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What Do We Think Of 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited Hybrid – Review by David Colman +VIDEO

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited HV

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited HV

Think of it as the family bus

David Colman
Photos and Story by David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL

Remember when Levi's introduced loose fit jeans with "a skosh more room" for the (ahem) mature set? Well, Toyota remembers, because they've just started selling a loose fit version of their Highlander SUV called the Grand Highlander. Here's how you inflate the former to become the latter: Add 1.8 inches to the wheelbase, 6.4 inches to the length, 2.3 inches to the width, and 2 inches to the height. Unfortunately, the upsizing adds a whopping 551 pounds to the curb weight. But fear not, because Toyota has compensated for that extra quarter ton by offering three new engine packages that provide more than enough power to get your upsized show on the road.

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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited HV

Getting a look at our Limited's Hybrid motor required more effort than it should have because Toyota doesn't fit pneumatic struts to the very heavy hood. So pump some iron when you need to check the oil, because you'll have to pop that hood more than 6 feet 7 inches high with one hand while slipping a wobbly prop rod home with the other hand. Warning: Do not try this if you are shorter than 5 feet 9 inches tall. But in compensation, there are other Grand dimensions of the Highlander you will greatly appreciate such as its cavernous interior space. Fold the third-row bench seats flat and tilt and lock down the second-row captain's chairs and this Toyota presents you with a loading platform as big as the deck of an aircraft carrier.

At first we fretted about the fact that row two's captain's chairs did not fold flat, but in the end, there was more than enough interior space to load our bicycle with room to spare in all directions. In fact, with a little planning, you could pop two bikes through the huge rear door and stack them either vertically or horizontally inside. In our cargo-biased interior configuration, the Grand Highlander offered 98 cubic feet of storage space. 58 cubic feet are available behind row two and 21 cubic feet are on offer behind row three. If you need more volume than that, get a pickup or rent a storage unit.

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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander 4WD Limited HV

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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited HV

Toyota offers three engine options for the new Grand Highlander. The base engine (A25-FXS) is a non-Hybrid, turbocharged, inline-4 displacing 2.4 liters, making 265hp, and driving either the front wheels or all four wheels. This base range starts at a price point of $44,465, and carries a tow rating of 3,500 lbs. If you want to tow, you should upgrade to the XLE Hybrid, which costs $46,065 and produces 265hp and 310lb.-ft. of torque from its 2.4-liter Hybrid boosted turbo motor. The Grand Highlander Limited Hybrid we tested is the one to select if you want the best combination of power, mileage (34 MPG Overall), and speed. With a base price of $51,060, and a $425 surcharge for Ruby Flare Pearl metallic paint, its bottom line came to $55,238. This sum brings you Limited level trim plus the A25A-FTS 2.5 liter Hybrid motor good for 265hp and 310lb.-ft. of torque. This intermediate Hybrid supplements the gas engine with a pair of electric motors. Up front, a 134kW unit makes 199lb.-ft. of torque. A 40kW rear motor adds another 89lb.-ft. of torque to the mix. All wheel drive is standard, as is an ECVT transmission.

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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited HV

The third engine option is the Max Hybrid which produces 362 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque thanks to a compliment of more powerful electric motors and bigger storage batteries. But our test rig seemed quite adequate for tow chores thanks to the immediate infusion of peak torque (210lb.-ft.) at just 1700 rpm. Toyota also equipped our test Grand Highlander with standard trailer sway control.

As you might expect from a two-and-a-half-ton vehicle, handling on twisty back roads was compromised by weight and size. It tracked through turns predictably, thanks to good grip afforded by a set of 255/55R20 Continental Cross-Contact LX20 radials mounted on Limited style 20 x 8J alloy rims.

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2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited HV

Although it's virtually impossible to see your front corners from the driver's seat, vision to the rear is actually quite good if you fold the third bench seat flat. We found the front row seats to be too hard and flat to qualify as truly comfortable, but we did appreciate the fact that both were leather trimmed, and fitted with heating and ventilation. We also enjoyed the simplicity of the HVAC control panel and discovered fixed knobs for a large variety of functions that didn't require screen fiddling. The dashboard and the door panels incorporated a pleasing Formica-like material that complemented the purist look of the cabin. Storage space is intelligently contrived and abundant throughout. Three zone climate control keeps everyone happy inside your family bus.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited HV

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander AWD Limited HV

The upsized Grand Highlander makes a useful addition to the Toyota line. It increases your rolling real estate holdings without significantly inflating your initial investment.


    • ENGINE: 2.5 liter inline 4, turbocharged and intercooled, DOHC 24-valve plus 2 electric motors
    • HORSEPOWER: 265hp@6000rpm
    • TORQUE: 310lb.-ft.@1700rpm
    • FUEL CONSUMPTION: 36MPG City/32MPG Highway
    • PRICE AS TESTED: $53,238

HYPES: Living Room on Wheels

GRIPES: Hood Needs Pneumatic Struts

STAR RATING: 9 Stars out of 10

©2023 David E Colman

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Specs


Engine Type -Hybrid

Transmission - 6-speed automatic

Drive Type - All wheel drive

Cylinders - Inline 4

Total Seating - 7

Basic Warranty - 3 yr./ 36,000 mi.

Fuel Fuel type - Regular unleaded

MPG EPA city/highway MPG - 26/27 MPG

EPA combined MPG - 27 MPG

Fuel tank capacity - 17.2 gal.

Base engine size2.4 L
CylindersInline 4
Base engine typeHybrid
Horsepower362 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque400 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
Cam typeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)
Valve timingVariable
Dual fuel injectionStandard
Towing & Hauling
Towing & Hauling
Max Towing Capacity5,000 lbs.
Max Payload Capacity1,420 lbs.
Transmission6-speed automatic
Drive typeAll wheel drive
Descent controlStandard
Four-wheel independent suspensionStandard
Front and rear stabilizer barStandard
Length201.4 in.
Overall width without mirrors78.3 in.
Height70.1 in.
Wheelbase116.1 in.
EPA interior volume173.9 cu.ft.
Cargo capacity, all seats in place20.6 cu.ft.
Maximum cargo capacity97.5 cu.ft.
Manufacturer 0-60 mph acceleration time6.3 seconds
Turning circle38.1 ft.
Ground clearance8.0 in.
Angle of approach16.9 degrees
Angle of departure22.3 degrees
Curb weight4,920 lbs.
Maximum towing capacity5,000 lbs.
Maximum payload1,420 lbs.
Gross weight6,340 lbs.
Country of final assemblyUnited States
Exterior Colors
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Wind Chill Pearl
  • Blueprint
  • Coastal Cream
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • Celestial Silver Metallic
  • Storm Cloud
Interior Colors
  • Black, leather/sueded microfiber
  • Light Gray, leather/sueded microfiber
Front Seat Dimensions
Front Seat Dimensions
Front head room41.5 in.
Front leg room41.7 in.
Front shoulder room60.2 in.
Front hip room56.5 in.
Leather/sueded microfiberStandard
Bucket front seatsStandard
8-way power driver seatStandard
Height adjustable driver seatStandard
Driver seat with power adjustable lumbar supportStandard
2 memorized driver seat settingsStandard
8-way power passenger seatStandard
Height adjustable passenger seatStandard
Multi-level heated driver seatStandard
Multi-level heated passenger seatStandard
Ventilated driver seatStandard
Ventilated passenger seatStandard
Rear Seat Dimensions
Rear Seat Dimensions
Rear head room40.2 in.
Rear leg room39.5 in.
Rear shoulder room58.8 in.
Rear hip room57.0 in.
Folding rear seatbackStandard
Reclining rear seatsStandard
Multi-level heatedStandard
Manual folding split-bench third row seatsStandard
Blind spot and lane departure warnings accident avoidance systemStandard
Lane keep assistStandard
Rear cross traffic alertStandard
Pre-collision safety systemStandard
Post-collision safety systemStandard
Dual front side-mounted airbagsStandard
Front, rear and third row head airbagsStandard
Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivationStandard
Stability controlStandard
Traction controlStandard
Child seat anchorsStandard
Rear door child safety locksStandard
4-wheel ABSStandard
Front and rear ventilated disc brakesStandard
Emergency braking assistStandard
Tire pressure monitoringStandard
Dusk sensing headlampsStandard
LED headlampStandard
Daytime running lightsStandard
Front fog/driving lightsStandard
Turn signal mirrorsStandard
2 front headrestsStandard
Front height adjustable headrestsStandard
2 rear headrestsStandard
Rear height adjustable headrestsStandard
Remote anti-theft alarm systemStandard
Engine immobilizerStandard
In-Car Entertainment
In-Car Entertainment
12.3" infotainment display sizeStandard
AM/FM stereoStandard
JBL premium brand speakersStandard
11 total speakersStandard
1 subwoofer(s)Standard
Wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlayStandard
USB connectionStandard
USB with external media controlStandard
Satellite radio satellite radioStandard
3 months of provided satellite radio serviceStandard
Power Feature
Power Feature
4 one-touch power windowsStandard
Hands-free entryStandard
Heated mirrorsStandard
Comfort & Convenience
Comfort & Convenience
Keyless ignitionStandard
Tilt and telescopic steering wheelStandard
Transmission, cruise and audio controls on steering wheelStandard
Electric power steeringStandard
Rear view cameraStandard
Front and rear parking sensorsStandard
Wireless chargingStandard
Adaptive cruise controlStandard
Universal remote transmitter (for garage door, security system, etc.)Standard
Front, rear and 3rd row cupholdersStandard
Front and rear door pocketsStandard
Overhead console with storageStandard
Front seatback storageStandard
Leather steering wheelStandard
Heated steering wheelStandard
Three zone climate controlStandard
Rear ventilation ducts with fan controlStandard
Interior air filtrationStandard
Dual illuminating vanity mirrorsStandard
Electrochromatic inside rearview mirrorStandard
Turn signal in mirrorsStandard
Trip computerStandard
External temperature displayStandard
Tires & Wheels
Tires & Wheels
Painted alloy wheelsStandard
20 in. wheelsStandard
All season tiresStandard
255/55R20 tiresStandard
Temporary spare tireStandard
Emergency ServiceStandard
Airbag Deployment NotificationStandard
Stolen Vehicle Tracking/AssistanceStandard
Roadside AssistanceStandard
Basic3 yr./ 36,000 mi.
Drivetrain5 yr./ 60,000 mi.
Hybrid component8 yr./ 100,000 mi.
Rust5 yr./ unlimited mi.
Roadside assistance2 yr./ unlimited mi.
Free maintenance2 yr./ 25,000 mi.
Quick Charge Cable Package +$70
All-Weather Floor Liner Package +$358
Safety & Security Options
Safety & Security Options
Emergency Assistance Kit +$75
First Aid Kit w/PPE +$25
Interior Options
Interior Options
Integrated Dashcam +$499
Illuminated Cargo Sills +$345
Illuminated Door Sills +$345
Carpet Mat Package +$358
Carpet Floor Mats +$228
Rear Hatch Cargo Lamps +$350
Cargo Net - Envelope +$75
Cargo Tote +$60
Coin Holder/Ashtray Cup +$29
All-Weather Floor Liners +$228
Universal Tablet Holder +$99
Exterior Options
Exterior Options
Roof Rack Cross Bars +$325
Special Color +$425
Logo Side Puddle Lamps +$175
Panoramic View Monitor +$600
Key Gloves +$20
Mudguards +$149
Paint Protection Film +$439
Door Edge Guards +$155
Activity Mount +$399
Alloy Wheel Locks - Chrome +$105
Panoramic Moonroof +$1,350
Blackout Emblem Overlays +$139
Body Side Moldings +$225
Alloy Wheel Locks - Black +$105
Tow Hitch Receiver w/Wire Harness +$849

Auto Journalist
Biographic Profile

Dad jumpstarted my automotive career by taking me to the Indy 500 ten years in a row. During that decade he generously bought me a trio of new cars to drive: a C1 Corvette followed by two XKE roadsters. By 1970, I purchased my first new Porsche, a 911S Targa. The Porsche immersion has continued with a succession of newer models: 1970 914-6GT, 1983 944, 1987 944T, 2003 911 Turbo X50 Aerokit, 2011 911 GT3 RS and 2016 Cayman GT4. This "buy your own press fleet" exposure helped launch my literary career when I co-founded Excellence Magazine in 1987. I have written hundreds of reviews and profiles for Excellence over the past three decades.

I also covered motorsports for The Wheel, SCCA's San Francisco Region newspaper, as well as racing events for the Marin Independent Journal. Other outlets over the years have been The San Francisco Chronicle, Autoweek, Bimmer, Forza and Sports Car International. I started a weekly new car review in 1986 at the Marin IJ and subsequently continued it with the San Francisco Examiner. I am currently a Senior Writer for Vintage Motorsports magazine, and have written numerous race reports and feature articles for that publication.

My weekly reviews first hit the internet at and play today only on I was a co-founder of the Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ), a press group formed to track-test vehicles at local road racing circuits. Since 1986, I have driven and evaluated a manufacturer-provided new vehicle just about every week of every year.

I have also been a long time competitor in Porsche Club and SCCA track and autocross events. I was sponsored by BF Goodrich tires for a number of years, and later by Yokohama Tires. My record book at the SCCA's annual Solo 2 National Championship event shows ten consecutive years of entries and trophy successes in a variety of classes. I also earned Top Time of Day at the Porsche Club of America's annual Parade Driving Event in my one owner 914-6GT.

I learned to write proper English in Sidney Eaton's English class at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts. Later, I majored in American Literature at Middlebury College (AB) and subsequently earned two Master of Art Degrees from the University of California: English (UC Santa Barbara); History of Art (UC Berkeley). So I'm a pump jockey and a word jockey.