The midsize 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander has been specially designed to provide a larger version of the Highlander for anyone who loves the original but wants a bit more space for their family, friends, and cargo. The interior space is significantly more extensive than the original Highlander, with more than adequate legroom, headroom, and cargo space for any adventure you want to go on.
The original Highlander has been a very popular SUV over the years, but there were still some people who wanted more room. Toyota designed the Grand Highlander from the ground up to be a larger version of the Highlander with better performance as well. The three engine options provide flexibility of choice to Grand Highlander buyers. The off-road capability of the Grand Highlander is impressive, especially when equipped with the Hybrid MAX powertrain, allowing for easy navigation of several off-road situations.
The Illustrious History of the Highlander
The Highlander has been one of the best-performing SUVs for Toyota over the decades. It was first introduced in the year 2000, and the first generation made a statement in both functionality and design. It came with a V6 engine capable of 223 hp and was available in both 2WD and 4WD. The first generation of the Highlander quickly outpaced its sales goals, eventually doubling the projected numbers. The Hybrid Highlander was introduced in 2005, providing a fuel-efficient version of their now-popular midsize SUV. The 2005 hybrid got 33 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway—an increase of 11 MPG in the city over the non-hybrid model. It also produced lower emissions than the standard gas engine.
The second generation Highlander was introduced in 2007 and continued through 2013, improving upon the roominess of the vehicle, with more legroom, more width in the seats, and a stowable center seat in the second row. It also provided a larger 3.5L V6 engine capable of 270 hp.
Toyota’s Highlander’s third generation was longer and wider than the previous generations. It had eight available seats, giving Highlander owners the ability to carry around lots of family and friends. The increased size and emphasis on functionality and quality interior luxury styling led to a strong period of selling for the Highlander. From 2014 to 2018, the Highlander outpaced overall market growth by 25%, proving it was an increasingly popular vehicle. Toyota didn’t stop there, however.
In 2019, they introduced the fourth generation of the Highlander. Modern tech features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were added, cargo space was increased, and interior and exterior style was modernized. In 2023, Toyota announced a new Highlander, although this Highlander was unique enough to get its own official model name, the Grand Highlander. This one takes many great design elements from the existing Highlander but is a completely new design.
The Grand Highlander Is a Welcome Addition to Toyota SUVs
The Grand Highlander was made for those who like the original Highlander but want more interior room, more power, and some improved interior design elements. The Grand Highlander provides more than adequate room for everyone in the second and third rows. In the original Highlander, the space for eight people is sufficient but not always the most comfortable, especially for adults in the third row. Thankfully, the Grand Highlander improves on this such that adults have ample legroom in the second and third rows.
Cargo space is nothing to sneeze at either, with up to 97.5 cu.ft. of space when the second and third rows are folded down. The total interior space in the Grand Highlander is 153 cu.ft. Even with all the seats up, the rear cargo space has 21 cu.ft. of room—plenty for luggage, groceries, or camping gear. So whether you’re headed into the wilderness, to the office, or for a family visit, the Grand Highlander has the space enough to satisfy. This SUV is right at the top of midsize SUVs, in terms of size class, while still feeling maneuverable and responsive.
Great for Off-Roading Adventures
The powertrain of the Grand Highlander comes in three main engine options: the 2.4L turbo gas engine, the 2.5L hybrid, and the Hybrid MAX engine. The turbo gas and standard hybrid come in either FWD or AWD options. The Hybrid MAX provides AWD as standard and does not have an FWD option. The Grand Highlander has a special AWD system with a multi-terrain selection that allows for tuning for three situations, covering many off-roading conditions: Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, and Snow. There are also three drive modes—Sport, Eco, and Normal—which provide some options for more standard driving applications.
The AWD capability, finely tuned for several off-road situations, allows Grand Highlander drivers to venture off the beaten path. Whether you are looking to travel to a remote campsite, find a trailhead at the base of a mountain, or just need to get to work after a blizzard, the AWD helps keep you on the road and in control. The versatility of the Grand Highlander is quite impressive. Whether on the road or off it, the Grand Highlander gives you a comfortable ride and keeps you in control.
High-Tech Safety Features Provide Peace of Mind
Toyota really goes out of its way to make truly excellent safety features. Every version of the Grand Highlander comes equipped with TSS 3.0, also known as Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. This suite comes with many features, including a pre-collision system that helps avoid collisions with pedestrians or other vehicles. Also included is a Lane Tracing Assist and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; this system provides gentle steering to help keep your Highlander in the optimal lane location and also alerts the driver when they are drifting. The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is designed for highway driving and keeps a consistent distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
The Road Sign Assist (RSA) has a specially designed camera to keep track of road signs and alert the driver on their Multi-Information Display (MID). The Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) provides gentle driving assistance to help the SUV perform predictably for both driver and other vehicles. Finally, the Automatic High Beams (AHB) detects other vehicles both in oncoming lanes and in front of the vehicle and will automatically switch to standard lights so as to avoid accidentally blinding other drivers. Each aspect of the safety system provides safety for both the driver and others around the vehicle.
The Highlander Has a New Big Brother
The brand-new Grand Highlander provides an attractive option to those that need more space than the original Highlander provided but love the Highlander design and functionality. This new take on the Highlander provides just such a vehicle. The increased power, greater size, and substantial 5,000 lbs max towing capacity make this a midsize SUV to behold. Its spacious interior will surprise many people familiar with the original Highlander. However many family members or friends you have, you’re sure to have enough room for them in this SUV.
So venture into the wild, drive through a state or two, or pick up the kids and their friends from their game. The Grand Highlander is a roomy, powerful, and capable SUV that will likely become as popular as the original. The designers at Toyota certainly put in the time to design a great vehicle here.