2024 Toyota Grand Highlander
What if you liked the Toyota Highlander, but you needed more room? Especially when you are carrying more people in the third row.
Toyota already had that in mind. That is why they introduced the 2024 Grand Highlander.
This is not just a Highlander with extra space for three rows of adults. It is being sold differently as solution for families who rather have an SUV than a minivan and feel that even the Sequoia was a bit too small for their third-row passengers.
Is the Toyota Grand Highlander the transportation solution for your family?
The difference between the Grand Highlander and the Highlander is a six-inch extension on the overall length, along with a four-inch extension of the wheelbase. You might not see a lot of the smaller Highlander in this new model. It only shares a few body panels with its namesake.
The front end is bolder and could remind you of the 4Runner. Yet, it is neatly set to be handsome while offering a bit of ruggedness. From the bold front end, the profile exudes its largess with a large side window profile and longer roofline to accommodate more cabin space. You have horizontal taillights and a handsome tailgate to finish up the Grand Highlander’s exterior look.
Our Platinum tester adds 20-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires. In addition, the Platinum also has a set of LED fog lamps and a panoramic roof.
Stepping inside, you may confuse this with your average Highlander. There are some marked differences between the two. The fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster is loaded with plenty of information for the driver. This is augmented by a 10-inch head-up display that is clear for the driver to keep their eyes on the road. On top of the center stack is a large 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless smartphone mirroring and device charging. The shift-by-wire shifter is like what we are seeing in the newest Toyota vehicles, as are all of the controls found throughout the cabin.
The Platinum model seats seven in leather and Ultrasuede upholstery. The front seats are large with some comfort and support. The second-row captain’s chairs can be adjusted for rake and recline with a lot of options for legroom. The third row is easily accessible with the sliding mechanism on the side of the second-row seat’s cushion. One of the big selling points of the Grand Highlander is the room in the third row that can accommodate adults. In short, yes, they can fit adults back there.
Space behind the third row is as generous 20.6 cubic feet. Fold down the third row, and that space expands to 57.9 cubic feet of space behind the second row. If you drop the second and third rows of seats, you can stow a maximum of 97.5 cubic feet.
The driveline on our tester is an all-new Hybrid MAX setup that combines a turbocharged 2.4-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor system. All of which puts out 362 total net horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels.
It’s a very powerful driveline that responds well in traffic. It is also quiet and smooth. As for fuel economy, Toyota states that it would average 27 MPG in combined driving..
The ride quality was good overall, absorbing everything along the way. The Grand Highlander was engineered to keep families comfortable and happy on the road. Handling is a bit on the soft side, but the Grand Highlander felt controlled in evasive maneuvers. For a more secure feeling, our tester was equipped with Toyota’s driver assistance features keeping it safe and away from harm.
The steering system is solid, offering a good turning radius for a vehicle of its size. On-center feel was fine overall. The brakes worked quite well. Pedal feel is fine, and response to the wheels yielded good stops in normal and panic situations.
Pricing for the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander lineup starts at $43,070 with a choice of seven trim levels, including two hybrids and two models with the Hybrid MAX driveline. Our Platinum AWD tester with the Hybrid MAX driveline came with a sticker price of $61,705.
The Toyota Grand Highlander is not exactly a new idea – a larger mid-size SUV with full-size space. That is why consumers will compare it others that will offer the space and flexibility it has. Those models include the Chevrolet Traverse and Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Explorer and Expedition, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Wagoneer, Volkswagen Atlas, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Subaru Ascent, Nissan Pathfinder and Armada, Mazda CX-90, Honda Pilot, and even the Toyota Sequoia.
The Toyota Grand Highlander is a good solution for families. It fits between larger SUVs and minivans for space, comfort, and efficiency. It is worth putting on your shopping list.
Credits: CarSoup Editors