Toyota Kluger. Bland Name But What About The car?

By: Kerry Plowright

The Toyota Kluger is an All Wheel Drive crossover vehicle that combines the attributes of a soft roader with the luxury of a passenger vehicle. While the Kluger's name is rather uninspiring (like many of today's cars) does it make up for its less than inspirational name where it really counts?

The Toyota Kluger has the bland looks to complement the crossover vehicle's rather bland and uninspiring name. Compare this to the Holden Adventra, which has far more rugged looks and the name to match, and it's hard to see how this car could compete in the Australian market. But can looks and names be deceiving? Let's take a look at what the Kluger has to offer.

As mentioned, the Toyota Kluger is a constant All Wheel Drive crossover vehicle that has room inside for seven people. It is powered by a 3.3 litre V6 VVT-i engine teamed with a five speed automatic transmission gearbox. The Kluger features cruise control, power steering, a six speaker audio system, driver and passenger SRS airbags, side door anti-intrusion beams and Electronic Brake-force Distribution & Brake Assist as standard.

On the top of the line Grande model, you also get DVD satellite navigation to get you where you need to go without the arguments about reading car directories or asking for directions.

While the Kluger can never be expected to keep up with the likes of Toyota Landcruiser, Nissan Patrol or Land Rover Discovery in the bush, it is quite capable on the dirt, as long as it doesn't get too rough. And it it will comfortably handle anything that most kluger owners are ever likely to dish out. But it's on the highway and about town that the Kluger really comes into its own.

The Kluger's 3.3 litre V6 engine is quite zippy around town and on the highway and its smaller size, as compared with the full blooded four wheel drive vehicles, makes it much easier to park in the city and suburbs. Another advantage of the Kluger over its larger four wheel drive cousins is the far better fuel economy that will save you at the petrol pump. And for many families now, this is a very important consideration. The Kluger uses around 13.8 litres per 100 kilometres.

As the Kluger has only been available in Australia since 2003, you should not have any problems finding a used car in excellent condition. As with buying any used car however, it's important to get a professional inspection and to check the log books to make sure that all services have been made.

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