Review: 2021 Toyota Kluger

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews



The Toyota Kluger has always been known to combine practicality with style and luxury. Now with the all-new hybrid model you can add economical to that list as well. And of course don't forget that the Kluger comes with the latest safety technology for all 7 occupants. Now you'll have to fight over who gets to pick up the kids just to go for a ride!

Initial Impression

The Toyota Kluger is a staple on the Australian roads, being the most popular 7-seat SUV for the past 7 years already. And for good reason, because the Kluger has always combined the driving characteristics of a large sedan with the practicality of a minivan while boosting premium materials and a luxurious touch-and-feel that usually is reserved for premium brands.

So the expectation of the all-new Kluger were high from the start, but the moment you experience it for yourself you understand that the only thing Toyota did was improve an already successful concept. The 2021 Kluger has sharp lines, looks more compact than it proofs to be inside and has an impressive road presence. It give you a good feeling even before stepping in, which is where the real magic happens. Both the seating and driving comfort are exceptional an paired with the latest technology there is little left to desire from the Kluger.

Driveability

The biggest news with the all-new Toyota Kluger is that for the first time it's available with a hybrid engine. You can still opt for a petrol V6, but the 2.5 litre all-wheel drive hybrid variant reigns supreme both in comfort, driveability and fuel economy. Just compare the numbers: the hybrid has 184kW of power versus 218Kw for the petrol version, but it only consumes 5.6 litre/100km against 8.9 litre/100km and emits only 128g/km of emissions to 208 g/km.

The small loss of power is hardly noticeable in the hybrid and effortless control across the revs makes up for it. Plus it packs a punch as the electric engine delivers the torque instantly. Yes, the V6 reaches the speed limit almost a second faster in 7.5 seconds compared to 8.4 seconds for the hybrid, but the Kluger isn't a sports car of course.

Instead you're driving a large family SUV that handles like a sedan and swifts over the tarmac in relative silence. Though it's bigger than its predecessory at 4966mm end-to-end (+76mm), 1930mm across (+0.5mm), and 1755mm tall (+25mm) it handles better and has a smaller turning circle. Plus it can tow 2000kg, so if it isn't big enough you can always carry your load outside.

Liveability

The place where the all-new Kluger really shines is inside. Even with space for 7 occupants the SUV still has 241 litres of cargo space and with the third row folded down this number increases to 552 litres. Enough for all your sporting equipment of kids toys - or groceries of course. No matter how tall you are, there will be a seat comfortable enough for you in the Kluger.

The great thing is that even in the third row an adult can sit easily and a child with plenty space around them. And it can be folded down in a 60:40 split so you can create more space and still take an additional passenger. Opt for the top-of-the-line Grande and the whole car can enjoy an 11 speaker JBL sound system. Plus you'll get the easy to use power back door with kick sensor.

In front you'll get all the tech available at the moment - like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - via an 8-inch colour touchscreen display. You'll also get USB ports for everybody, with two in the front and two in the rear.

Cost

The all-new Kluger is available in three trim levels: GX, GXL and Grande - all available with the petrol V6 as front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive and as a four-cylinder hybrid which automatically comes with AWD.

The entry level GX starts just under $50k (V6, FWD), getting the AWD version adds $4000 and for just under $55k you'll have the hybrid.

One level up you'll find the GXL for just under $60k (V6, FWD), same story for the AWD and you're looking around the $63k mark for the hybrid.

Top-of-the-line is the Grande, which starts just under $70k (V6, FWD), goes just over for the AWD and tops out at $75k for the hybrid. Where the GX and GXL come with 18-inch alloy wheels, the Grande is fitted with 20-inch rims.

All models come with eight airbags in total, including twin centre airbags (on the inboard cushion of both front seats) to better protect occupants in a side-impact crash. They all also come with speed sign recognition, lane-tracing assistance, autonomous emergency braking with intersection assistance, reverse camera, and automatic high beam - the full suite of safety technology including radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.

You will be covered by a five-year/unlimited-km warranty and 12-month/15,000km service intervals for five years/75,000km priced at $250 per service.

Conclusion

Few 7 seat SUV's have the same class and style as the all-new Toyota Kluger. Combined with the driving characteristics of a sedan and for the first time a hybrid driveline, you can be assured that the drive is both comfortable and economical. Top this package off with the latest in safety tech and the Kluger is a sure choice when you're looking for your new family transporter.

Interested in a test drive? Motorama Toyota is the place to be - so make sure you come and see the Motorama Toyota team in Moorooka or Browns Plains.


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When it comes to buying a new car, we believe that nothing should stand between you and the thrill of the drive. Which is why we've made sure you're protected by a minimum five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.


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