With stratospheric fuel prices, how prescient that the Kluger has opened its hybrid power-
train account with the latest generation becoming the eighth Toyota to make use of the
petrol / electric fuel saver.

There are nine variants of the big seven-seater in a mix of two and all-wheel drive. The GX
is front drive only, while the GXL and Grande offer front and all-wheel drive and hybrid
versions. The Grande hybrid takes up the flagship role.

Prices open at $47,650, plus on road costs, for the GX 2WD petrol, GX AWD petrol follows
up at $51,650, while the Grande AWD hybrid (the test vehicle) tops out the new Kluger at

Standard equipment across the range includes smart entry and start, manual front and
rear dual-zone air conditioning, rain sensing wipers and automatic lights, and five USB

The Kluger Grande adds a panoramic moonroof, hands-free operating power tailgate, front
seat ventilation, head-up display, a 360-degree all-round view monitor, leather-accented
seats and an 11-speaker JBL audio system, which lives up to its premium tag.

The new Kluger is covered by Toyota Warranty Advantage, which offers five years unlim-
ited kilometre coverage extending to seven years on engine and driveline, with capped-
price servicing for the first five years / 75,000 km and each 12-month / 15,000 km service
costing $250.

In looks the new Kluger errs on the wagon wing of the modern SUV – no crossover coupe-
like curves here – square(ish) lines dominate the seven seater’s dimensions.

The latter, larger than the previous model in all respects, plus flared wheel arches, all add
up to a robust appearance as befitting a seven-seater. Front on the SUV follows suit with
large upper and lower trapezoidal grilles split by the front bumper.

Slimline LED light clusters with integrated daytime running lights are situated above deep
recessed LED fog lamps integrated into the flared front end. An extended and flatter un-
derbody and spats in front of the wheels contribute to improved aerodynamics.

The Grande rolls on 20-inch wheels with a polished chrome appearance.

There’s little lacking inside the cabin, with soft touch materials, the latest design features,
while the larger exterior allows for increased space and versatility for seven occupants.

Touches of luxury are supplied by Leather-accented seats, memory power driver seat,
ventilated front seats, electrochromatic rear view mirror, premium soft instrument panel,
plus rear door sunshades and ambient lighting

While far from Lilliputian, at 8 inches the information screen is far from ‘Grand’ – on the
small side for an SUV of this size and calibre. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the
flagship ‘flies’ with digital radio, where available, satellite navigation, and an 11-speaker
JBL sound system of superior quality.

The new hybrid system combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine with
three electric motors (two up front and one at the rear) that generate a maximum com-
bined output of 184 kW that drives through an advanced electric AWD system.

Delivering a claimed combined cycle fuel consumption as low as 5.6 litres per 100 kilome-
tres with combined CO2 emissions of just 128 g/km, on test, the Kluger hybrid nudged 6
litres per 100 kilometres in a mix of town and country driving, all on bitumen.

Hybrid AWD models are also fitted with a Trail mode switch for more demanding off-road
performance that is able to adjust throttle control, shift schedule, drive force distribution
and brake control to deliver optimal traction for the conditions.

A recipient of the latest in Toyota Safety Sense driver assistance, the new Kluger features
a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, emergency
steering assist and intersection turn assist on every model.

Added to this are active cruise control – with curve speed reduction function – lane trace
assist, blind spot monitor, reversing camera and seven airbags, creating a very compre-
hensive safety package.

A head-up display keeps Grande driving eyes on the road, while the big bugger slots into
tight parking spaces with the help of the car’s panoramic view monitor.

The hybrid system delivers a combined maximum power of 184 kW through a smooth
electric continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) that offers driver selectable Normal,
Eco and Sport modes.

The e-Four AWD system allows up to 100 per cent of drive to be sent through the front
wheels or up to 80 per cent through the rear, depending on conditions, with a Trail mode
for more challenging off-road environments.

For enhanced off-road performance in varied conditions, the AWD Kluger also features a
multi-terrain select system with Mud and Sand and Rock and Dirt modes that in the
Grande can also be disconnected to improve fuel economy.

Access into the second and third row two-seat bench is made easy with the fold down lev-
ers for both rows located on the outer shoulder of the seats, which, for the third-row seats,
also automatically folds the head rests in one action.

The rear hatch offers easy access into the expanded luggage space with power operation
for GXL variants and a ‘kick sensor’ for the Grande version that allows the hatch to be
opened and closed hands-free.

The new Kluger Grande hybrid is a spacious seven-seater with quality materials and fit-
tings. Comfort does not extend to the third row of seats for those not of small stature. Any
lack of performance in the powertrain is made up for in smooth running and fuel economy.

Looks 6/10
Performance 7/10
Safety 8/10
Thirst 8/10
Practicality 8/10
Comfort 8/10
Tech 7/10
Value 6/10


Kluger GX 2WD petrol: $47,650
Kluger GXL 2WD petrol: $56,850
Kluger Grande 2WD petrol: $68,900
Kluger GX AWD petrol: $51,650
Kluger GXL AWD petrol: $60,850
Kluger Grande AWD petrol: $72,900
Kluger GX AWD hybrid $54,150
Kluger GXL AWD hybrid $63,350
Kluger Grande AWD hybrid $75,400
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota Kluger Grande 2.5L 4-cylinder petrol, e-CVT automatic, e-Four

Capacity: 2.487 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Three electric motors: e-Four AWD system uses a 40kW / 121Nm electric motor generator
mounted in a rear transaxle
Maximum Power (petrol): 142 kW @ 6000 rpm
Combined power: 184 kW
Maximum Torque: 242 Nm
Fuel Type: Petrol 95 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 5.6 L/100km
CO2 emissions 205-208 g / km

DRIVELINE: CVT automatic, all-wheel drive

Length: 4966 mm
Wheelbase: 2850 mm
Width: 1930 mm
Height: 1755 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 2045-2090 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 65 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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