Report: US-made 3-row electric SUV is Toyota Highlander EV

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The Toyota Highlander midsize SUV could go all-electric, while the Grand Highlander would continue with internal-combustion engines, according to a new report from CarBuzz.

This is part of a strategy to replace the alphanumeric naming scheme used by the Toyota bZ4X—currently the only EV in Toyota’s U.S. lineup—for more conventional names, according to the report. Just as the current Highlander shares underpinnings with the Lexus RX, the Highlander EV could have a Lexus sibling, potentially called TZ, according to the report.

2024 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Meanwhile, the Grand Highlander, which just debuted as a 2024 model, would reportedly continue with a mix of powertrains similar to those of the current version, which is available in gasoline and hybrid forms.

Toyota confirmed a 3-row electric SUV in 2023, due for 2025 production in Kentucky. It also upped investment in the Kentucky plant earlier this year to support assembly of this model, including the addition of a battery assembly line that will be supplied with cells from another Toyota facility currently under construction in North Carolina.

2024 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2024 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Toyota also showed the Land Cruiser Se concept SUV last fall. While we expected that to be the look of the Kentucky-built three-row SUV, maybe in production it will instead look more like the Highlander.

The current-generation Highlander isn’t available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain like the smaller RAV4, but the Highlander Hybrid earns a respectable 36 mpg combined with front-wheel drive. The Highlander was last redesigned for the 2020 model year, so it is due for an update. So if Toyota really is planning a switch to an all-electric powertrain, we may get official confirmation soon.

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