2024 Toyota Grand Highlander at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show is more than just a longer Highlander

From the teasers and the name, we weren’t expecting the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander to be a whole lot more than a longer version of the regular Highlander. But Toyota did a fair bit more than the bare minimum, bestowing the Grand Highlander with unique styling and the new Hybrid Max powertrain from the Toyota Crown and Lexus RX as an option. And of course, it is indeed bigger than the regular SUV. Whereas the standard Highlander is organic and curvy, the Grand Highlander is more slab-sided and creased. The nose sits higher, creating a razor-sharp leading edge. The grille design is also more closely related to the 4Runner than it is to Toyota's other SUVs. There's a significant increase in cladding on the outside, too. The thick rear pillars do a good job hiding the SUV's additional 6.5 inches of overall length and it is about 2 inches taller and wider than the regular Highlander. The Grand Highlander's newly designed dashboard shares some similarities to the regular model, but adds a second layer on top. The screen placement and overall integration are also changed from the Highlander. Overall interior space is where things really change. With all the seats up, the Grand Highlander can carry 20.6 cubic feet of cargo, 4.6 more than the regular Highlander. With all the seats down, the Grand Highlander's capacity expands to 97.5 cubic feet, 13.2 more than the Highlander. Toyota didn't give numbers for each row's head and leg room, but with the extra height and length, we're sure those will be improved across the board, too. Buyers also have the option of either a second row bench seat or captain's chairs. The Grand Highlander's grandest powertrain, which helps further separate it from the regular SUV, is the Hybrid Max. It combines a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder with a pair of electric motors and a six-speed automatic. In this application, it makes 362 horsepower, nearly as much as the version in the Lexus RX 500h. Toyota didn't divulge torque or fuel economy numbers, but this powertrain will let the Grand Highlander tow 5,000 pounds. The majority of Grand Highlanders will get the carry-over engines from the regular Highlander: the base turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and the optional naturally aspirated 2.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder. Toyota didn't give any specs on these except to say that they're both available with either front- or all-wheel drive, and the hybrid is expected to get a quite impressive 34 miles per gallon combined. Odds are, power and torque will be unchanged, with the turbo engine offering 265 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, and the hybrid offering 243 combined horsepower. The turbo engine is rated for 5,000 pounds of towing, while the hybrid is limited to 3,500. Three trims will be available for the Grand Highlander: XLE, Limited and Platinum. Standard features across all models are alloy wheels, heated mirrors, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen running Toyota's latest infotainment system, wireless phone charging, seven USB-C ports, 13 cup holders, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist and automatic high-beam headlights. Noteworthy features on higher trims include larger wheels, LED lighting, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated and ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, parking sensors and stop-and-go functionality for the adaptive cruise control. The Grand Highlander will go on sale sometime this year. Availability and pricing will be announced this summer. For more visit www.autoblog.com #toyota #grandhighlander #toyotagrandhighlander

Video Transcript

- We're here with the new Toyota Grand Highlander. It's the larger version of the Highlander. But it's more than that. It's been restyled significantly. It looks more like the Forerunner and RAV4 on the outside. And 6 and 1/2 inches longer and 2 inches taller and wider. That means a much bigger inside. It's added a little over 4 cubic feet behind the third row. And even more space when all the seats are folded. It's also available with the base turbocharged 2.4 liter, four cylinder engine.

And the 2.5 liter naturally aspirated four cylinder hybrid. That one is expected to get about 34 miles per gallon. Now, there's also the newly introduced hybrid max powertrain that combines a four cylinder engine with much bigger front and rear electric motors. It makes a total of 362 horsepower combined. And we've experienced it in both the Toyota Crown and the Lexus RX. Both of which have shown it to be a really nice powertrain.

Although it's a hybrid, it probably won't get quite as good a fuel economy as the lower end hybrid engine. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds max on the hybrid models. And 5,000 max on the hybrid max vehicle. And also the turbocharged four cylinder. All models are available with all wheel drive with the hybrid max getting it as standard pricing. And availability has not been made public yet. But will be known this summer.