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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Adds Extra Passenger Room and Cargo Space

No more crying when adults are in the back seat

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander front
  • The Grand Highlander will be a more spacious version of the current Highlander
  • It brings an increase to third-row space and cargo capacity.
  • Three powertrains are offered, including a performance hybrid not available on the standard Highlander.

The Toyota Highlander is one of the most popular midsize three-row SUVs on the market, but two things prevent it from being an absolute must-have: a cramped third row and meager cargo space behind the back seat. But don't despair just yet, large Toyota families. The new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander takes everything we like about the existing Highlander and blows it up to XL proportions. Throw in an available high-performance hybrid powertrain, and you have a recipe for what may be the greatest Highlander ever.

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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander profile

What's under the Grand Highlander's hood?

The Grand Highlander is available with no fewer than three powertrains — one of which doesn't appear in the standard Highlander at all. The base motor is a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine that produces a stout 265 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. It debuted on the Highlander last year as a replacement for the previous V6, with the aim of giving the Toyota a bump in fuel efficiency while also offering plenty of power on tap.

There's also the Highlander Hybrid, pairing a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor for 243 combined horsepower. It's not the quickest fox in the forest, but its estimated fuel consumption is roughly 50% lower than a comparable Highlander. Both the standard engine and the hybrid are available with front- or all-wheel drive.

Up until now, buyers have had to choose between performance and efficiency. The Grand Highlander answers "why not both?" with the addition of the new Hybrid Max powertrain. This AWD model matches the turbocharged engine with the hybrid system; total output is listed at 362 hp, and Toyota says the Grand Highlander with this combo can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds. For reference, the Highlander Hybrid is a full 2 seconds slower.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander interior

How's the Grand Highlander's interior?

While we love the idea of a hot rod Toyota SUV, let's face it: Not everyone will order a trim with the Hybrid Max powertrain, but all Grand Highlander owners will enjoy extra space in the back. Third-row legroom grows by 5.5 inches, and there's an extra inch of headroom, too. Cargo capacity behind the third row increases from 16.0 cubic feet to 20.6 cubes.

That might not seem like much on paper, but that cargo figure now matches the titanic Volkswagen Atlas. In person, the difference between non-Grand and Grand Highlanders is significant. While the back row is pretty much kids-only in the standard Highlander, average-size adults will have no problem relaxing in the Grand Highlander's third row. The additional few inches behind the rear doors means getting in and out of the third row might not be totally graceful, but this is a small price to pay for clearly superior accommodations.

Aside from the specific benefit of the additional room, the Grand Highlander's cabin looks and feels exactly like the standard model. The user interface is clear and intuitive with this generation of Toyota vehicles, so the learning curve for those using the touchscreen for the first time isn't too steep. There's also a nice assortment of physical controls, with volume, climate and drive mode functions represented with knobs that require very little attention to operate effectively.

The Grand Highlander's cabin also looks pretty nice, with models powered by the Hybrid Max engine gaining fetching bronze accents that break up a sea of black or gray. Soft-touch surfaces blanket a fair amount of the interior, giving this SUV an almost Lexus-lite vibe.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander seat

What are the Grand Highlander's trim levels? 

The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is available in three trim levels: XLE, Limited and Platinum

XLE

The entry-level Grand Highlander comes with a healthy list of standard features, including:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels

  • Heated mirrors

  • Roof rails

  • Power liftgate

  • Keyless entry and ignition

  • Heated and power-adjustable front seats

  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror

  • Synthetic leather upholstery

  • Second-row sunshades

  • 12.3-inch touchscreen

  • Wireless charging pad

  • Toyota's Safety Sense 3.0 suite of advanced safety features:

    • Frontal collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)

    • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)

    • Automatic high beams

    • Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)

    • Traffic sign reader

  • Blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning (alerts you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)

Limited

Step up to the Limited, and you'll add:

  • 20-inch wheels

  • Automatic wipers

  • Power-folding mirrors

  • Hands-free liftgate

  • Fully digital instrument panel

  • Heated steering wheel

  • Ventilated front seats with memory settings

  • Heated second-row seats

  • Leather upholstery

  • 11-speaker JBL audio system

  • Ambient interior lighting

  • Power outlet

  • Bronze interior accents (Hybrid Max only)

  • Front and rear parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible in front of or behind the vehicle when parking)

Platinum

The top-spec Platinum includes everything above, plus: 

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander cargo

Edmunds says

Do we have a new king of the three-row crossover hill? The Grand Highlander solves the few problems we have with the Highlander by offering more third-row space and cargo room, plus a powerful and fuel-efficient powertrain in the Hybrid Max.