2024 Toyota Grand Highlander: sad…

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Since we saw the first teaser a while ago, I wasn’t expecting much from the new Toyota Grand Highlander. This is still worse than I thought…

The weird part is that it doesn’t even look related to the Highlander. It seems everything you can see is new, inside and out. But it’s also much worse looking. I never really liked the current Highlander design, with that weird scoop in front of the rear wheel. But I think it still looks 100 times better than this new Grand Highlander.

At least the Highlander is trying. the grand Highlander looks like it’s trying really hard to look like the VW Atlas. Which is not really something anyone should copy. Plus, a company like Toyota should copy anyone in the first place. Inside, for some reason, Toyota insists on using this assy looking rose trim in everything now. This is as bad, maybe worse, than the cheap-looking silver-painted plastic trim they were putting in everything just a few years ago.

The powertrains are basically the usual current Toyota fare. The 2.5 Liter ins standrd. Hybrid and the Hybrid Max from the Crown are options. No V6. Although pretty much all of its competition does offer one standard.

Speaking of competition… The regular Highlander starts at over $36 000. Which means that this one will probably be at least $39 000 or $40 000, to begin with. This will compete with the all-new Mazda CX-90. While I still think the Mazda’s front end looks old and out of place in 2023, the CX-90 looks 100 times better than the mess pictured here. With a fantastic interior And a 3.3 Liter inline 6 cylinder standard! I guess the Toyota might have more room in the 3rd row. Maybe? Maybe not.

Too bad Toyota isn’t using the 2023 Prius designers on more stuff. This is just really bad in 2023. Especially in such a popular segment…

No excuse fo this.

Conversation 7 comments

  1. You are failing to see the bigger picture here. This “Grand Highlander” appears (at least on paper) to be much more competitive now with the Telluride/Palisade/Pilot/Pathfinder etc. Given the fact that it is so different from the “Highlander”, one can presume that this had to be Toyota reacting to those aforementioned Korean twins, which have undoubtedly changed the game in this segment. Those vehicles caught everyone by surprise at how good they are. They have become the benchmark for this segment. The regular “Highlander” couldn’t compete with the newcomers and Toyota knew it. They needed an answer and needed it fast to avoid losing sales, thus this vehicle was born. This “Grand Highlander” is what the “Highlander” really should have been all along. I honestly would not be surprised now if the “Highlander” lost its third row to become a two row vehicle (which honestly it basically is anyway) for the rest of its lifespan. Eventually I think the current “Highlander” goes away with this new “Grand” one permanently taking its place in the lineup.

  2. I’m not criticizing Toyota for coming up with a larger Highlander. This is obviously a market they need to be part of. I am just shocked by how it looks. It seems anyone is actually trying, except them. The Korean twins still look much more modern. And the new Mazda CX-90 as well. Basically, almost anything in the segment seems more modern and attractive. This is a sad display of old thinking and old ideas. Coming from a company with such huge resources is just shocking and unacceptable.

  3. After seeing pictures of the refreshed Atlas, this doesn’t look so bad. Yes this is kind of plain and meh, but that thing is absolutely hideous.

  4. Boxy designs are all there is in the big SUV category; this looks like RAV4’s big brother and that’s a design that’s aging well. Design is subjective and for me the current gen Highlander was a misstep specially the front end – this is an improvement.

  5. looks like the RAV4 was more the inspiration for the design to me. very boring and dated indeed but loyal Toyota buyers will scoop them up like candy especially with its class leading mpg.

  6. I don’t think you could be more wrong with everything you said. The standard Highlander is uglier than this. The Grand Highlander looks like a matured Rav4 / Sequoia which I think works. The engines choices are great! However, I agree I would prefer the 3.5 V6 over the twin turbo 2.4 liter. And personally think this will render the Highlander absolete as the RAV4 and Venza can make up for what people don’t want in a bigger Grand Highlander. You are first I have heard to not like this new design and the rose gold accents that are on this and the Crown.

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