Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the 2014 Toyota Kluger Grande.
If you’re looking for something a bit bigger than the average family sedan, has more room and power, the 2014 Toyota Kluger is a very viable option.
Offering three rows of seats and accommodating seven adults in comfort, with ample room for their luggage, the Kluger also offers the option of two or four-wheel drive.
Despite the Toyota badge it is manufactured in America, the first time the Australian market has seen these, as a result of the new trade agreements that dropped the 5% tariff on imported vehicles.
There are three variations, the GX, GXL and Grande, and even the “basic” GX offers a good standard package, including a reversing camera, parking sensors, cruise control and other extras.
The GLX adds a tri-level climate control system, heated seats, keyless entry and push button start.
The top of the range Grande adds 19 inch wheels, second row blinds, powered tailgate, and large screen Sat-Nav. Safety features include radar cruise control, blind spot monitor and lane departure warning.
The Kluger is big on the outside, and feels big on the inside too.
There is ample leg and head room front and rear, well designed seats, large and clear instrumentation, a deep centre console and spacious door pockets.
The cargo space is a little limited when the three rows of seats are in use, but still adequate. When only the second row of seats is required, the cargo area is quite large.
There is ample power under the bonnet, both around town in city traffic, and once you let it loose out on the open road. Fuel consumption though isn’t great, expect to use about 14L/100kms in the city, the official claimed combined rate is 10.6L/100kms.
It looks and feels big. The steering tends to be a bit on the heavy side, particularly when trying to get into tight parking spots. But that is common to most large SUV’s and after some time you tend to get used to the extra effort required in the urban environment.
Summing it up, the latest version of the Toyota Kluger provides spacious family SUV driving with an impressive standard package, and impressive safety features.
It is a step up from the previous model. Sadly though, at this stage there is no diesel engine in the offing and that is a pity.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 3.5 litre V6 producing 201kW and 337Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Origin: United States
Price: Grande from $63,990