Make / Model Search

Future models - Toyota - Kluger

New York show: Toyota Kluger has a growth spurt

Bigger Apple: Toyota's new Kluger - nee Highlander - has sharper styling and a bigger cabin.

New-gen Toyota Kluger debuts, Australia won’t get diesel, hybrid or eight seats


Click to see larger images

28 Mar 2013

TOYOTA pulled the wraps from its redesigned Kluger crossover in New York overnight, almost a year ahead of its arrival in Australian showrooms next February.

The third-generation of the nameplate is larger outside and roomier inside, and is wrapped up in a thoroughly re-styled skin. As reported, it will also be the first Kluger imported to Australia from the United States, with Japanese production of the model discontinued.

While the US market version – where it is called the Highlander – will be available with a base 2.7-litre four-cylinder engine and the option of eight seats, Australian versions will continue to be offered with seven-seats and limited to a thirstier 3.5-litre V6 petrol – at least from launch.

The company has confirmed it will again offer both all-wheel-drive and cheaper front-drive versions Down Under.

Toyota hasn’t announced specific consumption or power figures for the tweaked engine (the current version produces 201kW/337Nm and consumes at least 11.0 litres per 100km), but has confirmed a new six-speed automatic transmission will be fitted in place of the old five-speeder.

Expect improved fuel economy and sharper acceleration.

As we have reported, the company’s Australian arm has also ruled out the US market’s petrol-electric hybrid version, while a diesel engine option is unlikely to be made available. The Kluger’s main markets, such as the US and China, heavily favour petrol power.

Still, the lack of diesel power – unique among key rivals – has hardly been an impediment to sales for the current version. Last month, the soon-to-be-superseded model outsold both the Holden Captiva 7 and Hyundai Santa Fe in Australia.

Toyota claims the new model’s boxier styling is also more family friendly, promising improved frontal visibility thanks to repositioned A-pillars and larger rear quarter glass to improve outward visibility – good for bored kids on a road trip.

The new version is 65mm longer than the old one, but is the same height and sits on the same size wheelbase. Still, Toyota claims an increase in cargo space behind the third-row seats, and easier access thanks to a greater range of sliding movement for the middle bench.

The new-look cabin is also said to be more refined, with ‘premium' material and fittings, including more soft-touch surfaces.

Toyota also has good news for Mum and Dad buyers with a hot streak, since the new version is claimed to offer sharper driving dynamics thanks to the tweaked (all-round independent) suspension, sharper electric power steering and a system that alters torque delivery to the rear wheels (in AWD versions).

High-spec versions will likely get Automatic High Beam System, adaptive cruise control, keyless start, driver’s seat memory, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain’s seats, and a heated steering wheel.

To get the inside word on the new Kluger, direct from the New York show floor, please click the story linked below.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Toyota models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here