One of the most sought after family SUVS on sale is about to go through a monumental change as it ditches a long-serving feature.
The Japanese brand has continued the industry-wide trend of moving away from big non-turbocharged engines in favour of smaller capacity turbo engines that are more efficient and produce less CO2 emissions.
In place of the long-serving V6 engine will be a smaller 2.4-litre turbocharged petrol unit that makes 198kW of power and 420Nm of torque – 20kW less but 70Nm more than the V6.
It is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front or all-wheel drive.
The extra torque should better help propel the bulky seven-seat SUV around town.
Sean Hanley, head of sales and marketing in Australia, believes the new engine will translate to a more engaging drive.
“With superb torque and response, we expect the addition of this strong new engine will make the popular Kluger family SUV an even more enticing prospect for buyers,” said Hanley.
Toyota Australia hasn’t revealed fuel figures but the brand’s American arm says the fuel use will remain the same.
In Australia Toyota claims the V6 drinks 8.7L/100km in the two-wheel drive versions and about 8.9L/100km in the all-wheel drive variants.
Previous experiences have shown the V6 Kluger drinks considerably more than this in the real world.
The new 2.4-litre turbo-petrol version will be sold alongside the hybrid-powered Kluger.
The hybrid versions boast ultra efficient motoring, drinking a claimed 5.6L/100km.
Toyota also announced several minor updates including to the mid-range GXL Kluger that now comes with a 12.3-inch infotainment screen instead of an eight-inch unit.
And the base GX model gets a larger digital information screen in the instrument display.
Originally published as Toyota makes big change to the Kluger SUV