The top-selling Toyota Kluger seven-seat SUV gets a range of updates for next year’s model, which hits Australian showrooms in January 2023.

    Chief among the changes are the new turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine to replace the V6, new multimedia systems, and greater levels of app connectivity.

    Prices are also up by around $2000 to $2500.

    The 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine replaces the outgoing 3.5-litre V6. It produces 20kW less power (198kW) but 70Nm more torque (420Nm, available much lower in the rev band from 1700rpm).

    This new engine appears in the Lexus NX and RX models, albeit with slightly different outputs.

    It’ll be offered with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive once again, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    Combined cycle fuel consumption for entry level FWD variants improves, but only by 0.4 litres every 100km – to 8.3L/100km.

    The existing 2.5-litre AWD-only (eFour) hybrid powertrain offered across the full Kluger line-up remains unchanged, cutting entry combined fuel use to just 5.6L/100km.

    Along with the new powertrain options, the Kluger range also gains the latest Toyota multimedia systems.

    The GXL and Grande’s multimedia touchscreens grow from 8.0 to 12.3 inches in diameter, addressing a real gripe we had with the outgoing version.

    The new multimedia system offers navigation, a set of shortcut buttons along the side of the screen, and information projected onto basic tiles.

    Wireless Apple CarPlay is also now available, but alongside wired Android Auto, while Toyota claims the natural voice recognition is improved.

    Grande variants are now paired to a digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster display, with the GX (new) and GXL (existing) using 7.0-inch clusters.

    Along with the improved multimedia system, all Kluger grades gain 12 months of free Toyota Connected Services.

    Using an inbuilt data communication module, TCS lets owners remotely gain information about their Kluger through the myToyota Connect smartphone app.

    Owners can view information relating to fuel level, odometer readings, recent trip information, the vehicle’s last known location, vehicle diagnostics, as well as some remote-control features.

    Connected Services also facilitates the adoption of cloud-based navigation, providing real-time weather, traffic, and parking updates, as well as first- and last-mile routing.

    MORE: Toyota Connected Services arrive with subscription plans

    These convenience features are in addition to safety offerings such as Automatic Collision Notification, designed to trigger a call to a Toyota emergency call centre if it detects an airbag or a collision sensor has been activated.

    The Stolen Vehicle Tracking feature can be used by authorities to potentially recover the vehicle if stolen.

    Finally all GX variants now gain automatic dual-zone front and single-zone rear air conditioning, while the Grande adds a wireless smartphone charger.

    However, the rear seat entertainment system will no longer be offered on Grande – so bring those tablets…

    2023 Toyota Kluger pricing

    Kluger GX

    • FWD turbo-petrol $49,720 (up $2070)
    • AWD turbo-petrol $53,720 (up $2070)
    • AWD petrol hybrid $56,220 (up $2070)

    Kluger GXL

    • FWD turbo-petrol $59,240 (up $2090)
    • AWD turbo-petrol $63,240 (up $2090)
    • AWD hybrid $65,740 (up $2090)

    Kluger Grande

    • FWD turbo-petrol $71,610 (up $2452)
    • AWD turbo-petrol $74,720 (up $2459)
    • AWD hybrid $78,160 (up $2460)

    Prices are before on-road costs

    The Toyota Kluger remains Australia’s top-selling large family-focused crossover with 11,786 sales this year, up 36 per cent.

    But competition is tough, coming from the likes of Nissan’s just-launched new-generation Nissan Pathfinder, the Hyundai Santa Fe and Palisade pair, Kia Sorento, and even more off-road-ready fare such as Ford’s hot-selling new Everest.

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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