Like the Kluger, but want a larger third row? Toyota reportedly has something planned.
Automotive News reports Toyota will introduce a new SUV in 2023 called the Grand Highlander.
As with all front/all-wheel drive models on Toyota’s TNGA underpinnings, the Grand Highlander will come with a hybrid option.
It’s too early to tell whether the Grand Highlander will have a corresponding Grand Kluger equivalent in Australia. We doubt it’d be called Grand Kluger, because then you’d have a Grand Kluger Grande.
Before the Grand Highlander’s launch, Toyota will give the Highlander/Kluger a mid-life refresh in 2022.
While that may seem a little soon for a model only launched in Australia midway through 2021, the current generation went on sale in North America at the end of 2019.
Reports of a larger Kluger come after a trademark filing for the Grand Highlander nameplate was shared earlier in 2021.
The Kluger may already be a large crossover but there’s still room to move.
The upcoming three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L is even longer at 5204mm.
The Grand Highlander will also go up against the jumbo-sized Chevrolet Traverse crossover (5189mm) in its homeland.
It seems likely the Grand Highlander will feature a revised rear-end with a longer rear overhang, though whether there’ll be changes to the front or the 2850mm wheelbase isn’t clear.
The Kluger is currently offered with a choice of two powertrains.
Hybrid models mate a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine producing 142kW of power and 242Nm of torque, mated to two front and one rear-mounted motor generators for front- or all-wheel drive. Total system output is 184kW.
There’s also a naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 218kW of power and 350Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. As with the hybrid, there’s a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
Until supplies of the previous generation started to dry up, the Kluger had an enviable run as the best-selling car-based vehicle in the large SUV segment, with Toyota’s body-on-frame Prado occupying the top spot.
Year-to-date, the Kluger is down 37.4 per cent and the Mazda CX-9 is up 37.3 per cent, making it the best-selling crossover in the segment.
MORE: Everything Toyota Kluger