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plumping for a kruger, here are my thoughts and questions

scott bell

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Well I knew I wanted an Toyota! since i am an avensis owner from the UK, but it took a while to decide more or less that the kluger was the one for my family. 2 small kids.


1. Safety! ok, probably being frankly too cautious but a 1900 weighted car plus a solid frame and all the airbags that are vital (curtains are seriously important) and also a good rating by the IIHS (www.iihs.org) for side impact has me decided. So many people ignore side impact and IIHS do the best test and it can be quite amazing that large solid looking cars have issues with side impacts. Check out the volvo xc90 for example. You can see it crumples on side impact.

2. Reliability. I see only one issue with the klugers, the recall for the leaking fuel pipe.

3. Big boot space. The Tiguan for example fits a pram and nothing much else.

4. It is fairly common! so I can bargain for a price on a second hand one. Plenty around.

So, I am looking at buying a second hand 2007+ kluger, new model.

1. Do I get the 4WD. I feel inclined to get it since I am living in Perth soon (not arrived) and do not know how frequently a 4WD will come in handy. wanting to do weekends away, will it be useful? Having a FWD and getting stuck on some dirt track somewhere is rather scary. Will I need a 4WD around Perth?

2. Do I go for the 7 seats. I only need 4 currently but it seems tempting for when visitors arrive to get extra seats. Imagine the parents were over, it would be handy than hiring a second car.

3. Price, I am going to have to haggle at some dealership. Do I trust the prices in the redbook.com.au and stick to those? Is the upper limit prices applicable to perth (basically everything in perth seems more expensive). I was going to try the line "i want that car but all i have to spend is 35K" type argument. If I get a dealer that says ok, otherwise walk away to the next one.

4. The second hand klugers look like they have done some serious mileage in 2 years, generally 40K. I could buy a new one but frankly, if I could get a redbook.com.au price why shouldn't I do that.

5. Does the redbook price include taxes (of which I have no clue, i expect stamp duty...but not a lot else)

6. Is the kluger in some more expensive tax banding generally?

My only reservation on the kluger is the size and fuel economy, but I fail to see a safe heavy car that won't have those issues. I hear the reversing camera is good which helps. But width wise, it is big!

Note: I would have considered the Santa Fe...very impressed with it, but the car they submitted for the crash test the airbags did NOT deploy and there are issues therein apparently. Plus the side impact is doubtful. But anyway, whatever you feel about the santa fe there is plenty of issues with the airbags. None starter. Other than the kluger, I looked at the CRV. Very good, much smaller, but overall very safe. Issues however with build quality on the forums, and most most annoyingly...the base models don't come with curtain airbags (unless you buy 2010 version new). So to buy it new, i may as well get a kluger..since lets face it the CRV is underpowered. Life is never simple.

Edited by scott bell
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40k in two years is average kms. 2nd hand one wouldnt be bad, just watch our and test drive it to see if it has the dash rattle a few have reported on earlier models.

awd 7 seat kxs is what we chose, for comfort of leather and it was Sooo much nicer than the kxr we looked at. easy to clean with kids too.

if you go fwd, just dont venture too far off the beaten tracks:)

fuel economy suffers with awd, i get since new((now nearly 40k) 14L/100kms using premium 98 fuel, if i dare use ethanol again, this goes up to 18-20L, and regular goes up to 16L.

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To address some of your questions:

As far as fuel economy goes there are some people who are averaging 16L while others are averaging 9L. I'm 12.4L/100km with AWD based on regular over 10,000km. It really depends on driving style and you should read the thread Fuel consumption TOO HIGH what do I do?.

Please note standard disclaimer applies to the following in relation to not being advice, seek own independent advice, depends on your individual situation, etc. Luxury car tax (LCT) kicks in at 30% (or is it now 50%) once the car including all accessories exceeds a value of approximately $58,000 (check www.ato.gov.au) for exact numbers. It is based on the average list price of the car before any discounts are applied, not the sale price. If you are going for a Grande or AWD KX-S you will get hit with LCT. If you want a lot of accessories, one way to avoid LCT is include them in the negotiations with the dealer, but arrange to have them fitted one month after delivery (the rules may have changed so you will need to verify this). Also, you will not be able to make any deductions for depriciation above the LCT threshold, and lease payments on luxury vehicles are treated diffently by the ATO (again go to www.ato.gov.au).

I have 7 seats and the vehicle spends 90% of its time in a 4 seat configuration, 6% in 5 seat, 3% in 2 seat and 2% in 7 seat. I still wouldn't give up the extra two seats as they come in handy when we have visitors or when the kids want to bring a friend along. It was the reason I went with a 7 seat vehicle like the Kluger over a 5 seat vehicle like the Subaru Forestor. It's up to you whether the capacity is worth the extra money.

I have AWD and have been an AWD fan since driving a Subaru Forestor for 4 years and wouldn't drive anything else now. Read the thread 2WD or AWD.

In relation to size, the kluger takes a little getting used to if you've come from a smaller car, but the reverse camera definitley helps. My partner doesn't like driving it becaue of the size, but I'm used to it now. You may not be able to fit in the odd parking space becuase the vehicle is slightly longer, but I've only had this happen very rarely. The downside to size is that it will always use more fuel and have higher emissions than a smaller car.

We're going through the whole negotiating strategy with the dealer now on a new car for my partner. Will be taking the approach that we have $X plus a trade in and we want a specific minimum configuration and it's up the dealer how they package it. I tend to work on a rule of thumb of 5-10% off the list price is what you should be aiming for, but then I do't know how reasonable this is. You could also try one of the many car brokers out there or if you or your wife belong to a union or professional association then you could try the unionshopper service.

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I thought this thread was about PIMPING the kluger.... ok.

Handling of the Kluger is the only disappointment and the finishing is a bit flawed overtime. I have yet to heard from anyone that they do not have a minor noise from the dash etc.

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You answered all my questions pretty much. I'll go for the 4WD. Otherwise I'll just worry about going anywhere off tarmac, plus it handles better. I'll also for for the 7 seats.

Only issue now is trying to get one second hand. My worry is someone will have dumped a car due to some build issues, so we'll need to be careful.

So, the size issue is still there. But you don't get many safe small cars..since they are small. There is a pretty small chance of ever being in a serious accident and I am a good driver, no accidents in 20 years! but that does not stop some idiot hitting you. If there was no accident risk I would get a medium car with a boot.

But being older with kids and insanely interested in their wellfare, i can't but choose to get something big.


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I have the 5 seater, do not need the 7, as for size, it is pretty well exact size except for height as my old BA ford, I think bumper to bumper the ford was a tad longer.

economy is pretty good as far as I can tell at the moment, I have been averaging between 9.6 and 10.2 l per 100 around town (Adelaide) I get just over 600 ks with air con on.

I have the AWD due to the fact I do go off road a fair bit.

I would not go in some areas due to it not being a 4WD, as it does not have low range. SO I hope you are not confusing your self with AWD and 4WD.

I would dare say it will do beach runs as long as you let tyre pressure down. One day I shall test it going over the Coorong fishing and doing photography.

As for big for the family, not always the safest, but seeing as technology is going in leaps and bounds the Kluger is surely one of the safe options. Prior to air bags etc, 4x4 and AWD drives were not safe, just big.

I do not and more than likely will not regret getting this vehicle.


Edited by feral1
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So, the size issue is still there. But you don't get many safe small cars..since they are small. There is a pretty small chance of ever being in a serious accident and I am a good driver, no accidents in 20 years! but that does not stop some idiot hitting you. If there was no accident risk I would get a medium car with a boot.

But being older with kids and insanely interested in their wellfare, i can't but choose to get something big.

If a medium car with a boot is all you need from a practical point of view, then go with that rather than a Kluger. It will be cheaper to buy and have better fuel economy. As for safety, there are quite a few medium cars that outscore the Kluger in the ANCAP results. Large cars do not necessarily equate with better safety (http://www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au/car_size_and_colour.php)

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