Toyota released official images and the press release for their new Kluger medium SUV today. With Fordâ€™s Territory squarely in Toyotaâ€™s sights it is the first time that the Kluger can be ordered with a 2WD (FWD) drivetrain. The success of the 2WD Territory has impressed Toyota who no longer want to miss out on the buyer looking for the cheaper 2WD alternative.
The new Kluger is significantly larger, roomier and more powerful than the model it replaces and according to Toyota more fuel efficient (despite having a larger engine). Interior noise levels are down while available space, versatility and ride comfort are up.
Toyota also claim that the new Kluger is now the class-leader in the provision of active and passive safety equipment. In other words, it would seem that Toyota are quite chuffed with their new baby and believe it is actually four vehicles in oneâ€¦
"New Kluger meets the requirements of an SUV with its strong body and versatile interior. It drives and handles like a car, it has the space and convenience of a station wagon, and it has the ground clearance and AWD to cope with off-road conditions. It is the consummate all-rounder,â€ said Toyota's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner
The new Kluger is available in three variants, KX-R, KX-S and the top of the line Grande. Standard fitment is a 7 airbag package including front driver and passenger airbags, side airbags for the front seat occupants, a driverâ€™s knee air bag and roll-sensing curtain airbags along both sides that protect the occupants in all three seat rows in the event of an unintentional capsize.
A reversing camera is fitted as standard across the range so that you donâ€™t accidentally run over the neighbours dog and it works independently of the optional GPS system. All Klugers are fitted with electronic Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control and Active Braking with Intelligence - the combination of Anti-skid Brakes, Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.
If your still concerned about your driving skills or lack of them, fear not as the Kluger is also equipped with Hill-start Assist Control as standard and, in AWD models, Downhill Assist Control for slippery off-road conditions.
The KX-R entry level model is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels while the KX-S and Grande are fitted with 19-inch alloys.
The Kluger pinches the Aurionâ€™s 3.5-litre 201Kw V6 and channels the power through an electronically controlled five-speed (why not a six-speed?) intelligent automatic transmission with sequential automatic shift.
It all adds up to a Kluger that is more powerful and more economical than the model it replaces. Toyota suggest that 11.0 L/100km should be expected from all models except the Grande AWD which is a fraction thirstier, using 11.6 L/100km.
Taking a leaf out of the award winning Territoryâ€™s interior Toyota have reworked the Klugerâ€™s passenger compartment. The middle seat in the second row can be easily removed to enable the two remaining seats to become captain's chairs. Levers to move the seats are placed in easy-to-reach positions and are conveniently operated with one hand. The second-row seats can fold forward and flat to provide more space. The two-person third-row seats have foldable headrests that enable the bench to fold into the floor, creating a flat rear cargo area.
2007 KLUGER PRICING
â€¢ KX-R $39,990*
â€¢ KX-S $49,990*
â€¢ Grande $59,990*
â€¢ 3rd-row seat - KX-R only (includes manual rear air conditioning) $2500
â€¢ AWD $4500
*Recommended retail prices exclude dealer delivery, government and statutory charges and optional extras.
If you still want to know more about the new Kluger you can check out all of the gory details by clicking on the following linkâ€¦2007 Kluger press release