Toyota has confirmed the existence of the new Grand Highlander SUV, which it plans to reveal in full at the Chicago Auto Show on February 8.
It seems Toyota wants to join in the excitement surrounding stretched-out versions of SUVs like the Grand Cherokee L and Grand Wagoneer L by making its own full-size version of the Highlander called the . . . 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 competitors like the Kia Telluride, Volkswagen Atlas, and Chevy Traverse. Toyota describes the Grand Highlander as “the ultimate car for road trips,” which means more legroom and more cargo space. The first teaser shot of the new three-row SUV gives us an idea of what the rear end will look like.
We’re particularly excited about the Hybrid Max badge, which signals that the Grand Highlander Platinum will receive the same powerful powertrain as the top-spec Crown sedan. In that car, the hybrid configuration with a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four gasoline engine produces a combined 340 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Toyota didn’t give any information about the Grand Highlander’s available powertrains, but it’s likely the standard 265-horsepower turbo-four from the base Highlander will carry over to this new model as well.
We managed to remove some of the overlapping shadows on top of the photo to expose a bit more of the car. The higher visibility shows boxy styling similar to the current Highlander, but also includes a pair of round exhaust tips not found on the standard version. The taillights take on a “C” shape and a new light bar extends over the spoiler.
We don’t have any more information on pricing or when we’ll start seeing the Grand Highlander on the road, but we do know that Toyota plans to make a full SUV presentation at the Chicago Auto Show on February 8.