Right before the end of 2020, Toyota was revealed to have trademarked a new name: the Grand Highlander. The moniker, whose trademark was applied for on December 28, suggests the automaker is possibly working on a bigger version of its three-row Highlander SUV.
The Highlander is currently Toyota’s entry in the three-row midsize SUV market. Unfortunately, its third row of seats appears to be an easy competition for other strong segment contenders such as the Kia Telluride, Chevrolet Traverse, and Volkswagen Atlas.
With the possible entry of a Grand Highlander model, Toyota is expected to introduce an extended wheelbase that could be its answer to direct rivals. It will likely slot in between the Highlander and the full-size Sequoia, with a retail price of only a few thousand dollars more than its smaller sibling.
Toyota has yet to confirm the reports, but experts think the Grand Highlander won’t be launched anytime soon. The Highlander was just announced for a redesign in 2020, meaning the best time to introduce the Grand Highlander would be during the smaller SUV’s mid-cycle refresh sometime between 2023 and 2024.
If the Grand Highlander makes it into production, it will likely share the Highlander’s 3.5-liter V-6 and hybrid drivetrains.