Two big new SUVs will join the Toyota and Lexus in the near future.
First, the Grand Highlander that Toyota filed just over a year ago is expected to launch by mid-2023, likely as a 2024 model. It will be built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton after nearly billion-dollar factory upgrades.
Sources close to the automaker confirmed the news to Automotive News. An official announcement has yet to be made.
The Toyota Grand Highlander will sit between the Highlander and the freshly redesigned Sequoia, featuring unibody construction just like the old one and seating up to eight passengers while offering an available hybrid powertrain. This will be the answer to those who complain about the Highlander’s lack of rear-seat space.
About six months later, the very first Lexus TX will fill a similar role for Toyota’s luxury brand, Automotive News reports.
This model will be larger than the RX L introduced in early 2018, with roomier and more comfortable third-row seats. Lexus dealerships, particularly in the United States, have been urging the company to add a larger three-row crossover for several years, giving customers another option instead of switching to body-on-frame GX and LX SUVs.
The Lexus TX will be a more direct response to rivals such as the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS. Similar to the Grand Highlander, it will be built in Indiana. When retooling plans were announced by TMMI in April 2021, Toyota said the new models would feature “a semi-automated driving system – which will allow hands-free driving in certain conditions – a remote parking system allowing the driver parking and parking from outside the vehicle using a smartphone, and a digital key that turns the user’s smartphone into their key and allows them to share it digitally.”
TMMI already produces the Highlander, Highlander Hybrid and Sequoia as well as the Sienna minivan.
Do you think there really is room for new three-row vehicles at Toyota and Lexus? And what does the future hold for a model like the GX? Time will tell us.