2024 Toyota Kluger review | CarExpert

Before you is a car that’s about to get very rare – a petrol-powered Toyota Kluger… what?!

The vehicle you see here is actually now going extinct; Toyota recently announced it would be going hybrid-only on core passenger and SUV nameplates with existing hybrid options.

This 2024 Toyota Kluger GXL AWD with its 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine will soon be off sale. The Kluger Hybrid gets all the hype – but is this petrol still worth a look?

The turbocharged motor replaced the old V6 as part of a running change in 2023, bringing with it some welcome tech upgrades including a brand new infotainment system pulled from premium Toyota and Lexus models.

Competition is heating up in the Kluger’s class Down Under. The Kia Sorento recently got a mid-life update, the Hyundai Santa Fe has received a major overhaul, and the more rugged Ford Everest and Isuzu MU-X are lighting up the sales charts.

Does this mid-spec petrol Kluger still have what it takes to sway buyers from an increasingly competitive set of rivals? And is the soon-to-be-axed four-pot turbo worth a look over the in-demand hybrid?

How does the Toyota Kluger compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Toyota Kluger against similarly sized vehicles.

Toyota Kluger cutout image



How much does the Toyota Kluger cost?

The GXL AWD on test is priced from $67,940 plus on-road costs.

Model Variant $RRP
2024 Toyota Kluger GX 2WD $54,420
2024 Toyota Kluger GX AWD $58,420
2024 Toyota Kluger GX AWD Hybrid $60,920
2024 Toyota Kluger GXL 2WD $63,940
2024 Toyota Kluger GXL AWD $67,940
2024 Toyota Kluger GXL AWD Hybrid $70,440
2024 Toyota Kluger Grande 2WD $75,880
2024 Toyota Kluger Grande AWD $78,280
2024 Toyota Kluger Grande AWD Hybrid $82,860

To see how the Toyota Kluger shapes up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

What is the Toyota Kluger like on the inside?

The overall design of the Kluger’s cabin hasn’t really changed since this generation debuted globally in 2020.

Depending on variant, however, there’s now a much larger 12.3-inch widescreen touch display integrated into the dashboard, and the top-spec Grande also scores a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Here in the GXL you get the former, not the latter. The new touchscreen is a marked improvement over the old piddly 8.0-inch unit, and it’s running the brand’s latest connected interface which is shared with most of the Lexus range.

It’s snappy, easy to use, and offers really high resolution. The user interface won’t win any design awards for being visually interesting, but it does the job and is fully featured.

From wireless Apple CarPlay (and wired Android Auto), to digital radio and Toyota Connected Services, it pretty much has everything covered. Bar the lack of wireless phone charger in this spec, I have no complaints.

Less impressive is the instrument cluster, with cheap and dated-looking analogue dials flanking a nicer supervision display that is common to many Toyotas.

It’s certainly nowhere near as modern or upmarket as the touchscreen nor the digitised panel available in the Grande. Surely Toyota could just make it standard across the lineup, or at least the GXL given its price.

Comfort and adjustability is great up front, with comfortable and supportive chairs for the driver and front passenger that feature eight-way power adjustment in the GXL. The driver also scores powered lumbar support.

Even with the bigger screen, there are plenty of physical buttons an switches for functions like the climate control, as well as AWD controls and the like. But, it’s not too button heavy either.

Storage about the front cabin is pretty strong, with plenty of nooks and crannies to store your odds and ends.

The shelf under the climate controls lacks a charging pad but will easily house a phone while in transit, as well the nook further down next to the USB and 12V ports.

Big cupholders will hold even the biggest Starbucks order (courtesy of the Kluger’s American origins), and there’s a very deep space under the sliding front-centre armrest.

Genuinely it’s like a magicians hat, it seems to go on forever, and will swallow just about anything you can put in it.

As you’d expect of a family SUV measuring 4966mm long with a 2850mm wheelbase, second row accommodation is a strong point of the Kluger.

There’s plenty of room for adults to sit behind adults, while the flat bench and rear floor means the middle passenger isn’t constantly playing games of footsie with their neighbour.

Little ones and their child seats are catered for with requisite top tether and ISOFIX points, and there are plenty of amenities like a third zone of climate control with roof-mounted vents, as well as a fold-down centre armrest with cupholder.

You also get extra USB charging ports at the rear of the centre console, as well as a sliding and reclining second row.

Moving further back, the third row can be accessed by folding forward one of the 60:40 portions of the second row, and the 40 part is on the correct side for right-hand drive markets – well done Toyota.

You might notice the design of the Kluger’s third row appears to have room for three seats. In the USA, the Kluger is indeed an eight seater. Australian models are only seven seaters, though.

The second row can be slid forward to allow more room for the rearmost passengers, but the Kluger isn’t a patch on something like a Hyundai Palisade, let alone a Kia Carnival.

It’s really a kid-only zone or best left for smaller adults, as the high floor and upright backrest aren’t super comfortable if you have lanky limbs. There are armrests and cupholders though, as well as roof-mounted ventilation.

With all three rows of seating in use, Toyota claims the Kluger offers 241 litres of storage capacity. While it doesn’t sound like much, that’s around the same as a Kia Picanto or Mazda 2.

Fold the third row and you have a claimed 552 litres, and there’s 1150 litres with the second and third rows folded. There are rivals in the segment that quote much larger figures, though not necessarily to the same measurement standard.

All versions of the Kluger feature a full-size alloy spare as standard, which is refreshing given an increasing amount of vehicles on the market are making do with space saver spares or repair kits – particularly electrified ones.

See below for the dimensions and capacities breakdown.

Dimensions Toyota Kluger GXL AWD
Length 4966mm
Width 1930mm
Height 1755mm
Wheelbase 2850mm
Luggage volume 241 litres – 3rd row up
552 litres – 3rd row folded
1150 litres – 2nd and 3rd rows folded
Weight – kerb 1985kg

What’s under the bonnet?

On test we have the Kluger 2.4T AWD.

Model Toyota Kluger 2.4T AWD
Engine 2.4-litre 4cyl turbo
Transmission 8-speed auto
Power 198kW @ 6000rpm
Torque 420Nm @ 1700-3600rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Fuel type 91 RON
Fuel tank capacity 68 litres
Fuel economy – claimed 8.5L /100km
Kerb weight 1985kg
Towing capacity 700kg – unbraked
2000kg – braked
Ground clearance 207mm

To see how the Toyota Kluger shapes up against the competition, check out our comparison tool.

How does the Toyota Kluger drive?

The Kluger is a pretty cushy and comfortable way to get around.

In keeping with its North American focus, there’s a definite lean towards outright comfort as opposed to some of the more dialled in tunes of other Toyota models. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.

With a torquey turbocharged engine and soft tuning, the Kluger petrol wafts along in daily driving. It’s easily more relaxed than the silky V6, while also being more efficient – we saw between 9 and 10L/100km on the readout in mixed driving skewed to city and urban commuting.

I’d advise against really pushing it, because the 2.4T’s buzzy tone isn’t particularly engaging like the old six. It gets going when you need it, so the odd overtake shouldn’t be a problem on a country highway.

Refinement is good but not quite standout. The Kluger’s cabin is well insulated from wind noise, though there’s some tyre roar over coarser blacktop. Some rivals do this better.

The Kluger offers pretty neutral handling though like other models based on the TNGA platform. There’s a level of directness that means steering response is pretty quick and accurate, though the soft suspension tuning means it leans through the corners.

In AWD guise there’s heaps of grip so you generally avoid lighting up those front tyres, but since it’ll default to FWD to save fuel you may find that 420Nm to the front axle can elicit some spinny spinny off the line with a heavy foot.

Otherwise, there’s not a whole lot to talk about. The Kluger just gets the job done without much fuss, which almost makes it a little boring.

I will compliment the plentiful glasshouse, which helps outward visibility in this big rig. Sadly the GXL doesn’t get a surround camera, which is reserved exclusively for the top-spec Grande. There are front and rear sensors, though.

Toyota’s latest crop of driver assistance systems are generally very good.

Adaptive cruise control and Lane Trace Assist combine for semi autonomous highway capability which helps to take the load off longer stints, and the systems all behave in a very intuitive and unobtrusive manner.

Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert also come in handy for a vehicle this large, making slipping into gaps in traffic or reversing out of view-obstructed carparks that little bit safer.

What do you get?

Three trim levels are available in Australia – GX, GXL and Grande.

Kluger GX standard equipment:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Automatic LED headlights
  • Automatic high-beam
  • LED tail lights
  • Fog lights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Privacy glass
  • 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay – wireless, wired
  • Android Auto – wired
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Leather-accented steering wheel
  • Leather-accented gear shifter
  • Fabric upholstery
  • Carpet floor mats

Kluger GXL adds:

  • Roof rails
  • Power tailgate
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Satellite navigation
  • Leatherette upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • 8-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Power lumbar support – driver

Kluger Grande adds:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Projector LED headlights
  • Panoramic glass sunroof
  • Power tailgate with kick sensor
  • Chrome grille
  • Painted rear lower bumper
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Head-up display
  • 11-speaker JBL premium sound system
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Second-row retractable sunshades
  • Interior ambient lighting
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Premium soft instrument panel
  • Wood-look ornamentation

Is the Toyota Kluger safe?

The Toyota Kluger earned a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2021.

It received scores of 90 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 76 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 82 per cent for safety assist.

Standard safety equipment includes:

  • 7 airbags
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian detection – day, night
    • Cyclist detection – day
    • Junction assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Emergency steering assist
  • Parking sensors – front, rear
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Reversing camera
  • Traffic sign recognition

Kluger Grande adds:

The entire range also now comes standard with 12 months of complimentary access to Toyota Connected Services – read more here.

How much does the Toyota Kluger cost to run?

The 2024 Toyota Kluger is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, with driveline coverage for up to seven years if you service within the Toyota dealer network.

Aftersales Program Toyota Kluger 2.4T AWD
Warranty 5 years, unlimited kilometres
Roadside assistance From $99 per year
Service intervals 12 months, 15,000 kilometres
Service pricing $265 – each visit for 5 years

CarExpert’s Take on the Toyota Kluger

I believe Toyota is making the right move going hybrid-only with the Kluger in Australia.

This US-focused family SUV makes more sense with an electrified drivetrain, where its benchmark efficiency gives the big Toyota segment leadership for larger families looking to save at the pump.

Beyond that thrifty hybrid option, the Kluger doesn’t really have any other area where it outshines the competition.

It’s more expensive than most competitors, even with the turbocharged petrol engine, it lacks the more upmarket ambience of the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, and isn’t particularly special to drive either.

But, it’s a solid all-rounder in typical Toyota fashion, and the Japanese brand’s cheap capped-price servicing remains an outlier particularly at this end of the mainstream SUV market.

With the Kluger’s turbocharged petrol option on its way to extinction in Australia, buyers wanting a similar drivetrain may have to wait for the new Santa Fe to bring its 2.5-litre turbo-petrol late this year or early next, or perhaps look at something more premium like a GWM Tank 500 or Mazda CX-90.

For your $68,000 spend, my money would likely be going towards a Hyundai Palisade Elite if I wanted something big and American-leaning (with the option of eight seats), or perhaps a high-spec Kia Carnival with the torquey and efficient turbo-diesel engine.

The Kluger GXL AWD Hybrid’s lofty $70,440 price tag puts the mid-spec Toyota against top-spec rivals from Korea, while the Grande AWD Hybrid is pushing into premium territory at $82,860 – both before on-road costs.

While it’s a solid effort, there are other SUVs out there that will do a better job for cheaper.

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