2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid 4WD Platinum Review

The brand finally delivers a true three-row, and it rocks

Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief

Positives: Better looking than the smaller Highlander, near-perfect interior, commodious third row, seriousy quick, great driving manners, solid efficiency.
Negatives: The steering is on the light side, gets pricey in loaded Hybrid Max Platinum trim.
Bottom Line: The Grand Highlander is the right formula for Toyota's three-row family SUV. It's handsome, roomy, reasonbly efficient, good to drive, and the tech and controls are spot on.
Toyota has an expansive lineup, but it was missing a large 3-row SUV for big families. The Highlander has three rows, but the third row isn't up to snuff for teens and adults. The big Sequoia now only has two rows compared to the old one. Finally, the Grand Highlander is here, and it's not a bigger version of the Highlander, as the name might indicate. While its TNGA GA-K platform is shared with its smaller sibling, the Grand Highlander is 6.5 inches longer, 2.0 inches taller, and 2.3 inches wider than the regular Highlander. It also looks completely different, and its more luxurious relative is the new Lexus TX, which adds real three-row functionality to Toyota's luxury brand. We got to drive the top-trim Grand Highlander Hybrid Max Platinum to experience this brand-new model. Read our full review below.

Driving Experience



For a vehicle this large, the driving dynamics are impressive. It's no performance vehicle, but the Grand Highlander manages its size very well while providing excellent acceleration, good braking, and manageable body roll. We really enjoyed driving it.

Ride Quality: The ride strikes a very good balance between cushy and firm. It handles bumps and pavement gaps nicely. It's very smooth on the highway.

Acceleration: The powerful Hybrid Max powertrain and 8-speed automatic transmission equate to a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds. That's impressive for a family SUV.

Braking: The brakes are progressive and modulate well. Stopping distances are good, and slowing down quickly into turns doesn't present a problem for the Grand Highlander Hybrid.

Steering: The steering is on the light side, but it's precise and on-center. It doesn't have much feedback, but that's no surprise.

Handling: there's some body roll, but the Grand Highland Hybrid feels controlled for its size. We were surprised how it managed the turns with the nearly 5,000-lb curb weight.




The in-car tech in the Grand Highlander is really the best its systems have ever been. This, coupled with excellent switchgear and instrumentation, makes for a driver-friendly environment that's virtually unmatched in this space.

Infotainment System: The 12.3" touchscreen matches the size of the instrument cluster. Both are crisp, uncluttered, and great to look at. The infotainment screen is easy to read and pretty responsive.

Controls: The climate control buttons and knobs, as well as their location just beneath the infotainment screen, are just about perfect. They're very quick to get to and operate, and we can't think of a three-row SUV that does this setup better. More automakers should do it this way. We also like the short but more traditionally-styled shift knob and the physical audio volume knob.




The Grand Highlander doesn't come across looking like a larger version of the Highlander. Rather than curvy, the Grand Highlander has more edges and straight lines, and it's well done. The cabin is also attractive, more so than the Highlander. It's not a far cry from its more expensive Lexus sibling when it comes to the way the cabin looks.

Front: The big grille, foglight housing/vents, and thin headlights look great together. we like the way the winged chrome trim mates up nicely where the top corners meet with the hood creases.

Rear: The C-shaped LED taillights look very nice below the large glass. We also love the twin round tailpipes. Very racy.

Profile: The Grand Highlander doesn't have the bulbous bullet-train-like haunches of the Highlander. Instead, it's more conservative but with better proportions and well-placed creases. We especially like the minimal use of chrome.

Cabin: We love the interior of the Grand Highlander Hybrid Max Platinum. Materials quality is very good, and the entire layout is spot-on for drivers. The center console looks great, as does the two-tone layered dashboard. The cheaper plastics are well-hidden, too.




The biggest news for the Grand Highlander is the spacious and adult-usable third row. Every row in the Grand Highlander is comfortable with ample legroom and headroom. The sueded inserts in Platinum trim are a very nice touch.

Front Seats: They're wide and accommodating with a good amount of bolstering and just the right amount of cushioning.

Rear Seats: The Captain's Chairs are almost as good as the front row seats. The third row boasts 33.5 inches of rear legroom, nearly six inches more than the Highlander but a couple of tenths of an inch less than the versions in the Volkswagen Atlas.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The Grand Highlander does a good job with road and wind noise. The cabin is quiet at highway speeds, and it's devoid of creaks and rattles in typical Toyota build-quality fashion.

Visibility: The big windows make for great sightlines. We had no trouble seeing around the Grand Highlander.

Climate: The climate system is responsive and moves warm and cool air quickly and efficiently around the cabin.




The Grand Highlander has yet to undergo the full fusillade of safety testing by the IIHS and the NHTSA. Toyota does provide it with a massive set of standard safety features.

IIHS Rating: In partial testing, the Grand Highlander got dinged in the front small offset crash test with an "acceptable" and the same score in headlight testing.

NHTSA Rating: Not tested.

Standard Tech: The Grand Highlander comes with Toyota;s Safety Sense 3.0, packed with Pre-Collision System With Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert w/ Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, Automatic High Beams, and roactive Driving Assist. Other standard safety features include also Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Star Safety System, color head-up display, panoramic view camera, and Traffic Jam Assist.

Optional Tech: Our tester came with the $499 dashcam.




There's a lot to love about the spaciousness of the Grand Highlander and not just for humans. There's a ton of great storage options in all rows, and the cargo section is capacious.

Storage Space: Great center console and dash space, along with sizeable door pockets and the center armrest make for excellent small-item storage. It's just too bad there's no floor tray underneath the center console.

Cargo Room: Room behind the third row at 20.6 cubic feet is on the small side, but drop all the seats and you get a voluminous 97.5 cubes with a flat load floor and a wide opening that's not too high.

Fuel Economy



The EPA estimate of 27 combined is definitely reachable, as we drove pretty much in Sport mode all the time and made good numbers, albeit a few mpgs less than the EPA rating.

Observed: 24.2 mpg.

Distance Driven: 196 miles.




The 11-speaker JBL premium system is good but not great. There's good bass, but it could use more. The sound doesn't feel as rich as other systems we've used (Lexus Mark Levinson, for example). It's good you don't have to pay extra for this system at this price point.

Final Thoughts

The Grand Highlander Hybrid Max Platinum is our favorite three-row SUV so far this year. The drivin manners, for one, were far better than we expected. It also impressed as a roomy, capable, and attractive offering that has its rightful place in the Toyota lineup. It feels premium, drives remarkably well, and it's decently efficient for its size. It's a vehicle that big families will appreciate without having to go with something massive like a Chevy Suburban. Toyota nailed this one, and it's certainly worth the price of entry.

Shopping for a new
Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid?