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The Toyota Grand Highlander is a new large family hauler we probably won’t see

Smaller than the Sequoia, but still humongous for PH roads

Expect gray-market importers to bring a few units over here. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Think that the Toyota Highlander is too small, but then the Sequoia is too big? For families that want a balance between the two, the Grand Highlander that was teased last week has finally been unveiled at this year’s Chicago Auto Show.

Longer for a better third-row legroom. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Based on the TNGA-K platform also found on the Sienna minivan, the Crown crossover sedan, and the Lexus RX, the Grand Highlander largely aims to comfortably seat adult-sized passengers in the third row. It’s not really something a Filipino family man would be after, but with all passenger seats folded down, about 2,775L cargo space is a lot to take in compared to the Highlander at 2,387L.

Calling this a 'smaller' Sequoia is redundant, because it is still big. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Engine options range between a gasoline and two hybrid powertrains. The economical choice would be the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated in-line-four engine with a hybrid system. The 2.4-liter turbocharged in-line-four engine can be bought with or without an electric motor. The latter, dubbed as the Hybrid Max, is considered as the highest powertrain with 362hp and 400Nm at its disposal.

Do you like what you see? PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

In the middle of the dashboard is a 12.3-inch infotainment system, with over-the-air updates for further connectivity enhancements and an 11-speaker JBL system as an option for Limited and Platinum levels. The Grand Highlander is also equipped with the latest Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 with the usual amenities, such as the pre-collision system and lane-departure alert. A new feature added in the 3.0 is Proactive Driving Assist, which aids in avoiding obstacles through gentle decelerations.

Big, meaty features round up the SUV's brawny appearance. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

The Grand Highlander is expected to be released during summer 2023 in North America. While the chances for a Philippines release are super slim, don’t be surprised to see a unit or two appear on our roads through other means.

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.