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Toyota’s newest SUV offering, the Grand Highlander is taking on the Kia Telluride. This model, which promises to be a larger and more luxurious version than the regular Highlander model, comes with a hybrid trim. Should you choose the Grand Highlander or the Grand Highlander Hybrid? Here’s the one huge advantage the hybrid version offers that you won’t find with the gas-powered model. 

Comparison of the Toyota Grand Highlander and Grand Highlander Hybrid models

Your standard 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is a gasoline-powered version with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. It produces 265 hp and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination allows the large SUV to get 24 mpg overall. When it comes to towing, you can pull up to 5,000 lbs, according to Edmunds

With this model, you get 20.6 cu-ft of space behind the third row. For total cargo capacity, you can expect 97.5 cu-ft of storage (behind the front row of seats). As for features, the Highlander comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, USB-C charging ports, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Toyota Safety Sense 3.0. Starting price for this version is $43,070. 

The Grand Highlander Hybrid model begins at $44,670 and is powered by a combination of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor setup. The two produced a total of 245 hp paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission and is offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive. This allows you to get about 34 mpg combined. 

As for cargo, you can expect the same as the standard Highlander. It also offers many of the same features, such as a push-button start, remote keyless entry, and a six-speaker audio system to name a few. 

What gives the Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid an advantage over the Toyota Grand Highlander? 

While both models have similar features except for the powertrain, the hybrid version offers one huge advantage over the standard Highlander model, which is the addition of the Grand Highlander Hybrid MAX powertrain. This feature combines the turbocharged engine with an entirely different hybrid powertrain on the AWD version. With this combination, you can expect a total output of 362 hp and 27 mpg overall.

With the AWD version, you also get Drive Mode Select, which offers Sport, Eco, Normal, and Snow modes as well as Multi-Terrain Select giving you Mud/Sand, Rock/Dirt, and a Normal mode. A six-speed automatic transmission replaces the CVT. The towing capacity on the hybrid models is the same as the standard gas-powered model. This trim level offers 27 mpg combined, according to Toyota

Prices for the Grand Highlander Hybrid Max model start at $55,375 for the Limited and $59,640 for the top trim. 

Does the standard Toyota Grand Highlander offer any advantages?

The standard 2024 Grand Highlander model doesn’t win when it comes to fuel economy and high-tech features. However, there is one advantage it does have over the hybrid version. That’s its price point. It’s $1,600 cheaper if you choose the base version of the regular model due to the hybrid powertrain being more expensive. 

That’s the conundrum, though. You can save quite a bit of money by choosing the standard Grand Highlander version, but you won’t get the fuel economy ratings or the superior performance that you would get by opting for the hybrid model. 

Maybe you’re better off spending the extra money and going for the hybrid model instead. That way you still save money at the pump, and go further on a tank of gas. It just might be worth spending more at the dealers. 

The Grand Highlander and Grand Highlander Hybrid both offer similar features. The main differences between the two are the powertrain, performance trims on the hybrid, and the lower price for the standard version. In comparison, the hybrid offers you more despite it costing over a thousand more than the regular Grand Highlander version. 


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