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Motor Trend has a great article out that compares the Grand Highlander and Highlander.

Grand Highlander vs. Highlander: Hybrid Powertrain
Unlike their shared gas engine, the Grand Highlander and Highlander use different hybrid powertrains. The Highlander's is centered around a 2.5-liter I-4, which is aided by two electric motors to produce 243 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. It uses a CVT automatic; FWD is standard, and AWD is optional. Fuel economy rates at 35-36/34-35 mpg. We tested the Highlander Hybrid's 0-60-mph acceleration at 8.4 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Grand Highlander offers two hybrid powertrains. Along with a 2.5-liter hybrid setup, the SUV will also get a Hybrid Max powertrain like the one found in the Toyota Crown, which uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged I-4 engine with an electric motor, plus a separate motor on the rear axle. Output totals 362 hp and 400 lb-ft in the Grand Highlander, and AWD is standard. Considering the extra power, the Grand Highlander hybrid's fuel economy might not be able to match that of the Highlander Hybrid. However, it should be much quicker; Toyota estimates its 0-60-mph acceleration at 6.3 seconds.

Grand Highlander vs. Highlander: Technology
The Highlander's interior is comfortable and well-equipped, but the Grand Highlander benefits from even more tech. The Highlander comes with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and 7.0-inch gauge cluster display. Higher-end trims get a 12.3-inch touchscreen and gauge display. Meanwhile, every Grand Highlander gets a 12.3-inch touchscreen as standard, though the larger digital gauge display is likewise included only on higher-end models.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are found in both, made wireless with the larger screen. The Highlander has five USB ports, while seven come in the Grand Highlander; only the Grand has third-row ports. Along those lines, a wireless charging pad is optional in the Highlander but standard in the Grand Highlander. An 11-speaker JBL premium audio system is available on both.

Also, the Grand Highlander can be turned into a giant gaming console, which the Highlander has nothing to answer with.

Grand Highlander vs. Highlander: Safety Features
Like nearly every new Toyota model, the Grand Highlander and Highlander come equipped with numerous driver assist and active safety features as part of the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite. Among these are adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beams.

Read the fine print, though, and you'll see the Highlander has TSS 2.5+ and the Grand Highlander has TSS 3.0. That means that the newer SUV has more and improved safety systems, namely blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, both of which are optional on the Highlander. Furthermore, the Grand Highlander gets Toyota's new Proactive Driving Assist, which provides automated speed control based on traffic and road conditions ahead.

Grand Highlander vs. Highlander: Passenger Space
Both the Highlander and Grand Highlander can be equipped in seven- or eight-passenger seating configurations; second-row captain's chairs are available. A key difference between the pair is how much passenger space they provide, particularly in the third row.

In the Highlander, there are 36.1 inches of headroom and 28.0 inches of legroom in the third row. The Grand Highlander has 37.2 and 33.5 inches in those measures. That means the Grand Highlander has only slightly less third-row space than the full-size Toyota Sequoia.

Grand Highlander vs. Highlander: Cargo Capacity
Need to carry a lot of things? The Grand Highlander has the Highlander beat, providing more cargo capacity whether or not the seats are folded.

Behind the Highlander's third row, there are 16.0 cubic feet of cargo space, while the Grand Highlander has 20.6 cubic feet. When the second and third rows are folded, the Highlander maxes out at 84.3 cubic feet of capacity, and the Grand Highlander tops out at 97.5 cubic feet. We'll just note that the Toyota Sienna minivan holds a lot more than either crossover.

Grand Highlander vs. Highlander: Exterior Dimensions
In photos, the Grand Highlander looks bigger and boxier than the Highlander, but how much larger is it, really? It's a difference of a few inches, which is actually quite a bit by car standards.

2023 Toyota Highlander194.9 inches76.0 inches68.1 inches
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander201.4 inches78.3 inches70.1 inches

Grand Highlander vs. Highlander: Trim Levels
Although the Grand Highlander tends to offer more than the Highlander, one area where it has comparatively less is trim levels. For 2024, the Grand Highlander starts with the XLE trim and offers Limited and Platinum trims as upgrades. Meanwhile, the Highlander is available in L, LE, and XSE trims, in addition to XLE, Limited, and Platinum.

It seems unlikely that the Grand Highlander will be able to match the Highlander L's roughly $38,000 starting price. Even compared grade to grade, expect the price of the Grand Highlander to be, well, grander.
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