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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2013 New York Auto Show in NYC.
Toyota Highlander

What is it? Toyota's family-friendly midsize SUV gets a redesign for 2014 with a RAV4-like exterior and interior, three different engine options, and a six-speed automatic.

Power comes from a 2.7-liter four cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6, both mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid version uses the 3.5-liter V6 paired with an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. Front- and all-wheel drive versions will be available, with the AWD system acting primarily as FWD until wheelspin occurs.

The new Highlander is three inches longer than the previous version and a half inch wider. This has translated into increased interior room, particularly in the second- and third-row seats. The second row is available as a three-person bench or two captains chairs. The split-folding third-row bench has claimed space for three and is more than four inches wider, but it is still best suited for children.

Toyota's optional Entune in-car infotainment system migrates to the Highlander for 2014. A 6.1-inch touchscreen is standard, while moving up to Entune and its suite of apps brings a larger eight-inch touchscreen.

Access to the cargo area is made easier through a redesigned rear hatch with one-touch up/down access and programmable open height settings.

What's new or notable? All versions will come with a standard backup camera.

CR's take: A solid, if uninspiring SUV, the Highlander has delivered good fuel economy and excellent reliability. The new version isn't going to stir anyone's soul with its design, but if it hauls the family with fewer trips to the gas station, it will likely sell well.

When will it be available? Early 2014

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