Toyota Kluger 2WD 2007 review
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Toyota has a knack of making drivers feel totally in control of its cars within minutes of taking the wheel. Such is the case with the new Kluger Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) due here in August at an as yet unannounced price.
New Kluger replaces a popular model that rang a bell with family buyers. It's forged a place as the practical new family wagon and sold up a storm as a result despite styling that could be described as being rather pedestrian.
It's bigger, better, bolder and offers five or seven seats depending on the model. Toyota execs remained tight lipped about the price and model lineup at a US preview of the new Kluger last week but there will probably be three grades and it will be highly unlikely to be a big step up in price compared to the existing model.
Here's the big news.
It will also be available in two wheel drive (front wheel drive) to counter the popular Ford Territory 2WD, at a price that will reflect a less sophisticated drive train.
This alone will make new Kluger a strong contender in the medium SUV segment.
All models are built on a Camry-derived platform and run the 3.5-litre, petrol V6 engine from Aurion and Tarago. It features variable valve timing and will kick out about the same amount of power as Aurion – 200kW making Kluger the most powerful medium SUV on the market.
The constant all wheel drive system is similar to existing Kluger, refined and enhanced on the new model but there is no low range transfer case. Surprisingly, Kluger is a fairly handy tool off road as long as you don't expect too much.
A five speed automatic transmission will be standard across the range offering sequential gear change mode.
The VSC system is not only linked to the brakes and engine but also has an effect on steering in a skid situation.
All Aussie models have electric power steering and a rear view camera, 17 inch alloy wheels with optional 19 inch on models that don't have them as standard.
The body has ample room for seven thanks to 75mm more wheelbase and a design that features a short bonnet/large passenger compartment.
Access to the third row of seats is facilitated by a removable centre second row seat.
The spare is full size.
As is the case with all Toyota's sold in Australia, significant local input has been used on suspension set-up and engine cooling.
It is likely we will also see hill descent control and hill start assist on the local model.
On the road, new Kluger is an impressive beast with plenty of performance despite weighing in at around 1800kg.
It is smooth and powerful and the new five speed auto is silky smooth.
The ride is supple and controlled and it is whisper quiet at highway speed.
Some models will be equipped with high-end audio including a sub-woofer which sounds superb. The Kluger is easy to drive and is full of practical features including more drink holders than I could count, multi-adjustable driving position and opening tailgate glass.
The interior has a generic Toyota look that's easy on the eye and simple to use.
When it arrives, Kluger will be well specced for the money and comes in some striking new colours.
Range and Specs
|CV (4X4)||3.3L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO||$5,000 – 7,810||2007 Toyota Kluger 2007 CV (4X4) Pricing and Specs|
|CVX (4X4)||3.3L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO||$5,900 – 9,130||2007 Toyota Kluger 2007 CVX (4X4) Pricing and Specs|
|Grande (4x4)||3.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO||$7,900 – 12,210||2007 Toyota Kluger 2007 Grande (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|Grande (FWD)||3.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO||$7,300 – 11,330||2007 Toyota Kluger 2007 Grande (FWD) Pricing and Specs|