|Manufacturer||Toyota Motor Corporation|
|Also called||Toyota Highlander|
|Class||Mid-size crossover SUV|
|Body style(s)||4-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
The Toyota Kluger, known as the Toyota Highlander in North America, is a crossover SUV assembled by Toyota under the Toyota brand name in its Kyūshū, Japan assembly plant and its Ikeda, Osaka, Japan assembly plant during 2008 and present. It was announced in April 2000 at the 2000 New York Auto Show and introduced as a 2001 model, arriving in late 2000 in Japan and in January 2001 in North America as a mid-year release 2001 model. The Highlander is the crossover counterpart to the 4Runner and has become Toyota's best-selling SUV until the RAV4 outsold it in 2006.
First generation (2001-2007)
|Engine(s)||2.4L 155 hp (116 kW) I4|
3.0L 220 hp (160 kW) V6
3.3L 230 hp (170 kW) V6
5-speed automatic w/3.3L
|Wheelbase||106.9 in (2715 mm)|
|Length||2001: 184.3 in|
2002-03: 184.4 in (4684 mm)
2004-07: 184.6 in (4689 mm)
Hybrid: 185.6 in (4714 mm)
|Width||71.9 in (1826 mm)|
|Height||2001-05 4WD: 66.5 in (1689 mm)|
2001-05 Limited 4WD: 68.7 in (1745 mm)
2003-05 FWD: 66.1 in (1679 mm)
2003-05 Limited FWD: 68.3 in (1735 mm)
2006-07 FWD: 67.9 in (1725 mm)
2006-07 4WD & FWD Hybrid: 68.3 in (1735 mm)
4WD Hybrid: 68.9 in (1750 mm)
|Curb weight||3,784 lb (1,716 kg)|
|Fuel capacity||19.2 US gallons (72.7 L; 16.0 imp gal)|
Toyota Camry Solara
Called the Highlander in North America, the Kluger shared the Toyota Camry platform with its Lexus RX/Toyota Harrier cousin and came in five and seven-seat configurations, and became a sales success for Toyota in a number of markets across the world. The Kluger came standard with front wheel drive and offered all wheel drive as an option. The Kluger was not meant for serious off roading, unlike competitors such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and Toyota's own 4Runner. Although it was originally longer than the 1996-2002 4Runner, the Kluger was surpassed in length by the 4Runner in 2003.
The Highlander was available in three trim lines in the United States: the Base model, the Sport model, and the Limited model. The Base and Limited models were present when the Highlander was initially introduced, while the Sport model was introduced in March 2006.
In 2004 the wheels on the Limited trim changed from a 6-spoke, to a 5-spoke alloy. The base-model Highlander rims also changed from steel-rims to the alloy rims that were on the 01-03 Highlander Limited and B-Package.
The Kluger was available in three trim lines in Australia: the CV model, the CVX model, and the Grande model. A limited edition CV Sport model was also released in 2006. There was no hybrid model available in Australia. The only engine offered was the 3.3L 3MZ-FE V6.
- 2001-2003 2.4 L 2AZ-FE I4, 160 hp (119 kW)
- 2001-2003 3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6, 220 hp (164 kW)
- 2004-2007 3.3 L 3MZ-FE V6, 230 hp (172 kW)
The 3.0L engine was able to propel the Kluger from 0-60 mph in approximately 8.8 seconds. In 2004 the Kluger was given a new 3.3L V6 engine to compete with the more powerful V6 offerings from its competitors, mainly the Nissan Murano and the Honda Pilot. The 3.3L engine made it possible for the Kluger to reach 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.8 seconds.
In addition to the 3.3L engine, 2004 V6-powered models were equipped with a new 5-speed automatic transmission, replacing a 4-speed automatic transmission, while the 4-cylinder models continue to use the old 4-speed automatic transmission. This year also saw the introduction of the optional third row seat. The unibody was slightly modified behind the second row seats to include a depression on the trunk floor to accommodate the optional third row seating. On models without third row seating, the depression on the trunk floor was turned into a storage compartment. (Prior to 2004 the spare tire was accessible from inside the vehicle where the third row seating would subsequently be located; beginning in 2004 the spare tire is accessible from underneath the vehicle.) Subtle changes to the front grille, front and rear bumpers, and headlights round-out the major changes for 2004.
The Sport and hybrid models each had a distinctive grille design, differentiating themselves from the non-Sport, non-hybrid models. Wheel styling also serves to differentiate the various models -- the hybrid sports a unique twin-spoke design.
The Kluger was available with front wheel drive or full-time four wheel drive. Beginning in 2006, Highlanders sold in Canada are offered only in a V6 four-wheel drive configuration. Hybrid models are available with part-time four-wheel drive which Toyota refers to as "4WD-i" where the rear wheels are powered by the separate electric motor.
Base models are equipped with a limited slip differential, while up-scale models have a stability control system.
The Japanese Kluger was released with a centre console integrated with the dashboard, while the North American Highlander initially lacked this integrated centre console. The integrated centre console was introduced in all U.S. Highlanders and in Canadian Limited Highlanders in the 2002 model year, and in all Canadian Highlanders in the 2003 model year. However, for these early Highlanders without the integrated centre console, a smaller non-integrated stand-alone centre console was available as an option, which was installed at the factory or could be installed by the dealer.
Initially, the Kluger was a regular, non-hybrid SUV driven by an internal combustion engine, but later Toyota introduced a hybrid version, the Kluger Hybrid that utilizes the company's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology combined with the company's 3MZ-FE 3.3 liter V6 engine. The hybrid drivetrain was unveiled at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, and was offered to the public in July 2005 as a 2006 model. In North America, the hybrid version was called the Highlander Hybrid. It is also the first seven-seat hybrid vehicle.
Second generation (2008-present)
|Assembly||Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan|
Princeton, Indiana, USA (2009-, North America only)
|Engine(s)||3.5L 270 hp (200 kW) 2GR-FE V6|
|Wheelbase||109.8 in (2789 mm)|
|Length||188.4 in (4785 mm)|
|Width||75.2 in (1910 mm)|
|Height||69.3 in (1760 mm)|
Hybrid: 68.1 in (1730 mm)
|Curb weight||4,045 lb (1,835 kg)|
Toyota Camry Solara
Toyota revealed the second-generation Kluger and Kluger Hybrid at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. The sole powertrain in the ‘08 Kluger is a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6 mated to a five-speed automatic. The previous 155 horsepower (116 kW) four-cylinder model with manual transmission has been discontinued. While the 3.5-liter has 55 more horses than the previous Kluger’s optional 3.3-liter V6, the dimensional increases add a claimed 500 pounds to the new Kluger’s curb weight of about 4,000 lb. Despite the increase in power and weight, the Kluger's gas mileage is only slightly lower on front-wheel drive models at 17 mpg-US (14 L/100 km; 20 mpg-imp) city / 23 mpg-US (10 L/100 km; 28 mpg-imp) highway (last gen: 19 mpg-US (12 L/100 km; 23 mpg-imp) city / 25 mpg-US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg-imp) hwy), and similar to the predecessor on all-wheel drive models at 18 city / 24 highway.
Currently, the Highlander/Kluger is produced in Japan for global markets. Toyota planned on building the Highlander in Blue Springs, Mississippi for the North American market in the 2011 model year.  However, the Prius will be built there instead, and the Highlander will instead be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton, Indiana, from the 2010 model year onward for North America, replacing Tundra production.  At this time, no decision has been made on Highlander Hybrid production at TMMI.
Three trim levels are offered (Base, Sport, and Limited) and buyers will also be able to choose between front-drive or all-wheel drive. Sport and Limited models get a standard rear-view camera that does not require purchasing the optional navigation system. Major options include leather seats, heated seats, a touch-screen navigation system, an upgraded stereo, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and a towing package that increases towing capacity to 5000 pounds. The five-passenger version was dropped, replaced by the 2009 Toyota Venza.
In Australia, the new generation Kluger was launched in August, 2007. There are three grades available, KX-R, KX-S and Grande. All grades are available with either 2WD or AWD. The base model KX-R is also available with either five or seven seats, whilst the latter grades are seven seaters only. Specifications are mostly similar to the US Highlander, sharing the same 3.5 litre V6 2GR-FE engine and five-speed automatic transmission. However, there are no plans at present to introduce a hybrid version of the Kluger into the Australian market.
The NHTSA awarded the Highlander with five stars on side-impact crash tests.
For 2009, Toyota added a new 2.7L I4 engine to the Highlander. It generates 187 hp @ 5,800 RPM and 186 lb.-ft. of peak torque @ 4,100 RPM on regular 87 octane fuel. The four-cylinder delivers an EPA estimated fuel economy of of 20 MPG city and 27 MPG highway. In addition, it is EPA-rated as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEVII).
The Kluger Hybrid features Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive which allows an electric only powered mode for short distances and speeds. Weight, cost, and fuel economy have been improved over the previous hybrid.
The expanded size and new features have led to an increase of 500 pounds to its curb weight. The EPA has rated the hybrid at27 mpg-US (8.7 L/100 km; 32 mpg-imp) city / 25 mpg-US (9.4 L/100 km; 30 mpg-imp) highway, the Highlander's fuel economy, while better than the Lexus RX400h's, lags behind the compact 4cyl Ford Escape Hybrid, but still produces significantly fewer emissions than the non hybrid version.
The hybrid continues to use the same 3.3L V6 from the prior Highlander.
The Kluger Hybrid features Toyota's VDIM stability system. The system integrates full-time four-wheel drive with intelligence, electronic brake and throttle control, and true electronically-controlled active steering.
- " Toyota Highlander Mid-Size Car-Based SUV Premiers At 2000 New York Auto Show", Toyota/Lexus/Scion Pressroom, April 19, 2000
- "2008 Toyota Highlander". http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/future/highlander.html?s_van=GM_HOME_HIGHLANDER_TXT.
- "2008 Toyota Highlander - Auto Shows". Car & Driver. http://www.caranddriver.com/autoshows/12458/2008-toyota-highlander.html. Retrieved on February 7.
- "2008 Toyota Highlander Specs". JB car pages. http://www.jbcarpages.com/toyota/highlander/2008/specs/. Retrieved on July 17, 2008.
- "Toyota Will Build Highlander at New Mississippi Plant". Edmunds.com. http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=119759. Retrieved on February 27.
- "Toyota To Build Prius In U.S: Highlander to Indiana; all Tundra to Texas". Toyota/Lexus/Scion Pressroom. http://pressroom.toyota.com/Releases/View?id=TYT2008071034962. Retrieved on July 13.
- "2008 Toyota Highlander Crash Test Ratings". NHTSA. http://www.safercar.gov/portal/site/safercar/menuitem.db847bd57e3dc1f885dfc38c35a67789/. Retrieved on July 17, 2008.
- "Chicago Auto Show: 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, now with EV ONLY mode!". AutoblogGreen. http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/02/07/chicago-auto-show-2008-toyota-highlander-hybrid-now-with-ev-on/.
- "2008 Toyota Highlander and Hybrid Review". JB car pages. http://www.jbcarpages.com/toyota/highlander/2008/. Retrieved on 2008-07-17.
- "2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Specs". JB car pages. http://www.jbcarpages.com/toyota/highlander/2008/specs2/. Retrieved on July 17, 2008.
- Toyota USA Highlander site
- Toyota Australia Kluger site
- Toyota China Highlander site
- JB car pages: Toyota Highlander
- HighlanderClub.ru (Russian)
Toyota light truck timeline, North American market, 1980s–present
|Full-size SUV||Land Cruiser||Land Cruiser||Land Cruiser||Land Cruiser|
|Pickup||Toyota Pickup||Toyota Pickup||Toyota Pickup||Tacoma||Tacoma|