So, the Toyota requires no introduction since it has long been one of the best-selling midsize SUVs on the market. But that market has been demanding more and more space, so rather than just upsizing the Highlander endlessly, Toyota decided to introduce a new bigger model: the Grand Highlander. There are a lot more differences between these two than just the size, so we’ve come to answer who wins in a 2024 Grand Highlander vs. 2024 Toyota Highlander battle!

Pricing and Equipment

So first off, let’s quickly establish the pricing from the start. 

For the regular Highlander, we have the top trim version called Platinum in Toyota-speak. After a few extra options and destination, the final price is $54,408.

Highlander Platinum AWD: $51,525 | Options: +$1,488 | Destination: $1,395 | Total: $54,408

For the Grand Highlander, we also have the fully loaded Platinum trim, which is going to cost a few bucks more for sure. After a few options, we arrive at a final price of just over $60,000.

GH Platinum Hybrid Max AWD: $58,125 | Options: +$558 | Destination: $1,335 | Total: $60,018

By the way, if you want to get the best price from local dealerships and access to invoice pricing info for these two models or any vehicle, we have a tool on our website to do just that. Click here for more information!

Exterior Design

Starting with the exterior, it is obvious that this is not just a simple upsizing as soon as you see them. Toyota worked to give the Grand Highlander its own look, which is bolder and more squared-off than the Highlander. If anything, it looks much more like the RAV4, especially where the grille meets the standard LED headlights. All the lighting is LED on both Highlander’s, with the small exception of the regular Highlander missing out on LED turn signals. The standard Highlanders headlights are also adaptive, which is something that Grand Highlander doesn’t offer.

Moving to the side, this is the place where the 6.5-inch size difference is most easily observed. We will talk extensively about how this impacts the interior space, 3rd row and cargo capacity later in this comparison, but as far as visual elements, we have 20-inch alloy wheels on both. 

Length: 194.9-inches (Highlander) | 201.4-inches (Grand Highlander)

In the back, again the GH will have more LED lighting elements in the taillight cluster, both have exposed wipers, and then only Grand Highlander has exposed exhaust outlets.

Additional Features

Now checking out some of the individual features, both of their mirrors have heating, blind spot monitoring, puddle lamps and power-folding.

Safety is very important, so in addition to BSM, both also include the latest active safety features Toyota offers. The Grand Highlander also adds a traffic jam assist function.

BOTH: Warranties: Basic Warranty: 3yr/36k mi | Powertrain: 5yr/60k mi | Complimentary Maintenance: 2yr/24k mi

Towing-wise, both models can handle up to 5,000 lbs.

BOTH: Towing (max): 5,000 lbs

But the luxury and comfort of the cabins are of far more importance than the exteriors, so let’s to that.

Grand Highlander Interior
Highlander Interior

Interior Design

As we walk toward the interiors, both models have smart entry as you would expect, [p] and then after opening the doors, you will be surprised at just how different the interiors are. Before we get into all the design and feature differences, lets first discuss the seats. On the regular Highlander we have quilted real-leather seats in the Glazed Caramel color, and the Grand Highlander has a leather and suede combination seat also in an exclusive color called Portobello. Neither of the seats have any extra adjustments beyond the standard 10-ways, and both have heating, ventilation and memory. 

Once we fully climb inside, we can get into the overall material quality. In this area, Grand doesn’t mean added luxury, since the material choices are largely the same between these models. It’s the regular Highlander that pulls ahead with a few more leather padded surfaces, piano finish on the climate knobs and a faux wood that adds richness compared to the strange black trim found on the Grand Highlander.

After startup, you’ll see 12.3 digital gauge clusters on both, with slightly different graphics. Both also have large head up displays, rain-sensing wipers and very similar leather-wrapped steering wheels with manual adjustment.

Storage and Technology

Now let’s talk about overall interior storage, which is a huge area of importance for these two. The center consoles are massive on both, fitting 23 and 24 donuts inside respectively. We also have big storage areas in the front, which include wireless phone charging pads, and even passenger storage shelfs. Overall, we will call this section even.

Moving on to the shifters, if you are a fan of traditional ones, you will like the Highlander better. Regardless, the 360-degree camera systems are the same. 

As far as climate, both have 3-zone automatic setups with easy-to-understand layouts. The only difference is the cheapness of the finish on the Grand Highlanders buttons, which I already mentioned.

And now that brings us to the volume knobs, so let’s give the audio systems a sample. As you might expect, they both have the same sound quality from the same speaker count.

HIG: 11-speaker, JBL Premium Sound System

GH: 11-speaker, JBL Premium Sound System

Now let’s look at the screens. Both have large 12.3-inch displays, and they are running the same new Toyota software system. That gives them navigation, and wireless AA and ACP as well. 

Finally for the front of the interiors, both models have digital camera rearview mirrors and large panoramic sunroofs.

Grand Highlander Rear
Highlander Rear

Rear Seats and Cargo

But now let’s move into the rear spaces because this is probably the reason you are considering a Grand Highlander in the first place. While similar and quite spacious, its actually the regular Highlander with 3.7% more legroom in the 2nd row. That falls below the 5% difference required to score a point though.

Grand Highlander: Legroom: 39.5-inches | Headroom: 38.5-inches

Highlander: Legroom: 41.0-inch | Headroom: 39.4-inch

The features list is also largely the same. There are rear climate controls, vents, 2 USB ports, household power outlets, and heated rear seats. You might notice that the Grand Highlander has a couple extra buttons in this area and that’s because it also has ventilated rear seats, which remains a rare feature to find.

These top trims have captain’s chairs with cupholders in between them and bench seating is available on other trims. Lastly, they both have rear window sunshades.

Now let’s head to the next row of seats. Here the space measures will certainly reverse, with the Grand Highlander having a big advantage. It has nearly 19% more legroom which contributes greatly to the enhanced comfort, and even though the headroom figures are very similar, that’s really because the Grand Highlander elevates the seats to give much better thy support than the Highlander.

Both of them fit 3 seats back here, have vents and cupholders, but only the GH has USB ports.

GH: Legroom: 33.5-in | Headroom: 37.2-in

Highlander: Legroom: 27.7-in | Headroom: 36.1-in

Okay so its cargo time now, one of the most critical elements. The Grand Highlander dominates the Highlander here and catapults itself to one of the largest family crossovers on the market. Behind the 3rd row, we have 28% more space, 20% more space with the third rows folded, and a 16% overall advantage with the maximum configuration of all rear seats folded.

Both of their third rows are manually folding, they have spare tires, and only the Grand Highlander has a 1,500-watt outlet in the back.

Grand Highlander: Behind 3rd row: 20.6 cu.ft | Behind 2nd row: 57.9 cu.ft | MAX: 97.5 cu.ft

Highlander: Behind 3rd Row: 16.0-cu.ft | 2nd Row: 48.4-cu.ft | MAX: 84.3-cu.ft

Alright, that’s it for the interiors, so now let’s take this close fight to the streets!

Grand Highlander Front
Highlander Front


When it comes to what is under the hood of these two, there are similarities and differences. Both can be powered by a regular 2.4L Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and a 2.5L hybrid system, but the Grand Highlander also has one extra option. If you want the highest-end Platinum then you get the Hybrid Max system, which combines the 2.4L Turbocharged I-4 with electric componentry for a total system output of 362 hp and 400 lb.ft of torque. That is an exclusive advantage over the Highlander with its 265 hp.

Grand Highlander: 2.4L Turbo I-4 + Electric: 362 hp | 400 lb.ft | 0-60: 6.3s

Highlander: 2.4L Turbo I-4: 265 hp | 310 lb.ft | 0-60: mid-7s

As far as the other elements, torque and packaging requirements mean that the Grand Highlander Hybrid Max is rocking an old school 6-speed automatic transmission, compared to an 8-speed automatic in the Highlander. While the 6 is still smooth, the Highlander’s transmission is quicker and has more gears to choose from.

Test Drive and Fuel Economy

But it’s not all about speed since comfort is more important for family crossovers. In this regard both absolutely nail the ride quality, with extremely plush rides that isolate out all but the largest potholes. 

As you would expect, that does mean the suspensions are soft when cornering. Despite some moderate body roll, both still feel controlled and smaller than they are.

In addition to having comfy rides, a thing we like to test out here at Car Confections are the sound level readings. Measuring them at 55 MPH, the Grand Highlander proved to be substantially quieter since a 1 dB difference is considered noticeable by the average adult. By the way, you can find all our sound level readings for all the new cars we test at

Grand Highlander: 55.0 dB @ 55 MPH

Highlander: 59.9 dB @ 55 MPH

And lastly, for fuel economy, this is one of the coolest things about the Hybrid Max set up. Despite making big power, it still gets great fuel economy, beating the regular model by 12.5%.

GH Hybrid MAX AWD: 26/27/27 MPG

Highlander 2.4T AWD: 21/28/24 MPG

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander vs. 2024 Toyota Highlander winner!

So, there you have it; the objective winner is the Toyota Grand Highlander, but when the value proposition is considered, the Highlander fights back! Let’s quickly summarize to find “your” personal winner.


  • Better price
  • Same general features
  • Sleeker design


  • Exclusive Hybrid max powertrain 
  • More cargo space
  • Better third row

Now we want to know your opinions, so make sure to head to the comment section and let us know which one you would pick!

Thanks for joining us for another Car Confections Comparison! We’ll catch you next time as we sample the latest automotive delicacies!