the inevitable moaning diatribe produced by CVT-mated powertrains. Toyota waxes poetic about the available JBL sound system and the interior finishes; touching only briefly about practicality.

The economy may be on the slow way to recovery, two issues make this car and Toyota’s presentation aggressive and optimistic, but perhaps they are onto something First, this is a new hybrid vehicle for which Toyota makes no mention of fuel economy or carbon emissions, second, this package is available as an add on to the Limited trim level, meaning that its $46,370 base price is a far cry from the ~$34,000 that Toyota is asking for the base, four-cylinder model.

Feel free to browse through the press release and its laundry list of luxury and safety electronics after the jump.

2013 LA Auto Show egmCarTech

November 20, 2013

Family Fun Gets Amped Up with the All-New 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Third-Generation of World’s First Seven-Passenger Gas-Electric Hybrid SUV Debuts at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show
Added Standard Features and New Technologies at Value Pricing

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 20, 2013) – Get ready to take the hybrid high road! The 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is on display now at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.  It marks the world debut of the all-new third-generation gas-electric mid-size hybrid SUV.  

The new Highlander Hybrid is a complete package for environmentally-conscious families who want to travel in comfort and style.  Its all-new sleek exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, complementing a new interior that will raise the bar in the mid-size SUV segment.  With three-row seating for seven, an array of standard features, a host of available in-cabin technologies, and increased cargo capacity, the new Highlander Hybrid will offer a balanced package of style, comfort and utility.  The total package is capped off with a Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain system for enhanced mileage and fewer emissions.
Sophisticated, Dynamic Exterior and Premium Interior Design
Sophisticated and dynamic, the new Highlander Hybrid features a progressive silhouette, flush-mounted roof rails for improved aerodynamics, and sculptured side-door panels.  The exterior has grown in length by approximately three inches while width is increased one-half inch, conveying a sleek and strong appearance.
Toyota engineers raised the bar on interior design for the mid-size SUV segment by adding more refinement and functionality to the new Highlander Hybrid.  The 2014 model will offer a premium interior highlighted by increased spaciousness for seven people, and numerous standard comfort, convenience and technology features.

A newly designed 4.2-inch color LCD Multi-Information Display provides an array of driver information including an Eco driving indicator and energy monitor to help maximize hybrid efficiency.
Perforated leather-trim seats in the first two rows, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, second-row captain’s chairs and much more add to Highlander Hybrid’s redesigned upscale interior.
The third-row seats will be 60/40 split bench for up to three passengers and added storage flexibility and convenience.  Rear cargo space behind the third-row has also increased by 34 percent for added storage.

Additional available convenience features include Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beam Headlights, panoramic moonroof, and heated steering wheel.
Improved Dynamic Performance, Handling, Efficiency
The Highlander Hybrid model’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system pairs the 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator for additional power and fuel efficiency.
All Highlander Hybrid models will be equipped with electronic on-demand all-wheel-drive with intelligence (AWD-i).  With new technologies that include enhancements in suspension performance, and optimized electric power steering, the new Highlander Hybrid will provide a more dynamic driving experience.

Highlander will have a MacPherson strut front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and 19-inch Chromtec® alloy wheels.
Advanced In-Cabin, Multimedia Connectivity
Highlander Hybrid will come standard with Toyota’s Entune™ Premium JBL Audio with Navigation and App Suite.  Among the many features in the system is an eight-inch high resolution touch-screen with split screen display with12 JBL Green Edge® speakers.

The new Highlander will also offer an available Blu-Ray® Rear Seat Entertainment system with an RCA coaxial input terminal at the rear of the center console to allow external devices, such as gaming systems, to be connected. 
Comprehensive List of Safety & Convenience Features
All 2014 Highlander’s will have eight standard airbags.  Like every Toyota, Highlander will feature the standard Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology.  All Highlander’s will also come equipped with a standard backup camera and Hill-start Assist Control.    

New available safety and convenience features include rear parking sonar, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Alert, and a Pre-collision System.    
Value Pricing
The 2014 Highlander Hybrid will be available in the Hybrid Limited and new Hybrid Limited Platinum package.  The Highlander Hybrid Limited will have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $47,300. 

The Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum package adds a Driver Technology Package that includes:

  • Safety Connect (includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification. Available by subscription),
  • Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control,
  • and Lane Departure Alert with Automatic High Beam Headlights. 

The Hybrid Limited Platinum also features a Panoramic Moonroof, heated steering wheel, and heated perforated leather second-row captain’s chairs.  The Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum package will carry an MSRP of $49,790.

Highlander Hybrid MSRP’s do not include the Delivery, Processing and Handling (DPH) fee of $860.  The DPH for Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.
All Highlanders are assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind.

Toyota will also display the one-of-a-kind Spongebob Highlander, next door to the Los Angeles Convention Center at the LA Live Entertainment Complex from November 29 to December 1.

The all-new Highlander Hybrid will reach dealer showrooms in February 2014.  With excellent fuel economy, low emissions, high performance, and refined styling in an all-wheel-drive SUV, 2014 will be high time for Highlander Hybrid. 

2014 Highlander Hybrid Pricing

Model Grade Engine Drivetrain  
MSRP Difference
MSRP Change
6966 Hybrid Limited 3.5L V6 AWD-i $46,370 $47,300 $930 2.0%
6967 Hybrid Platinum V6 AWD-i N/A $49,790 N/A N/A

All prices listed above exclude the Delivery, Processing, and Handling (DPH) fee

– By: Sawyer Sutton

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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