- Toyota has confirmed the existence of the new Grand Highlander SUV, which it plans to fully unveil at the Chicago Auto Show on February 8.
- The three-row SUV will likely fill the gap between the mid-size three-row Highlander and the larger, body-on-frame full-size Sequoia.
- Notably, the Grand Highlander wears the same Hybrid Max badge as the top-spec Crown sedan, suggesting a 340-horsepower setup.
It looks like Toyota wants to join in on the excitement surrounding enlarged versions of SUVs like the Grand Cherokee L and Grand Wagoneer L by making its own supersized version of the Highlander called . . . you guessed it, the Grand Highlander. While the current Highlander boasts impressive fuel economy in hybrid form, it can’t compete with the third-row space of rivals including the Kia Telluride, Volkswagen Atlas and Chevy Traverse. Toyota describes the Grand Highlander as “the ultimate road trip vehicle,” implying greater legroom and cargo space. The first touring shot of the new three-row SUV gives us a glimpse of what the rear will look like.
We’re particularly excited about the Hybrid Max badge, which indicates that the Grand Highlander Platinum will receive the same powerful powerplant as the top-spec Crown sedan. In that car, the hybrid setup with a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four gas engine produces a combined 340 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Toyota hasn’t given any information about the Grand Highlander’s available powertrains, but it’s likely that the standard 265-horsepower turbo-four from the base Highlander will carry over to this new model as well.
We managed to pull back some of the shadows layered over the photo to reveal a bit more of the car. The increased visibility shows similar square styling to the current Highlander, but also includes some round exhaust tips not found on the standard version. The taillights take on a “C” shape, and a new light bar spans the spoiler.
We don’t have any other information on pricing or when we’ll actually start seeing the Grand Highlander on the road, but we do know that Toyota plans to do a full reveal of the SUV at the Chicago Auto Show on February 8th.
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