Rumored Toyota Grand Highlander to Add Passenger, Cargo Space?

Jack Nerad | Jan 05, 2021

Rumors suggest Toyota is preparing a larger, more accommodating Grand Highlander version of its popular Highlander midsize SUV. Toyota has not officially confirmed that a bigger Grand Highlander is on the way, but the automaker has sought trademark protection for the Grand Highlander name. 

2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum Moon-Dust

Redesigned for the 2020 model year, the current Highlander has three rows of seats, but the third row is not as accommodating as in some competitive vehicles. The trademark Toyota seeks suggests that a Grand Highlander version of the SUV will resolve this disadvantage.

Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus, executed a similar strategy with its RX midsize SUV. To expand seating capacity from five people to seven, Lexus stretched the RX 350 to create the 7-passenger Lexus RX 350 L. It rides on the same 109.8-inch wheelbase as the 5-passenger RX 350, but it is more than four inches longer overall. 

The current Toyota Highlander's wheelbase is more than two inches longer than the RX 350's, making a similar body stretch more likely than a wheelbase increase. An increase in overall body length would almost certainly translate into an equal increase in third-row passenger legroom.

With the Grand Highlander nameplate, such a vehicle would sit at the top of the model lineup and carry the highest prices. It might also offer additional standard equipment. 

Toyota would not confirm the Grand Highlander, saying it does not comment on future products. If the Toyota Grand Highlander became a reality, it would likely appear for the 2023 model year at the same time the current Highlander is due for a refresh. 

Trusted publications are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on January 5, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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