Toyota Kluger four-cylinder turbo model to debut in January

Toyota’s popular Kluger seven-seat SUV has received a turbo boost and a price rise.

From January next year, the Kluger will be powered by a 2.4-litre turbo four-cylinder engine, which replaces the existing V6.

The new engine has less power than the V6 but more torque, a vital ingredient for off-the-mark performance and towing ability.

The turbo four produces 198kW of power – down from 218kW in the V6 – and 420Nm of torque, compared with 350Nm in the V6.

The Toyota move mimics that of Mazda’s rival CX-9, which switched from V6 to turbo four power some years ago. The Mazda turbo puts out 170kW and 420Nm.

The Kluger’s other main competition, Hyundai’s Palisade, has a V6 producing 217kW and 355Nm.

Toyota says the new engine delivers peak torque at a low 1700rpm, which is 3000rpm lower than the V6. Aside from improving responsiveness off the mark, the four-cylinder also uses less fuel, according to the official label.

The two-wheel-drive GX and GXL versions will use a claimed 8.3L/100km, compared with 8.7L/100km for the V6.

It will be mated to an eight-speed auto.

The new model will start from $49,720 plus on-roads for the front-drive turbo, up $2070 on the current V6 model. All-wheel-drive costs another $4000.

Fuel-sipping hybrid versions of the Kluger are only available in all-wheel drive and start at $56,220.

The top-of-the-line Grande model has a bigger price hike of $2460. It starts at $71,610 and rises to $78,160 for the hybrid.

Toyota Australia Vice President Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley says the upgrade also includes improvements to safety and technology across the range.

“Now with an upgraded multimedia system, new Connected Services functionality and the torquey turbo petrol engine providing improved driveability, the Kluger will be even more appealing,” he said.

The semi-digital driver information display on the cheapest GX model grows from 4.2 inches to 7.0 inches, while the centre touchscreen on the GXL and Grande models expand from 8.0 inches to 12.3 inches. The Grande will have a fully digital 12.3-inch display in front of the driver.

Apple CarPlay now hooks up wirelessly, although Android phone owners will still have to use a cord.

Buyers also receive a 12-month subscription to Toyota Connected Services, which allows them to receive information about the car’s location and vital signs as well as cloud-based satellite navigation via a smartphone app. The service will also call emergency services if it detects a collision.

Other upgrades include dual-zone airconditioning for the GX and a wireless smartphone charger for the Grande.

The Kluger is the second best selling seven-seat SUV in the country, behind its stablemate, the off-road focused Prado.

Sales have boomed since the launch in June last year of an all-new model that offered hybrid power for the first time.

Sales are up by more than a third this year, despite the stock shortages that have plagued the car industry post-Covid.

Originally published as Toyota Kluger to have new turbocharged four-cylinder

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