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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This isn't to slam the 3rd Gen and every car is a compromise. The car was enticing enough for me to put in an order but if I could make it better for my use, here is my list:

- HIDs (even the Venza and Sienna get 'em). I wonder if the '15s get HIDs or the refresh.

- Higher resolution back-up camera. The 2014 is grainy.

- Power lock/unlock door sensors in rear doors. This may be a Lexus only upgrade.

- Option to not have Chrometec wheels covers. Poor decision here. I predict they're gone on '15s.

- Option to have second row bench seats on higher end trims because I put my dog/cargo in the cargo area and the captain's chairs leave a big hole. Plus I just prefer a bench seat.

- Option to delete 3rd row. I know Toyota wants this to be known as a 3-row vehicle but I really don't want it.

- More sophisticated lane departure and adaptive cruise control tech. Again, likely a Lexus only upgrade.

- Less bulging rear tail lights. It's supposed to help with wind noise right? I'm a big utility guy but style is important, too. Styling is, in the end, subjective.

- Limited trim with black interior: I strongly prefer inserts to be black instead of brown.

- 8 to 10 way power front passenger seat. My wife could use some help with seat height.

- Entune is good and I know it'll get better. Suggestion: one button to get back to NAV screen.

- Radio preset control: Add buttons to dash so front passenger can easily change stations.

Anyone with their own thoughts to improve?
 

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I think most of the things you suggest aren't going to be included, because, as you note, Toyota has do so SOMETHING to differentiate Lexus from Toyota.

The differences right now are razor thin, i.e. Mark Levinson audio, HIDs, real wood...but the funny thing is, a lot of those features AREN'T standard on the Lexus.

A base RX350 has the exact same engine as the Highlander, the exact same cheap leather, etc.

You have to pay significant $$$ to uprade to HIDs, premium audio, semi-aniline soft leather, etc. on the Lexus.

Toyota is always forced to balance the Lexus against Toyota.
 

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- Option to have second row bench seats on higher end trims because I put my dog/cargo in the cargo area and the captain's chairs leave a big hole. Plus I just prefer a bench seat.
I 100% agree with this point. I want everything the Limited has EXCEPT the captain's chairs for the same dogs and cargo reason. I understand the benefits for people, but this is not my reason for wanting this SUV.

I will probably end up building something to cover the 2nd row seats when they are folded down.
 

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So far here's mine.

Limited:
option of 2nd Row bench seating. This was a deal breaker for me. No 2nd row bench no limited for me.

XLE:
LED Daytime running light
HID's(just bought my HID's and will install once i have a chance)

Will update more later one.
 

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- Option to delete 3rd row. I know Toyota wants this to be known as a 3-row vehicle but I really don't want it.
Oh, I know that feeling. It basically came standard in all 2nd gens (which has a MUCH smaller 3rd row) beyond base models, I've had used it maybe once. You can do what several 2nd owners have done (myself included), remove it and build a false floor/cargo area underneath.



Plus it takes weight out of the car, those seats are heavy.
 

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HID's (just bought my HID's and will install once i have a chance) Will update more later one.
Are they original or 3rd party's? I ordered XLE trim and want to install this -



Is it possible to install HID's from Limited to XLE trim?
 

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Are they original or 3rd party's? I ordered XLE trim and want to install this -



Is it possible to install HID's from Limited to XLE trim?
I believe all trim levels doesnt come with HID's all are halogens.
MInes are aftermarket HID's.
I have aftermarket HID's on my cars and they are awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh, I know that feeling. It basically came standard in all 2nd gens (which has a MUCH smaller 3rd row) beyond base models, I've had used it maybe once. You can do what several 2nd owners have done (myself included), remove it and build a false floor/cargo area underneath.

Plus it takes weight out of the car, those seats are heavy.
That is a great mod. Very clean. I think the 3G will be trickier though.

The extra weight of the 3rd row bothers me as well. Even if there is a solution to remove the third row, then I'll have to look at it sitting in my garage every day taking up space.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I 100% agree with this point. I want everything the Limited has EXCEPT the captain's chairs for the same dogs and cargo reason. I understand the benefits for people, but this is not my reason for wanting this SUV.

I will probably end up building something to cover the 2nd row seats when they are folded down.
The more I think about it, the more the forced captain chairs are bothering me from a functionality perspective. Because if I cover the gap caused by the captains then I'll have trouble with moving 2nd row seats forward, reclining, folding down and more.

I just started a thread about solutions for this. Keep us posted with what you come up with because my "solution" is becoming less desirable by the minute.
 

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I believe all trim levels doesnt come with HID's all are halogens.
MInes are aftermarket HID's.
I have aftermarket HID's on my cars and they are awesome!
I mean buy Original OEM HID's (like on image) and install them on XLE insted of XLE's with no LED. Is it possible?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I mean buy Original OEM HID's (like on image) and install them on XLE insted of XLE's with no LED. Is it possible?
I think there is confusion by calling the DRLs 'HIDs'. The DRLs you want to upgrade to are LED and the headlights are projector halogens (I'm sure everyone here wishes the halogens were HIDs.)

You may want to start a new thread on upgrading to LED DRLs. That way you may get more people to see your question.
 

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That is a great mod. Very clean. I think the 3G will be trickier though.

The extra weight of the 3rd row bothers me as well. Even if there is a solution to remove the third row, then I'll have to look at it sitting in my garage every day taking up space.
It would be simpler than you think, the 3rd row seat is still fairly square on the 3rd gen.

As for the sitting in garage...well...that is why mine is wrapped in plastic and is hanging (via an uncomfortably rusty chain) from hooks on the ceiling, so out of the way.


I mean buy Original OEM HID's (like on image) and install them on XLE insted of XLE's with no LED. Is it possible?
No. Real HID use a completely different type of bulb and projector. These plug and play aftermarket kits are "rebased" HID capsules on halogen bulb bases. OEM HID ones are totally different and real HID projectors have very different optics than halogen projectors. Point is aftermarket HID doesn't get you the performance of an proper HID setup, they aren't the same thing.


Hang on....like the LED image...you posted an image of the DRL LED's with a halogen fog...what are you talking about? Are you not talking about the low beam?
 

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Great start on new/better features for the Highlander. I recommend a hitch receiver that's integrated with the bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Great start on new/better features for the Highlander. I recommend a hitch receiver that's integrated with the bumper.
From Toyota's website:

Tow Hitch Receiver with Towing Wire Harness37
Engineered to help accommodate your Highlander's maximum tow rating.
•Frame-mounted tow hitch receiver is located at the highest position possible to achieve maximum ground clearance and departure angles and easy access to the spare tire
•Includes rear bumper skirt to cover the hitch yet keeps the receiver and harness connector accessible
•Includes a heavy-duty molded end cap with Toyota styling

Before towing, confirm that your vehicle and trailer are compatible and properly hooked up and loaded, and that you have any necessary additional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Rating and follow all instructions in your Owner's Manual. The maximum you can tow depends on the total weight of your cargo, occupants and available equipment.

Tow hitch receiver requires the purchase of towing wiring harness.
$699 msrp

 

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From Toyota's website:

Tow Hitch Receiver with Towing Wire Harness37
Engineered to help accommodate your Highlander's maximum tow rating.
•Frame-mounted tow hitch receiver is located at the highest position possible to achieve maximum ground clearance and departure angles and easy access to the spare tire
•Includes rear bumper skirt to cover the hitch yet keeps the receiver and harness connector accessible
•Includes a heavy-duty molded end cap with Toyota styling

Before towing, confirm that your vehicle and trailer are compatible and properly hooked up and loaded, and that you have any necessary additional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Rating and follow all instructions in your Owner's Manual. The maximum you can tow depends on the total weight of your cargo, occupants and available equipment.

Tow hitch receiver requires the purchase of towing wiring harness.
$699 msrp

Not what I call "integrated". It sticks out 5 inches or more from the bumper. Not pretty. :wtf:
 

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2014 HL AWD LTE Blk/Blk
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Here's my list. I have the Limited version

- Rain sensor windshield wiper auto adjust speed. Don't know the exact term. SoCal just got hit with a big storm and I really miss this function from my previous car.
- More functions available for user to program instead of dealer only
- HID headlights
- Auto folding side mirrors
- 360 view camera like the one on the Pathfinder
- Parking sensors in front also, not just the rear
- Better bass in the audio system
- Lights inside the glovebox and center console
- LEDs tail lights

And to OP, you can get around with not having the door sensors in the rear doors. You can program it so the front sensors can open all doors.
 

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2014 Highlander XLE Owner
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The angle of the screen can be hard to see if there is any direct sunshine. Anyone tried any anti-glare sheets over the screen?
 
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