Posts Tagged ‘kluger’

2014 Toyota Highlander Coming to New York Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Now that the 2013 Geneva Motor Show is oh so yesterday, the automotive blog-o-sphere is alight with previews for the New York Auto Show later this month. Yesterday we got official word from Toyota that they’d be unveiling the next generation Toyota Highlander to the press on March 27 at 9:10 AM, Eastern time. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

First, though, the press release is short enough that we’ll go ahead and give it to you below:

“All-New 2014 Next-Generation Toyota Highlander Mid-Size SUV to Make World Debut at 2013 New York Auto Show

TORRANCE, Calif., March 13, 2013 – Toyota will stage the world debut of the all-new 2014 Highlander mid-size SUV at a press conference at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

The press conference will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at 9:10 a.m. Eastern Time in the Galleria Level Four at the Jacob Javits Center.”

As you can see, they’re really not telling us anything other than that there is a new Highlander and it’s coming to New York. Fortunately, unofficial spy photos have already been unleashed on the web that give us a few hints about the new Highlander’s design.

Toyota Highlander - Autblog

From the spy photos we can tell that the 2014 Toyota Highlander features several exterior design changes over the current model. The front fascia is bigger and blockier, complete with a massive front grille. You can also see that the butt of the car is significantly raked compared to the current model.

Additionally, the wheels and the wheel-wells both look very large with a significant lip, and the camouflaged CUV in the spy shots appears to be riding pretty high off the ground. This may indicate that we’re seeing a premium trim-package, or it could just be part of the new design.

Either way, the end result is that the revamped Toyota Highlander will likely appear more aggressive and clean cut. At least, by our guess.

As for powertrain, chances are the new Highlander will feature similar options as the current model… After all, Toyota doesn’t want to change the formula too much since the current Highlander is still selling quite well. That being said, the Corolla was selling well and it got a huge redesign with the Furia, while you almost couldn’t tell that anything changed with the new Toyota Tundra. Let’s hope the new Highlander leans closer to the Furia.

Plus, even though the current Highlander is selling well, the competition in the CUV segment is only getting stronger. Between the Ford Explorer, the CUV-ified Nissan Pathfinder and the new Lambda crossovers, buyers have more good choices in this segment than ever.

Whatever you think about the 2014 Toyota Highlander so far, you’ll definitely want to stay tuned later this month for the official in-the-metal unveiling at New York. Rest assured that we’ll have the coverage!

Source: Autoblog

Toyota Highlander (Kluger) Production Moved To Indiana

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Even the mighty Toyota is suffering from the scourge of the high Yen. It just does not make much sense to build cars in Japan for export to the US. Especially SUVs like the Highlander, which in Japan is called the Kluger.

While the Highlander has been a solid performer in the US market, Japanese consumers are just not as excited about SUVs as their US counterparts. So with the bulk of production from the Fukuoka factory heading out of the country anyway, Toyota decided it was time to pull the plug and shift the entire production apparatus to the US from 2013.

The Fukuoka factory made 37,000 Highlanders last year, with 4,200 of these being the frugal-for-an-SUV hybrid model. The Highlander Hybrid will be the second hybrid model to have its production transferred to the US after the Camry hybrid. In both these cases it’s easy to see how the relative locations of production and sale were mismatched — especially in the case of the Camry Hybrid that was never even offered for sale in Japan.

So it’s big news for Indiana, but as far as Toyota is concerned a minor rationalization: I can’t see them moving core hybrid production such as that of the Prius out of Japan any time soon — even with the exchange rates as they are. There’s just too much national and corporate pride at stake.

Source: NHK (Japanese-language)