Toyota has teased a mysterious image of something called a Grand Highlander. It won’t be revealed in full for another few months, but there’s plenty of hints to make educated guesses about. The name, for one, implies that it’ll be a longer version of the Highlander, so split the difference between that and the Sequoia.
Another clue is the Hybrid Max badge on the new badonk. The last time we saw that, it was on the weird Crown crossover sedan thingy, and generated an impressive combined output of 340 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, mated with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Toyota didn’t say what the Grand Highlander would pack under the hood, but it did describe it as “powerful.”
The main draw of this vehicle, we expect, will be a longer cabin with more legroom in the third row and greater cargo carrying capacity. Toyota calls it the “ultimate road trip vehicle.” It’s likely that Toyota wants to compete with popular three-row rigs such as the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade. The name also draws an obvious connection to vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer, each of which have their own elongated versions called the Grand Cherokee L and Grand Wagoneer L, the latter of which was able to swallow all of Senior Editor James Riswick’s worldly possessions.
It wouldn’t be the first time Toyota offered stretched versions of its vehicles. After years of begging, Lexus finally offered L versions of the RX, the RX350L and RX450hL. Toyota also used the name Grand Hiace in the late 1990s for a seven- and eight-passenger van, a play off of the popular Hiace minivan.
We won’t know the full details until the Grand Highlander is revealed on February 8, followed by an appearance at the Chicago Auto Show the following day.