The New 2021 Toyota Kluger Hybrid, is a very nice looking seven-seater SUV that I know lots of families consider for a family car. Whether you have one, two or five children this kind of car fits the wish list for many reasons, so let's find out how the Kluger gets on as a BabyDrive…
When it comes to child seats, the 2021 Toyota Kluger Hybrid has ISOFix in the two outer second-row seats and top tether anchorages on the back of all three second-row seats.
I found I could install three Infasecure child seats in the second-row; the Infasecure Aspire More booster seat forward-facing and two Attain More child seats, either forward or rear-facing, fit nicely.
The third-row seats do not have any top tether anchorages or ISOFix so I could not install most child seats back there, however the Infasecure Versatile Folding Booster seat does not require a top tether strap so you can put two of those in the third row for slightly older kids.
Third-row access is now very good in the new Toyota Kluger. There are levers at the bottom of the second-row seat base to slide the second-row seats forward.
This gives a good amount of space for a child to fit through to the third-row seats, however it is not enough room for an adult.
Once in the third-row it is comfortable for someone of my height, 162cm, when it comes to head and legroom but 170cm is probably the maximum.
Legroom is quite good throughout the New Kluger and we found I could sit in the third-row seats with a rear-facing child seat in the second-row with a 180cm driver or taller in the front passenger seat.
There are built-in window blinds in the back doors of the top spec Kluger Grande that I tested. I love these for keeping rear passengers shaded from the sun while you are driving, it is a great feature for families.
As well as air-con vents in the ceiling for both rear rows of seats, this is great for ensuring all your rear passengers are comfortable and kept cool in the summer.
There are air-con controls in the back of the central console for adult rear passengers to use but if you have kids on board there are controls in the front too.
Storage is good throughout the new Kluger for families. There are two cup holders on either side in the third-row seats and they're great sizes for coffee cups and water bottles.
In the second row there is great family storage; two iPad concealing map pockets, two good size cup holders and the door bins are great! They will hold double water bottles and there are storage handles too.
In the front there are two practical size cup holders and a phone tray.
The shelves in the dash are great storage for your phone or wallet or ar all the little things your kids collect and pass through to you from the back!!
The door bins in the front are even bigger, holding an iPad with two water bottles.
Storage in the boot of the New Toyota Kluger is good. When using all seven seats it will hold eight shopping bags. This is comparable with the Hyundai Palisade which also holds eight shopping bags. The Kia Sorento holds five shopping bags and the Mazda CX-9 and CX-8 both hold six shopping bags when using all seven seats.
We could fit a twin pram easily in the boot with a couple of shopping bags when using all seven seats, which is fantastic for large families with two little ones.
For smaller families who will not need to use the third-row seats regularly the boot space is fantastic! It will hold twenty bags of shopping, which is comparable to the Hyundai Palisade that will hold 21 bags. The Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9 and CX-8 will all hold seventeen.
All sizes of prams and strollers will easily fit in the boot with a generous amount of space for shopping and scooters etc.
If you want to transport your family dog then you could fit a very large pet dog in the back of the Toyota Kluger.
The media system in the Toyota Kluger is a little bit of a disappointment for me. It is still pretty basic and has quite an 80's digital feel to it and I just would have expected it to have been updated in this new model.
The 2021 Toyota Kluger does have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto though, which is great for families to access their audio apps etc.
The camera images are very dark and blurry, I would have loved there to be nice crystal clear views with this seven-seater.
You can also turn on an exterior 360-degree camera with a button by the driver's right knee, I found this great to check the surrounding when parking and manoeuvring, especially in playground and school carparks.
Being a Hybrid the version of 2021 Toyota Kluger I tested is much more economical for families to drive and has a lot of the benefits of electric vehicles. These include a nice quiet start and being able to drive your kids to sleep or sit with the air-con running while they are asleep using the battery power rather than wasting fuel.
The 2021 Toyota Kluger feels much the same to drive as the previous model. It is quite cushiony and armchair like. It is easy to park in school and supermarket car parks but the visibility is hard out of the back with three child seats installed and I found the reversing camera too dark to rely on. I found myself relying on the side mirrors and 360-degree exterior camera.
The New 2021 Toyota Kluger Hybrid is a great all rounder seven-seat SUV for families big and small. It has practical third-row access for occasional use with school friends and grandparents too. The legroom is good for distribution between the three rows of seats even with forward or rear-facing child seats installed in the second-row. This has not taken away from the boot space, which is plenty for small and large families who need five or seven seats.
The New 2021 Toyota Kluger Hybrid scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating, it has seven airbags as standard. Including dual frontal, side head-protecting airbags in the first, second and third rows. Side chest-protecting airbags for the first row only, and a driver knee airbag are standard.