When the Toyota Highlander with its three-row seating isn't quite big enough but the Sequoia is just too much, there's now a third option to quench the thirst of SUV shoppers. The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is here, slotting between the aforemented machines to woo families with luxury, space, and power.
We'll start with power, but be warned. While the Grand Highlander has debuted for the 2023 Chicago Auto Show, Toyota isn't ready to share all the details on what's under the hood. We can tell you there are three engine options, starting with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder without any electrification. The company's 2.5-liter hybrid four-pot is also available, and at the top of the pyramid is the Hybrid Max, delivering 362 horsepower to all four wheels through a standard-issue all-wheel-drive system.
Gallery: 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander
Presumably, the Hybrid Max for the Grand Highlander is Toyota's 2.4 turbo married with electric motors, similar to what's offered in the Toyota Crown. That's among the information not available yet, along with power ratings for the other systems. If you go with top engine, you'll get a sizable SUV that can reach 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and tow 5,000 pounds. Or if you just need something with legroom and a lower price tag, front-wheel drive is available with the other two engines.
The Grand Highlander rides on Toyota's TNGA-K platform, but it isn't a super-sized Highlander. Aside from having the available (and thus far, mysterious) Hybrid Max powertrain, the Grand Highlander features distinctive styling with its hammerhead grille and smooth doors largely devoid of body lines. There's virtually no slope to the roof, giving the SUV a larger presence in profile. Three trim levels – XLE, Limited, and Platinum offer various trim differences and wheel options (starting with 18-inchers) to differentiate the grades. SUVs equipped with the Hybrid Max powertrain get exclusive lower fascias and dual exhaust.
Moving inside, we get to the luxury portion of this presentation. Regardless of the trim level, Grand Highlander buyers get "adult-sized" third-row seating with enough room behind for several suitcases. Toyota doesn't quantify the rearmost cargo space in cubic feet, but with seats folded, the automaker does offer an estimate of around 98 cubic feet. At the front is a standard-issue 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Power heated seats are offered in the entry-level XLE trim, along with six USB chargers, a wireless charger, and the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite of driver assist and safety systems.
Stepping up to the Grand Highlander Limited adds leather with heated/vented seats in the front and heated captain's chairs in the second row. There's also a heated steering wheel, configurable second-row storage in the console, an 11-speaker JBL sound system, parking sensors, a power liftgate, and more. On the outside, Limited gets you 20-inch wheels and LEDs for daytime and fog lamps. Opt for the Hybrid Max powertrain and you can have a 1,500-watt power outlet, too. Platinum throws the kitchen sink into the mix, metaphorically of course. We're talking a heads-up display, panoramic cameras, traffic jam assist, and much more.
In the tech department, we've already mentioned Toyota's full gauntlet of driver assists. Beyond that, the Grand Highlander is a connected SUV capable of over-the-air updates. The Multimedia system offers voice control to access various systems as well as connected services like Cloud Navigation and Destination Assist. Dual Bluetooth connectivity is supported, and yes, Toyota offers some subscription services such as Remote Connect to activate various systems like the headlights, door locks, or start the engine through a smartphone.
“There is definitely a need in the market for a mid-size SUV that prioritizes interior comfort in all three rows and Grand Highlander is the ultimate option,” said Group VP of Toyota Marketing Lisa Materazzo. "This three-row model takes the Highlander legacy to an entirely new space while also keeping on our promise to deliver on electrification."
More information on the 2024 Grand Highlander, including pricing and its on-sale date, will be revealed in late summer 2023.