Toyota planning larger Kluger for 2023 - report

Toyota is reportedly set to introduce a crossover above the Kluger with a more spacious third row, while a facelifted Kluger is set for a 2022 reveal.

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William Stopford
William Stopford
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Like the Kluger, but want a larger third row? Toyota reportedly has something planned.

Automotive News reports Toyota will introduce a new SUV in 2023 called the Grand Highlander.

It’s set to be built alongside the related Highlander (aka Kluger) and Sienna people mover at Toyota’s Indiana factory.

As with all front/all-wheel drive models on Toyota’s TNGA underpinnings, the Grand Highlander will come with a hybrid option.

It’s too early to tell whether the Grand Highlander will have a corresponding Grand Kluger equivalent in Australia. We doubt it’d be called Grand Kluger, because then you’d have a Grand Kluger Grande.

Before the Grand Highlander’s launch, Toyota will give the Highlander/Kluger a mid-life refresh in 2022.

While that may seem a little soon for a model only launched in Australia midway through 2021, the current generation went on sale in North America at the end of 2019.

Reports of a larger Kluger come after a trademark filing for the Grand Highlander nameplate was shared earlier in 2021.

The Kluger may already be a large crossover but there’s still room to move.

It measures 4966mm long, a bit shorter than other North American-focused large crossovers like the Hyundai Palisade (4980mm), Mazda CX-9 (5075mm) and redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder (5004mm).

The upcoming three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L is even longer at 5204mm.

For context, the more rugged, body-on-frame Prado measures 4825mm long without the rear-mounted spare, while a LandCruiser 300 Series measures between 4980mm and 5015mm.

The Grand Highlander will also go up against the jumbo-sized Chevrolet Traverse crossover (5189mm) in its homeland.

It seems likely the Grand Highlander will feature a revised rear-end with a longer rear overhang, though whether there’ll be changes to the front or the 2850mm wheelbase isn’t clear.

The Kluger is currently offered with a choice of two powertrains.

Hybrid models mate a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine producing 142kW of power and 242Nm of torque, mated to two front and one rear-mounted motor generators for front- or all-wheel drive. Total system output is 184kW.

There’s also a naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 218kW of power and 350Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. As with the hybrid, there’s a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

Until supplies of the previous generation started to dry up, the Kluger had an enviable run as the best-selling car-based vehicle in the large SUV segment, with Toyota’s body-on-frame Prado occupying the top spot.

Year-to-date, the Kluger is down 37.4 per cent and the Mazda CX-9 is up 37.3 per cent, making it the best-selling crossover in the segment.

MORE: Everything Toyota Kluger

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William Stopford
William Stopford
William Stopford is a Journalist at CarExpert.
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