• Good road presence
    • Incredible comfort
    • Good tech levels
    • Fuel consumption of petrol only engine
    • Can feel heavy to drive at times
    • Comes with Toyota 'tax'
    5 Star

    About the Toyota Kluger

    Daniel R purchased this Toyota Kluger new for $62,500 (including all on-road costs). Daniel R would buy this car again because: “The purchasing experience of our Kluger was seamless, and Toyota were one of the only brands to have ‘stock’ of a vehicle we were after in late 2021. Despite living in Sydney, we did purchase from the NSW South Coast after our local sales dealer did not seem that interested in selling us a car and we were able to secure a discount at another dealer.”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    We have had no reliability issues in the nine months since we picked up the car, however there has been a recall issued for front seats which is being rectified soon.

    We did have a minor bump which required body shop work, and replacement body parts seem to be in short supply (we are still waiting for a replacement bumper after 10 weeks) however this is not something that should affect most people.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    We really cannot fault this new-generation Kluger. We have two children under three, and there is still enough room to squeeze an adult in between the two car seats in the middle row.

    Now, I haven’t reviewed the numbers, but I am sure that no other car in its class comes close to the boot space it has. It is a big car, and feels bigger and heavier compared to the Mazda CX-9 for example, but has a big road presence that makes you feel safe and comfortable.

    How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

    Choosing between the Kluger and the Kia Sorento was difficult.

    At a mid-range model the Kia was probably better value for money but we liked the space and the engine in the Kluger more, and were probably swayed by the instant availability of the Toyota.

    The Kia had a seven-month wait for the colour and spec we wanted. Our local dealer in South Sydney was not particularly helpful, even after a test drive and positive noises from us, so we shopped around and found a better deal in Nowra. We part-financed and the process was easy with Toyota, and on collection we were given a comprehensive tour of the car and its features.

    Servicing intervals are 15,000kms so we are yet to reach a service milestone so can’t comment on aftercare, however five years (or 75,000km) fixed price servicing at $250 is reassuring (year six is $1250 however).

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    There is no denying that when compared with the other brands, the Kluger comes with a Toyota ‘tax’. We know lots of people with Toyotas who have had positive experiences, and since we took the plunge I would say we have been vindicated in our choice to pay a premium for the Toyota over the Kia.

    The car feels great quality and like it is both made better and of better materials than other models from competitors. We chose the GXL spec as we wanted the leather seats and a few creature comforts that our previous 2012 Nissan X-Trail ST base model was missing.

    Now, I don’t think we would ever be without the automated tailgate which is useful when man-handling two young kids. Other features including Apple CarPlay, multiple USB ports are standard across the competition at this price point, but the safety features are very impressive and help to keep you alert.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    The performance for a car this big is impressive which is a result of the 3.5 V6 petrol engine, we did not choose the hybrid option in this instance. There are three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport – and generally we drive in Eco mode for day-to-day driving which is more than sufficient for Sydney traffic.

    Acceleration and the rev range increases with Sport, although you would likely only get the benefit of this mode outside the city. Economy is about where we expected it and hovers around 11L/100km for city driving. One anomaly is that the official fuel tank size is 68 litres, but we have only ever been able to get about 57 litres (showing full) into what is showing as an empty fuel tank, so it does feel like we fill up regularly.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    Everything in the Kluger is up-to-date technology as the car is a 2021 model. The only thing missing at this price point I feel would be the hands-free tailgate (which may be available in the Grande model).

    From an ergonomic point of view, the main touch screen is a bit of a stretch from the driving position, meaning you are slightly moving away from a comfortable road facing driving position to adjust settings or maps.

    The instrument cluster has multiple options and allows to you turn off any of the safety features (although I am unsure why you would). At the point of delivery, the navigation/voice system is programmed to tell you every time you approach a school zone a every time you overspeed, although these can be turn off or changed in the settings, and we didn’t feel these were necessary when the speed signs were shown on the dashboard regardless.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    As mentioned previously, this is a big car and can feel a bit heavy at times. I will concede that I had not realised this until we had a Mazda CX-9 hire car however. Ride comfort is incredible and any bumps in the road are suitably cushioned, even according to people seated in the third row above the rear wheels.

    Despite the car feeling a bit heavy overall, the steering is surprisingly light around town and overs good feedback at speed. Heated seats are a bonus for colder mornings.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    If you are looking for a new large SUV in the lower to mid-range of brands, then I think you will be hard to find anything better.

    Even by purchasing with more premium brands, I am not sure what benefits you would have over the Kluger. We regularly take the car on six-hour-plus journeys with two kids in car seats and luggage and the boot swallows up everything we throw at it, and the car performs the same as in the city.

    If you are after better fuel consumption then look at the hybrid (our fuel is subsidised by work, so the extra purchase cost of the hybrid made no sense). From a dealer point of view, don’t be afraid to shop around if you aren’t given the attention you deserve when buying a $60,000+ vehicle.

    Overall Rating

    Ride & Handling9.4
    Price & Features10
    Purchase & Aftercare10
    Performance & Economy9.5
    Ownership Experience10