Toyota Grand Highlander expands hybrid crossover vary

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander


CHICAGO — Toyota engine expands its segment-leading, three-row crossover lineup with the new 2024 Grand Highlander, including two gas-powered hybrid offerings.

The automaker unveiled the vehicle on Wednesday night as the larger sibling of the Toyota Highlander mid-size SUV/crossover. It’s longer and wider than the Highlander and offers 13.2 cubic feet of additional cargo volume, according to Toyota.

The vehicle is the latest example of automakers trying to scale up and test their pricing power while consumers spend record amounts on new vehicles. The average price paid for a new vehicle this year was nearly $50,000 as automakers prioritize high-end models over entry-level models amid ongoing but improving supply chain issues.

Toyota hasn’t announced pricing for the Grand Highlander, but analysts expect it to top comparable regular models, which start between $36,000 and $51,000. It will be offered in three trim levels when it hits dealerships this summer.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander


According to Edmunds, the median price for the current Highlander in the fourth quarter of last year was more than $46,600 — $48,801 for the hybrid.

The Grand Highlander joins the growing US three-row midsize crossover segment, which has grown from 12 nameplates in 2018 to 16 vehicles for 2023, including the Grand Highlander, Edmunds reports. Other new additions include the Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride.

The Grand Highlander will compete against these vehicles, as well as the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, and other popular larger midsize SUVs/crossovers. Such vehicles are becoming increasingly popular — with sales up 4% from 2018 to 2022 — as Americans have moved away from full-size sedans and other vehicles.

Ivan Drury, director of insights at Edmunds, said consumers are increasingly looking at three-row crossovers as alternatives to minivans that are ergonomic but have faced the stigma of being uncool.

“Everybody wants a minivan, but nobody wants to admit it,” he said. “People want a third row even if they don’t use it.”

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander


The Grand Highlander was unveiled in conjunction with this week’s Chicago Auto Show. Several car brands such as Jeep and Volkswagen are expected to unveil special models that are likely to push prices higher.

While larger than the standard Highlander, the Grand Highlander is smaller than Toyota’s Sequoia SUV, which is manufactured using a truck-based or “body-on-frame” process. This assembly offers greater utility but less comfort on the road than a “unibody” process used on cars and crossovers like the Highlander models.

“The current Highlander is a little bit smaller than the Palisade or the Traverse,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst at S&P Global Mobility. “You’ve got room for that. It’s not as ‘truckie’ as the Sequoia, either.”

The Highlander was one of Toyota’s best-selling vehicles last year, selling nearly 223,000 vehicles. It was surpassed only by the Toyota RAV4 small crossover and the Camry sedan. Brinley doesn’t expect the Grand Highlander to be a big volume product, but said it “rounds out” Toyota’s crossover lineup and gives customers more options.

Edmunds reports that the Highlander was the best-selling three-row midsize crossover/SUV in the US last year, overtaking the Ford Explorer, Grand Cherokee L and Toyota 4Runner. It’s also one of the most popular consumer-purchased vehicles in the segment, according to Edmunds.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander


According to Toyota, the Grand Highlander will offer a range of active safety and convenience features, as well as 13 cup holders and seven USB-C charging ports across the vehicle’s three rows.

The SUV is offered with three different engines, including two hybrid engines, which set it apart from many of its top competitors. The entry-level four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine and the V6 hybrid are currently available for the Highlander. The top-end V6 Hybrid MAX will produce 362 horsepower and 400 pounds of torque, Toyota said.

The hybrid Grand Highlanders follow Toyota’s overall strategy of offering a mix of traditional gas engines, hybrids and all-electric vehicles to aim for carbon neutrality by 2050.

“This three-row model takes the Highlander heritage to a whole new dimension while delivering on our promise of delivering electrification,” said Lisa Materazzo, Group Vice President of Toyota Marketing, in a press release.

Toyota’s US lineup includes 10 hybrids, two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the all-electric bZ4X, and the fuel cell-powered Mirai.

The Japanese automaker has been criticized by some investors and environmental groups for not moving faster to all-electric vehicles. The company has argued that not all consumers will switch to electric vehicles at the same time and that it can produce dozens of hybrids with the same amount of CO2 emissions as a pure electric vehicle.

Toyota plans to invest approximately $70 billion in electric vehicles over nine years, including $35 billion in all-electric battery technologies. The company plans to offer around 70 electrified models worldwide by 2025.

Toyota — the world’s largest automaker — plans to sell about 3.5 million all-electric vehicles annually through 2030, which would be just a third of its current annual sales.

Comments are closed.