2015 Toyota Kluger Grande Review

2015 Toyota Kluger Grande Review

2015 Toyota Kluger Grande road test and review.

The Toyota Kluger has been one of the most popular seven-seat SUVs on Australian roads for a number of years now and benefited from a complete refresh in 2014.

The Kluger, which is built in the U.S. competes against everything from the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and perhaps most directly, Nissan’s Pathfinder.

Toyota Australia handed me the keys to the top-of-the range 2015 Toyota Kluger Grande, my test car fitted with the optional all-wheel drive system.

That’s a combo that will set you back from $67,130, well above the $40,990 Kluger entry-point.

Under the bonnet of every Toyota Kluger is the same 201kW/337Nm 3.5 litre V6 engine.

The engine is smooth, powerful if a little peaky and performance is more than adequate.

You could say however that the engine lacks the easy going nature of some diesels, such as the 2.2 litre diesel found in the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe.

An upshot of the motor is that is has a surprisingly addictive engine note, although there seems to be more engine noise in the cabin than the Kluger’s sedan sister, the Aurion.

The six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly, but seems to exacerbate the engine’s peaky nature.

Official combined fuel consumption figures for the Toyota Kluger Grande AWD are 10.6 litres per 100 kilometres, however during my test week I achieved around 12.2 litres per 100 kilometres.

Dynamically, the Kluger feels like just what it is – a big, high-riding seven seat SUV – and isn’t as car like as the Kia. However, the Kluger has more direct steering and is more than acceptable for family adventures.

On the subject of adventures, the optional all-wheel system adds another $4,000 to the Kluger’s sticker price.

The system does offer a number of facilities such as Snow and Lock mode which should help with those little weekend getaways.

An extra $4,000 is an expensive option and mightn’t that appeal to all. It is one this scribe would have, as the added on road safety and greater flexibility – should it be needed.

The adaptive cruise control fitted to the Toyota Kluger Grande is easy to operate and maintains distances from the car in front diligently and is a certainly a step up from the system fitted to the Prado Kakadu, which we found to be a little slow and clunky.

Ride quality is a little firm but road imperfections very rarely make their way up to passenger bottoms.

As the ambitious name suggests, the Grande is plush and lavishly equipped, featuring;

  • Leather trim
  • Heated and cooled front seats
  • 19” wheels
  • Large sunroof
  • Multi-zone climate control with controls for second row passengers
  • DVD entertainment
  • Sat-nav
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning and a suite of other safety technology

Aimed squarely at families, the Toyota Kluger Grande offers plenty of storage spots around the cabin, while the seats in the front two rows are big and comfortable and their leather trimming is supple and of good quality.

Space for the front five passengers is more than capacious, although the third row of seats is best reserved for small passengers.

The dashboard seems to be designed function rather than form – it’s not what you’d call “pretty”- but all functions are easy to negotiate.

Although we found that some of the shortcut buttons for the infotainment system seemed to be a little slow in their responses.

Climate controls throughout the cabin work to ensure that the cabin ambience is just right and the DVD entertainment system helps to cut down the “are we there yet” complaints of long road trips.

The boot is big too and is even useable when all seven seats are upright.

Safety is covered by a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Summing it up; the Kluger is a good family hauler and an impressive SUV. If you can do without a diesel, it’s worth a look.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Toyota Kluger Grande

Engine: 3.5 litre V6 producing 201kW and 337Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000kms

Origin: United States

Price: From $40,990

Matt Calvitto is the founder of automotive website – themotoringguru.com

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