Toyota has officially unveiled the 2014 Highlander at the New York Auto Show.
Designed to convey "refinement and strength," the model eschews the conservative styling of its predecessor and adopts a massive trapezoidal grille which will likely prove controversial. The new nose won't appease everyone, but the rest of crossover has an evolutionary design with bulging fenders, an upward sweeping beltline and wraparound taillights. The model is also equipped with a tailgate-mounted spoiler and 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels.
The interior mimics recent vehicles like the RAV4 and comes nicely equipped with a soft-touch instrument panel, faux wood trim and satin accents. There's also a roll-top center console, a Multi-Information Display and an Entune infotainment system. Options include perforated leather seats, second-row captain's chairs, a rear seat entertainment system and a JBL audio system.
To keep passengers comfortable, Toyota focused on minimizing noise, vibration and harshness. As a result they added hydraulic engine mounts, additional sound deadening material and an acoustic windshield.
Under the hood, three different engines are available including a 2.7-liter four-cylinder, a 3.5-liter V6 and a hybridized 3.5-liter V6. Performance specifications were not released, but the conventional engines are connected to a six-speed automatic while the hybrid has a continuously variable transmission.
The four-cylinder engine is available exclusively with front-wheel drive, while the V6 offers an optional all-wheel drive system. The hybrid, on the other hand, is all-wheel drive only.
The 2014 Highlander will arrive at dealerships early next year, so expect to learn more closer to launch.