Crossover style SUVs like Kluger are popular for their blend of practical and lifestyle attributes.
They successfully blur the boundaries between family wagon, light-duty off-roader and in many cases seven-seat people movers. The “ideal soccer Mum’s car” as one former Kluger owner observed.
The new model released in 2007 was roomier, better equipped and more powerful than the previous model. A front-wheel drive version also joined the full-time all-wheel drive models. Cosmetic changes and equipment revisions including a split-fold backrest feature for third-row seats occurred in late 2010.
There are three grades in 2WD and AWD versions- KX-R, KX-S and Grande. The base model could be had with five or seven seats while all others are seven seats. Third row seats are better suited to children though and luggage space with seven seats in use isn’t great, but better than many.
All models have seven airbags including a driver’s knee bag, stability/traction control, alloy wheels and a reversing camera. From 2007 Kluger scores a five-star ANCAP crash rating.
The Lexus derived 3.5-litre V6 is smooth, churns out 201kW and is mated to a five-speed auto box. Performance is solid though it lacks low down torque. A thirst for fuel, especially in city driving is a common complaint. Unlike some rivals, there’s no diesel version.
Kluger rides comfortably though handling tends to be rather wallowy and lacks driver involvement. All-wheel drive models are up to light duty off-roading only, rather than serious adventures.
Reliability is a Toyota strength, but previous careful scheduled servicing will still be important to avoid buying trouble, so check service records. Check for wear and tear of interior trims resulting from family taxi duties too.
Under the pump
Kluger will use between 8.7 litres and 15.6 litres of fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to RACQ's online car price guide or contact our Motoring Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 1800 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.
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