Toyota Kluger Road Test, Review
Toyota Kluger was first released to Australia in 2003 and the latest version of the Kluger was first introduced in 2014 with a significant upgrade in early 2017. We had on test the Grande model which is the range topping version.
We have previously reviewed the Kluger a number of times so let’s just go with a quick overview to start. It is a 7 seat 2WD and AWD SUV featuring a 3.5L V6 engine (upgraded 2017) with practical versatility and amazing internal space.
The Kluger looks good for a family wagon, drives with almost car like handling and ride, has an abundance of standard comfort and safety features and sells in droves for Toyota.
The 2017 updates for the Toyota Kluger included:
- Revised engine with direct injection technology, now producing 218kW of power and 350Nm of torque
- A new 8 speed automatic transmission
- A claimed 10 % improvement in fuel economy meaning up to 85 more kilometres from a tank of fuel
- Refreshed styling especially the front and rear lights
- Improved safety features across the range.
Jumping inside the Kluger Grande everything is familiar and comfortable. There is plenty of room, in fact it is amazing how much internal room Toyota have extracted.
The driver seat is multi electronically adjustable and both front seats are air-conditioned. The dash is easy to read and simple to navigate. The centre stack houses the infotainment system that again is easy to read and use.
For a fairly large SUV there is good visibility for the driver. More so now with the new panoramic view monitor for Grande. Even for taller drivers such as myself there is ample head and shoulder room.
The second row of seats are again comfortable, even for three. Again ample head shoulder room. With the flat floor there is room for the middle passenger feet as well. With the driver’s seat fully back there is enough room for me to sit behind myself in comfort.
The list of standard features on the Grande is impressive and includes electric power steering, six-speaker display audio with Toyota Link5 connected mobility, front foglamps, privacy glass and power-adjustable exterior mirrors, three-zone climate-control air-conditioning, keyless entry and ignition, roof rails, premium steering wheel and shift knob, and leather-accented seats with a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.
Exclusive Grande features include active cruise control, blind spot monitor, auto high beam, tilt-and-slide moon roof, A/C front seats with two-position memory for the driver’s seat, nine-inch rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-ray player, heated exterior mirrors with memory function and puddle lamps, electro-chromatic interior mirror, second-row retractable sunshades and a backing-guide monitor for the reversing camera.
In what is becoming a new sales trend the Kluger is becoming more popular as a 2WD as well as its traditional AWD roots.
Buyers are looking for the benefits of the SUV body style but don’t necessarily want or need the benefits of AWD.
Kluger is one of Australia’s most popular SUVs with more than 140,000 sales since the first-generation model arrived in 2003. Since 2008, it has topped 10,000 sales a year, achieving annual average sales of almost 12,700 vehicles.
The recent upgrade has seen the safety of the Grande improved. Standard features include seven airbags, reversing camera, reverse-parking sensors, anti-skid brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, stability and traction control, and hill-start assist control and a pre-collision safety system with autonomous emergency braking.
Grande’s lane departure alert is now supplemented with steering control and sway warning. The Kluger Grande now also has rear cross-traffic alert.
The 3.5L V6 petrol engine produces 218 kW @ 6,600 rpm of power and 350 Nm @ 4,700 rpm of torque. The Kluger now has an 8 speed Automatic transmission. As mentioned the Kluger now is available in both 2WD and AWD versions.
So to sum up the Toyota Kluger Grande. It could be described as the perfect family wagon.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Toyota Kluger Grande
- Engines: 3.5L V6 Petrol
- Transmissions: Eight-speed AT
- Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km
- Safety: Five Stars
- Origin: Japan
- Price: From $43,550