7 Cheaper Toyota Grand Highlander Alternatives That Cost Under $40K
The Grand Highlander is Toyota’s latest SUV. This crossover boasts more space, power, and features than the standard Highlander. But those upgrades carry a heftier sticker price. For consumers wanting a cheaper three-row SUV, here are several Toyota Grand Highlander alternatives to consider.
The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander costs more than the standard model
The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander appears to be a good pick for families who thought the Highlander wasn’t quite big enough. It’s basically a stretch Highlander with extra space for people and cargo thanks to a roomier third row.
The Grand Highlander offers three powertrain options. The standard is a 265-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The hybrid model combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors for a combined 243 hp. The top option is the Hybrid Max powertrain. It combines the turbocharged 2.4-liter with an electric motor for a net 362 hp. All have an eight-speed automatic transmission, and shoppers can choose front- or all-wheel drive.
The interior is how the Grand Highlander becomes grand. The roomy third row has enough space for full-grown adults to stretch out. And it boasts 21 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the third row (five more than the smaller Highlander), Car and Driver reports. Families can also enjoy the power liftgate, heated front seats, second-row window shades, and numerous USB and power outlets.
There’s plenty to like about the 2024 Grand Highlander. But all of those perks come at a cost. The base model starts at $44,405 with FWD and $46,005 with AWD. Starting prices increase through the trims, maxing out at $55,375 for the Hybrid Max. For comparison, the standard 2023 Highlander starts at $36,620.
If you’re looking for a three-row SUV starting under $40,000, consider the following:
1. Kia Telluride: $37,255
The Kia Telluride is a stylish, comfortable, and affordable midsize crossover. It boasts a smooth-running V6 engine, a quiet cabin, and easy handling. It has a towing capacity of 5,500 pounds, allowing you to trailer a small boat or camper. The cabin is spacious enough for comfortable trips. You can fit eight people with the second-row bench seat or seven with the optional captain’s chairs. And like the Toyota Grand Highlander, the Telluride touts 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row.
2. Honda Pilot: $37,645
Honda redesigned the Pilot for 2023, boasting a boxier, rugged appearance. Shoppers can choose front- or all-wheel drive to pair with the 10-speed automatic. This midsize crossover also seats seven or eight passengers. The Elite trim has a panoramic sunroof and a 12-speaker Bose sound system. The 2023 model also boasts a larger cargo area, with 18.6 cubic feet behind the back row.
3. Hyundai Palisade: $37,235
The Palisade is Hyundai’s largest SUV and a solid pick over the Toyota Grand Highlander. Available upgrades include a Wi-Fi hotspot, heated third-row seats, and a massaging driver’s seat. The Palisade can seat seven or eight, depending on the model. The cargo volume behind the third row is a decent 18 cubic feet.
4. Mazda CX-90: $40,970
This all-new SUV starts at over $40,000, but it’s too good to leave off the list. The 2024 Mazda CX-90 has a stylish cabin that seats seven or eight passengers depending on whether you choose the second-row bench seat or captain’s chairs. The infotainment system is easy to use, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration comes standard, and the 12-speaker Bose audio system is a luxurious option. This midsize crossover’s biggest drawback compared to the Toyota Grand Highlander is its cargo capacity. The CX-90 provides only 15 cubic feet behind the third row.
5. Mitsubishi Outlander: $30,000
The Outlander is the cheapest and smallest three-row SUV on our list. This compact crossover boasts updated interior features and a seven-passenger capacity. The third row is expectedly cramped for adults, but it’s functional for short trips. In addition, the cargo volume behind the third row is only 12 cubic feet. The Outlander also offers an efficient 248-hp plug-in hybrid version with all-wheel drive.
6. Subaru Ascent: $35,120
The Ascent is Subaru’s largest model. This SUV has standard all-wheel drive and an eight-passenger capacity. It provides a comfortable ride for most occupants, albeit a bit cramped in the back row. The infotainment system has a large 11.6-inch touchscreen. This model also has clever cargo solutions, making storing luggage easier. However, the cargo capacity behind the third row is only 17.6 to 17.8 cubic feet depending on the setup. That’s 3 cubic feet less than the Toyota Grand Highlander.
7. Volkswagen Atlas: $39,075
The Volkswagen Atlas offers comfortable seating for seven, even in the third row. The interior is also family-friendly, including an abundance of cupholders. And storage nooks throughout the vehicle make for easy stashing. The cargo capacity is a solid 20.6 cubic feet. Other perks are numerous safety features and a responsive infotainment system.