The current generation of Toyota’s three–row crossover has been around since 2020 and it looks like the Japanese manufacturer is preparing big changes for the next year. We already know that the stretched, bigger and more spacious Grand Highlander is about to come, while it is also expected to see updates on the standard 2024 Toyota Highlander. Allegedly, the company will introduce a couple of updates, as a part of the mid-cycle refresh. This should include the new front-end styling, while interior updates are possible too. Also, the Grand Highlander is about to get a new hybrid powertrain.
All in all, the next year’s model will be a more appealing vehicle for several reasons. It will look better and it will get a new, more spacious variant. All that will come in a combination with Highlander’s familiar strengths, such as great fuel economy, lots of standard and available equipment, advanced safety features and many more.
2024 Toyota Highlander Design
As we’ve just mentioned, the 2024 Toyota Highlander is expected to receive a mid-cycle refresh. At this point, we are still waiting for the official confirmation but on the other hand, we may presume that the aesthetic changes would follow the example of the upcoming Grand Highlander, which features a bigger and lower-positioned grille, along with sharper headlights. Other than that, we presume that Toyota could bring typical mid-cycle updates, such as new color options, wheels etc.
On the other hand, the Grand Highlander will be an all-new model, with a stretched wheelbase and notably bigger dimensions. This model will be 6.5 inches longer, and also wider and higher, which should all reflect in more interior space. Moreover, this version will come with a couple of exclusive features, including the Hybrid Max powertrain, based on a turbo-four engine.
As for the interior design, we don’t expect to see bigger changes, though smaller tweaks are always possible, especially on the dashboard, in the center stack and in similar areas. Of course, improvements in terms of new materials and color schemes are always welcome, while the new Grand Highlander will also benefit from more passenger room.
From what we know so far, the two models will be pretty much the same in terms of passenger space in the first two rows. On the other hand, the main difference will be in the third row, where the new Grand Highlander is about to feature 37.2 inches of headroom and 33.5 inches of legroom, which is almost as spacious as the third row of Sequoia. For comparison, the standard Highlander is good for about 36.1 and 28 inches, respectively.
The same thing is with the cargo area, where the standard model features 16 cubic feet behind the third row, while the Grand Highlander will be good for 20.6 cubic feet. The total cargo volume will go up to 98 cubic feet, while the standard model is good for about 84.3 cubic feet in this aspect.
Naturally, more standard equipment is another thing we expect to see with this update. Still, we don’t expect significant upgrades, considering that the current model already stands pretty well in this aspect. It comes standard with an 8-inch touch screen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, a Wi-Fi hotspot, satellite radio, Bluetooth, five USB ports and a six-speaker audio system, as well as a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, tri-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry and push-button, start.
Among upgrades, there are goodies like a 12.3-inch touch screen, navigation, wireless device charging, an 11-speaker JBL audio system, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, LED ambient interior lighting, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, a universal garage door opener, a moonroof and a panoramic moonroof.
As for the Grand Highlander, base models will be a little bit better equipped for sure. For example, we already know that the bigger 12.3-inch touchscreen will be standard in all Grand Highlander models.
2024 Toyota Highlander Engines
The last year’s update also brought a new powertrain, as the good-old 3.5-liter V6 was replaced with a new 2.4-liter turbo-four, which puts out around 265 horsepower. Besides the gasoline version, there is also a hybrid model, which used Toyota’s familiar system, based on a 2.5-liter inline-four unit. That system offers a combined output of 243 horsepower and quite impressive fuel economy that goes around 36 mpg combined.
The Grand Highlander will use the same powertrain options, but it will be also offered with the new Hybrid Max system. This hybrid is based on a turbo-four engine and we count on the max output of 362 horsepower. Another big difference is that, unlike the standard hybrid powertrain that uses CVT, this system comes with a classic automatic gearbox.
2024 Toyota Highlander Release Date and Price
We expect the 2024 Toyota Highlander in the second half of the year, with a starting price of around 38.000 dollars. On the other hand, the Grand Highlander is expected to go around 43.000 dollars.