Toyota is finally building a proper three-row crossover. A vehicle that will go after the likes of the Chevrolet Traverse
and Hyundai Palisade
. It's called the Toyota Grand Highlander, but it doesn't have all that much to do with the standard Highlander other than the name.
We'll start out with the styling because this new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander shares nothing with the standard Highlander. This one looks much more like the rugged 4Runner SUV with the edges slightly smoothed off. In photos, at least, it certainly looks like it's big enough to hold tons of passengers and cargo.
Which it should be able to do. Toyota calls the third-row "adult sized," and says that it has room for seven carry-on suitcases behind the third row of seating. With all of the seats folded, the Grand Highlander has 2,775L of cargo space. That's about 400L more than the standard Highlander or a Hyundai Palisade and on par with the cavernous Traverse. Though about 600L shy of the even larger Toyota Sequoia.
Three different powertrains will be offered, including two hybrid systems. And all 2024 Grand Highlanders sold in Canada will have all-wheel drive as standard.
We'll start with the 2.4L turbo-four. Toyota didn't give power figures for the unit, but it's most likely the same engine as in the Highlander. That means 265 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
Two hybrid systems will be offered, the first Toyota's 2.5L four-cylinder-powered system with a combined fuel consumption of 6.9L/100km. Again no official power figures, but expect it to be the similar to the system found in the Highlander including that model's purely electric AWD system.
Platinum models will be offered exclusively with the Toyota Hybrid Max powertrain. We've seen this sports-hybrid system before in the Toyota Crown. It combines the more powerful 2.4L turbo-four with Toyota's hybrid motors. The result is 362 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. 0-100 km/h will take 6.3 seconds, it can tow 5,000 lbs, and we assume it will have an impressive fuel economy figure.
Inside, the Grand Highlander will offer a 12.3-inch centre screen running the new Toyota Audio Multimedia system. The system includes "Hey Toyota" voice commands to adjust audio as well as climate settings, and will have cloud-based points of interest and nav data. The system will also offer over-the-air updates to help keep it fresh.
Seven USB-C ports around the cabin make sure everyone can stay charged. There are twins in the front plus a wireless charge pad, two in the middle, and two in the third row. The seventh is in the front, in a spot dedicated to the front passenger.
Blind-spot monitoring comes standard, along with rear cross-traffic alert. Front and rear parking assist is offered on Limited and Platinum, with a 360-degree camera system also available.
Also standard on the Grand Highlander is Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. This system includes adaptive cruise, lane tracing, road sign assist, automatic high beams, and pre-collision with pedestrian detection. A new part of the system is Proactive Driving Assist. This is Toyota's new highway driving assistant that can help maintain distances between the vehicle in front and help steer around obstacles.
Toyota hasn't announced the prices or when the 2024 Grand Highlander will go on sale. Since those announcements are expected in late summer, don't expect to see them at dealers before August.