2014 Toyota Highlander XLE 7-Seat Crossover Child Seat Review

2014 Toyota Highlander XLE 7-Seat Crossover Child Seat Review

2014 Toyota Highlander I have here three Krakow classic ride 50 car seats and now it is time for our weekly car seat reviews we’re going to jam these in the

Toyota Highlander and see how well they fit before we dive right in I want to remind you that if you’re shopping for a new car or if you’re just unsure of how best to insert a child seat in the vehicle please reach out to a certified child seat

inspector or installer
we’ll pop some links down there in the title bar section below and get their advice on new cars and how to install them properly in a car because you don’t want to

get it wrong the Highlander is a three row cross or a vehicle which means we get a decent amount of ground clearance it means a step in height is going to be higher than something like a minivan or esta Dan but it’s gonna be lower than a

traditional body-on-
frame SUV so you can see this car seat is just about an easy height for me to insert

and remove from the vehicle you really just have to lift it up and swing it in you don’t have to stoop over to do anything like that in the second row of the

Highlander we should talk about the number of seats before we go too much further the highlander come standard as an 8 passenger crossover much like a

Honda Pilot or one of the
gentlemen’s lammed a series of SUVs but our version is the 7 passenger version 7 passenger version is available is a $225 option in most trim levels however the xle

is the last trim level you can get an 8 passenger model in so you can’t get a limited or a hybrid version of the Highlander with the 8 passenger seating we now have two rearward-facing child seats installed this front seat is all the way back in its

track and I had a six foot five passenger sitting comfortably in this seat so you can see there’s very little room between this rearward-facing child

seat and this front seat back there could be a problem in an accident you do want to keep a little bit of a buffer there consult your instruction manual on the specific

vehicle so it doesn’t really give any specific instructions as far as required distance but I would probably keep it at least an mTOR to away from this front seat back

just for additional safety the takeaway from this however is that the Highlander has

more room in this second row than most 3-row crossover vehicles the Kia Sorento is a little bit on the small side so you wouldn’t be able to have as large of a person comfortably upfront as you could in the Highlander when compared to a lot of the

other competitors in this segment the Highlander favors second row legroom versus third row legroom which means you’re going to be more easily able to stick these rearward-facing

child seats in a Highlander than a number of the other competitors the driver seat is adjusted for me at 6 feet tall as you can see it’s about 4 is away from the seatback or so that’s because I tend to like to sit in a fairly upright position this is

normally where I would put three car seats across the vehicle but since we’re in a Highlander with the seven seat configuration I can’t do that because the middle row is the

only place that you could do that in the Highlander and one thing to keep in mind is if you do get that eight passenger highlander model then the center seat does

not have latch anchors it still has the top tether anchor but it does not have the latch anchors built into the seat si will need to use the lap belt in that eight passenger version although Toyota does not advertise this the way Nissan does

you can leave a rearward-facing child seat in the middle seat obviously without a child in it and move the seat forward so that way you can get access to the
third row in the vehicle second row seats in the Highlander do move forward and

backward as well as recline that makes it a lot easier to connect this top tether anchor from the outside of the vehicle when you’re installing a forward-facing

child seat one thing to keep in mind however is that tota does recommend that the seat beat all the way rearward in its track when a child is in the seat and of course

the seat back has to be in its most upright position as well when you’re in a forward-facing child seat it’s obvious where the Pathfinder has a sales
advantage over the Highlander because you can move this front seat forward to

gain access to the rear with a forward-facing child seat in that Pathfinder you just can’t do it in the Highlander however because the seat back can’t collapse enough to make the seat slide forward so all you could do is slide the seat as far forward as

possible and then try and get in and out of the Highlander and this is a much tighter squeeze

getting out of that third row in that fashion in order to accommodate the 8th passenger Toyota had to make things wider back here in the third row versus the 2013 model they’ve done that by altering the suspension designed in the 2014

highlander to make things about three and a half inches wider across this third bench if you want to know more about that then go ahead and click on over to our

full review on the 2014
highlander there’ll be a link at the end of this video what that really means is they’ve installed a third seat belt right here in the third row that seat belt comes

from the ceiling right over here above this passengers head and in order to install a child seat in the back we do have a top tether anchor for the seat but no latch anchors as I said before tota tells us that this third row seat must be in its most

upright
position to accommodate a child seat but it did result in having to fiddle with things a great deal in order to get the little ball into the green zone on this child

seat something I’m sure everyone that’s dealt with a child seat is familiar with installing this child seat is a little bit tricky and getting a kid back in here into the seat is going to be even trickier but that’s true with all three row crossovers even

though things have gotten a little bit wider it’s definitely cozy back here in the third row with the child seat next to me eylem doesn’t have as much
Headroom as some of the other entries in this segment is more than a Mazda cx-9

but less than something like a Ford Flex or even a Ford Explorer it means my head is touching the ceiling if I sit upright in this chair and this headrest is hitting me in kind of an odd place in the back but this seats reclined so let me move over to the

one on the other side of this child seat which is in its upright position so that we can

get the child seat in there and here it’s a little bit more obvious that things are cramped because there’s actually more room over there in that 40 portion of this 60/40 folding third row just because of the way the tether anchors are positioned

for this child seat it’s really firmly in there as you can see and this seat is definitely a bit more cramped than the other side because this seat has to be in its most upright position my head’s severely touching the ceiling right now as well I could buckle myself up if I absolutely had to but it will be a

little bit tricky this is obviously not a recommended seating configuration this could get a little bit dangerous in an accident but it is possible if you absolutely must do this for a short time you can’t put your seat belt on one nice thing is this

child seat is not on top of my seat belt buckle which you do find in a decent number of three row crossovers it’s a long way back to the third row in any 3-row crossover and

as a driver I’m normally focused on driving so my sounds all going towards the windshield which means it’s harder for those three row passengers to hear me toad has done something interesting to solve that and they’re calling it driver easy

speak it’s really just a one-way intercom system the system uses the same microphone right up here in the center console that’s normally used for the Bluetooth speaker phone as well as the voice commands in the Highlander they

piped that sound through the sound system so the rear passengers can hear the driver a little
bit more easily there’s no similar system for the third row passengers to be more

easily heard by the driver but then again that third row seat is mostly for bad children and my mother-in-law and I’m not sure I want to hear them the Highlander is very middle of the pack when it comes to

cargo capacity that’s really obvious right back here behind the third row seats well is possible to fit two child seats in this vehicle in a way that we couldn’t in many smaller 3-row crossover there isn’t as much room back here as something like a

Dodge Durango or a Honda Pilot which does have more cargo room right back here behind the third row seats that would mean that in some of those other larger alternatives you
could fit a third child seat where we’re really limited to just two in the Highlander

and these rear seats are in their most upright position when these two seats are

back here so it will be a little bit less comfortable for those third row passengers to be back here we can easily recline these third row seats and push our cargo further into the car those little handles right back here to help you do that as you can see this third row middle seat seat belt right here is tethered to the ceiling rather than the seat itself that means if you don’t unbuckle it from
the seat you do have this seat belt dangling from the ceiling our xle model does have a power tailgate hat which is very convenient and most models of highlander also offer a separately opening rear hatch glass which is very handy it’s easier to put things into the vehicle via that glass rather than opening the whole tailgate again this has been my quick take of the 2014 toyota highlander

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