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Used seven seaters review: 2010-2011

Ford Territory MkII Ghia AWD 2009.

Fact: Children grow. Fiction: Parents can "make do'' with a small hatchback.

SUVs rule Australian roads for a good reason. Parents -- and singles needing space for leisure pursuits -- have picked up and run hard with prairie-size family-hauler wagons.

The SUV umbrella covers different types, from front-wheel drive to seven-seat all-wheel-drives, diesel engines to hybrids, built anywhere between Australia and Slovakia. Sizes range from the compact (3.7m) four-seater Suzuki Jimny to the seven-seater (5.1m) Audi Q7. Prices go from the Chery J11's $17,990 drive-away to the Audi Q7 6.0TDI at $257,200.

SUVs have a lot of metal and are in demand, so you'll find that new examples aren't cheap. A quality used model may be the best answer. The three models here are all-wheel drive automatics with seven seats. You will save some money by opting for five-seat versions but as buyer demand leans to seven-seat models this will, ultimately, buoy your resale value.

You probably don't need AWD, so look at the cheaper to run front or rear-drive versions. The Toyota has a higher mileage and is older. Toyota's reputation is based on reliability and, therefore, better resale.

The Hyundai is one of the better diesels for performance and economy. The Territory is good value and the Ghia example is the top-liner -- it's perhaps more suited to heavier loads. As always, these are examples of what's available and variations will occur. After this, we'll talk about how many children you want.

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Diesels are our preference in big SUVs. If you don't go bush, don't worry about 4WD. Check that the third-row seats are in working order

ford territory
2010 Ford Territory Ghia AWD

Engine: 4.0-litre 6-cyl petrol
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Thirst: 12.2L/100km


Aussie designed and built wagon is a sensible -- and popular -- family wagon that'll pull a decent load while having space for the family. Even the third-row seats will accommodate two adults. Fuel consumption isn't up to most rivals but the Territory has comparatively cheaper service, repair and insurance costs. The Ghia has all the fruit -- leather, electronic stability control, six airbags, premium audio and DVD, rear camera and 18-inch alloys -- at a price that is about $20,000 less than new.

Santa Fe
2011 Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander AWD 

Engine: 2.2-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Thirst: 7.5L/100km


This is almost a new car though it precedes the latest Santa Fe. It's possible to get the new 2012 shape for roughly the same price but the equipment level may be compromised. This 2011 example appears to be barely used and has the lauded 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine that has plenty of urge yet miserly fuel consumption. It's also the top-line model Highlander that in addition to the seven seats -- also able to seat seven adults -- gets dual-zone climate control airconditioning, six airbags and stability control, Bluetooth with iPod connect, sunroof and leather upholstery.

Toyota Kluger
2010 Toyota Kluger KX-S AWD

Engine:3.5-litre V6 petrol
Transmission: 5-speed auto
Thirst: 11.0L/100km


Silly name but the package works. Kluger's pricing may be more than some rivals but resale is generally higher, as is demand. The KX-S is the mid-spec model and gets a good blend of features including rear airconditioning, 19-inch alloys, reverse camera, leather upholstery and six airbags with electronic stability control. Klugers have a very versatile seat arrangement that includes a removable centre in the second-row seats for a six-occupant cabin that also gives a walk-through function. Fuel economy is average though performance is brisk.


Year Price From Price To
2010 $7,000 $18,150

View all Toyota Kluger pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

Based on 139 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

KX-R (FWD) 5 Seat 3.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,000 – 10,890 2010 Toyota Kluger 2010 KX-R (FWD) 5 Seat Pricing and Specs
KX-R (FWD) 7 Seat 3.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $8,400 – 13,090 2010 Toyota Kluger 2010 KX-R (FWD) 7 Seat Pricing and Specs
KX-R (4x4) 5 Seat 3.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,800 – 12,100 2010 Toyota Kluger 2010 KX-R (4x4) 5 Seat Pricing and Specs
KX-S (fwd) 3.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $10,500 – 15,400 2010 Toyota Kluger 2010 KX-S (fwd) Pricing and Specs
Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist


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