Kluger mus­cles in to­wards Toy­ota’s top

Broome Advertiser - - Happenings - Derek Og­den Your lo­cal Toy­ota dealer is Broome Toy­ota, 9192 1277.

Non­de­script would be a good way to de­scribe the Toy­ota Kluger when it emerged 14 years ago.

Then, the mid-sized sports util­ity ve­hi­cle stood sheep­ishly be­tween the RAV4, Toy­ota’s cute com­pact SUV, and the Ja­panese com­pany’s su­per­hero, the all­con­quer­ing LandCruiser.

Not any more. The Kluger has since mus­cled in on the big wag­ons to join sta­ble­mate Prado and take up a pre­mium po­si­tion among the seven-seater crowd.

Now sig­nif­i­cant tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances un­der the bon­net have in­creased per­for­mance, while im­prov­ing fuel econ­omy.

Styling has not gone un­no­ticed, with the lat­est fash­ion be­ing taken up across the range, plus en­hance­ments to safety and con­ve­nience.

The Kluger comes in three vari­ants — GX, GXL and Grande — in two-wheel or all-wheel drive.

All ben­e­fit from the up­take of di­rect-in­jec­tion tech­nol­ogy for Toy­ota’s pow­er­ful 3.5-litre V6 en­gine, with 17kW more power (218kW) and 13Nm added torque (350Nm) on tap.

Not to be left out in the up­grade, the de­sign stu­dio has made sure the new Kluger has added street pres­ence.

Styling up­dates in­clude re­freshed front and rear with a new grille and LED tail lights.

Ev­ery Kluger has air-con­di­tion­ing, cruise con­trol, elec­tric power steer­ing, six-speaker dis­play au­dio with Toy­ota Link in­ter­net con­nec­tion, pri­vacy glass and power-ad­justable ex­te­rior mir­rors. The ad­di­tion of di­rect-in­jec­tion tech­nol­ogy for Kluger’s pow­er­ful 3.5-litre V6 en­gine makes for 218kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

The en­gine also de­liv­ers greater fuel ef­fi­ciency, which is ca­pa­bly united with a new au­to­matic trans­mis­sion that of­fers eight ra­tios com­pared with the su­per­seded model’s six gears.

Stan­dard Kluger safety equip­ment in­cludes 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.

Kluger is now al­most 5m long and 2m wide and with this comes in­her­ent size and weight prob­lems es­pe­cially when park­ing in mea­gre spa­ces.

With more than two tonnes to cart around, Kluger’s Dy­namic Torque Con­trol AWD is a wel­come in­clu­sion, help­ing the driver to get max­i­mum trac­tion and cor­ner­ing sta­bil­ity.

Of­fi­cially, on the com­bined ur­ban / high­way cy­cle, 2WD Kluger uses just 9.1 litres per 100km for the GX and GXL grades and 9.3 litres per 100km for the Grande, while all AWDs are rated at 9.5 litres per 100km.

The test ve­hi­cle recorded up to 15 litres around town and seven on the high­way.

There is no deny­ing the brisk ac­cel­er­a­tion and ease of over­tak­ing made pos­si­ble by the ad­di­tion of di­rect-in­jec­tion tech­nol­ogy to Kluger's 3.5-litre V6 en­gine.

Fold­ing the third-row seat backs leaves a con­ve­nient flat floor to carry con­sid­er­able cargo.

With LandCruiser prices up to $50,000 more than Kluger, there’s not a lot it gives away to its big brother, es­pe­cially in Grande spec.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

Toy­ota’s Kluger has joined pre­mium sta­ble­mate Prado in the seven-seater crowd.

Styling up­dates in­clude a re­freshed front and rear with a new grille and LED tail-lights.

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