The Highlander is one of Toyota’s best-selling models in the United States, just behind the Rav4 in terms of the brand’s highest-volume SUV. In an effort to further satisfy our appetite for large SUVs, Toyota just released the 2024 Grand Highlander. Far from being a stretched version of the family model, this oversized SUV gets chassis tweaks, new powertrains, and a sizable of the internal volume. Here’s everything you need to know.
The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is based on Toyota’s versatile TNGA-K platform, which currently powers models such as the Avalon, Highlander, Rav4 and Sienna. Toyota didn’t just lengthen that platform for this truck, however, with additional spot welds and adhesives on the way to improve stiffness and reduce vibration. The truck’s multi-link rear suspension has also been completely reworked to improve ride comfort while increasing third-row space. At 201.4 inches long, the Grand Highlander is 6.5 inches longer than the standard Highlander. It’s also two inches taller and 2.3 inches wider than the Highlander, with four more inches of wheelbase bringing the total to about 116 inches. For reference, the Grand Highlander still measures nearly 7 inches shorter than the larger Sequoia SUV. Toyota intends for the new Grand Highlander to fit between its two existing offerings on the market.
Toyota will offer three different powertrain options. The entry-level is a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four, making 265 horsepower in Highlander trim. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. An efficiency-focused 2.5-liter hybrid with two electric motors is expected to bring in around 243 horsepower and fuel economy figures of around 34 combined MPG thanks in part to its CVT gearbox. Figures for those familiar powertrains should mirror the standard Highlander, albeit with some tuning adjustments required. Both powertrains will be available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations.
Toyota will also be rolling out the new 2.4-liter Hybrid Max, which is reportedly good for 362 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque in this application. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, just like what we’ve seen from the Crown sedan. The Hybrid Max powertrain carries with it a maximum towing capacity of 5000 pounds, which could prove enticing for those with toys to haul.
The Grand Highlander is expected to be offered in XLE, Limited and Platinum trims. Regardless of the model chosen, every Grand Highlander interior will feature a central 12.3-inch infotainment screen. This system is equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. Limited and Platinum models also pick up an additional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, while the Platinum gets a digital rear-view mirror and head-up display. Softex-trimmed seats are standard on XLE, while leather seats are included with higher trim levels. Limited and Platinum models also receive heated and ventilated front seats, as well as heated rear seats. Most of the additional interior volume is dedicated to the third row, where passengers get 5.5 inches more legroom than the Highlander. There’s also an extra inch of headroom and two inches of shoulder room to work with down there.
Whether you have seven or eight passengers aboard, the Grand Highlander offers 21 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the third row. With the seats folded down, that figure jumps up to 98 cubic feet. These figures represent gains of five and 14 cubes respectively on the Highlander. The Grand Highlander is equipped with the full suite of advanced Toyota safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane keeping assist and blind spot monitoring.
Toyota says we can expect the Grand Highlander’s price and on-sale date to be announced this summer. The entry-level Highlander currently starts at around $36,420, so we wouldn’t be shocked to see this thing start a little over $40,000. It will be interesting to see how the new model affects sales of the existing Highlander and Sequoia offerings.
You may also like