2024 Toyota Grand Highlander at the Chicago Auto Show
Toyota saw a gap in its product lineup. As three-row SUVs get bigger and more accommodating for adults in all three rows, Toyota took a look at it and must have come to the same conclusion we did when we tested it last year: adults don’t want to ride in the way back.
Taking this idea to heart, the marketing department is now claiming that adults will actually be calling “dibs” on that third row. With its comfortable seating position, recline functionality, plentiful headroom, cupholders galore, and USB power on the outboard positions, this is no longer the penalty box it is the smaller Highlander.
Riding on the TNGA-K platform, the Grand Highlander is not simply a massaged version of the “regular” Highlander, it is its own beast. With a 201.4-inch overall length, the Grand is about 6.5 inches longer than the Highlander and about 7 inches shorter than the larger Sequoia. Further dimensions include 78.3 inches wide (+2.3 inches over Highlander), 70.1 inches tall (+2 inches), with a 116-inch wheelbase (+4 inches) that translates into the cabin for more room for all.
With its increased size, Toyota now has a real competitor to the Honda Pilot, which itself got a complete redesign for 2023. Both brands are renowned for their reliability and longevity, so it is nice to have a bigger option in the game to rival the Honda Pilot. Other notable competitors would include Mazda’s new 2024 CX-90, VW’s refreshed 2024 Atlas, along with the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Chevy Traverse, and Ford Explorer…to name a few.
The large 3-row crossover game is getting rather intense and we are here to cover it all for you. Stay tuned for more on this and much more as we will be driving the new Mazda CX-90 in about a month.
The following is from Toyota's press release: The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander made its world premiere hours before the opening day of the Chicago Auto Show to showcase the latest and greatest addition to the successful SUV lineup for Toyota.
“There is definitely a need in the market for a midsize-SUV that prioritizes interior comfort in all three rows and Grand Highlander is the ultimate option,” said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president of Toyota Marketing. “This 3-row model takes the Highlander legacy to an entirely new space while also keeping on our promise to deliver on electrification. Highlander was the first model in its segment to offer a hybrid powertrain back in 2006 and Grand Highlander further expands on our electrification leadership.”
Grand Highlander offers options from entry level to efficiency to performance all in one incredible package. It is available in three powertrains across three grades: the well-balanced 2.4L turbo gas engine, the efficiency-leading 2.5L hybrid with a manufacturer-estimated 34 combined MPG, and the ultimate performance-seeking, 362 horsepower Hybrid MAX.
As part of Toyota’s diverse approach to carbon neutrality, the Grand Highlander Hybrid and Hybrid MAX vehicles are part of a lineup that looks to move “beyond zero.” With ten hybrids, two plug-in hybrids, the new bZ4X battery electric vehicle and the zero emission hydrogen fuel cell technology of the Mirai, Toyota is committed to finding highly efficient and zero emission solutions that fit customers’ lifestyles across the US. As a symbol of that commitment, the 2024 Grand Highlander will be the second Toyota vehicle to wear the new “Beyond Zero” badge, after the all-new Prius – a global effort toward achieving carbon neutrality in Toyota’s products, manufacturing and beyond.
Designed by Calty Design Studios and exclusively manufactured at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Princeton, Indiana, the price and on-sale date of the all-new 2024 Grand Highlander will be announced later this summer.
Creature Comforts with Added Versatility
Built on the TNGA-K platform, Grand Highlander is the active family cruiser fit for everything from short trips to long drives. It offers thoughtful storage areas throughout the cabin, ample cargo capacity with room for seven carryon suitcases behind the 3rd row. A total of around 98 cubic feet of space with the seats folded down, and a spacious adult-sized third row.
Whether you’re the driver, passenger or are in the second or third rows – the Grand Highlander is fully functional for the road ahead.
Controls are centered around the standard 12.3-inch multimedia display. The configurable center console can fit a tablet (with internal tray removed) and also features a wireless charger, two USB ports, and three cup holders – including one capable of holding a large water bottle. While on the passenger side, a pocket capable of holding a small bag is provided. A sliding console cover is offered so that the lid can be opened and closed with the armrests in use, allowing for even more versatility for both driver and passenger. On the passenger side of the dashboard, another USB port and a tray capable of neatly holding a cord during charging are included, providing more usability for the passenger.
In the second-row seats, an air conditioning control panel and separate left/right USB ports are placed together on the top of the console end, within easy reach of second-row passengers. Cup holders are also provided on the center armrest (bench seat specification), while cup holders, a smartphone storage slit and multi-purpose tray are provided on the rear console for the captain’s seat configuration. A multi-purpose tray as well as additional water bottle storage is provided in the door trim.
And, for third row passengers, individual USB ports, smartphone/tablet storage space, and two cup & bottle holders are provided on the deck side, allowing for diverse usage scenarios. Additionally, a support grip for use during ingress and a hand support space for use during egress are provided to enhance the accessibility. Across all three rows, Grand Highlander is road-trip ready – equipped with 13 cup holders big enough for large water bottles and seven USB-C charge ports to keep devices charged and at the ready.
Other available conveniences include heated steering wheel and power folding mirrors (Limited and Platinum), heated and ventilated front and second row seats (Platinum), 1,500-Watt power outlets (Limited Hybrid, Limited Hybrid MAX, and Platinum Hybrid MAX), and a hands-free power back door (Limited and Platinum).
A Powertrain for All
When it comes to performance and efficiency, Toyota offers both in the first-ever Grand Highlander. Offered in three powertrains in both front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) – the well-balanced 2.4L turbo gas engine (FWD/AWD), the efficiency-leading 2.5L hybrid (FWD/AWD) and the ultimate performance-seeking, 362-horsepower Hybrid MAX with 400-pound feet of torque with standard AWD – there is something for everyone.
All three powertrain options come with three Drive Modes (Sport, Eco, Normal) to make driving more engaging – while Multi-Terrain Select with Three Modes (Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, Snow) are offered on the gas AWD and Hybrid MAX powertrains for even more on and off-road capability.
The Hybrid MAX powertrain makes Grand Highlander the most powerful Mid-SUV Toyota has ever built. Drivers will experience impressive performance off the line, as well – thanks to a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds. The Hybrid MAX powertrain also offers 5,000 lbs. of towing capacity.
Advanced Technology for the Long Drive
When it comes to the latest tech, the Grand Highlander is equipped with the best from Toyota – thanks to the standard 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team. Grand Highlander drivers will also have the opportunity to access a wide range of enhanced available connectivity and convenience features, including Over-the-Air (OTA) updates.
Users can interact with the system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. With the available Connected Service Drive Connect, drivers and passengers have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awaken the system for voice activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures and more. Cloud Navigation, the available onboard navigation solution, utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic and routing information. To ensure users have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate the next destination.
The new Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for dual Bluetooth® phone connectivity, with support for standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. With further connectivity, the Grand Highlander has an available Wi-Fi Connect 1-month trial that offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices – turning the Grand Highlander into an AT&T Hotspot. Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio®, USB data and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial subscription, Wi-Fi Connect also enables the new Integrated Streaming feature, providing customers the ability to link their separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle for onboard control.
For those looking for an enhanced audio experience, Grand Highlander offers an available JBL® Premium Audio system with 11 speakers, creating a mobile concert from any music genre. Standard on the Limited and Platinum grades, with the use of Clari-Fi® technology, the system is also able to breathe life into compressed digital music formats enhancing the audio experience.
Each Grand Highlander offers a host of additional available Connected Services. Safety Connect includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), 24/7 Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator and Collision Assistance with up to a 10-year trial. Service Connect gives drivers the ability to receive Vehicle Health Reports, Maintenance Alerts and reminders, also with up to a 10-year trial.
With the Toyota app, users can stay connected to their Grand Highlander with a 1-year trial of Remote Connect service. Users can activate headlights, lock/unlock the doors and remotely start the vehicle. Users can also check vehicle status, receive reminder notifications and set Guest Driver Alerts. Digital key is also standard on all grades with Remote Connect– making it easy to lock and unlock doors, remote start and more all from a smart phone.
Ready to handle all your device charging needs, Grand Highlander is equipped with seven USB-C ports in the cabin. Up front is a wireless charger for the driver, as well as two Type-C USB ports at the bottom of the center stack plus a dedicated USB port for the front seat passenger. For second-row passengers, two Type-C USB ports are located at the top of the center console. Third row passengers get a USB port at each outboard seating position.
Convenience features are aplenty for Grand Highlander, too. Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) is standard on all grades. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is available on Limited and Platinum grades. A Panoramic View Monitor is available and provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle.
The Grand Highlander offers an exterior design that is distinctive and beautiful, coupled with a spacious interior found in all three rows. From the front, it is inspired by the Highlander shape, but in an entirely new way, thanks to the trapezoidal, hammerhead front grille and available 20” wheels. The sophisticated design continues to the rear, thanks to a sharp rear bumper. The Hybrid Max powertrain variant takes it one step further with an available dual exhaust.
The exterior is beautiful yet functional. Body-colored rear pillars express a certain robustness and 3rd-row utility when seen on the road, while black rockers give it that raised SUV look. The side surface flows seamlessly from the doors through the fenders to the front and rear tires, expressing a simple yet dynamic-looking design. For the Hybrid MAX grades, an exclusive front/rear lower bumper is available for a premium result.
The thoughtful and spacious design continues to the interior. The soft-padded instrument panel floats above the available wood-effect ornamentation that continues into the door trim, with a functional tray shape that is seamlessly integrated between them. Additionally, positioned low in the center is a sturdy console that gives the impression of a finely crafted sofa, expressing a comfortable living room-like space. The form of the instrument panel upper continues into the door trim to create a broad expanse, while the instrument panel lower features independent driver/passenger side armrests allowing use regardless of whether the console lid is open or closed. Ornamentation accents make the interior feel like a modern work of art carved from a solid piece of wood. High-quality leather stitchwork expresses a modern and refined elegance.
Drivers will enjoy available leather trimmed seats with 10-way power driver and 8 –way passenger adjustments (Limited and Platinum). And exclusively for Hybrid MAX, drivers will experience Ultrasuede® and leather-trimmed seats with bronze-colored accents.
Grade by Grade
The Grand Highlander is offered in three grades across three different powertrains – the XLE grade, Limited and Platinum.
18″ Alloy Wheels
Black Painted Grille
Heated Outer Mirrors
10-way Power Driver & 8-way Power Passenger Seats
7-Passenger Capacity w/ 2nd Row Captains Chairs or 8-Passenger Bench
Heated Front Seats
2nd Row Sunshades
Digital Key (requires active Remote Connect trial or subscription)
6 Power USB / 1 Media USB
Safety & Convenience
Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
5 Door Smart Key
Garage Door Opener
20″ Alloy Wheels
Power Fold Outer Mirrors
LED Fog Lamps
Heated & Ventilated Front Seats
Heated 2nd Row Seats
Memory Seat function for 1st row
Heated Steering Wheel
Power outlet (100W Gas) (1500W HV/Hybrid MAX)
Removable 2nd row center console storage
12.3″ Premium Multimedia w/ 11 Speaker JBL Audio
12.3″ Full Digital MID
Safety & Convenience
Parking Sensors w/ Automatic Braking
Rain Sensing Wipers
Kick Power Liftgate
20″ Clad Alloy Wheels
Heated & Ventilated 2nd Row Seats
Paddle shifters (AWD Gas and Hybrid MAX)
Dial Multi-Terrain Select (AWD Gas and Hybrid MAX)
Safety & Convenience
Head Up Display
Panoramic View Monitor
Digital Rearview Mirror
Traffic Jam Assist (requires active Drive Connect trial or subscription)
Front Cross Traffic Alert
Inside, Grand Highlander’s spacious interior offers a variety of options based on customer needs. The XLE and Limited grade options include a bench seat and Panoramic Moonroof – while the Limited grade adds the option of a Panoramic View Monitor.
For interior color options, the 2024 Grand Highlander is offered in:
XLE Gas and Hybrid: Softex®-trim in Light Gray or Black
Limited Gas and Hybrid: Leather-trim in Light Gray or Black
Platinum Gas: Leather-trim in Portobello, Light Gray or Black
Limited Hybrid Max: Ultrasuede®- and leather-trim in Light Gray or Black
Platinum Hybrid MAX in Ultrasuede®- and leather-trim in Portobello, Light Gray or Black
The 2024 Grand Highlander will come standard with the latest Toyota Safety Sense generation, TSS 3.0. This suite of safety features includes:
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Lane Tracing Assist
Road Sign Assist
Automatic High Beams
Proactive Driving Assist
Proactive Driving Assist is new to the Toyota Safety Sense package. When system operating conditions are met, using the vehicle’s camera and radar, this system provides gentle braking into curves or gentle braking and/or steering to help support driving tasks such as distance control between a preceding vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist. Proactive Driving Assist is not a substitute for the Pre-Collision System and operates in different circumstances.
The Toyota Safety Sense features has been enhanced for TSS 3.0:
The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection has enhanced detection capabilities thanks to new system sensors. It receives enhanced intersection support with improved detection capability in certain circumstances. It also adds the capability to detect a motorcyclist, in addition to a bicyclist and pedestrian.
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist has enhanced lane recognition that includes detection of certain 3D objects, like guardrails, that may be used to help define the lane.
Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control adds a fourth following distance setting, from the previously available three. Enhanced vehicle detection allows for the ability to detect more than one preceding vehicle, as well as vehicles in adjacent lanes. This helps the system to provide smoother, more natural speed adjustments, especially when the driver changes lanes.
Like Lane Departure Alert, lane recognition is enhanced for Lane Tracing Assist. This system now also helps provide more space between vehicles being passed in adjacent lanes. It works by offsetting the vehicles’ driving path with minor steering adjustments while keeping the vehicle within its lane.
An Emergency Driving Stop System has been added to Lane Tracing Assist. It’s designed to monitor the driver’s inputs, such as steering operation, to determine if they’re inattentive or non-responsive, such as during a medical emergency. This feature can bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver doesn’t respond to alerts to take control.
Road Sign Assist gets expanded sign detection capabilities that now include certain intersection signs and warning signs, like pedestrian crossings.
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