Kluger

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 14:01
ThreadID: 24055 Views:7526 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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We recently purchased a CV Sport. It is the same spec as the CVX, minus leather seats and 6-stack CD. Paid $43,650 drive away with Toyota towpack. Now, 7 weeks and 3,500Klm later I am totally wrapt in it! The ride is superb, especially off-road. You can see where the Kluger has the Toyota 4WD supsension engineering edge over the Territory. The fuel economy is totally brilliant. Much of our driving has included National Parks, such as Springbrook, Main Range, Condamine/Queen Mary NP and several other SE Qld parks. If you've travelled these areas, you will know how steep these roads are. On these trips, the average consumption is in the mid 10lts/100klms. On straight highway, it is mid 8lts/100 klms! The RX330 derived 3.3 litre is as good as the reviews report. Standing start acceleration is very, very quick. The acceleration took me by surprise and is certainly quicker than you will expect from this size vehicle (using standard unleaded fuel). Even with 5 pax and gear onboard, it is quicker off the line than our previous AU2 XR6! The interior space is very good, especially the mid seating area. The huge leg room in mid seats for 3 adults is a plus. As for the 'hole' in the front console floor area; it's a bloody clever idea. We store a 350W 12/240v inverter there and it is a great place to keep it and a cordless spotlight.
The Kluger is without doubt more capable off road than its competitors. I owned several Nissan Patrols back in the late 70's and I know where they can go. Like all things with cars, it is driver ability that makes the difference to expolit the vehicle's capabilities. Off-road capability compared to Kluger competitors is evident in the tyre fitment. The Toyo 'Tranpath' tyres are a compromise between road grip and off bitumen performance. The Territory has a better handling setup on the road due to fitment of road tyres; that is where it ends. The Kluger's Toyo's higher aspect ratio ensures better cushioning on the serious 'bumps' and 'thumps'. The Kluger does have body roll,not enough to complain about, but hey, it is meant to be driven off road and that is the value in the hybrid tyre setup. Can't fault the body work or paint-typical Toyota quality!

GRIPES-None really. No squeaks or rattles. The 5-speed auto is a gem, BUT, steptronic/semi-auto is something that Toyota should consider in the next model. I have a 5-speed semi-auto in my TL Magna AWD and it's a great setup on windy roads, especially on steep decents.

The Toyota 4WD parentage is there in design and function and the Kluger is going to suit buyers like us who want a very capable, performance engineered, economical and spacious machine that WILL FREQUENTLY AND SERIOUSLY be used off the bitumen. Our choice was between the TS AWD Territory and the Kluger. The CV Sport hit the dealers at the right time and is top value! We opted away from the Territory because it is too heavy and over the long-term will prove too thirsty.
For our money, the Kluger CV Sport is tops in value-for-money. The Toyota badge inspires confidence, reliablity and resale. ALSO, Toyota sell the Kluger overseas as the 'Highlander' and it's been around since 2001, so it is a proven design. As a comparison of real value, cost the RX330 and the Kluger. It's the shared mechanicals and the RX330 has the review awards to back up its credentials. If your not 'hard-core' 4WD, but desire reasonable off-road capability, the Kluger is tops!!
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 14:05

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 14:05
I think you forgot to add your LMCT details if your selling cars????????????
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Follow Up By: BruSav - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 01:50

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 01:50
No, I am not a dealer. After owning in excess of 24 vehicles (including 2 gus guzzling Nissan Patrols) I just like the SUV concept. It's a practical alternative. On a dirt road, the Kluger (and Territory and Adventra for that matter) will more than handle its own against a Landcruiser, Hilux, Patrol, Navara and any thing else with a ladder chassis. Why? Because it has the design dynamics and handling. I've already found that out in the Kluger. I'll advocate SUV's are a versatile alternative for off-road access that most owners want (not for crossing the Simpson Desert). As for the traditional large sized 4WD, it will slowly give way to rising fuel prices and a realisation that the SUV already does what most pretend 4WD owners want from their vehicles (just check out the US sales figures decline due to rising fuel prices). Large trailer boat, caravans, horse float owners and cow cockies aside, I say "go the hard core 4WD owner" and get the most out of your vehicle. Fact is, that there are not really that many real owners out there. Those that are, they use their rig for the purpose the manufacturer intended; it gets down, it gets dirty and hauls a load. As for the rest of these "Toorak Taxi" owners, get real. The SUV wave is here to stay and the Kluger is a fine example of a well designed and engineered package that will see better vehicles to come. If it wasn't a smart concept, Ford, Toyota and Holden wouldn't keep selling them in increasing numbers at the cost of the traditional 4WD 'people mover'. Better for the road user and the environment.
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Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 14:09

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 14:09
Struth, that's the most glowing report I've ever read of any vehicle.
Pleased you're happy with your choice.
Enjoy it.
AnswerID: 116726

Follow Up By: BruSav - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 02:13

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 02:13
Yeah, your right, it pays to do your homework before you shell out your 'reddies' and realise you bought something that is not up to the job. In the $40-$50K bracket there is a lot on offer. The Prado looked good, but its crap on fuel. Unless it's a euro diesel running on euro grade diesel, then diesels aren't worth the money (Oz grade diesel is crap). The dual cab design is flawed and a no brainer if you have teenage kids. I'm more than happy to promote a vehicle as good as the Kluger, especially its versatility and great fuel consumption. It's all about 'fitness for purpose'. For the first time in 24 vehicles, I've found one that does everything well for me, the wife and the teenage family. It's a no compromise setup!! And it's the first vehicle that's exceeded my expectations. The only way I'll ever consider another ladder chassis 4WD is if I am dumb enough to buy another large GRP trailer boat. Now I own an alloy hull that weighs half as much on the tow bar. Hence, the Kluger fits the bill nicely as a tow vehicle. Oh what a feeling........to get it right.
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FollowupID: 372293

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 20:52

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 20:52
Why am I thinking Johonno1 ??
AnswerID: 116793

Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 23:00

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 23:00
Hear hear
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FollowupID: 372287

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 23:25

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 at 23:25
lol...yeah, sure sounds like him..lol
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FollowupID: 372290

Reply By: chris_legend_25 - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 10:55

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 10:55
In all seriousness, does anyone know how far these things go when compared to a cruiser, or patrol, or something?

I mean, have there been any unbiased tests done?

I'm sure my Cruiser will do things these SUV's wouldn't dream of (and I do when the wife isn't with me....), but I have never driven an SUV on or off road. How do we know?

Does anyone want to come out to Lithgow with me one weekend? We can find some hills / mud / rocks / sand, and line each car up, and see what they can all do.
AnswerID: 116865

Follow Up By: BruSav - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 11:24

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 11:24
Well stated Chis-legend, your comment is objective!! I don't need to be convinced that a Landie, Cruiser, Patrol Hilux, Navara, Jack will go places that the Kluger won't. It's just a matter of fact to me that I don't need to go to those places. If I did, I would have bought a Prado. I'm old enough and wise enough to know that the capablity of the vehicle is only limited by the ability of the driver. And one key ability of a good driver is to know when to stop. That's what I do when I don't see a way ahead. I guess if I was prepared to spent several $1000's on off-road kit for suspension, lift kit, tryes etc I could get the Kluger to go most places you'd go. It's 'horses for course' at the end of the day. Overlander mag has done some reasonable testing off the bitumen. Take a drive through Main Range Nat Park along the 60k dirt border track and that is SUV country for me. On wet grimy dirt, I'd much rather be travelling in a Kluger with my familiy at 80k's in constant AWD than a Cruiser in RWD. That's the diff (pardon the pun). Same can be said on the M1 motorway after its rained. Constant AWD gives assurances that the standard 4x4 can't. And don't you just love it when you get to the bowser and you slurp 10lts/100klms after a 430k round trip!
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FollowupID: 372322

Follow Up By: chris_legend_25 - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 11:53

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 11:53
I thought my cruiser has AWD. It has a centre diff lock, and the front hubs are always locked in....
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Reply By: BruSav - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 12:08

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 12:08
No, your losing the point on this one. It is a matter of "fitness for purpose". Promotionally, SUV's are marketed as medium duty 4x4. See, it' a matter of classification and function. Insurabce companies classify SUV's as 4X4. Your trying to prove a point that does not need to be proved, not to me anyway. My point is about alternative choice and the positive benefits that go with that choice. Many tradional fourby owners buy because they think they will go to the black stump and back. In reality, most don't. Hence, the inherent design capabilities remain unitilised.
AnswerID: 116873

Reply By: Rocky1 - Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 00:55

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 00:55
We also own a Kluger CV, and like the bloke above, we're delighted with it. It's a 7-seater with Toyota Edge K alloys, roof racks & tow bar. Due for its 20,000km service and has been absolutely brilliant so far. Actual fuel consumption is 13.59 litres/100km over the 20,000kms; about 14litres/100km around town and around 10-11 on the highway; drops into the 9s on the freeway with the aircon on. We checked out Territory but were frightened off by reports of appalling fuel consumption (18l/100kms around town) and a Sydney newspaper report which highlighted some serious dodgyness with the electronics in its AWD system when a rock hit a sensor on one wheel). In our experience the Kluger is far more versatile than people expect off road. Got it into Sundown National Park's Red Rock Gorge (listed as 4WD only) taking things slow and steady (took 35 minutes for 7km and scared the dealer when we told him where we'd been) and also to 4WD-access-only Coongarra Rock, inland from Biggenden (west of Bundaberg in Queensland). On the 50kms of dirt road to my parents' place in central Queensland it feels safe and secure at 100km/h, handles corrugations well and is comfortable. On sealed highways, it's as quick or quicker than our old Commodore wagon and the engine and gearbox are extremely refined thanks to Lexus heritage. We've found that the standard Toyo tyres aren't inspiring and they'll be replaced at 18 months; there's also a bit of body roll and it generally doesn't handle as well as a sedan (and probably not as well as the Territory, but we reckon it's much easier to live with.. at least we can afford to drive it somewhere without going broke at the servo). The Kluger concept's not about extreme bush-bashing _ it's about versatility. It's got reasonable clearance and plenty of grunt but it doesn't offer low range so it's no go-absolutely-anywhere machine. What it does offer is the ability to go much further than a regular 2wd vehicle if you're heading into national parks or off the bitumen or down to the snow, while offering better on-road performance and economy (and comfort) than you'll ever get with a traditional four-wheel-drive (as well as the ability to have some fun at the traffic light grand prix). We'll certainly be lining up for another one when the lease is up for renewal.
AnswerID: 119898

Follow Up By: BruSav - Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 11:57

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 11:57
It's nice to know I'm not the only satisfied Kluger owner participating in this forum! I'm still wrapt in the Kluger and so is the wife; versatility is its forte. Have a look at the Rola 480lt roof pod. Does a great job and you won't hear any wind noise from it and it is totally water/dust proof. I agree with your comment, re: tyres-pretty well a mundane fitment, but they do work well off the bitumen. When ours wear down, I'll have a look at a 17" rim and a wider tyre. I'll seek some info from Toyota so I don't compromise the warranty. Wider tyre will also assist alleviate some of the roll. Keep your eye on the hybrid hydrogen fuel cell Kluger/Lexus RX330 power plant platform currently in demo trials. It's going to be a real eye opener in 4WD/AWD fuel technology stakes. If the fuel savings are as promising as they appear in the trials, then this is the way of the future and we'll be looking at a trade-in once they are a known quantity.
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