We’ve just completed our test of the 2014 Toyota Highlander, and also this redesigned midsized SUV is constantly perform well and stands on top of the category. Consider whether a used model may be a more sensible choice, but before you rush towards the dealer to purchase one.
For its third-generation, there were a number of improvements made to the Highlander. Making the SUV more pleasurable to drive than before, handling is now more responsive. Anybody can now configure the Highlander to accommodate eight passengers, because of the wider three-passenger third row, but that aft bench is still only best for children. Fuel economy averaged 20 mpg overall within our tests-two mpg better than the previous-generation. Plus, the Highlander scored an Acceptable in the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small offset crash test, which is fairly unique with this class. (The Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, and Mazda CX-9 scored Poor, costing them their Consumer Reports recommendation.)
Negatives are few: Blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning technologies are limited to the pricey, top-level Limited trim, adding $1,400 to the cost. Plus, the best trim can only seat seven people. Exceed the surface level and some interior trim looks a bit low rent, and it’s not as quiet or plush riding as the previous generation Highlander.
The last-generation Highlander scored high for its refinement, quiet interior, ridepower and comfort, fuel economy, and flexible and roomy second-row seat. There is no question that those traits remain appealing for buyers, especially because the new Highlander represents a subtle evolutionary advance.
Sure, buying used sacrifices infotainment upgrades, bumper-to-bumper warranty, improved crashworthiness, and minimize new-car finance rates, however it can amount to significant savings on a reliable model when you purchase carefully. Take into account the budget you’d need for a whole new small SUV, which actually gets you behind the wheel of any used midsized SUV.
As our pricing chart illustrates, the savings on a three-year-old Highlander may be easily more than $10,000 dependant upon the trim level. Using the new Highlander at dealerships, there may be a reasonable number of trade-ins from current owners trying to upgrade, aiding prices and choices. It’s best to compare the trim levels for that used and new models to determine what features are available. We selected the favorite, well-equipped Limited line for your used comparison.
New model MSRP Invoice Price Average price paid
2014 Toyota Highlander 4WD LE $31,980 $29,199 $31,926
2014 Toyota Highlander 4WD XLE $37,500 $34,238 $37,157
2014 Toyota Highlander Limited 4WD $41,100 $37,524 $40,641
Used model Mileage Average retail price
2013 Toyota Highlander Limited
2012 Toyota Highlander Limited 28,000 $32,250
2011 Toyota Highlander Limited 51,000 $30,300
2010 Toyota Highlander Limited 66,000 $26,225
Buying new is usually alluring, but you can save a lot of money on a second hand car.