High-torque four-cylinder replaces atmo V6 for Toyota’s family hauler, which also gains new tech features and subscription services
The price of the updated 2023 Toyota Kluger will increase in Australia over the outgoing version by between $2070 and $2460 depending on grade in the model’s first price increase locally since launch.
Significantly, the Kluger’s long-running 218kW/350Nm petrol V6 engine has been eliminated for 2023. Its replacement is a smaller but more efficient 2.4-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder that produces 198kW/420Nm.
Toyota promises that fuel consumption is improved by 0.4L/100km as a result of the change with two-wheel-drive GX and GXL models rated at 8.3L/100km combined.
The turbo four-cylinder will be available in two-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive, with AWD attracting a $4000 upcharge.
A petrol-electric hybrid engine continues to be available for the Kluger and is unchanged in the update, with the naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre unit producing 184kW of power while using 5.6L/100km.
The Kluger hybrid continues in AWD form only, at a $2500 upcharge over the turbo petrol AWD. The Kluger hybrid continues to be one of Australia’s most fuel-efficient family SUVs and has been in high demand locally.
Driving 15,000km annually, it would take about three years to recoup the extra cost of the hybrid.
The circa-$2000 price increase for the 2023 Kluger buys not just the turbo engine’s additional 70Nm of torque, but also larger touchscreens for the mid-spec and flagship GXL grades, which move to a wider 12.3-inch display, leaving the GX as the sole variant with the old 8.0-inch unit.
Likewise, the Kluger Grande’s digital instrument cluster grows from 8.0-inches to 12.3-inches in size.
Price changes for the Kluger come on the heels of the confirmation of a Toyota Grand Kluger – or Grand Highlander – model for North America, which will have a larger third row to compete with the Hyundai Palisade. Toyota has not confirmed that vehicle for Australian buyers.
Toyota is also expected to reveal an all-electric Kluger-size SUV soon, and we’ve already seen a preview of that model.
All Kluger grades now run more modern Toyota software through their screens. This newer version supports wireless Apple CarPlay (and wired Android Auto), plus more natural voice control and easier-to-hit touch targets on screen.
Like the brand’s new Corolla Cross small SUV, the Kluger now adopts Toyota’s Connected Services suite, which provides cloud-based satellite navigation and traffic, real-time weather updates, and on-app updates for fuel level, odometer, location and vehicle diagnostics.
Plus, an SOS function can automatically call emergency services in a crash or be triggered manually. The Kluger was awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating when it launched in 2021.
These functions are provided as complementary features for the first 12 months of ownership and attract ongoing charges from that point for buyers who wish to continue using them.
Other minor updates include the addition of three-zone climate control to the GX grade, plus a wireless device charger for Grande – which can no longer be optioned with a physical rear-seat entertainment unit.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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