The Toyota Grand Highlander Might Be Bigger Than We Think

Bigger is clearly better in the truck and SUV world; at least that’s what automakers think. We’ve seen countless new models pop up that are significantly bigger than their previous versions. We have even seen older model vehicles like the Ford Maverick coming back and transforming from a sedan to a full-blown pickup truck. Everything is growing. Toyota, which is slow to change or update, is now growing the Highlander to the newly minted Toyota Grand Highlander. 

What is the new Toyota Grand Highlander?

As of now, nothing. Toyota has only filed a trademark for the new verison of the Highlander. MotorTrend reports that this may well be a welcomed addition to the Highlander because when they tested the latest three-row Highlander, the back row was far too cramped for most adults and even some kids. 

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid driving down dirt road
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

We don’t know all that much about the Grand Highlander yet, but it does appear to have a long wheelbase giving hope to a larger, more spacious Highlander. This, of course, falls in line with the current trend, particularly from the Toyota lineup. 

If you look at the current line of Toyota trucks and SUVs, you’ll see the only significant changes any of them have gotten over the past 10 years is their swollen bodies. 

Why does Toyota make such huge and outdated vehicles?

The Tundra, Tacoma, Sequoia, and 4Runner have all become so cartoonishly bulbous that any hope of the Grand Highlander being anything other than monstrous is a tad foolish. Again, Toyota hasn’t released hardly any information about this new, bigger highlander, but we have the context of the other SUVs and trucks to go on. 

Unlike the rest of the Toyota SUV line, this growth might be a welcomed addition to the model. If Toyota keeps the new size to a minimum, the Highlander could start to really compete with other “midsized” three-row SUVs like the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Sante Fe


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This new Highlander could provide Toyota with a good opportunity to introduce a much needed updated vehicle to its lineup. All of the aforementioned trucks are woefully outdated but still priced as modern vehicles. Again, Toyota has the monster Sequoia, but that doesn’t really count. It is so outdated and horribly inefficient that it is really more of a truck than an SUV. Well, it’s literally a truck. It just has a roof and chairs where the Tundra has a bed. Toyota makes little to no effort to hide this fact either. 

Could the Toyota Grand Highlander fill the gap?

I really can’t emphasize enough how badly Toyota needs something modern and competitive in this segment. The current Highlander is great, but the third row is mostly useless. So, if the Grand Highlander can extend the current model enough to give an appropriate amount of space in the rear, the Highlander could really be a contender. 

Furthermore, imagine a Toyota three-row SUV that isn’t pushing a 20-year old Monster V8, getting 15 mpg. A three-row SUV using the Highlander’s 3.5-liter V6, getting modern-age gas mileage, but still, a reliable Toyota, would kill the competition. 

It is still going to be big 

This new Highlander has a lot of potential, but don’t be surprised if it comes out with a giant, bulbous face and a fat ass. This is the modern Toyota way. We will likely have to wait a while to see how this thing turns out. Toyota, if you’re listening, we love you, and we are ready for you to nail this thing; don’t mess it up.