The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander arrives to give us a larger three-row version of one of the most popular SUVs in the market.
What don’t we know about this new Toyota SUV? So far, we’ve learned tons about this new model. The Grand Highlander is a three-row version of the SUV we love; it brings an XL version that uses the same Hybrid Max powertrain as the Crown sedan to give this SUV 362 horsepower, and it offers some great family driving qualities. Of course, there are some things you might not know, and we’ve got ten of those for you.
Hybrid Max models wear the Beyond Zero badge
Toyota has taken its stance with hybrid and EV technology to a new level by calling their new fuel-sipping models Beyond Zero vehicles. The new all-electric bZ4X starts with this name, but there’s also a special badge developed to signify a BZ model. The new Grand Highlander is only the second model in the Toyota lineup to wear this badge. The Prius is the first, which makes perfect sense. This new badge is how Toyota signifies the fuel-sipping nature of its vehicles.
Only one Grand Highlander has leather upholstery
If you want a Toyota Grand Highlander with leather upholstery, faux-suede seat inserts, and bronze accents, the only way to get this combination is to choose the Platinum trim. This also means you’ve got a Grand Highlander with the Hybrid Max powertrain. This is the priciest version of this big Toyota SUV, but it could be the one you want to drive and enjoy when it’s time to take the family out for a ride.
Toyota has you in mind with the controls
Instead of going too far into the futuristic build and qualities of this new SUV, Toyota kept in mind that many drivers like to have some physical knobs and controls in the dashboard. With this in mind, the new Grand Highlander features knobs and buttons to handle the volume and climate control system. This gives you an easy way to change things in the cabin without taking your eyes off the road. More automakers need to put buttons and knobs back into their vehicles.
Your second-row passengers are much more comfortable
One of the biggest differences between the regular Highlander and the new Toyota Grand Highlander is the comfort offered in the second row. The Grand Highlander includes heated and ventilated second-row captain’s chairs. This allows you to keep your body warm or cool when in these seats. As expected, this comfort feature is reserved for only the top Platinum trim level. Other trims might have heated seats but won’t have ventilation for these rear seats. Still, this is a pretty cool feature.
Toyota didn’t forget the third-row passengers
Those passengers sent to the rearmost row of seats will be happy to head to this area. The seat space in the Grand Highlander is much larger in the third row than what you have in the regular Highlander. Also, this seating area features side bins which are large enough for two cups and a smartphone, and individual USB-C ports. These improvements make this third-row area a more desirable place to enjoy a ride when you’re ready to head out on the road with your family.
The console cover slides
Most new vehicles have a center console in the front row. For some, this is the seatback of a third bench seat; for others, it’s a lifting cover which can be challenging when arms get in the way. Toyota gives the Grand Highlander a sliding cover for the console. This is a little thing, but the little things matter. It makes for easy access to the bin without disrupting the arm of the other person in the front seat. This can be an important feature when passengers need to search for something inside the console.
This Toyota SUV straddles the line
The premium class of vehicles isn’t occupied by very many car brands. Typically, we see mainstream brands and then luxury names. Toyota has its brand name and Lexus to fill these two spots. The Grand Highlander could easily be classified as a premium vehicle and straddle that thin line between mainstream and luxury. This SUV isn’t quite as opulent as a Lexus SUV, but it doesn’t hit the mainstream notes the way a RAV4 does. It seems to be in a class all by itself.
The digital gauges are large and in charge
Even in 2023, fully digital gauges are something we love to see. These items are part of what we expect in new models, but not all new vehicles have them. The new Toyota Grand Highlander has a 7.0-inch display in the base model but moving up to the Limited or Platinum version brings you a massive 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster to offer the look and configuration you want to enjoy.
Is that a Hybrid Max?
The rear liftgate of the Grand Highlander with the Hybrid Max powertrain has a very small badge in the far left corner. How will people know this model has the 362-horsepower setup? If you can’t read the small Hybrid Max lettering or see the Beyond Zero badge, there’s another clue to tell you this SUV has the most desirable powertrain. The Hybrid Max models also feature a set of dual exhausts. These pipes are easy to spot and give away the fact that this is the high-powered Grand Highlander.
This is a new kind of Highlander
The Toyota Grand Highlander doesn’t look like the regular Highlander. It has the same qualities that make it a Toyota SUV but shares more styling elements with the RAV4 than the Highlander. This is the first time Toyota has offered a larger version of the Highlander alongside the regular model. We’ll see if one of these two SUVs ends up losing out to the other. This shouldn’t be a problem, though; the new Grand Highlander fits in a place where Toyota doesn’t currently have an SUV.
Could the new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander be the right three-row SUV for you and your family? This new model brings a lot that you can admire and enjoy.
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