2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid Review
Price & Equipment: 6
Performance & Economy: 9.5
Ride & Handling: 8.5
Interior & Practicality: 8.5
Service & Warranty: 9
What we like:
  • Best-in-class real world fuel efficiency
  • Practical, roomy and well thought out interior
  • New technology has done wonders for modernising the interior and driving experience
What we don't like:
  • It's hard to get past the $90,000 price tag
  • Interior materials and finishes not up to Mazda standard
  • Added weight of the hybrid batteries can be felt at times
8.3DiscoverAuto Rating:

The 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid is one of few seven-seater hybrid SUVs that are available on the market, and since this current generation was released in 2021, it received an update in late 2022 in addition to price rises. We’re puzzled by the lack of large ‘standard’ hybrid SUVs on the market, given how thirsty most large petrol SUVs are, and the seemingly relentless demand for Toyota hybrid SUVs. Even Toyota’s ever popular large SUV took until its fourth (current) generation, to gain a hybrid drivetrain in Australia, despite it being available in other markets since 2005.

We spent a week behind the wheel of the 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid see for ourselves how the aforementioned update has improved the flagship Kluger and also how the continual price rises have impacted on its value equation. Is the Kluger Grande Hybrid the SUV to buy for your family? Read on to find out our thoughts.

How much does the 2024 Kluger Grande Hybrid cost to buy?

With pricing revised earlier in the year, and Toyota recently announcing that its passenger vehicle lineup is now hybrid-only, the 2024 Kluger range now starts at around $66,500 (drive away, depending on location) for a base model Kluger GX AWD Hybrid and rises to around $89,500 drive away for a Kluger Grande AWD Hybrid – our test car with premium paint sits just shy of $90,000, at around $89,950 drive away depending on location.

Kluger Grande Hybrid standard equipment:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels 
  • Dusk-sensing automatic LED headlights 
  • Heated, auto-folding and auto-dropping (in reverse) mirrors
  • Power tailgate with kick sensor 
  • Panoramic sunroof 
  • Retractable rear window sunshades 
  • 8-way power adjustable front seats with heating, ventilation and driver’s memory
  • ‘Premium’ synthetic leather upholstery 
  • Ambient interior lighting 
  • Automatic rain-sensing wipers
  • Three-zone climate control 
  • Keyless entry and push button start 
  • 12.3-inch digital driver’s display
  • Head-up display
  • Auto-dimming rear mirror 
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring
  • Satellite navigation with live traffic (complimentary for 12 months, $12.50 per month afterwards)
  • AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio 
  • 11-speaker JBL sound system 
  • 5x USB charging points 
  • Wireless phone charger 
  • Toyota Connected Services – convenience features: my garage, odometer, distance to empty and fuel level, vehicle status, vehicle locator, manuals and safety recall information (complimentary for the life of the vehicle) plus guest driver settings, drive pulse, recent trip, remote lock/unlock, remote engine start, remote hazard lights and remote air-conditioning (complimentary for 12 months, $9.95 per month afterwards) through the Toyota smartphone app

Kluger Grande Hybrid standard safety equipment:

  • Seven airbags
  • Auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, plus intersection assistance
  • Lane departure alert and assistance
  • Automatic high beam 
  • Adaptive cruise control with curve speed reduction and stop and go functionality
  • Lane trace assistance 
  • Road sign recognition 
  • Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
  • 360-degree camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors 
  • Toyota Connected Services – safety features: SOS button, automatic collision notification (complimentary for the life of the vehicle) and stolen vehicle tracking (complimentary for 12 months)

The current-generation Kluger range received a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2021 with scores of 90 percent for adult protection, 88 percent for child protection, 76 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 82 per cent for safety assist.

Kluger Grande Hybrid exterior colour range:

  • Eclipse Black (standard colour)
  • Frosted White (+$675)
  • Silver Storm (+$675)
  • Galena Blue (+$675)
  • Graphite (+$675)
  • Saturn Blue (+$675)
  • Atomic Rush (+$675)

Kluger Grande Hybrid interior options:

  • Black premium interior (no cost option)
  • Natural beige premium interior (no cost option)

The Kluger has a lot of equipment, but we think that there should be more included at the pricepoint, including a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear auto braking, braking assistance for the rear cross traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring systems, safe exit assistance and charging points for the third row. 

While there are plenty of large SUVs on the market, few are hybrid and there isn’t really a direct hybrid competitor which are similarly sized – the largest hybrid SUVs in Australia are the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, however we consider them to be in a smaller size class than the Kluger. We’ve decided to use the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Diesel as a companion point – with the obvious (large) caveat that it isn’t a hybrid. The 2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Diesel comes in at around $86,800 drive away, and despite not being a hybrid, is a larger vehicle than the Kluger. 

Equipment standard on the Palisade, but missing from the Toyota includes blind-spot collision avoidance, parallel parking exit collision avoidance, blind-spot cameras, front vehicle departure alert, rear auto braking, rear cross traffic collision avoidance, safe exist assistance, a tyre pressure monitoring system, a front centre airbag, burglar alarm, an additional speaker for the audio system, steering wheel mounted gear shifting paddles, Nappa leather (the Kluger has synthetic leather), two extra ways of extra adjustment for the driver seat, two extra USB charging points (in the 3rd row), heating for the two rear outbound a seats and a heated steering wheel. The Kluger though does feature ambient interior lighting, curve speed reduction in cruise control, a driver’s knee airbag and wireless Apple CarPlay. 

Quite frankly, the Kluger was already overpriced before the recent price rise, and the $3,000 increase has only made things worse. Yes the Kluger is unique being a hybrid at this size point in the market and it is pretty well equipped, but the Palisade is a bigger car, with more equipment at a lower price. We think Kluger Grande Hybrid would be much better value at around the $80,000 drive away mark. 

How fuel efficient is the 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid?

The 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid mates a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with three electric motors which are powered by a nickel metal hydrate battery to form the drivetrain. The petrol neigh develops 142kW of power at 6,000rpm, and 242Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. The combination of the 3 electric motors and the petrol engine produces a combined peak output of 184kW of power. One of the rear motors forms the e-AWD system – it alone produces 40kW/121Nm, though makes its peak outputs at different times to the petrol engine. 

Toyota’s tried and tested eCVT system combines the output of the electric motors and the petrol engine with aplomb – except under erratic acceleration or while warming up, the transition between petrol and ev mode is smooth and mostly goes unnoticed. Unless you’re paying attention it fades into the background. Usually, Toyota hybrids prioritise fuel efficiency over offering an engaging drivetrain and the Kluger is no exception – hard acceleration tends to elicit some of the drone that traditional CVTs are known for, and it’s not the most engaging. Luckily though, as we’ve found before, Toyota’s eCVTs avoid the characteristic CVT ‘rubber band’ feeling. 

While it won’t win any awards for performance, the Kluger achieves a 0-100 sprint time of around 8.6 seconds, which is more than serviceable, and isn’t too shabby for an economy focused, heavy SUV. Around town, the instant torque from the electric motors helps to keep the Kluger feeling peppy. Getting up to highway speeds is easy, and overtaking is no trouble – sure it might not be quite as smooth and effortless as drivers of the Kluger V6 of old are used to, but given the hybrid drivetrain uses less than half the fuel the V6 did, we it’s a pretty good trade off. 

While not quite the 5.6L/100km that Toyota advertises, we only used 0.3 litres more, at 5.9L/100km, across a week of highway, suburban and start stop traffic. Plus, its claimed CO2 emissions are just 128g/km and both numbers are very impressive for large seven-seater SUV. Drivers who want to get the absolutely best fuel efficiency will find Toyota’s eco indicator and hybrid score system great ways to keep on pure EV power as often as possible. With a full tank of 65L and achieving the economy we did, a range of over 1,000km is possible. The only downside is that the Kluger must run on 95RON premium unleaded fuel, making trips to the petrol bowser a slightly more expensive. 

What is the 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid like to drive?

This generation of Kluger, like most current generation Toyotas, is underpinned by the ‘TNGA’ platform, which transformed many of Toyota’s safe but not very engaging vehicles into quite competent handlers. The 2024 Kluger Grande Hybrid rides superbly, keeping occupants in great comfort absorbing pretty most things the roads throw at it, though occasionally body control could be a bit better. The sheer weight of the Kluger can be felt from time to time, though the steering is accurate and pretty light – maybe a tad too light, as we’d prefer a little more feedback.

The lightness does make the Kluger easy to manoeuvre, especially around town, where one would expect the Kluger to become cumbersome – while it’s obviously not a small car by any means, the steering helps. 

All Kluger Hybrids are AWD, with Toyota’s ‘e-Four’ system controlling output to the front and rear. Up to 80 percent of power can be sent to the rear wheels, depending on road conditions. We don’t think many Kluger buyers are planning to go off road, but the extra grip poor conditions on road we think is something that will be appreciated.

The Kluger is a ’soft’ handler rather than a sharp one – cornering is on the soft side, but nobody is buying the Kluger to take corners hard. At times, the sheer weight of the Kluger is noticeable, especially when pushed. It’s hard to escape from the heaviness that the hybrid batteries add, though Toyota has done a pretty good job. Klugers of past were well known for over feeling too boat-like and floaty – we think this generation however offers a better balance of comfort and handling ability. The Kluger can be pushed a bit harder than one would expect, but for the most part, as we often have said, most drivers will just appreciate that it feels safe on the road. Visibility for the driver is quite good thanks to the large windows – the excellent 360 degree camera, reversing camera and sensors do help a lot. 

How practical is the 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid?

The interior of the 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid is a modern and smart place, but one which is definitely focused on utility and practicality. There are plenty of soft touch surfaces inside the cabin, and all the materials used feel solid. While switchgear throughout the cabin feels excellent to use, overall the cabin doesn’t quite fit the bill of a $90k car. For the money Toyota is asking, we’d like to see an extra level of finish and material quality, which just currently isn’t there – a Mazda CX-9 (currently in run-out as the CX-90 is replacing it) is filled with lashings of material which feel far more premium, despite being around $17k cheaper than the Kluger, even in top-spec guise. We really think higher quality materials throughout would really help lift the ambience of the interior and make the asking price more justifiable.  

The front seats are comfortable and fairly supportive with good bolstering – they’re very comfortable seats, perfect for a long trip. There is plenty of adjustment for both the driver seats and the passenger making finding a good driving position is easy. The leather features pleasant patterning and feels nice enough to the touch – we think that at this price point, that Toyota should have used Nappa leather – it would have contributed to that extra level of finish that we think the Kluger is missing. 

The practicality of the cabin is arguably one of the 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid’s best assets – while not the most modern, premium or stylish place, it’s a space that, for the most part, is well thought out for daily use. Up front, the dash shelf which is split into two sections, is finished with a non slip material and runs along in front of the passenger and below the infotainment screen, is great for holding phones, tissue packet and various other bits and bobs during a road trip, and as it features small cable ‘porthole’ to run charging cables up into the shelf – it’s a great place to keep a mobile phones. The centre console box is cavernous and it can store a smaller handbag. There is also phone cubby ahead of the transmission shifter, a good sized glovebox, large cupholders and practically sized door bins. 

Ahead of the driver is a fully digital instrument cluster. Added as part of the 2022 Kluger tech update, the cluster does a great job at modernising the interior. The screen itself is crisp and of great quality. Featuring customisable data displays and a choice between three themes, it’s a pleasant cluster to use. Our one gripe is that selecting different data displays is more difficult than it should be. Still, the improvement over the dated old semi digital display is significant. The hybrid driving scoring system and efficiency indicator are useful data displays which drivers can use to optimise their driving for the best fuel efficiency. Drivers will also appreciate the head up display which works well. 

Moving to the centre of the dash, is the updated 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The new system is a night and day improvement – the old screen felt tiny in the Kluger’s large interior and the screen quality was just passable. The new system feels correctly sized for the dash and the screen quality in terms of resolution, fluidity and responsiveness is top notch. Toyota’s new software is also far more modern, user friendly and snappy. Perhaps the one downside of the new system is the near total removal of physical buttons – most of the time this isn’t a problem given the (mostly) persistent side menu with shortcuts to most commonly used features, performing the job of the old shortcut buttons (audio, navigation, phone projection).

Where it falls down though is while phone mirroring – the side menu is hidden here, so there is no way to quickly switch from phone mirroring to other infotainment functions. For example in CarPlay, this involves navigating to the home screen, then opening the ‘Toyota’ app. The experience would be improved if a physical home button was reintroduced somewhere into the dash. We are grateful that there is still a physical volume button 

On a more positive note, the upgraded microphone array is excellent, making dictating messages (while stopped) or speaking on the phone a great experience. Toyota’s voice recognition service also works well and is able to distinguish commands as coming from either the driver side or the passenger side – clever, but of limited practicality for most. The upgraded cameras which also came as part of the late-2022 tech upgrade are another area of great improvement – the reversing camera and 360-degree camera are clear and crisp – great for parking, especially in tight cities –  another considerable improvement, as the old camera was fuzzy, grainy and very low resolution.

Also new since our last test of the Toyota Kluger Grande hybrid, is the addition of a wireless charger, though strongly, instead of mirroring overseas models where the charger pad is in the ‘shelf’ that runs along the dash, or even in the phone shaped cubby ahead of the gear shifter, it’s instead in an awkward tilting tray inside the centre console, which simply put is awkward – whenever anyone wants to retrieve anything from the centre console storage, the tray has to be tilted up and out of the way, which disrupts charging. Other than wireless charging, there are 5 usb charging points throughout the cabin – three of them are up front with 2x USB C ports and 1x USB A port (doubling as the infotainment input).

Moving into the second row of the Kluger shows off a massive space – the two full-size outbound seats are supremely comfortable with great foot, knee, leg and pretty good headroom – the panoramic sunroof does eat a little into headroom. The centre seat is more than acceptable – it’s not quite as wide or comfortable as the other two seats, but adults will still comfortably fit for several hours – on longer haul drives the reduced foot room and width of the seat might compromise comfort a bit. For children and teens, it’s grea, even for longer trips.

The seats themselves are rake adjustable. and also can recline. Second row amenities are fairly comprehensive, with a seperate zone of climate control with ceiling outlets, 2x USB C charging points, manually retracting door shades, a folding centre armrest with drink holders, map pockets and large usable door bins. As mentioned previously we would have liked to have seen heated and ventilated rear seats – something we’d hope to see at this price point. 

The third row has just enough headroom for near six-foot adults, and the seats are wide enough, but the typical lack of drop below the seat base means that adults will have their knees right up – not comfortable for long trips, but fine on the odd occasion and more regularly for children and teens.

The second row has rake adjustment, which allows for more leg room in the third row.

Access to the third row is good for the class, and the controls to fold the second row for access are straightforward. Third row passengers benefit from air conditioning vents and cupholders – there is also third row airbag coverage, unlike some smaller competitors.

It would be good if Toyota could add USB charging points for the third row. 

The tailgate of the Kluger opens to a 241-litre space with the third row up, which expands to 552L with five seats in use. With the second and third row both folded, the space opens to a huge 1,150L (to the belt line) space. The power opening door is handy, though the kick sensor is fairly hit and miss – other newer Toyotas have more accurate sensors. 

What warranty covers the 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid?

Toyota covers the Kluger with a five-year warranty, which is extended to seven years for the drivetrain if servicing has been carried out as per logbook requirements. The warranty is extended to an impressive 10 years for the hybrid battery if a hybrid battery health test has been routinely performed as part of the logbook schedule. Hyundai matches Toyota’s warranty with the Palisade but without any of the extra drivetrain coverage. 

Servicing the Kluger over the first 5 years/75,000kms costs a cheap $1,325, with 15,000km/12 month service intervals (whichever comes first). The Palisade matches the Kluger’s service intervals, but costs a fair bit more to service over the same period, coming to $2,445. Hyundai though does have the upper edge when it comes to included roadside assistance as Toyota does not include it any with the Kluger (or any of its vehicles), but Hyundai includes 12 months complimentary roadside assistance, which is extended an additional 12 months with each scheduled logbook service completed at a Hyundai dealership. 

Should I buy a 2024 Toyota Kluger Grande Hybrid?

To answer one of the questions we asked at the beginning, Toyota has succeeded in bringing the Kluger into 2024, at least tech-wise, with its most recent spec upgrade. The new interior screens, software, cameras and microphones have done wonders making a space in which felt weighed down by last generation technology, feel so much more modern. Pretty much everything that the Kluger does, it does well – or at least well enough. Yes performance and handling aren’t sports-car like, but performance is more than acceptable, and handling is safe and better than expected. It’s in efficiency, the practicality of the interior, as well as the warranty and service package where the Kluger really shines – with a spacious and thoughtfully laid out interior, now with great technology, real world impressively low fuel usage and affordable servicing. 

Where the 2024 Kluger Grande Hybrid unfortunately falls down, is with its value proposition. Simply put, the Kluger Grande Hybrid isn’t well equipped enough, or finished well enough inside to justify being priced at the $90,000 drive away mark. We think the Kluger is around $10,000 overpriced as it currently stands – that being said, it’s really the only ‘normal’ hybrid vehicle of its size, so it’s difficult to put a value on something which has no direct competitor. We do think the Kluger Grande Hybrid is worth your attention for all its positive traits, but with consideration given to the price. 

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