The redesigned 2014 Toyota Highlander is a big step up from the previous generation when it comes to family life. The 2014 model fit three child-safety seats across the second row — something the old model couldn’t do — and it has a tether anchor in the third row, allowing parents to install a forward-facing convertible. The previous-gen Highlander didn’t have a tether anchor in the third row. Everything isn’t perfect when it comes to fitting car seats, but the 2014 Highlander has made excellent progress on this front.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Three
How many car seats fit in the third row? Two
What We Like
- The second-row seats slide forward and back and the seatbacks recline, allowing for a lot of flexibility when fitting kids and their car seats in the back.
- The two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row’s outboard seats are mostly easy to use, but the anchors closest to the middle seat are a little harder to get at because of seat belt buckles and other hardware blocking access. Reclining the seatback opened up the seat bight for better Latch access.
- The rear-facing infant seat fit well in the second row. We only had to move the front passenger seat forward one “click,” which didn’t affect our tester’s legroom or comfort.
- The rear- and forward-facing convertibles fit well in the second row.
- The booster seat fit well in the second row. Although the seat belt buckle is somewhat recessed in the seat cushion, the booster didn’t slide over it because the seats are wide.
- The second row moves forward easily to create a passage to the third row — even with a car seat installed — but the opening may not be big enough for some adults. Kids shouldn’t have any problems getting to the third row.
What We Don’t
- The third row’s tether strap’s location means a forward-facing convertible must be installed in the middle seating position. We used a seat belt to install it, and the car seat fit well, but our convertible is so wide that we had to jam the booster seat in next to it. There wasn’t enough space to fit our hands between the two car seats when buckling up.
- The booster is a tight fit even without the convertible seat next to it since the third-row cupholders jut out into the seating area, pushing the booster over the top of the seat belt buckle.