What impresses most about the Kluger Grande is the feeling of space inside. You literally have to get out and check that it is a mid size SUV.
The leather drivers seat is electronically adjustable along with the four-spoke leather steering wheel. Apart from needing some more slide travel I was able to find a comfortable driving position. The dash is typically Toyota, clean and functional. The steering wheel houses all the necessary controls.
There are storage pockets and cup holders everywhere and standard equipment includes front dual-zone climate-control air conditioning, rear climate-control air conditioning, reversing camera, electric power-assisted steering, alloy wheels, driver’s variable cushion length adjustment, front-seat heaters
The Kluger Grande has chromed front grille, clear treatment halogen headlamps and rear lamps, silver roof rails and power-operated tailgate.
It also has auto headlamps, Smart Entry and Smart Start, electro-chromatic rearview mirror, wood-pattern trim, tilt-and-slide moonroof, satellite navigation with eight-inch screen, AVN four-CD changer audio with MP3-compatible, Bluetooth™ telephone compatibility* and DVD rear-seat entertainment system
The clever middle row of seats fold flat and have a 40:20:40 split with 120mm of fore/aft slide adjustment and have remarkable head, shoulder and knee room even for adults. The third row is good for smaller occupants but comfortable.
There is a glass hatch in the tailgate for easy access to the rear luggage area which has a long capacity with fold flat seats.
The Kluger is powered by a 3.5-litre all-alloy Quad Cam V6 engine with dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i). It delivers 201kW of power at 6200rpm and 337Nm of torque at 4700rpm. Fuel can be heavy especially around town but it is reasonably economical on the freeway.
It is matched to a five-speed sequential-shift electronically controlled automatic transmission and delivers the power through the AWD system that has a bevel-gear centre differential providing a 50/50 torque split between the front and rear axles.
Traction Control (TRC) electronically controls torque distribution, eliminating the need for a viscous coupling. Also as standard is Hill-start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control
Safety features include – Anti-skid Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) , Brake Assist (BA) , Traction Control (TRC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), active front-seat head restraints, Front airbags, Side airbags, Side curtain airbags front and rear and Knee airbag for the driver’s side.
The Toyota Kluger Grande is a exceptionally well appointed, versatile, luxurious family AWD SUV. Easy is a word that comes to mind. Easy to own, easy to use and drive, easy to load a heap of kids and gear inside and easy to sell when the time comes. It has just about everything that you could wish for. I just wish for a diesel option with a 6 speed transmission. Despite this it is a worthy winner in our awards for 2012
What is good:
• Internal space
• 7 seats good for teenagers
• Resale value
What is not so good:
• No diesel option
• Only 5 speed auto
• Driver’s seat needs more travel
Model Toyota Kluger Grande AWD
Model Price $73,824 RDAP
Drivetrain AWD 3.5L V6 5 speed auto
Power 201 Kw @ 6,200 rpm
Torque 337 Nm @ 4,700 rpm
Safety 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions g/km 271
Green Vehicle Rating 3 Star
Economy (ADR comb) 11.6 L/100km
Tow Capacity – Max 2000 kg
Tow Ball Rating 200 kg
Servicing Fixed Price
Warranty 3yr/ 100,000 km with full roadside assist
Overall OzRoamer Rating 80/100
Behind the Wheel 9
Ride & Handling 7
Fit for Purpose 8
Towing Ability 7
Off Road Ability 6
Value for Money 9