SHARPENED UP: New styling and an uprated engine and transmission for the family favourite Toyota Kluger seven-seat SUV, due here in 2017.
SHARPENED UP: New styling and an uprated engine and transmission for the family favourite Toyota Kluger seven-seat SUV, due here in 2017.

Toyota's next Kluger SUV revealed

PREPARE for the school run SUV of choice to start looking a whole lot sharper.

Toyota's family favourite Kluger SUV is set to gain significant upgrades for its arrival in the first half of next year, with the seven-seater receiving new styling and an uprated engine and transmission.

The current third-generation Kluger has been with us since 2014, but this mid-life facelift will be a welcome refresh to breathe new life into the model.

Not that the current edition is doing badly, in fact it shifted more units in 2015 than ever before in Australia with nearly 14,000 finding new homes. That was an improvement of over 20% on 2014 sales figures, making the Kluger the second-best selling large SUV on our market. The strongest seller? Toyota's Prado, which offers the diesel engine the Kluger fails to.

2017 Toyota Kluger. Photo: Contributed
2017 Toyota Kluger. Photo: Contributed

So what's new? On the technical front Direct-Injection is adopted for the 3.5-litre V6 engine which Toyota says will deliver more power and better fuel economy. A newly developed "Direct Shift" eight-speed automatic transmission also arrives, with the two extra ratios helping enhance efficiency and driveability, Toyota says.

No firm figures have been released, but the current model delivers 201kW and 337Nm, returning 10.2-litres/100km combined in the 2WD model and 10.6-litres/100km in the AWD.

Styling changes aren't revolutionary, but a new upper and lower grille design and restyled tail lights will differentiate the new model from old.

The Kluger will officially debut at next week's New York Auto Show. The current models start at $40,990 for the 2WD and $44,990 the AWD.


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