It's a facelift, sure, but Toyota has made some comprehensive updates under the sheetmetal. The biggest changes concern the powertrain – every Highlander except for the base, two-wheel-drive LE and the Hybrid will get a new 3.5-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic, complete with a standard stop-start system. That should make for a healthy increase in fuel economy, although Toyota still hasn't released full specs. The LE and Hybrid models are carry overs from last year.
Outside of the new V6 and eight-speed auto, the Highlander is also subject to a modest visual update. By stretching the gaping maw of the redesigned 2014 model from hood to the bottom of the front fascia and splitting it with a body-colored strip, Toyota has given the Highlander a more cohesive, better-framed fascia. It's still not the prettiest car on the road, but we're betting the new look will better resonate with image-conscious consumers.
You can check out our entire round of live images from the Highlander's New York debut, available at the top of the page.