3 Reasons the Cheapest Large SUV of 2023 Is a Surprisingly Good Choice
You know what the people say: don’t knock it until you try it. Were the people talking about affordable SUVs? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean the cheapest SUVs are not worth another look. Toyota’s new sport utility vehicle checks all important boxes and is still the least expensive option in the large SUV segment.
What is the cheapest large SUV of 2023?
The cheapest large SUV is the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander, the newest model to hit the market. Even though it shares the Highlander name, Toyota’s Grand Highlander is a separate vehicle and corrects some of the Highlander’s biggest issues. It has more space throughout the cabin and seats seven passengers. An eight-passenger configuration is also available.
The Grand Highlander makes sense for someone wanting a family vehicle, but perhaps a midsize SUV is just too small. Inside the cabin, it looks like a traditional Toyota vehicle: clean and quality. It won’t rival luxury options but uses quality materials that look nice.
Some standard infotainment systems include a 12.3-inch touchscreen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and plenty of USB ports to keep everyone charged and ready. Behind the third row, the Grand Highlander has 20.6 cubic feet of space. Folding the third row gets you 57.9 cubic feet of space, increasing to 97.5 with all the rows folded.
How much is the cheapest large SUV?
You can get into the base trim of the cheapest large SUV for under $45,000. All models receive Toyota’s turbo four-cylinder engine that gets 256 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard on the XLE and Limited trims, but the fully loaded Platinum trim gets all-wheel drive standard. All-wheel drive can be added for $1,175.
|2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Trims||MSRP||Drivetrain||Fuel Economy (City/Highway)|
As the cheapest SUV, the Grand Highlander XLE comes pretty well equipped from the factory. It gets heated front seats, wireless audio for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and tri-zone climate control to keep everyone comfortable. An auto-dimming rearview mirror and a power liftgate are also standard equipment.
Let’s compare some of those large SUV stats to that of the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander. Some of its main competitors are the Jeep Wagoneer, Chevrolet Suburban, and the Chevrolet Tahoe.
|Large SUVs||Starting MSRP||Fuel Economy (City/Highway)|
|2023 Jeep Wagoneer||$58,995||16/22 mpg|
|2023 Chevrolet Suburban||$55,500||21/27 mpg|
|2023 Chevrolet Tahoe||$54,200||21/28 mpg|
|2023 Ford Expedition||$52,905||17/23 mpg|
The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander beats some other large SUVs by $9,000 for the base models. These sport utility vehicles are good options, but the lower starting price is a significant advantage.
Is the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander safe?
Unfortunately, the newest and cheapest SUV has not finished safety testing yet. Most modern Toyota SUVs earn high or above-average marks on safety tests from the IIHS and NHTSA, so the 2024 Grand Highlander will likely follow suit. The good news is that Toyota included a long list of standard driver-assistance features on the large SUV with its Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 suite of systems.
Standard systems include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control. The Grand Highlander trim levels include rear cross-traffic alert, pedestrian detection, and lane-keep assist. Automatic high-beam headlights are helpful for night driving, and traffic sign recognition helps keep the driver informed when vital information is displayed on signs.
The Grand Highlander has many advantages over some of its main competitors, and the low starting price is an important factor. If the automotive industry has taught shoppers anything, it is not to wait too long. This is the cheapest SUV in the large segment for right now, but automakers have a tendency to increase pricing pretty quickly. If you want to take advantage of the affordability, the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is probably the cheapest it will ever be right now.