Toyota Kluger 2021 model delayed for Australia, Kluger hybrid uncertain

The Toyota Kluger will soldier on in its current guise for at least another year, despite the fact an all-new version was revealed for the US way back in April 2019.

The all-new version of Toyota’s passenger-focused seven seat SUV (known as the Toyota Highlander in most markets) could in fact be delayed until 2021, according to Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing.

“Our launch plan is still not confirmed for next year, of the new model,” said Mr Hanley. “We’re working through a number of situations, a number of product plan specifications, right now. But we haven’t confirmed its launch next year.”

The new-generation model will be offered with the choice of a petrol V6 engine with front- or all-wheel drive, and there’ll also be a petrol-electric hybrid model offered. But that’s not a lock for Australia, according to Mr Hanley.

“Whether it comes out with hybrid on launch, we’re yet to confirm that. We’re certainly looking at all alternatives. Moving forward, I’ve made it clear that we’ll offer more hybrid models across the Toyota range.

“We haven’t got confirmed plans for a Kluger hybrid at this point, but we’re certainly looking at every opportunity to bring that car to the market at some point in the future,” he said.

The new model is built on Toyota’s New Generation Architecture (TNGA) – the same platform that underpins the Camry, Corolla, and RAV4. As such, you can expect hybrid AWD models to run an electric motor on the rear axle, as well as an additional electric motor up front to supplement a petrol engine. Full details are still unconfirmed.

The Kluger hybrid has been offered in the the US for the past two generations, but – if it ends up being sold here – it will give the brand a double-threat in the market. Up until now, Kluger has been a petrol-only option, with no diesel (or equivalent hybrid) available.

We’d expect the petrol-electric model will indeed be sold here, as Toyota wants 40 per cent of all of its local sales to be electrified models by 2030.