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Strategic Plan: Toyota Grand Highlander Intended to Absorb Sales from Smaller Models

Toyota North American brand head, Dave Christ, is predicting that any decline in sales of the current Highlander model will be more than made up by customers moving up to the larger 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander or coming back to the brand because it now has a comfortable non-minivan option for growing families. Christ expects some cannibalization, with people who may have bought a Highlander in the past looking to upgrade to the new Grand Highlander model. The 2024 Grand Highlander is 2 inches wider, 2 inches taller, and most importantly, 6 inches longer than the current three-row Toyota Highlander, with the additional room designed to make the rear seating of the eight-person people-hauler more comfortable.

Toyota sold 222,805 Highlanders in the US in 2022, down 16 percent primarily due to supply-related production restrictions. Through April 2021, Highlander sales in the US were down 13 percent to 74,697. The 2024 Grand Highlander will be arriving in dealerships this summer, and Toyota has set its pricing and trim strategies to let the larger three-row take advantage of the middle of the market.

While the Highlander has a base “L” trim level that starts at $37,995, the Grand Highlander’s lowest trim level is the Highlander’s midgrade XLE package that starts at $44,405, a $1,050 premium over the smaller Highlander at the same trim level. Both prices are for non-hybrid four-wheel-drive models, but the difference holds relatively steady across the trim walk, including for hybrid and all-wheel-drive models. The pricing decision was made to avoid an enormous amount of overlap between the two models.

Designed in the US and manufactured in Toyota’s plant in Princeton, Indiana, with the start of production set in June, the 2024 Grand Highlander comes equipped with a standard 2.4-liter turbocharged I-4 engine. Two optional hybrid powertrains featuring 2.5-liter I-4 engines are also available, one tuned for fuel economy and capable of delivering up to 36 mpg combined, or the Hybrid Max powertrain with added power, capable of delivering up to 362 hp and towing up to 5,000 pounds, delivering an estimated 27 mpg combined. All-wheel drive is optional on gasoline and hybrid models and standard on Hybrid Max models.

In the cabin, seating for seven comes standard with second-row captain’s chairs, with the option for a second-row bench available to raise capacity to eight occupants in certain configurations. The Grand Highlander comes standard with a 12.3-inch touchscreen running the brand’s new Toyota Audio Multimedia system, which was developed in-house and works largely through voice prompts. All Grand Highlander trims come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, a suite of upgraded safety and driver-assistance features including dynamic cruise control, lane keeping, automated headlights, and a new system the brand calls Proactive Driving Assist. Toyota says that when certain “operating conditions are met, using the vehicle’s camera and radar, this system provides gentle braking into curves or gentle braking and/or steering to help support driving tasks such as distance control between a preceding vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist.

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Derrick Santistevan
Derrick Santistevan
Derrick is the Researcher at World Weekly News. He tries to find the latest things going around in our world and share it with our readers.

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