Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Toyota Lander Cruiser serious off-road 4x4 bruiser

12:03 18 February 2016

Toyota Land Cruiser is a rugged, go-anywhere 4x4 that is now more capable on road.

Toyota Land Cruiser is a rugged, go-anywhere 4x4 that is now more capable on road.

Toyota

Toyota’s Land Cruiser has a reputation for rugged reliability over six decades but this workhorse has also developed into a niche lifestyle vehicle, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

I have a relative Down Under who ventures into the Outback, camps near crocs and pits man and machine against Western Australia’s 1,850km Canning Stock Route – the longest historic stock route in the world.

He drives a Toyota Land Cruiser. Ask him why and he answers: “So I don’t die”. He puts his trust in the Land Cruiser’s go-anywhere ability in the roughest, inhospitable terrain to get him there… and back.

That’s why more than five million have been sold worldwide since 1955.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Price: Toyota Land Cruiser Invincible 2.8 D-4D auto £54,895 (three-door £35,895; five-door from £37,695)

Engine: 2,755cc, 174bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel

Performance: 0-62mph 12.7 seconds; top speed 109mph

MPG: Urban 30.7; extra urban 44.8; combined 38.2

CO2 emissions: 194g/km

Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 33%

Insurance group: 41A (out of 50)

Warranty: Five years or 100,000 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,780mm; W (excluding door mirrors) 1,885mm; H 1,890mm

Monster motor

There’s nothing subtle about this 4x4, particularly the five-door, seven-seat model. It’s big, bulky, boxy and built to be a tough, dependable and long-lasting workhorse.

This ninth-generation range was given a mid-life facelift a couple of years ago but you wouldn’t call the three and five-door models pretty.

And, despite a host of technology, gadgetry and off-road wizardry, the Land Cruiser is still a traditional 4x4 with the body built on to a durable ladder chassis which is at the heart of its off-road prowess.

Under the bonnet

There’s still only one engine – a new 2.8-litre, four-cylinder unit. Despite being a little less powerful than the old 3.0-litre – 174bhp is also down on most rivals – it has more low-down pull with the new six-speed automatic version delivering a hefty 450 Newton metres of torque from 1,600 to 2,400rpm – what you need for hauling a 4x4 weighing up to 2.4 tonnes up a slippery hill.

Compared to silky, six-cylinder prestige sport utility vehicles, the Land Cruiser can seem a bit rough and uncouth but that is the nature of the beast.

It’s not fast but cruises comfortably at motorway speeds but, despite better economy and emissions, I saw 25mpg running around with a best of 33mpg on a run, evening out around 28mpg.

How it drives

The Land Cruiser’s heavy-duty suspension was always going to be a compromise on road. Toyota has tried to make progress as compliant as possible with mid-range Icon and Invincible models’ dynamic kinetic suspension system electronically optimising the anti-roll bars to suppress body roll, improve steering and absorb poor surfaces. It copes quite well but body control becomes a little wayward and floaty at speed on undulating roads.

Invincible gets adaptive variable suspension with comfort, normal and sport damping modes but even in the softest setting there’s a lot of feedback from the road surface.

At the wheel

You’ll love the commanding driving position but the fascia feels dated, not helped by wood trim, but the Land Cruiser is a workhorse and this is the office so it’s important everything is easy to reach and use when you want – even if I did have to look up what some of the controls do as the Invincible is fully loaded.

There are buttons and knobs for low and high-ratio four-wheel drive, locking the centre and rear differentials, raising and lowering ride height, multi-terrain select to maximise traction and grip be it on mud and sand, loose rock or rock with a monitor to show hidden areas immediately around the vehicle and you can even set the off-road crawl speed so you can take your foot off the throttle.

In the cabin

The five-door Land Cruiser is a spacious seven-seater – you can even carry small adults in the two rearmost seats for short trips. The 40/20/40 split middle row seats slide through 135mm to vary the legroom bias and, with those 50/50 third row seats electrically folded flat into the boot floor, load space. With all seven seats in use load space is limited to a handful of bags of shopping but five-seat mode opens up a 621-litre load bay, albeit with a high floor and 1,151 litres with all seats folded.

Some trim and plastics feel no better than in a Toyota a third of the price but they are hard-wearing.

Final say

At nearly £55,000, flagship Invincible is as serious an outlay as the Land Cruiser is a 4x4. Take into account the generous equipment, off-road hardware, go-anywhere ability and legendary reliability and it doesn’t seem quite so steep.

And if you’re in the Australian Outback, and want the best chance of getting home safely, you may consider it a small price for peace of mind.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Dean Stansby pictured with his former partner Haley Phair and their son Rocky, five. Picture: Brendan Taylor at Taylor Made Portraits

The heartbroken family of a father-of-five who was killed near Ipswich railway station have paid tribute to him.

Reported stabbing on Virginia Street in Ipswich. Picture: Staff

A man in his early 40s is in hospital tonight after he was stabbed in Ipswich.

Lola, a pet cat from Ipswich who has had her ears cut off. Picture: RSPCA

Police and the RSPCA are urging residents to come forward after a cat was found near her home with both ears cut.

Launch of Suffolk Armed Forces Weekend at Felixstowe - members of the team orgainsing the event gathered on the seafront after a meeting to look at the latest programme for the event being staged on June 24-25

A Suffolk seaside town is to hold a double celebration with a military theme this summer – a two-day spectacle of music, battle re-enactments, food and fireworks for all ages to enjoy.

Elvis Fair leaving Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: Archant

A Suffolk hairdressing salon owner gave hundreds of pounds to an alleged conman she met on a dating website after he offered to help her with her financial affairs, a court has heard.

Peter and Sylvia Stuart. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Fingerprints taken from a man arrested on suspicion of murdering Weybread couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart were found on a car which had the couple’s DNA in it, it has been alleged.

Sidegate Lane in Ipswich

A teenage boy was knocked over by a car in Ipswich today and suffered a minor head injury.

Baroness Murphy of Aldgate

An East Anglian peer has warned advocates of a second European Union referendum that they are “playing with fire”.

Comic Relief's big red nose spent Tuesday 
February 21 visiting Ipswich. The big red
 nose started his journey at Broke Hall Primary
 School before   taking  in all the sites of the town and
 even got into Portman Road, home of Ipswich Town Football Club.

Adults and youngsters across Ipswich have been showing their support for next month’s Red Nose Day, as Comic Relief’s DJ Boogie made a special visit.

Beacon House, in Ipswich, where the inquest took place.

A 21-year-old woman who collapsed at a mental health hospital in Suffolk died of natural causes, an inquest has ruled.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24