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Toyota Kluger 2WD KX-R (2008)
Think of seven-seater transport and perhaps the words ‘mundane’ and ‘mediocre’ come to mind, because you are thinking about the run-of-the-mill people mover.
But Toyota’s Kluger is graphic evidence this doesn’t have to be so, matching panache with practicality.
The Kluger offers acclaimed class-leading performance from its 3.5-litre V6 petrol powerplant that is good for 201 kW of power and 337 Nm of torque.
Driving through a smooth, five-speed auto, this makes for an on-road performance that is hard to fault.
And on-road was where our test Kluger was at its best, seeing it was the 2WD version.
The company has rightly concluded that for most buyers, two-wheel drive does the job, but four-wheel drive, available on all three Kluger variants, can be had for an extra $4500.
Standard features across the Kluger range include seven airbags, full-size spare and a reversing camera.
And all come with electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake force distribution plus hill assist.
A third row of seats is an option on the base model KX-R, which bumps the cost up $2500.
It is standard on the KX-S and Grande models.
The 2008 Kluger is some 74 mm longer in the wheelbase and 85 mm wider than its predecessor, which pays off when the third row option is ticked.
Easy walk-through access to this extra row is granted by removing the middle second row seat, which stows handily away in the centre console.
The third row naturally eats into the luggage area, but this row too can be stowed when not in use, allowing some space to be reclaimed.
The Kluger rides and handles well, although the steering is typically Toyota – compromised towards lightness.
Performance, smoothness, versatility
Extra seats compromise space, light steering
||Kluger 2WD KX-R
||SUV Over $40,000
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
|ANCAP crash rating
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||201 kW @ 6200 rpm
||337 Nm @ 4700 rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
|Braking from 80 km/h
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.