The Toyota Grand Highlander is not just a larger version of the popular Highlander SUV. It’s a completely new vehicle, designed to take on competitors like the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Volkswagen Atlas, and even Jeep’s Grand Cherokee L. With its spacious interior and powerful performance, the Grand Highlander is the perfect SUV for families who need extra space, comfort, and style.
The Grand Highlander stands out from the regular Highlander with its larger size. It’s 4 inches longer, 2 inches taller, and 2.3 inches wider than its sibling, and it features a more conventional dual-grille design at the front and a solid, blocky appearance. The side profile has a parallel beltline, and the D-pillar is thicker for a more substantial look.
Interior Design and Comfort
The interior of the Grand Highlander is similar to that of the Highlander, with a 12.3-inch center screen and proper buttons and dials for the climate controls. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the second row offers either individual buckets or a three-row bench for a total of seven or eight seats. The interior is also packed with features like seven USB-C ports, 13 cupholders, and a deep center console.
One of the biggest selling points of the Grand Highlander is its third-row seating, which Toyota claims can accommodate two full-size adults. While the third row is spacious enough for a 6-footer, the seating position is knee-up, and the seat is thinly padded, so it’s not the most comfortable option. However, each third-row occupant gets their own USB-C port, twin cupholders, and a grab handle for easy entry and exit.
Cargo Space and Powertrains
The Grand Highlander offers 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the third row in place, and 97.5 cubic feet with all seats down. Powertrains include a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 2.5-liter hybrid, both available with front- or all-wheel drive. The Hybrid Max powertrain is a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine with an electric motor and a second motor for the rear axle, producing 362 horsepower.
Safety, Driver Assistance, and Infotainment Technology
The Grand Highlander comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense 3.0 package, including dynamic cruise control, collision detection with automatic braking, road sign recognition, and lane keeping assistance. The infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, pairs two Bluetooth phones, and offers 4G Internet connectivity and a Wi-Fi hot spot.
Trim Levels and Pricing
The Grand Highlander will be available in XLE, Limited, and Platinum trim levels, and it will come with impressive standard equipment, including 18-inch alloy wheels, faux-leather seats, and a power tailgate. Pricing has not been announced yet, but it is expected to be at the higher end of the mid- to high 30s range of its competitors.
The Grand Highlander is a solid addition to the Toyota lineup, offering families extra space, comfort, and style. While the third-row seat might not be the most comfortable option, there’s plenty of room for a growing family and friends. The Grand Highlander should hit dealerships this summer, and it is expected to be a strong competitor in its class.