Behind the Wheel

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander — More Room for Friends and Family, and Everything Else

2024 Toyota Grand HighlanderModel tested: 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander 4WD Platinum Hybrid Max

Engine: 2.4-liter, turbocharged I-4 hybrid

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

Horsepower: 362

Torque: 400-lb.-ft.

EPA ratings: 26/city, 27/highway, 27/combined

Base price: $58,125

As tested: $59,878

Overview: The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander 4WD Hybrid is a new model with true three-row adult-seating capacity. The second row can be had with captain’s chairs or a bench seat for seven- or eight-passenger accommodations. We drove the top trim level Grand Highlander Hybrid Platinum Max and found it capable and proficient in all aspects.

Walkaround: The 2024 Grand Highlander looks like a slightly longer version of the regular Highlander, which it is. The added length works well with the existing Highlander styling. Proportions are good and not awkward. Toyota’s massive grille trend is handled with reserve on the Grand Highlander. The side profile is pleasingly simple and the 20-inch-diameter wheels are stylish. The panoramic moonroof is a big plus that helps make the already spacious interior seem even bigger.

2024 Toyota Grand HighlanderInterior: The Platinum trim level is pleasant, comfortable and tastefully executed, with adult-size space throughout the cabin. The design and execution are on the conservative side, but that’s not a bad thing because it should help future resale value by not being overly trendy or dated. Both front seats and second row captain’s chairs are heated and vented. Legroom is excellent. Door bins are large, and small item storage is very good. Third-row space isn’t quite “grand,” but it’s excellent even for 6-foot-tall adults. The middle position is OK, but three across shoulder space is very snug. Space for cargo and groceries behind the third row is ample, and the power liftgate opens high to access the flat floor. Toyota rates cargo capacity at 98 cubic feet with all rear seats folded.

Behind the wheel: The driving experience was similar to the two-row Highlander, with the only difference being extra parking care. The combination of the four-cylinder gas engine and the two electric motors produces excellent acceleration, with zero to 60 mph at 6.3 seconds, according to Toyota. Transmission shifting was efficient for the full-time, electronic all-wheel-drive and fuel economy was very respectable for such a large SUV. Seven drive and terrain modes for all types of weather or road conditions are controlled by a rotary dial and push buttons on the center console. Towing capacity is rated at 5,000 pounds.

Bottom line: The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander expands the already excellent merits of the two-row Highlander. The Grand Highlander Platinum Hybrid Max is great combination of passenger and cargo capacity, comfort, all-weather security, safety, fuel economy and legendary Toyota quality and reliability.