2023 Toyota Kluger GX Review: A Mid-Sized SUV for the Modern Family
While I might not drive anywhere near as much as I used to, I still find the prospect of a country road trip entirely thrilling. Something about getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city to find greener pastures, if only for a brief period, makes my heart a touch warmer. Towards the end of 2023, I was lucky enough to do just that, hitting the road in a 2023 Toyota Kluger GX for a weekend tiny home visit in Moss Vale. It was all the rest and respite that I needed after a long and arduous year.
The stay itself was amazing, perched in a field about 10 minutes outside Robertson, the property was everything my wife and I had hoped for. Cows, birds, horses and air-conditioning (we’re city kids, after all), our little Moss Vale hotspot was a great place to rest the bones and recharge, however, it wouldn’t be entirely easy for everyone.
In order to reach the property we did have to travel down a fair few gravel roads, venturing a little way off the beaten track. Having the new series Kluger was a godsend, with the GX sitting a little higher than your standard mid-sized SUV, giving me enough clearance to ensure a smooth ride.
I found the 2.4L turbocharged engine to be surprisingly fuel-efficient compared with other vehicles in the same class and I managed to sneak out there and back on a tank and a half. Considering the ridiculous price of fuel right now, that was a huge advantage, something Toyota was clearly gunning for with the new model.
The 2023 Kluger model has a vastly different engine setup than in previous models, with the bulky naturally-aspirated V6 replaced by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbo. While this does ultimately result in a drop in power, Toyota has managed to up the torque in response. This time around, the Kluger boasts 198kW of power, down 20kW on the older naturally-aspirated models, with peak torque up to a solid 420Nm.
This updated engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which is certainly an upgrade from the previous models. It runs super smoothly, providing a seamless driving experience, particularly at higher speeds. I found that driving on the highway was particularly comfortable, especially with the added driver-assist functionality, however, you can definitely feel a joly of energy if and when you do flick it into Sport Mode.
Again, the Kluger is not designed to battle for pole on the track grid (unless you count the school pick-up zone as such), but it does strike a solid balance between performance and comfort. There are no nasty surprises and from the moment you put your foot down, you get a sense that the car is responding accordingly.
From a design perspective, the Kluger has always been aimed at the family market and with the latest effort, the mid-seized SUV is almost at its apex. Focusing on a streamlined design and a 7-seat configuration, you can practically see the advertisement where an entire kids’ football team is crammed in the back play out in your head. A head-turner it is not, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, particularly when it comes to storage – This thing is huge.
Inside, the adornments are modest but functional with Toyota equipping this model with a 12.3″ colour Multi-Information Display that houses some seriously impressive graphics. Throw in add-ons such as Wireless Apple CarPlay, five USB ports and ambient lighting, and you start to see the family-friendly focus Toyota was going for. Inside, you’ll find:
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- 6-speaker audio
- Automatic headlights
- Manual front, rear air-conditioning
- Keyless entry and start
- Wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
Pricing for the 2023 Toyota Kluger GX has shifted a little bit since it was first released, but you can score one of the vehicles for around AUD$56,534 drive away, depending on availability and location. As far as the competition goes, that stacks up relatively well against models such as the Nissan Pathfinder (from AUD$65,670) and Hyundai Santa Fe (AUD$40,810), but also has the added advantage of Toyota’s long-standing reputation for reliability.
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Admittedly, the 2023 Toyota Kluger GX is not a car that will break barriers or challenge that status quo, but is a valiant daily driver for the modern family. We’ve seen brands such as Volvo managed to carve out a substantial niche for its EX90 lineup and it seems Australia’s appetite for mid-sized SUVs is far from satiated. If you are after a stellar vehicle that supports that whole family, the 2023 Toyota Kluger GX may well be your best bet.
Toyota Kluger GX Specs
|2.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine 2WD
|Max engine power (kW/rpm)
|Max engine torque (Nm/rpm)
|Braked Towing Capacity
|8″ colour touchscreen display with 6 speaker audio system, Wireless Apple CarPlay, 11-speaker JBL4 premium audio system •
|From AUD$56,534 Drive away
Toyota Kluger FAQs
For the 2023 Toyota Kluger model, non-hybrid versions are now powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 198kW of power and 420Nm of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
According to the Toyota website, the 2023 Toyota Kluger GX is priced at AUD$56,534 drive away.