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A blue 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is shown parked on sand under a new car alert banner.

Toyota’s Third Three-Row SUV: The All-New Grand Highlander

The Toyota Highlander has long been the best-selling three-row SUV in America, offering unbeatable reliability and practicality at an affordable price. However, what if you want something more but don’t feel like upgrading to the full-size Toyota Sequoia? Well, now there is a model just for you––the all-new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander. This new addition to the Toyota fleet is not just larger with a more spacious third row; it also boasts upscale features and a powerful new Hybrid Max powertrain derived from the recently-released Toyota Crown. If you’ve been looking for your next family SUV and have reliability, practicality, and efficiency at the top of your list, the Grand Highlander deserves your consideration.

Bigger, But Not Too Big

The headline news for the 2024 Grand Highlander is, of course, its size. While the normal Highlander measures 195 inches in length, the Grand Highlander stretches that to a hair of 201 inches. Not so long ago, that would have put it into the full-size SUV segment, but midsize SUVs have been growing in size lately, and the new Toyota is still a couple of inches shorter than competitors like the Jeep Grand Cherokee L and the Chevy Traverse. Overall, the Grand Highlander seems like it hits a sweet spot in the market, offering more room without becoming unwieldy.

The results of that extra length are most obvious when you look at the roomier third row. An extra 5.5 inches of legroom goes a long way to making passengers feel more comfortable. Toyota also redesigned the rear suspension to give third-row occupants extra headroom compared to the standard Highlander. Even better, that extra third-row legroom does not come at the expense of cargo space. While many three-row SUVs have a surprisingly small cubby for a trunk, the Grand Highlander boasts over 20 cu.ft. of cargo space with all three rows in place. When you need more room, you can take advantage of around 90 cu.ft. of cargo space with both rear rows folded down.

A blue 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is shown parked on a beach.

Two Hybrid Powertrain Options

The Toyota Highlander has offered a hybrid option since 2006, so it’s no surprise that the Grand Highlander is also available with a hybrid powertrain. However, what is a surprise is that it actually has two very different hybrid options. The first hybrid uses a 2.5L engine, just like the Highlander Hybrid. This is a solid pick for most drivers but doesn’t have the most exciting performance. If you want a bit more fun or desire 5,000 lbs of towing capacity from a hybrid, then the Hybrid MAX powertrain with its 2.4L turbocharged engine is the one for you. This puts some pep in the Grand Highlander, offering no less than 362 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque––roughly equivalent to the 5.7L V8 in the old Sequoia.

If you are not a fan of hybrids, the 2024 Grand Highlander comes standard with a traditional gasoline engine. This is the same turbocharged 2.4L that was added to the Highlander in 2022, replacing its long-running 3.5L V6. While this is a reasonably efficient engine and the most affordable of the three options, we see little reason to choose it over one of the two hybrids. It is not significantly more powerful than the 2.5L hybrid, and the difference in fuel economy means the hybrid will quickly pay for itself. If you want more towing capacity than the 2.5L hybrid provides, then the Hybrid MAX will provide a much more comfortable towing experience.

A Strong Contender in a Competitive Market

The three-row SUV market seems to be heating up, with compelling options like the Jeep Grand Cherokee L and the Kia Telluride challenging the reigning Toyota Highlander. However, Toyota has struck back with the new 2024 Grand Highlander, providing families with more space and efficiency in the same proven package. Add updated features like the 12.3-inch Toyota infotainment system with over-the-air updates and the improved Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 driver-assist suite, and it is difficult to argue that the Grand Highlander isn’t at the top of its class. However, it remains to be seen if Toyota’s Hybrid MAX powertrain is better than the e-Skyactiv plug-in hybrid option for the new 2024 Mazda CX-90.