The all-new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander: This 3-row midsize SUV offers expanded cabin space and a broad choice of trims

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The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is a new midsize 3-row SUV with an emphasis on space for cargo and rear passengers. Pricing starts at $43,070.

Similar to a Highlander, only bigger. That’s the new Grand Highlander, which regains some of the ground lost by the regular Highlander when newer and roomier rivals came along.

There’s a definite recognition with the Highlander name. After all, it’s been a pillar of its midsize SUV class for years, so it makes sense for Toyota
 to stick with it. The current generation Highlander debuted as a 2020 model. Yet the Grand Highlander is not merely a stretched Highlander (like the Chevy Suburban is a stretched Tahoe, for instance). It’s built on a different platform and has its own styling. A couple of drivetrains are shared, with the new Grand Highlander also offering a more muscular hybrid.

See: The 10 best hybrid SUVs for 2023

Trim levels start higher than a Highlander, although if buyers can afford an XSE or above, they can no doubt push the budget to include a new Grand Highlander in their deliberations. How roomy is that third row? Big enough for someone measuring 6′ 4″.

The regular Toyota Highlander and its Highlander Hybrid stablemate are each reviewed separately.

Also read: Most car shoppers are looking for hybrids, not EVs

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander pricing

The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander starts at $43,070. That’s for the XLE, which is the first rung on the Grand Highlander trim level ladder, but one of the plusher trims in the regular Highlander lineup. When offered as an option, all-wheel drive is another $1,600.

Grand Highlander XLE


Grand Highlander XLE Hybrid


Grand Highlander Limited


Grand Highlander Limited Hybrid


Grand Highlander Limited Hybrid Max


Grand Highlander Platinum


 Grand Highlander Platinum Hybrid Max


These figures are for manufacturer’s suggested retail prices and do not include any factory-to-dealer delivery fees (destination charges).

Although most other typical rival midsize 3-row SUVs don’t have a specific variant boosting rear space (yet), there are contenders with plenty of accommodation. Such as the Honda
Pilot, Kia
Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Chevrolet Traverse, all starting in the mid-to-high 30s. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is a longer version of its GC counterpart, priced in the low-ish 40s.

If, after checking out the Grand Highlander, it seems a straight-ahead Highlander could do the trick, that model starts in the high 30s, with the XLE in the low 40s.

Before buying a new Grand Highlander SUV, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to know what you should be paying. The Grand Highlander is likely to enjoy the same above-average resale values as its slightly smaller stablemate.

You might like: The new 2024 Kia EV9: Here’s a more affordable electric option for big families

What’s new for 2024

Launching this year, the Grand Highlander is kind of an all-new SUV. It’s actually based on a different platform than the regular Highlander. But Toyota would like us all to see the new Grand Highlander as a roomier variant. That extra space goes into the third seating row and the cargo area. As well as a gasoline engine in the base model, the Grand Highlander offers a choice of two hybrid drivetrains.

Driving the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander

The new Grand Highlander XSE is propelled by a 265-horsepower engine. For the usual everyday duties, that’s absolutely fine. A 243-horsepower hybrid setup is also available in this and the Limited trim. For heading up to the ski lodge with all the family and gear on board, then the 362-horsepower Hybrid Max drivetrain is going be great if the finances allow.

Relaxed efficiency is the Grand Highlander’s approach to driving, with a comfortable ride and a quiet cabin. And we all know that Toyota has mastered hybrid technology.

Interior inventory

In most of our reviews, we’d start this section at the front and work toward the back. But since the Grand Highlander’s main reasons for existing are found rearward, let’s flip the script.

Cargo space behind the third row is 20.6 cubic feet, big enough to hold seven carry-on suitcases. Fold down the second and third rows for a maximum of 97.5 cubic feet, big enough to hold more than 30 carry-on suitcases if that’s your idea of fun. For reference, the un-Grand version goes from 16 to 84.3 cubic feet.

The Grand Highlander does not, however, beat all comers. The Chevy Traverse manages 23 to 98.2 cubic feet. And although the Kia Telluride doesn’t match the Grand Highlander’s maximum, it still has 21 cubic feet behind its third row.

Space in the third row is relatively generous: 33.5 inches of rear legroom outdoes all the class except for the Traverse, which matches the Grand Highlander to the tenth. The Grand Highlander definitely compares well to the Highlander’s 28 inches.

Just for the heck of it, we’ll really put this third-row area under the metaphorical microscope. Shoulder room measures 57.5 inches, which is the same as the Traverse and only beaten by the Honda Pilot’s 59.5. Hip room of 45.7 inches beats the Pilot’s 44.6, but bows to the Traverse’s 48.5. Whether this all works depends on who’s going to sit back here most of the time.

Up at the second row, this is where the Grand Highlander’s occupant count goes from eight in standard form to seven when a pair of captains’ chairs are installed. Maximum legroom here is 39.5 inches, almost an inch better than the regular Highlander. The Telluride and Pilot are more accommodating, but that’s still a decent amount for an adult of average size. One thing that both the Grand Highlander and its smaller counterpart have in common is a finicky way of folding rows two and three.

Up front, even the most affordable new Grand Highlander comes with a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, along with individual armrests, three drinks holders (including one for a large bottle), and wireless charging. Peppered throughout the cabin are seven USB-C ports, 10 more cup holders, and plenty of nooks for stowing things. Seating materials on offer include simulated leather, simulated suede, and real leather.

Distinct exterior

A midsize SUV expanded for more rear space might sound like a recipe for odd proportions, but — to our eyes, at least — the 2024 Grand Highlander gets the aesthetics right and has a good chance of aging well. The styling is also distinct, not just an adjusted version of the regular Highlander. Yet there are still clever touches like the wide rear passenger doors contributing to easy third-row access.

At just under 17 feet, the Grand Highlander is about nine inches longer than the regular Highlander, with about four inches of that going into the wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles). It’s also a couple of inches wider and the roof is a couple of inches higher — ground clearance is the same.

Our favorite features and tech

Infotainment system
We like Toyota’s infotainment setups. They’re easy to use. The one in the Grand Highlander has voice activation (say Hey, Toyota then give a command), over-the-air updates, and wireless Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto.

Smart Key
A standard feature, this allows access to the Grand Highlander using a phone app. A conventional key is not necessary.

Facial recognition
With different drivers using the same vehicle, facial recognition can perceive each one and then set up things like cabin temperature and audio preferences.

360-degree camera system
Also known as the Panoramic View Monitor, it gives drivers a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle’s surroundings when maneuvering. Exclusive to the Platinum trim.

Digital rearview mirror
When there’s an SUV full of people and stuff, it’s reassuring to have a clear view behind without even the rear pillars getting in the way. This feature in the Platinum model shows the feed from a wide-angle rear-facing camera.

Traffic Jam Assist
Part of the Platinum trim, this feature can take care of the steering, throttle and brakes at speeds up to 25 mph, and when certain conditions are met.

Read: Here are some of the most advanced car tech features ​you should know about

Engines and performance

The base engine in the 2024 Grand Highlander is a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder unit making a perfectly adequate 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Buyers who prefer hybrids lose a bit of muscle in the first such drivetrain on offer: 243 horsepower. A little sacrifice for increased fuel economy. The most powerful Grand Highlander comes with the Hybrid Max setup generating 362 horsepower.

All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional with the non-hybrid version (front-wheel drive, aka FWD, is the standard configuration there) and the more modest of the two hybrids. Only the mid-range Limited trim has a choice of either hybrid, but there isn’t a version that links the smaller hybrid with front-wheel drive. Platinum trims have all-wheel driven regardless of drivetrain, which is either the base engine or the Hybrid Max.

An 8-speed automatic transmission pairs with the base engine. The smaller hybrid has a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the Max has a 6-speed automatic.

Combined fuel economy runs to 24 mpg (gas-only, FWD), 23 or 22 mpg (gas-only, AWD — the lower figure applies to the two higher trims), 34 mpg (hybrid), 33 mpg (hybrid, Limited, AWD) and 27 mpg (Hybrid Max).

Both the base engine and the Hybrid Max enable a maximum towing figure of 5,000 pounds — typical for midsize SUVs — while the smaller hybrid can manage 3,500 pounds.

3-year/36,000-mile warranty

Toyota’s new-vehicle warranty conforms to the class norms of three years or 36,000 miles, whichever happens first, with powertrains covered for five years or 60,000 miles. Hybrid batteries have warranties of 10 years or 150,000 miles, whereas the typical arrangement is eight years or 100,000 miles. Toyota also includes free scheduled maintenance over the first two years or 25,000 miles.

KBB’s car review methodology.

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