By Cars.com EditorsFebruary 9, 2023
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Here is our first look at the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander ahead of the 2023 Chicago Auto Show.
The Toyota Highlander was one of the earliest crossover SUVs, but it's never been one of the biggest. Even today with room for up to eight people in three rows, some of the competition is still larger.
That smaller size could be viewed as something of a liability in America, where many consumers like their vehicles big. And Toyota's responded with the brand-new 2024 Grand Highlander, which is making its debut ahead of the 2023 Chicago Auto Show. Available in XLE, Limited and Platinum trim levels, the Grand Highlander also introduces a new Hybrid Max powertrain. This is our first chance to see the Grand Highlander in person, and here are some of the key ways it differs from the regular Highlander. The Grand Highlander shares its platform with the regular Highlander, but it's a bigger vehicle overall. It's about 6 inches longer, 2 inches wider and 2 inches taller. And it has a familiar Highlander look, but it also has its own design, too. It has a more chiseled, upright appearance, smoother sides, a really stately, understated look overall, and it has that boxy design that is really making a comeback among three-row crossover SUVs like the Honda Pilot and the Kia Telluride. The Grand Highlander gets an all-new dashboard design and a new center console, too, compared to the regular Highlander, and it comes standard with a 12.3-inch touchscreen multimedia system that supports dual Bluetooth phone pairing and also wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It's also nice to see a standard wireless charger, so you don't have to worry about draining your phone's battery when you're wirelessly connected to the multimedia system. It's good to see that right below the touchscreen, Toyota has included physical buttons and knobs for the climate control system rather than the touch-sensitive nonsense we've seen in some modern SUVs. And there's a really big center console here. Toyota says it's big enough to hold a tablet computer, and it's also configurable for different needs. The Grand Highlander comes with seven standard USB ports to keep everyone's devices powered up throughout the vehicle, and you can see some of them up here. They're right on the center console, and there's one in front of the passenger. And you can also get an available household power outlet, too, that offers up to 100 watts of power, and if you get one of the hybrid drivetrains, it can support devices that need up to 1.5 kilowatts, which is pretty impressive power output. One of the most significant differences between the Grand Highlander and the Highlander is third-row space. I'm about 6 feet tall, and I have good headroom back here and enough legroom if a second-row passenger is willing to share with me, and they can because the second row slides forward and backward. So, someone who really needs to carry adults back in the third row, they're gonna wanna look at this vehicle over the regular Highlander. Like the regular Highlander, the Grand Highlander will offer a turbocharged gas four-cylinder engine and also a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain that gets up to 34 mpg combined, according to Toyota. Now, that's a couple miles per gallon less than the regular Highlander Hybrid is rated at. But the powertrain we have here is the new Hybrid Max drivetrain that's offered for the Grand Highlander. Now, it was first seen in the Toyota Crown, but it's been updated here. It has 362 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque in this application. And it's something of a performance hybrid. Toyota says it can go from 0-60 in just 6.3 seconds, and it comes with standard all-wheel drive. The Grand Highlander has more cargo space than the regular Highlander. Behind the third row, it has nearly 5 cubic feet more of extra cargo space, and when you put all the seats down, there's 98 cubic feet of cargo space, which is about 16% more than the regular Highlander has. The 2024 Grand Highlander will be produced at Toyota's plant in Princeton, Ind., and pricing will be available later this summer. For more information on this SUV and all the debuts at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show, check out Cars.com/News.
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