Toyota has presented the new generation of the Grand Highlander in the United States, a colossal SUV that, by size, rivals the Audi Q7 or the BMW X7. As a manufacturer with a global projection, Toyota is one of the few brands that have to develop models specifically designed for a few markets. One of these cases is the so-called Grand Highlander, an SUV powered by hybrid mechanics that can be compared, by size, to the largest SUVs available in Europe.
To establish a reference, the Toyota Highlander is already a huge SUV by European standards, hence its sales figures are not the most striking of the entire Toyota product portfolio. It measures 4.97 meters and has a capacity for up to seven passengers, figures that far exceed the model on these lines.
Sticking to their names and appointments, we can therefore say that the Toyota Grand Highlander is the Highlander’s older brother: it reaches up to 5.11 meters in length, which allows it to accommodate up to eight passengers inside. Although using the third row of seats, part of the trunk remains partially unused, the Grand Highlander continues to offer a cargo volume of no less than 583 liters, which is a figure 3 liters higher than that offered by the Toyota RAV4 that is marketed in Spain.
The brand has not specified the data with the last row folded, but it has reported that it can offer up to 2,775 liters with the second and third rows folded down, so it is expected that the boot capacity will exceed 1,000 liters when folded comfortably. the last two seats.
Toyota has not published too many details about the technical specifications of the new model either, but it has clarified that the Hybrid Max mechanics will be available in the Grand Highlander, which previously debuted in the United States. It is an electrified set that takes the power up to 362 CV. Even so, the SUV should continue to combine a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. One of them drives exclusively the rear axle (which gives rise to all-wheel drive), and the other goes between the gasoline engine and the six-speed automatic transmission.
As with the conventional Highlander, and with more compact models such as the Toyota RAV4 itself, the Grand Highlander will be available with a less powerful hybrid option marked by the presence of an atmospheric engine, as well as a third conventional gasoline engine. The hybrid block is the famous and unbreakable Toyota 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which is coupled with a 243-HP CVT-type gearbox.
The brand announces that the most efficient version will be able to standardize a combined consumption of 6.9 liters, an excellent figure considering that we are dealing with an SUV weighing 2.2 tons and mammoth proportions and size. In addition, this estimate is made based on the EPA cycle, which is much more demanding than the WLTP we have in Europe, so it is a very close figure, if not identical, to what will be achieved in real circumstances.
Regarding the commercialization of the Grand Highlander in our market, the truth is that it does not seem like a completely appropriate model for the tastes of the Old Continent. The conventional Highlander barely enjoys sales that justify its presence in the Toyota range, so it will be difficult to see this extended version of the model in our country.
The reason is that Europe prefers more compact models and those who are looking for a large model opt to a greater extent for premium brand models, in this case for SUVs such as the Audi Q7, BMW X7, or Mercedes GLS.