New three-row Grand Highlander furthers Toyota's selection of crossover SUVs

Dave Kunz Image
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Toyota introduces new three-row Grand Highlander SUV
It's Toyota's newest SUV model, with a name that's both new and familiar: the 2024 Grand Highlander.

It's Toyota's newest SUV model, with a new name. A name that's partly familiar: the 2024 Grand Highlander.

The companion Toyota Highlander has been a staple of the brand's lineup for more that two decades, first arriving as a 2001 model when crossover SUVs were in their infancy. And it was only the second Toyota to offer hybrid power, after the Prius.

Enter the Grand Highlander for 2024, with a starting price of $43,070. Bigger than the current fourth-generation regular Highlander in every dimension, the vehicle has lots of usable room inside, including a third-row seat, without being huge on the outside. It's larger than the Highlander, but smaller than the recently-redesigned Toyota Sequoia.

Hybrid power is part of this new offering, though there is a base engine choice with just conventional power. The XLE all-wheel drive Hybrid promises EPA fuel economy ratings of 32 city, 36 highway and 34 combined, all of which are on the upper end for a vehicle that can carry up to eight inside.

There's also a top hybrid variation called Hybrid MAX, with an impressive 362 horsepower. Though that power choice is only available on the top two trim levels, Limited and Platinum, with sticker prices approaching the $60,000 mark.

If you're shopping for crossover SUVS, you'll find many that offer a third-row seat. But there can be a lot of difference in actual seating room from one model to another. Some of last-row seats are only large enough to hold small children.

This new Grand Highlander's third row is on the larger side, with the rear doors allowing for easy access. With the row in use, there is still substantial room available for cargo. Of note, the regular Highlander also has a third-row seat, but it offers less room back and cargo space.

And Toyota showrooms are suspected to get even more crowded soon. The company has released teaser images suggesting that they are making room for a return of the Land Cruiser, done in retro style like Ford did with the Bronco.

In the meantime, for those who find the Highlander a bit too small, but the Sequoia a bit too large, Grand Highlander splits the difference.