New Toyota Kluger debuts in New York; 3.5-litre V6 only, no hybrid

Toyota’s next generation Highlander/Kluger has been unveiled at the New York Auto Show. When the Kluger arrives in Australia in 2014, it will only feature a 3.5-litre V6 engine and seating for 7.

Updated (18 Dec 2013): more photos of the US-spec interior added to the gallery.

Credit: Derek Fung

2014 Toyota Kluger front grille and headlights
2014 Toyota Kluger front grille and headlights

(Photo of a US-spec Toyota Highlander taken at the 2013 New York Auto Show.)

The new generation Kluger is slightly larger than the current model, especially in the boot (see dimensions below). Unlike Klugers/Highlanders sold overseas our only engine option is the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine that develops 200kW of power and 336Nm of torque in the current Aurion, which is coupled exclusively to a new 6-speed auto transmission. A 2.7-litre 4-cylinder version and hybrid aren’t on the Kluger’s agenda for the time being.

As with the current car, the new Kluger will be available in Australia with the option of front- or all-wheel drive, and seating for 7. The American-spec Highlander comes with 8 seats, but, according to reports, this arrangement falls foul of our local laws.

Top-spec American models feature a JBL hi-fi system, sat nav, dual-zone climate control, heated wing mirrors, keyless entry, push button start, fake wood trim, leather trim, auto headlights and wipers, and a high resolution display in the instrument panel. They also feature a new on-demand all-wheel drive system, dubbed Dynamic Torque Control, which uses various readings (speed, steering angle and speed, throttle angle and yaw rate) from the cars’ sensors to decide when to engage the rear wheels.

Unfortunately all Klugers seem to retain the awful foot operated parking brake of the current model.

The new Kluger is due in Australia in the first half of 2014 and for the first time Australia-bound Klugers will be built in Toyota’s American facilities.


Length: 4,850mm (+95mm)
Width: 1,925mm (+15mm)
Height: 1,730mm (no change)
Wheelbase: 2,790mm (no change)

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]