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Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - MOTOR GUIDE -

GXL adds rain-sens­ing wind­screen wipers, blind-spot mon­i­tor and rear crosstraf­fic alert in­creas­ing the price over the pre­vi­ous GXL by $1400 to $54,950 (FWD) and $58,950 (AWD). DRIV­ING As is in­vari­ably the case Toy­ota Kluger has grown over the years and at just un­der five me­tres long and two me­tres wide isn’t that far be­hind LandCruiser 200. There’s a de­cent climb up to get in which can be a prob­lem for older oc­cu­pants al­though there is a run­ning board to lend a hand, or should that be foot?

The front seats are large and com­fort­able, there is ex­cel­lent legroom and head­room in the three se­cond row seats. These slide for­ward to help ac­cess to the third row seats al­though it will never be too easy for adult pas­sen­gers – two chil­dren in these rear­most seats makes most sense.

Boot space is very good for a sev­enseater. All rear seats can be folded flat with 60/ 40 splits in both the se­cond and third rows.

Kluger’s bulk can cause prob­lems in tight car parks where the Grande’s range of four cam­eras, in­clud­ing top-down panoramic view, as well as rear cross traf­fic alert re­ally come into their own. Ex­cel­lent not only for on road use and park­ing, but also use­ful should Kluger be taken off-road.

Al­though the engine’s torque peak of 350 Nm comes in at an ex­tremely high 4700 rpm there’s more than enough grunt from much lower revs.

Once out on the mo­tor­way it’s easy to for­get Kluger’s size and imag­ine your­self cruis­ing in a lux­ury saloon but with the added ben­e­fit of a high driv­ing po­si­tion and plenty of in­te­rior space. It’s very quiet with min­i­mal in­tru­sion even on coarse road sur­faces.

Ride com­fort in the Kluger is good with safe and pre­dictable han­dling partly through a con­sid­er­able level of Aus­tralian test­ing from the early de­sign stages. You cer­tainly wouldn’t de­scribe it as sport­ing but nor do we ex­pect it to be.

The all-wheel drive Kluger vari­ants have Dy­namic Torque Con­trol ( DTC) which helps the driver to get max­i­mum trac­tion and cor­ner­ing sta­bil­ity. The sys­tem uses in­for­ma­tion on ve­hi­cle speed, yaw rate and steer­ing and throt­tle an­gles to con­trol torque dis­tri­bu­tion au­to­mat­i­cally be­tween the front and rear axles. It drives only the front wheels when the ve­hi­cle is cruis­ing and switches to AWD only when re­quired.

Fuel con­sump­tion from the Grande AWD that we tested is listed at 9.5 litres per 100 kilo­me­tres. We av­er­aged just un­der 11.6 L/ 100 km over our nor­mal blend of ur­ban, mo­tor­way and ru­ral driv­ing. SUM­MING UP Toy­ota Kluger is a large com­fort­able SUV that will gen­er­ally be used pre­dom­i­nantly as an ur­ban peo­ple car­rier. Hav­ing the op­tion to take the all-wheel-drive ver­sions into mild off-road con­di­tions will at­tract ad­ven­tur­ous fam­ily buy­ers as will its 2000 kg tow­ing ca­pac­ity.

Toy­ota shows no sign of de­vi­at­ing from its three years / 100,000 kilo­me­tre stan­dard war­ranty and given its mar­ket dom­i­na­tion prob­a­bly doesn’t need to. Ev­ery new Kluger is cov­ered by Toy­ota Ser­vice Ad­van­tage capped-price ser­vic­ing at a max­i­mum of $180 per ser­vice.

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