By Alexi Falson, 27 Sep, 2021
Review - Toyota Kluger
AF By Alexi Falson August 30, 2021
There’s more than a handful of choices when it comes to the seven seat SUV market, and while buyers benefit from added competition, it can be difficult to find out which is the perfect fit for you and your family.
While the Toyota Kluger has cemented itself a reputation as an Australian family favourite, in the face of fierce competition from cars like the Hyundai Palisade, Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota can’t rely on brand loyalty alone to maintain sales of the Kluger… it needs to deliver.
Thankfully, Toyota has given the Kluger a significant refresh and delivered new models packing more entertainment and safety equipment than ever before. With that in mind, just how good is the latest-generation Kluger and has it managed to cement itself, once again, as one of the segment’s best offerings? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $47,650
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Toyota Kluger (GX AWD) Specifications
|Fuel type||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL|
|Transmission||8 SP AUTOMATIC|
|Engine configuration||VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 24 valves|
|Engine RPM||6600 / 4700|
|Fuel tank size||68.0|
|Fuel usage specs||8.8 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Toyota Kluger car page.
How Much Does the Toyota Kluger Cost?
The Toyota Kluger range is split into three different models, kicking off with the GX, and moving through to the GXL and Grande variants. The entry-level front-wheel drive (FWD) Kluger GX is priced from $47,650 before on-road costs, while the all-wheel drive (AWD) is priced from $51,650 and the range-topping hybrid AWD comes with a price tag of $54,150.
Moving up to the GXL-grade Kluger brings the price to $56,850 for the FWD variant, while the AWD and Hybrid AWD variants are priced at $60,850 and $63,350 respectively.
Finally, Toyota’s flagship Kluger comes in the form of the Grande lineup, which kicks off at $68,900 for the front-wheel drive variant. Opting for an all-wheel drive platform brings the price to $72,900, while the flagship Kluger Grande Hybrid AWD is priced at $75,400. Keep in mind that these prices do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the Toyota Kluger Have?
As we’ve discovered, the Kluger range comes in three main variants, which offer different levels of specifications and features. The entry-level GX comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, and is packaged with automatic LED headlights and tail lights, adaptive cruise control, automatic wipers, a 8.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+ digital radio and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, as well as a reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors, keyless entry, cloth upholstery and air conditioning.
Moving up to the mid-range Kluger GXL variant adds a leatherette finish for the interior upholstery, as well as a powered boot lift, roof rails, three-zone climate control, satellite navigation for the infotainment system and a set of powered and heated front seats.
Finally, Toyota’s range-topping Kluger Grande variant rides on a set of 20-inch alloys, and receives a panoramic sunroof and leather interior, as well as a head-up display for the driver, ventilated seats with memory function, sunshades for the rear of the cabin and an 11-speaker premium sound system from JBL.
18-inch alloy wheels
LED head and tail lights
Adaptive cruise control
Rear view camera with front and rear parking sensors
8.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Keyless entry & start
Heated seats (GXL & above)
Roof rails (GXL & above)
20-inch alloys (Grande)
Panoramic sunroof (Grande)
Surround-view camera (Grande)
Leather upholstery (Grande)
11-speaker JBL sound system (Grande)
Toyota Kluger Colours
|Graphite Metallic||Liquorice Brown Mica|
|Crystal Pearl||Galena Blue Metallic|
|Silver Storm Metallic||Eclipse Black|
|Saturn Blue Metallic||Atomic Rush Red Mica|
Is the Toyota Kluger Comfortable to Drive?
While the Kluger might be a large, seven-seat SUV, Toyota has done a great job when it comes to making the Kluger accessible to drivers of all confidence levels. The Kluger takes a user-friendly approach to the way it drives, and in spite of its size, remains easy to pilot around town and the urban environment. This means that its kerb weight of 2-tonnes is very well disguised as you’re driving around, where it remains compliant and comfortable, and seemingly manages its weight better than some of its rivals. One thing to keep in mind with driving a car like the Kluger in and around town is the turning circle of nearly 12-meters means you need to choose your parks carefully, and anticipate some corners. This learning curve, however, is very manageable, even for drivers new to the experience of piloting a car of this size.
There’s two engines available, with the hybrid and V6 unit producing more than enough power to pick up speed without any problems, and offering some impressive towing figures. V6 petrol variants receive an eight-speed automatic transmission while hybrid Klugers are fitted with a CVT unit. The eight-speed automatic will be the most familiar transmission to most buyers, however, once you’ve adjusted your driving style to the CVT - which essentially gives you one long gear, similar to a scooter - you won’t have any complaints about the easily-accessible powerband.
All Kluger models are rated at 2,000kg of braked towing capacity and 750kg unbraked capacity, which means the Kluger is super adaptable when it comes to ticking off school runs and weekend and holiday adventures. On those holiday road trips, the Kluger is a fabulous companion for you and the family, offering an extremely comfortable ride quality and a quiet, refined cabin that makes longer journeys much more enjoyable.
As an overall package, the Kluger is difficult to fault when it comes to its ability to tick multiple boxes. There’s more than enough power for the average buyer, and the ride is comfortable yet competent enough that it can adapt to different road conditions without a problem.
Is the Toyota Kluger Practical and Spacious?
Being a large SUV, the Kluger has absolutely no troubles when it comes to accommodating large families and all the belongings they can throw at it. Up front, the driver and front passenger receive a very spacious cockpit, which takes a simple, utilitarian approach to its cabin design than some of its rivals. This means that there’s a range of door bins, cup holders and stash spots for loose items that large families are famous for accumulating. There’s a heap of headroom for those in the front of the cabin, even with the panoramic sunroof installed.
The good news keeps coming as you move to the rear of the cabin, where passengers in the second row of the seven-seat Kluger are treated to comfortable seats with legroom for even the tallest of adults, with no issues when it comes to headroom, either. Shoulder room is impressive, too, thanks to the Kluger’s fairly wide dimensions which can accommodate three adults, if necessary, without any major complaints. Even better is the fact that the rear of the cabin gets its own set of air conditioning vents, power outlet and an armrest fitted with cupholders.
The third row of seats in the Kluger are no doubt more suited to kids, but the process of stepping in and out of the cabin is a simple task thanks to Toyota’s clever second-row seat design, which slides and folds for easy access. Once inside, passengers in the rearmost of the cabin get a set of air vents to stay comfortable.
Another key area for a seven-seat SUV is the amount of cargo you can store in the boot, which, in the Kluger is a very handsome amount of gear. With all three-rows of seats folded up, there’s 241L of boot storage, which is enough for a big run to the supermarket or a short trip away from home, however, this expands to 552L with the rear seats folded down, and 1,882L with all the seats folded down.
For those of you with children, there’s easily accessible ISOFIX anchor points and top tether mounts in the rear of the cabin, and thanks to its wide door openings, the process of installing even the largest of child seats is a simple task in the Kluger.
Is it Safe?
The Toyota Kluger has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating, scoring 90% for adult occupant protection, 88% for child occupant protection and 82% for its safety assistance features. As standard, all Kluger models come fitted with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, seven airbags, emergency steering assistance, traffic sign recognition and a reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors.
In terms of safety, the Kluger lacks no significant active safety technologies, which is nice to know considering some of its rivals ask buyers to step up into more expensive variants to secure the full raft of safety kit.
Is the Toyota Kluger Fuel Efficient?
Depending on which engine you opt for, the Kluger’s economy figures range from underwhelming to extremely impressive for a car of this size. V6 petrol units are rated at 8.7L per 100km for front-wheel drive variants while all-wheel drive Klugers return a figure of 8.9L per 100km. For Kluger variants fitted with the hybrid engine option, you’ll see figures drop to around 5.6L per 100km, which is particularly impressive for a car of this size.
Our Verdict: Is the Toyota Kluger Worth it?
While it might not be as technologically advanced inside as some of its rivals, the Kluger is undeniably one of the most solid performers in the category, and remains one of the best options for a seven-seat SUV in Australia. As an all-round package, the Kluger ticks all the important boxes for families with confidence, and would prove the perfect addition to an Australian household looking for a comfortable commuter that is competent enough for long holiday road trips.
Considering just how jam-packed with safety equipment the Kluger comes, and how easy it is to drive, it’s a go-to option for families and is deserving of a spot on your shortlist of seven-seat SUVs. On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 406 122
Five Specs You Need to Know
Five-year, unlimited KM warranty
Seven-year warranty for engine and drivetrain
V6 petrol and four-cylinder hybrid engines available
2,000kg braked towing capacity
8.7L per 100km for V6 petrol, 5.6L per 100km for hybrid
Spacious and practical cabin design
Economical hybrid engine option
Comprehensive safety equipment as standard on entry-level Kluger
Interior flare lacking compared to rivals
Price jumps between variants
Toyota Kluger Competition
|Toyota Landcruiser Prado|