The Grande offers plenty of visibility all-round from a nice and high driver position, and that seat is power-adjustable every which way but loose. The steering wheel is manually adjustable for height and reach, too.
Once you're on the move, after disengaging the foot-operated parking brake (which is sometimes unwilling to completely disengage), the Grande confirms itself as a nice, smooth drive, with its 2790mm wheelbase, coil springs and long-travel suspension helping the cause along.
The Grande rides on 19-inch wheels and Toyo A20 Open Country tyres, which were fine for our drive loops as we never strayed far off the beaten track (gravel roads and brief patches of coastal-bush sand were the worst of it). The steering is light, almost too light at times, but offers reasonable feedback in most scenarios.
The V6 engine evenly delivers power on the go easily enough, but, as mentioned, takes its time to push you off the mark. It's very quiet, with little to no engine noise intruding on the cabin hush. The auto is easy to use, but seems more comfortable when in sport mode.
The Kluger's part-time AWD system generally defaults to front-wheel drive (to reduce fuel consumption) but will switch to AWD mode to deliver the optimum torque split – up to 50/50 – between the front and rear axles. It's certainly effective but somehow feels more traditionally clunky, less seamless, than something like Mazda's AWD system.
In our two 'watch out for that 'roo!' emergency-braking set-ups – one on bitumen, one on gravel – the Grande pulled up well enough, although its disc brakes seemed a bit too soft at initial take-up for my liking.