The 2014 Highlander boosts its standard safety equipment with a total of eight airbags and a newly standard rearview camera. Hill-start assist is also included.
Among the new safety options are blind-spot monitors, a lane-departure warning system, and parking sensors. Also bundled into a Driver Technology Package is a pre-collision system coupled to adaptive cruise control.
That forward-collision warning system is the feature that puts the Highlander into the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's good graces. This year, the IIHS demands those systems for vehicles it includes on its Top Safety Pick+ list--which the Highlander makes, thanks also to an "acceptable" score on the IIHS' new small-overlap crash test.
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, the Highlander has earned a five-star overall score, with four stars for frontal crash and five stars in side-impact testing.
Visibility is better with the new Highlander, thanks to repositioned pillars and bigger rear-quarter windows.