Toyota Kluger
(2007 - 2014)

  • Typical Toyota reliability
  • Refined V6 engine with ample power
  • Excellent levels of practicality
  • Great build quality
  • Can be very thirsty
  • Lack of infotainment tech
  • Bland styling
  • Interior plastics are quite hard
Overview

It may be the automotive equivalent of buying a family-sized fridge but the Kluger/Highlander has built a reputation for being a big, no nonsense, practical family hauler with typical Toyota reliability and an excellent ability to retain its value.

But is this reputation warranted? If a RAV4 is too small and a Prado is too large or potentially too off-road focussed, is the Kluger/Highlander worthy of your consideration when it comes to transporting you and your loved ones across the country? Read on.

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What goes wrong
  • Air conditioning evaporators can fail requiring the dashboard to be removed to replace the failed component. This becomes expensive
  • There are reports of front diff issues in the front-wheel drive variants and transmission problems, however, these are far from a common issue
  • Early models had reports of faulty software however this was repaired by Toyota under warranty
  • Check the service history to make sure these faults have been resolved
  • Check for signs of off-road abuse
Model range, pricing and features

KX-R

  • Price when new: $39,990 - $48,490
  • Price used: $8,000 - $27,000

Available in either five- or seven-seat variants, the base model KX-R offers a no-nonsense level of equipment for the already no-nonsense Kluger/Highlander.

We’d recommend cruising past the KX-R and looking higher up the range. For similar money a higher-kilometre, higher-spec example should be within reach and with Toyota’s excellent reputation for reliability, the extra kilometres should have a near zero effect on running costs and longevity.

Standard features:

  • 12-volt auxiliary sockets
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • 6-speaker stereo
  • ABS
  • Adjustable steering column
  • Air conditioning
  • First and second row driver/passenger airbags
  • Alarm
  • Rear vision camera
  • CD player
  • Central locking
  • Centre differential (4WD variants only)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Traction control (TCS)
  • Cruise control
  • First and second row cup holders
  • First and second row adjustable headrests
  • Hill hold
  • Independent front and rear suspension
  • Multi-function control screen
  • Multi-function steering wheel
  • Foot-operated parking brake
  • Power door mirrors
  • Remote boot releaseRoof spoiler
    Sunglass holder
  • Driver and passenger sun visor with vanity mirror
  • Trip computer
  • Upgraded audio system integrating Bluetooth technology and USB ports (from 2011)

KX-S

  • Price when new: $49,990 - $56,490
  • Price used: $9,000 - $28,000

The sweet spot of the Kluger/Highlander range. If the budget is tight, we’d recommend a pre-facelift 2007-2011 higher-kilometre example with all-wheel drive. If you’re able to stretch the finances just a little further, a post-facelift 2011-2014 with lower kilometres and again all-wheel drive, is an excellent way to go.

The 7-seat-only KX-S is a superb pick, being equipped with just the right amount of creature comforts and superb practicality.

KX-S adds:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • 7-person seating capacity
  • Climate control
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • CD stacker
  • Chrome grille and exterior trim
  • Third row cup holders
  • Electric brake force distribution (EDB)
  • First row electric seats
  • Adjustable headrests all three rows
  • Leather effect gear knob
  • Leather effect steering wheel
  • Leather trim on seats
  • First and second row reading lamps
  • Metallic finish interior trim
  • Roof rails
  • Scuff plates
  • Second and third row flat folding seats
  • Tailgate with opening window
  • Improved audio display for the USB-compatible six-stack CD/MP3 player (from 2011)

 

Grande

  • Price when new: $59,464 - $66,490
  • Price used: $11,000 - $40,000

The top-spec Grande features some more luxurious equipment for a marginal premium over the KX-S however we feel the extra spend isn’t worth it unless you require the specific equipment the Grande offers.

Plus the wood grain trim is not ageing well in terms of design and taste.

Grande adds:

  • Extra chrome exterior trim
  • Compass
  • DVD player
  • Wireless headphones
  • First row seat heaters
  • Navigation system
  • Electric anti-glare rear vision mirror
  • Remote control multimedia control
  • Start button key/fob proximity
  • Electric sunroof
  • Voice recognition
  • Wood/leather effect gear knob
  • Woodgrain centre console
  • Woodgrain door inserts
Should you buy it?

The Kluger/Highlander might not be the sexiest, most dynamic SUV available and it hardly exudes any real luxury or sophistication, but, we highly recommend it.

When it comes to an SUV that will hum along without any trouble for many years to come while keeping the things you love safe and secure, it’s very hard to look past the big Toyota.

We recommend trying to find a post-facelift, 2011-onwards model as we feel the update spiced up the aesthetics quite nicely and the extra equipment is worthy of the slight extra spend.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 years/100,000 kms

Servicing:

10,000kms or every 6 months

Tech specs

Body style:

  • 5-door SUV

Engines:

  • 3.5-Litre 6-cyl petrol: 201kW / 337Nm

Transmissions:

  • 5-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
  • 5-speed automatic, four-wheel drive

Fuel use:

  • 11L – 11.6L/100km (combined depending on FWD or AWD)

Dimensions:

  • Height: 1730mm
  • Length: 4690mm – 4785mm
  • Width: 1825mm
  • Kerb Weight: 1835kg – 2040kg (Depending on variant)
Disclaimer

Information correct as of May 22, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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