Toyota makes big changes to the Kluger SUV

One of the most sought-after family SUVs on the market is about to undergo a monumental change as it sheds a long-running feature.

The Japanese brand has continued the industry-wide trend away from large naturally aspirated engines in favor of smaller turbocharged engines that are more efficient and produce less CO2 emissions.

The long-running V6 engine will be replaced by a smaller 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol unit that delivers 198kW and 420Nm of torque – 20kW less but 70Nm more than the V6.

It is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive.

The extra torque should do a better job of helping the bulky seven-seat SUV get around town.

Sean Hanley, head of sales and marketing for Australia, believes the new engine will make driving more fun.

“With superior torque and response, we expect the addition of this powerful new engine to make the popular Kluger SUV even more attractive to buyers,” said Hanley.

Toyota Australia hasn’t released fuel consumption figures, but the brand’s US division says fuel consumption will remain the same.

In Australia, Toyota says the V6 consumes 8.7L/100km in all-wheel drive versions and around 8.9L/100km in all-wheel drive versions.

Previous experience has shown that the V6 Kluger drinks significantly more than in the real world.

The new 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol version will be sold with Kluger with hybrid engine.

Hybrid versions boast a super-efficient engine, consuming a claimed 5.6L/100km.

Toyota also announced a few minor updates, including the mid-range GXL Kluger, which now features a 12.3-inch infotainment screen instead of an eight-inch one.

And the base GX model gets an enlarged digital information screen on the instrument display.

Originally published as Toyota makes big changes to the Kluger SUV