Toyota Kluger Grande AWD 2016 Review: Top 5 reasons to buy video
Big seven-seat SUVs are the family truckster of our generation, with more space than a traditional station wagon, and a lot more appeal than a boxy people mover.
The Toyota Kluger is currently the most popular of the more road-friendly models, and here are the top 5 reasons to buy the top-spec Grande with all-wheel drive.
#1 Cabin space
Compared to the RAV4 beneath it, and even the taller Prado, the Kluger offers heaps more room for all passengers. The second row is broad enough for three adults, and the third row of seats are one of the few that can swallow two adults of reasonable height.
Still on the inside, there's storage everywhere including a huge handbag-sized centre console, and all the buttons are large and the controls are easy to read.
The power tailgate reveals a good 195-litres of space with all seats up, but both rows of back seats fold flat to reveal a huge (529-litres with second row upright, 1171-litres all folded) space for moving things like furniture.
The Kluger's 200mm ground clearance and unpainted body sections make it great for avoiding scuffs around town, as well as stone chips on dirt roads.
The top-of-the range Grande is understandably the most comfortable Kluger in the lineup, with huge leather seats that are both heated and ventilated.
Three-zone climate control will keep at least three passengers in their ideal temperature, and the all-independent suspension is nice and soft around town, and the cabin is nice and quiet.
The Grande comes pretty fully loaded with satnav and active cruise control, and the back seat passengers will appreciate the big Blu-ray screen hanging down from the roof.
Another highlight is the full size alloy spare mounted under the rear.
All Klugers come with a 3.5-litre 201kW/337Nm V6 petrol engine, and combined with a smooth six speed auto, it should easily tow up to its two-tonne rating.
Our test car also had the optional all-wheel drive, which isn't essential but makes life a lot more predictable in the wet or on dirt roads.
The Kluger isn't the most nimble of the big seven-seaters, but it's still a much nicer drive around town than a Prado.
That V6 power doesn't come free either, as we found with a 13.1L/100km fuel figure after relaxed driving around town and on the highway, which is a fair way off its 10.6L/100km combined figure.
The third row may have heaps of space, but it misses out on the fan control of many of its rivals.
And while it does have a five star safety rating, there's no sign of the AEB that's starting to appear on newer competition.
You'll find anything Kluger-related at our Kluger hub
Related: check out our buying guide for 7-seat SUVs
Plus: find all our SUVs under $50k here