The LandCruiser won’t be the only big SUV in the Toyota portfolio. The Japanese automaker is reportedly planning on adding another massive leviathan to its range, further ingraining Toyota’s foothold in the big three-row SUV space. It would be a longer version of the Kluger, which is called Highlander in the USA and it will make its debut at the Chicago auto show in February next year.
Toyota has trademarked the name, ‘Grand Highlander’, with reports suggesting that the new SUV would sit on a longer wheelbase alongside a more spacious three-row seating. The Kluger in its current form is already a full-sized premium SUV but Toyota clearly sees enough room for an even bigger version with a more spacious third row. In the USA market, the Highlander competes with the likes of the Kia Telluride and Volkswagen Atlas and here, its third-row seating falls a bit short when compared to others hence, the Grand Highlander will come in to plug that gap.
In Australia, the Kluger has two powertrain options: hybrid and a more powerful V6, but the Grand Highlander could be launched here with a hybrid-only option. It would be a 2.4-litre petrol combined with an electric motor promising a power output of around 340 horsepower. In terms of tech, the new release won’t disappoint, either.
The automaker confirmed that the Grand Highlander will offer both semi-autonomous hands-free driving in certain situations, along with self-parking technology. Drivers will also have access to a digital key that allows them to use their smartphone to unlock and operate the vehicle. In a somewhat futuristic move, this key will also be able to be shared digitally, meaning your days of rummaging around in your bag for your keys may soon be over.
On the basis of the teaser image shared by Toyota, the Grand Highlander would have more premium styling along with a new light bar and new design tail lamps. The interior might also see some updates while the second row will get more room to stretch out along with a more accommodating third row of course. With the Grand Highlander, Toyota is adding another massive three-row SUV to its line-up and looking at the popularity of the Kluger, it will most likely be launched here as well.