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Toyota has done it again. The Grand Highlander appears to be a hit among consumers. It was one of the fastest-selling new vehicles on the market in August. Prior to the midsize three-row SUV hitting the scene, the Telluride was the undisputed king of its segment. Now…we’re not so sure. The Grand Highlander has a giant advantage over the Kia Telluride that could contribute to it dethroning the South Korean model in a way that no one can dispute.

Why the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander could defeat the Kia Telluride

A blue 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander midsize three-row SUV is driving on the road.
The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander | Toyota

Believe it or not, the reason why the Grand Highlander could outsell the Telluride in 2024 has little to do with specs. The real reason why so many consumers are curious about the Grand Highlander is the reputation that the Toyota brand has built over decades and decades of producing quality automobiles.

It may seem like a cop-out, but brand reputation plays a huge role in whether or not some consumers even consider a vehicle. What’s Toyota’s reputation? The brand has become synonymous with reliability and longevity. It may not always use the finest materials or always produce vehicles with exhilarating performance specs, but Toyota models tend to last.

In particular, Toyota midsize and full-size SUVs have a reputation for outlasting rivals while keeping repair costs relatively low. Sure, the Grand Highlander is much more expensive than the Kia Telluride. The unspoken truth is that many Toyota fans expect the Grand Highlander to outlast the Telluride, so the price difference means little for those looking for the most reliable midsize three-row SUV.

The Toyota Highlander has a long history of reliability. Additionally, it’s capable of lasting over 200,000 miles. Toyota’s full-size SUVs, the discontinued Land Cruiser and the Sequoia, also have histories of longevity. So naturally, consumers assume the Grand Highlander is built to last. During a time when millions of Americans are struggling financially, consumers are looking for the best midsize SUVs for the money.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander vs. 2024 Kia Telluride: Spec comparison

Midsize Three-Row SUVThe 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander 2024 Kia Telluride
Starting MSRP$43,070$35,990
Base Engine 2.4-Liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder 3.8-Liter V6
Power Output265 Horsepower, 310 LB-FT of Torque 291 Horsepower, 262 LB-FT of Torque
MPG21 City, 28 Highway 20 City, 26 Highway
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander vs. 2024 Kia Telluride.
A blue 2024 Kia Telluride midsize three-row SUV is parked.
The 2024 Kia Telluride | Kia

Side by side, the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander and the 2024 Kia Telluride are day and night. The two midsize three-row SUVs have little in common other than their respective segment. As far as standard features go, the Telluride is the better midsize SUV.

2024 Kia Telluride standard features

  • SynTex seat trim
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Heated side mirrors with LED turn signals

The Kia Telluride is known for coming with great standard features. It has plenty of standard creature comforts that make for a more enjoyable driving and ownership experience than many of its rivals.

Why consumers love the Grand Highlander

A white 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander midsize three-row SUV is driving on a snowy road.
The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander | Toyota

How Much Is a Fully Loaded 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid?

Toyota has effectively supersized one of America’s favorite midsize SUVs. There’s clearly a market for three-row SUVs, and the new Grand Highlander couldn’t have hit dealerships at a better time. The hype for the new SUV is justified. We’ll have to wait and see if the Grand Highlander can consistently outsell the Kia Telluride in 2024, but if any midsize three-row SUV can dethrone the South Korean model, it’s Toyota’s latest offering.