2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Debuts With More Room, Hybrid MAX Powertrain & Updated Tech

The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander made an early debut at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show. Toyota calls it the “ultimate family SUV” as a lengthened variant of a standard Highlander to provide a roomier third row for up to seven. It, too, coincides with the mid-cycle freshening of the 2023 Highlander, which is still part of the fourth-gen variant built on Toyota’s TNGA-K platform.

The sub-par third row has always been the Highlander’s most glaring drawback since entering the scene in 2000. It took a while, but Toyota’s changing that with the 2023 Grand Highlander. “This three-row model takes the Highlander legacy to an entirely new space while keeping our promise to deliver on electrification,” said Lisa Materazzo, VP of Toyota Marketing Group.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander: What’s New?

Toyota was kind enough to divulge a handful of juicy details about its latest family hauler, but it didn’t say where most of the growth spurt developed.

The Grand Highlander has an overall length of 201.4 inches (about 6.5 inches longer than a standard Highlander) and offers 33.5 inches of legroom in the third row. That’s more than the Ford Explorer, yet it falls slightly short of the VW Atlas, so maybe Toyota is up to something here.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Available “Beyond Zero” Hybrid Powertrain

Toyota has adopted what the automaker calls a “diverse approach to carbon neutrality.” The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid and Hybrid MAX are the next Toyota vehicles to wear the “Beyond Zero” badge after the all-new Prius (the 2023 bZ4X also uses the term). Beyond Zero is Toyota’s vision to reach carbon neutrality with products, services, and operations. 

Beyond Zero also means plenty of muscle. The Grand Highlander Hybrid MAX, in particular, is the most powerful midsize SUV from Toyota’s stable, boasting 362 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque from its 2.4-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain. Meanwhile, the Grand Highlander Hybrid XLE has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 245 horsepower and 175 lb-ft. of torque. 

The non-hybrid Grand Highlander comes standard with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque.

All three powertrain options are available with a front-wheel or all-wheel drivetrain (AWD).

Moreover, all gas AWD and Hybrid MAX variants receive Toyota’s multi-terrain select system with three bespoke off-road driving modes: Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, and Snow.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander under the hood.
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander under the hood. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Brilliant Tech Features

Toyota promises that Grand Highlander will live up to its name, including all the awesome tech goodies awaiting the driver and passengers. It has a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with an intelligent assistant, cloud navigation, destination assist, over-the-air updates, and dual Bluetooth connectivity.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, seven USB-C charging ports, and wireless smartphone charging are also standard. Oh, and it has 13 cup holders front to back!

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Trim Levels

Gasoline-powered Grand Highlanders will arrive in three trim grades across its three available powertrains: XLE, Limited, and Platinum. On the Hybrid side, there are four trim levels: XLE, Limited, MAX Limited, and MAX Platinum.

The base Grand Highlander XLE has 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, heated outside mirrors, power-operated and heated front seats, Softtex upholstery, and second-row captain’s chairs or bench seats.

Meanwhile, the Limited trim gets 20-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, LED driving lights, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated tiller, interior ambient lighting, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

The top-of-the-line Platinum adds heated and ventilated second-row seats, a panoramic moonroof, a heads-up display, paddle shifters (AWD gas and Hybrid MAX variants), and puddle lamps.

In addition, all trim grades receive Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 with lane departure alert, pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control, and proactive driving assist.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander interior layout.
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander interior layout. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Starting MSRP

The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander has a starting MSRP of $44,715, which includes the $1,395 destination fee. Limited and Platinum models will start at $49,505 and $55,190, respectively.

By contrast, the 2024 Grand Highlander Hybrid XLE will start at $46,415. Limited and MAX Limited will start at $52,805 and $55,785, respectively. The MAX Platinum, at the top of the range, starts near $60,000.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.