Toyota Australia has launched its updated Kluger family, with a multitude of mechanical and cosmetic changes designed to keep the big seven-seater family bus competitive in one of the most fiercely-contested segments.
The changes have resulted in a price rise between $1360 and $2360 depending on variant and include improved performance and efficiency. The 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6 of the current car remains the sole powertrain on offer, but power and torque gets pumped up by 17kW and 13Nm to take peak outputs to 218kW and 350Nm.
The adoption of direct fuel injection and an increase in compression ratio are responsible for the new Kluger’s newfound grunt, yet also help reduce fuel economy by a claimed 10 percent.
A new eight-speed automatic gearbox replaces the outgoing car’s six-speed, and also does its part to improve efficiency.
The Kluger range will continue to be sold in either front- or all-wheel drive form, with the latter employing a front-biased on-demand AWD driveline. Official combined-cycle fuel economy ranges from 9.1L/100km for the FWD GX and GXL, to 9.5L/100km for AWD variants.
The 2017 Kluger’s exterior receives new grilles (silver on GX and GXL, chrome on Grande), tail lamp housings, alloy wheels (18-inch on GX and GXL, 19s on Grande) and three new body colours – silver, brown and a deep red.
On the inside, new materials and soft-touch surfaces are joined by metallic silver highlights on GX and GXL grades, while the Grande scores silver faux woodgrain and blue LED ambient lighting to give it a more premium aura.
Equipment upgrades include an eight-inch infotainment display with satellite navigation and a digital radio tuner make its way into the GXL, along with a power-operated tailgate with independently-opening glass. Other standard GXL kit includes three-zone climate control, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
The GX misses out on major changes to its spec sheet (which presently includes cruise control, basic air conditioning, a six-speaker audio and front foglamps), but the Grande now receives front parking sensors as standard, a bird’s-eye view parking camera display and chrome rear bumper garnish.
That’s in addition to the Grande’s power-retractable moon roof, heated and ventilated front seats, nine-inch rear seat entertainment displays, heated wing mirrors and built-in retractable sunshades for the rear seats.
Seven airbags, reversing camera, reverse parking sensors, ABS, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, stability control and traction control round out the Toyota Kluger range’s list of standard safety equipment.
However, buyers will need to head straight for the top-grade Kluger Grande to find more cutting edge safety tech like collision detection, autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.
2017 Toyota Kluger Pricing
GX $43,550 (+$1360)
GXL $53,550 (+$2360)
Grande $65,935 (+$1860)
AWD: Add $4000 ($29 less on Grande)