Review - Toyota Kluger
March 28, 2021
The Toyota Kluger has been one of the all-time family favourite SUVs since it debuted back in 2000. With so many rivals around now, particularly in the seven-seat market, is there still plenty of reason to stick to the familiar?
For this review we’re looking at the top-of-the-range Grande version which comes with many bells and lots of whistles, metaphorically speaking of course. There’s seven seats inside, leather, and a powerful V6 under the bonnet to ensure dominance in the traffic.
It’s a perfect vehicle for families, with the sheer cabin size and space being perhaps the most attractive element. It’s huge in here. All three rows of seats offer decent headroom, while only the third row suffers a little in the legroom department.
If those in the middle row are happy to slide the whole bench forward this can help. And doing this doesn’t intrude on middle-row legroom as there is a massive gap before the front seats anyway. It’ll also support three child seats across in the middle row, and not many vehicles on the market can do that. There’s also climate vents for all three rows, in the ceiling, with separate temperature control for the rear to keep everyone cool (or warm).
Toyota’s latest touch-screen on the dash isn’t the most advanced but it does everything you need. Sat-nav is standard on most models as is a rear-view camera, Bluetooth connectivity and voice command for certain functions. The steering wheel features some buttons, but not too many, so you can easily make selections while on the go.
Will it carry your shopping and a pram and the husbands’s set of golf clubs? With the third row folded down it certainly could. The floor space is deep and wide, with pockets in the side for those little runaway items that might escape from your bag.
Out on the road the Kluger is a very easy vehicle to drive. We suppose we should say that it’s not intimidating in any way, including judging the ample proportions. Lane placement is simple to maintain thanks to comfortable steering, and it doesn’t feel like a tank when parking thanks to good visibility.
Take the big crossover into the country and you’ll appreciate the simplicity of the drive even more. There are no hidden surprises that come through the steering, although lacking in excitement and engagement. It steams ahead like a family bus thanks to a powerful V6 engine and new eight-speed auto, making light work of any shopping expedition or family getaway.
The 2017 Kluger isn’t about reinventing the seven-seat SUV segment, but instead it’s more about bringing all of the best bits of the large car class into one easy-to-use package. Toyota vehicles have a huge reputation for reliability which means this family-hauler will probably outlast the family household.
If you like the sound of that, talk to one of our experts today.
Five specs you need to know:
- Engine: 3.5-litre V6
- Transmission and drive: Eight -speed automatic, all-wheel drive
- ANCAP safety rating: Five Stars
- Official fuel economy: 9.5L/100km (10.5L/100km during test)
- Time from 0-100km/h as tested: 8.8 seconds
- Massive cabin
- Top Grande offers family-friendly luxury
- Easy to drive, even in tight traffic
- Renowned Toyota reliability
- Thirsty V6
- Pricey in top-spec Grande form