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2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review

The 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid feels high class, from its upscale, high-tech interior to its polished ride quality. This fuel-sipper will stretch your gasoline further than classmates will, but the transmission and brakes can feel a bit unnatural if you aren't used to driving a hybrid. 

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding fuel economy for class
  • Straightforward infotainment and climate controls
  • High-end standard features
  • Sprightly acceleration from a stop
  • Soft brake pedal feel
  • Tepid highway acceleration

Rankings & Research

The 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid's #14 ranking is based on its score within the 2014 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 22 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Overview

Is the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid a Good Used SUV?

Only a handful of hybrid SUVs were built for 2014, and of the two that fall in the affordable midsize range, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the best. Commuters will appreciate its excellent gas mileage, and families will relish its luxurious, feature-rich cabin.

The 2014 Highlander Hybrid has a hybrid powertrain that combines a V6 engine, three electric motors, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is standard. This 3-row SUV has respectable off-the-line speed, but its acceleration at higher speeds won't blow you out of the water. Where this hybrid's powertrain really shines is in gas mileage; it gets a best-in-class rating of 28 mpg both in the city and on the highway. This fuel-sipper is as comfortable as it is economical, with poised handling, composed body movements in corners, a smooth ride, and responsive steering. If you aren't used to driving a hybrid, it may take some time to acclimate yourself to the regenerative brakes, which help recharge the battery pack. They can feel soft and numb for some drivers.

Read more about Highlander Hybrid performance »

The interior of the 2014 Highlander Hybrid feels more like a Lexus than a Toyota. The trim and controls have solid build quality complemented by premium materials and standard niceties, such as leather upholstery and climate-controlled front seats. You can fit up to seven people inside. The front and middle rows offer ample space for adults, and the third row is roomy enough to keep kids content. The Highlander Hybrid comes with two captain's chairs in the second row, each of which have an upper tether and lower anchor for installing child safety seats.

Lots of technology is included in the Highlander Hybrid, with one of the highlights being Toyota's Entune infotainment system. Its touch-screen display is responsive and easy to use, and it comes with navigation, a rearview camera, and a 12-speaker JBL audio system. Almost every passenger zone can have its own temperature, thanks to the Highlander Hybrid's standard tri-zone climate control. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, a rear-seat Blu-ray player, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

Read more about Highlander Hybrid interior »

Used 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Prices

A used 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid will cost you between about $36,000 and $38,000, depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location. If you're not completely sold on the higher price of the hybrid, you can save money by picking a used gas-only 2014 Highlander instead. These models typically cost between $20,100 and $27,400.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

The 2014 Highlander Hybrid has an average reliability rating, as does the gas-only Highlander. It's beat by a few used midsize SUVs in this arena, including the Honda Pilot and Buick Enclave.

How Safe Is the Highlander Hybrid?

The 2014 Highlander Hybrid is very safe, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It pinned the 2014 model year with a Top Safety Pick+ label – the organization's highest safety designation – and noted that models equipped with the optional Technology package and pre-collision system offer Advanced-level front crash prevention.

See Highlander Hybrid safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Highlander Hybrid?

2014 marked the beginning of a new generation for the Highlander Hybrid. Toyota made few major changes to this hybrid SUV between 2014 and 2017, but with each successive year, its overall standing has improved in our rankings. Much of this is owed to the Highlander Hybrid's increasing reliability score over the years. Don't be too concerned if the $8,000 price increase for a 2016 model is out of your reach, though; the 2014 Highlander Hybrid is similar enough.   

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Highlander Hybrid »

Which Used Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is Right for Me?

If you're shopping for a 2014 Highlander Hybrid, you’ll have only one trim to pick from: the Limited. Plenty of high-class amenities come standard, including heated and cooled front seats, leather upholstery, three separate climate zones, and a 12-speaker JBL sound system. A couple of factory packages were available if you want a swankier SUV. Look for a Highlander Hybrid with the Technology package for added safety features like pre-collision braking, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. The Platinum package comes with the same safety extras, plus a panoramic sunroof, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. A rear-seat entertainment system with a 9-inch display screen is also available.

If you want the peace of mind that comes from having a manufacturer's warranty, look for a certified pre-owned Highlander Hybrid. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

We Did the Research for You: 22 Pieces of Data Analyzed

You don't need to spend extra time hunting down all those specs and comparisons – we've already done the work for you. Our 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid review is based on almost two dozen pieces of data, providing information on fuel economy, engine power, cabin comforts, and crash test ratings all in one place.

Why You Can Trust Us

Established more than 80 years ago, U.S. News & World Report is much more than a news source. We help people navigate life's most challenging choices, with guides on the Best Colleges, Best Hospitals, Best Places to Visit, and more. Our Best Cars team has a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. We keep our reviews of cars, trucks, and SUVs – both new and used – impartial by using a separate advertising team and refusing pricey gifts from car companies.  

2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid or 2014 Toyota Highlander?

You get a lot more choices with the gas-powered 2014 Toyota Highlander than with the hybrid version. It comes with seating for either seven or eight, and its four available trims give you more flexibility to find the model that lines up with your budget and your features wish list. You'll spend about $350 more per year on fuel with the gas-only Highlander than the Highlander Hybrid, but you may not care when you see that the median price of a gas-powered Highlander is about $11,000 less than its hybrid counterpart.  

Which Is Better: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid or 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid?

Compared to the 2014 Highlander Hybrid, the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid isn't a very good pick. It struggles with reliability and doesn't have the same winning endorsement from the IIHS as the Toyota. Its hybrid powertrain may have a supercharger, but even with forced induction, the power plant struggles to overcome the Pathfinder Hybrid's heft and accelerate quickly. Though the Nissan's cabin is sufficiently spacious and comfortable, it doesn't feel as upscale as the Highlander Hybrid’s.

Compare the Highlander Hybrid, Highlander, and Pathfinder Hybrid »

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