The Toyota Highlander is going Grand. More than just a longer wheelbase, the new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander looks like a completely different model than the one it shares its name with. Toyota promises the third row will be big enough for adults and that the SUV will have the brand's more powerful Hybrid Max driveline.
The Grand Highlander is built on the same architecture as Highlander, but that's about all they have in common. And since this is 2023, that doesn't make them very much alike anyway. The same architecture is also under the RAV4, Camry, and even the Toyota Sienna.
While the Highlander has plenty of gentle curves, the Grand Highlander looks much more aggressive. The look could just as easily look great on a 4Runner replacement, though the taillights and rearmost pillar do share a strong family resemblance to the smaller RAV4.
Cabin space is the priority for the 2024 Grand Highlander. Toyota didn't provide full details on every dimension but did say that it should fit adults for long trips. Plus the company's teaser images showed a tall-looking (though slender) man sitting in the rearmost seat. The current Highlander, which will live on, has a third row better suited to kids or smaller adults on shorter trips.
Even with the third row occupied with passengers, Toyota says there's room for seven carry-on bags in the trunk. By our math and Air Canada's size guidelines, that's at least 345 L of cargo space. That seems small versus the 594 L of the Kia Telluride, but since we're making an educated guess, you should probably wait for the final figures before you put down a deposit.
With all the seats flat, Toyota says there will be 2,775 L of room for gear. That's around 300 L more than the Telluride, and as much as the cavernous class-leading Chevrolet Traverse. It's well under the Sequoia, so there is still a place for that truck-based SUV in the company lineup.
The middle row gets plenty of cupholders and its own USB ports. If you're in the third row, you still get a pair of USB-C charge points, two cup and bottle holders, and a place to put your phone or tablet. Toyota also says there is a support grip designed to make it easier to climb in and out of that back row.
Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is standard on all Grand Highlander grades. It comes with a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, full-speed radar cruise control, and other handy driver aids. Blind spot monitoring is also included on all trims. Parking sensors and 360-degree cameras are only on the higher trims.
Inside, the Grand Highlander will have the same new infotainment system as the rest of the Toyota lineup. With a 12.3-inch screen, the system offers over-the-air updates, has cloud-enabled point of interest and mapping data, and extensive voice controls.
Three powertrains will be offered. There is a 2.4L turbocharged four-cylinder with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD. Toyota didn't detail the numbers once again, but that engine in a standard Highlander makes 264 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
The first hybrid model has a 2.5L four-cylinder with electric motors. Again, no firm numbers were revealed yet, but the system makes 243 hp in the Highlander Hybrid.
The second hybrid model combines a bit of both. A 2.4L turbo four-cylinder and electric motors give the Hybrid Max model a total of 362 hp and 400 lb-ft. Every one of the drivelines has AWD, but this one should be the quickest. The Hybrid Max powertrain will only be offered on Platinum trim grades.
There's no word on pricing or availability yet, but Toyota says that information will be shared in the late summer. This means that the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander will probably arrive at dealerships in August or September.