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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.