Update, June 2: Toyota Australia has officially launched the new 2021 Kluger SUV, featuring hybrid technology for the first time and increasing the Japanese manufacturer's hybrid line-up to eight vehicles.
Today's release includes photos of the Australian-spec Kluger for the first time, along with an updated options list for the full-sized SUV.
As well as the three trim levels available, Kluger buyers can also add on premium paint for $675 across all variants, with the Grande being the only version to have a rear entertainment system offered for $1,500 extra.
The story below has been updated to reflect further changes.
Watch for our first-drive review of the new Kluger to come soon.
The story to here
The 2021 Toyota Kluger seven-seater SUV is due in Australia soon, going on sale locally in June.
Built on Toyota’s versatile TNGA platform, the fourth generation of the popular family SUV offers a hybrid drivetrain for the first time, as well as a host of new tech and safety features.
These new highlights have brought with it a significant price hike for the entire Kluger line-up, which is now a minimum of $2800 dearer than the car it replaces, with prices starting at $47,650 before on-road costs.
There are three different trim levels across the model range – the entry-level GX, mid-range GXL and top-shelf Grande.
Powertrains and drive system
Two different powertrains are available from launch – a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine coupled to a rear-mounted electric motor.
The V6 produces 218kW and 350Nm, and can be had in both front- and all-wheel drive versions of the new Kluger. An eight-speed automatic torque-converter transmission is standard.
Fuel economy is rated at 8.7L/100km for the FWD versions and 8.8-8.9L/100km for the AWD variants.
Acceleration figures are similar for the two drivetrains with the FWD variant having an advantage thanks to its 85kg deficit compared to the AW system, achieving 0-100km/h sprint times of 7.2 and 7.8 seconds respectively.
The AWD system found in the GX and GXL features a new Dynamic Torque Control system, which allows the rear axle to be disconnected when it’s not required, with torque split from 100:0 to 50:50 across the axles, according to the conditions.
The Grande model sees the AWD system gain torque vectoring, which adds a pair of couplings on the rear axle that enables torque to be sent independently to the rear left and right wheels as needed.
All petrol-powered AWD Klugers benefit from a multi-terrain drive select system that includes Rock and Dirt mode and Mud and Sand mode, which automatically adjusts the car’s steering, braking, throttle, and transmission to optimise traction and stability.
The four-cylinder hybrid powertrain is only available with an 'e-Four' AWD system, and has a combined power rating of 142kW and 242Nm.
The petrol and electric motors are mated to an electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT), with fuel economy rated at just 5.6L/100km – an impressive claim, given the SUV’s 2000kg-plus kerb weight.
Using its rear-mounted electric motor, Toyota’s e-Four AWD system can send up to 100 per cent of drive to the front wheels, or up to 80 per cent through to the rear, depending on conditions, allowing it to achieve a 0-100km/h time of 8.4 seconds.
Both transmissions also come equipped with three different driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport.
The hybrid Kluger’s transmission is also been fitted with a trail mode switch, further enhancing traction on low-grip surfaces.
Regardless of the model or powertrain, the new SUV tops out at 180km/h and benefits from a completely new multi-link front and rear suspension setup, as well as a powerful braking package that features 340mm front and 338mm rear disc brakes to help slow down the two-tonne car.
All Kluger variants share the same external dimensions which make it bigger than the previous model. It's 4966mm long (+76mm), 1930mm wide (+5mm), 1755mm high (+25mm) and a wheelbase of 2850mm.
Boot space is hampered by the third row of seats, standing at only 241 litres with them up (46 litres more than previous model) but going to 552 litres when folded down, increasing to 1150 litres when both the third and second row are collapsed.
Weight varies on combinations of trim, engine and drivetrain, with the range starting out at 1840-1910kg for the FWD V6, 1925-2000kg for the AWD V6 and all the way up to 2005-2050kg with the battery-laden AWD hybrid.
Standard safety features such as seven airbags and ISOFIX anchor points are bolstered in the new Kluger, with Toyota Safety Sense adding road sign assist, emergency steering assist and intersection turn assist.
The standard active cruise control not only controls the car's speed all the way down to a stop but now includes a curve speed reduction function, slowing the vehicle down while in corners before getting back up to the set speed once it's on a straighter bit of road.
Updated parking sensors on the front and rear of all Kluger variants will now be able to apply the brakes when reversing at low speeds, preventing contact with rear and side contact against objects.
These new aids work in conjunction with a host of other previously available safety systems such as pedestrian and cyclist pre-collision detection.
There's also lane-keep assist and departure alert, auto-high beam, blind-spot monitoring, reversing camera, seven airbags and front and rear parking sensors.
Inside, the infotainment system and its 8.0-inch touch display offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, AM/FM/DAB+ radio, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Other equipment that comes as standard across the Kluger range includes keyless entry and start, rain-sensing wipers, automatic lights, dual-zone climate control, and five USB ports as well as 18-inch, five-spoke wheels wrapped in 235/65R18 tyres.
The middle-range GXL model adds additional luxuries such as synthetic leather upholstery, satellite navigation, powered and heated front seats, and tri-zone climate control, scoring bespoke 18-inch wheels, coated in a metallic dark silver with a machined finish.
The range-topping Grande takes things a step further, adding heated and cooled front seats with additional leather accents, head-up display, 11-speaker JBL audio system, hands-free power tailgate, panoramic view monitor and a panoramic roof while also gaining 20-inch Chromtec alloys.
Joining the line-up of existing colours which include; Crystal Pearl, Silver Storm metallic and Eclipse Black mica, will be five new options – Graphite metallic, Atomic Rush red mica, Liquorice Brown mica, Saturn Blue metallic, and Galena Blue metallic.
Warranty and servicing
Toyota's standard five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty applies to all Kluger variants, with an extra two years added to the engine and driveline warranty when service schedules are followed.
Capped price servicing is available under a five-year/75,000km warranty period, each 12-month/15,000km service costing owners just $250.
2021 Toyota Kluger pricing for Australia
- GX 2WD petrol - $47,650
- GXL 2WD petrol - $56,850
- Grande 2WD petrol - $68,900
- GX AWD petrol - $51,650
- GXL AWD petrol - $60,850
- Grande AWD petrol - $72,900
- GX AWD hybrid - $54,150
- GXL AWD hybrid - $63,350
- Grande AWD hybrid - $75,400
Prices exclude on-road costs
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