They may only have 1bhp, but that's all these angry little cars need...
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The Top Gear car review:Toyota Land Cruiser
For:Unstoppable off-road, more efficient than you might think
Against:Cumbersome on-road, expensive
3.0 D-4D Icon 5dr Auto 7 Seats
If you live in the desert, this is as good as it gets. Seeing as we don’t, the Discovery is a better bet.
Never has the phrase ‘slow-in, fast-out’ been more appropriate, though. Let’s just say that on-road, the new Land Cruiser feels better than the...
What we say:
Short of something armoured, nothing will get you as far into, and more importantly out of, a hostile place than a Toyota 4x4
What is it?
Forget Land Rover, this is the vehicle worshipped in the world’s most hostile and unforgiving environments. But, as Kensington isn’t one of these, do you need one?
The ladder chassis is the real weak point - over a bumpy back road the Land Cruiser is constantly fidgeting and doesn’t iron out any of the surface imperfections. One positive is that the Land Cruiser doesn’t roll very much through a corner. This is down to a clever anti-roll device that uses hydraulic chambers on the front and rear anti-roll bars to keep the suspension in check. It’s not involving though. But when you’re off-road the Land Cruiser takes on a whole new personality - all of a sudden you’re at the heart of the action.
Accept that you’re moving at a slow pace and the Land Cruiser’s comfort is just fine, thanks to big seats and long-travel suspension. But if you’re prone to car sickness, beware the oitching of the short-wheelbase three-door. And the five-door’s third-row seats are pretty cramped.
This latest generation of Toyota’s long-running SUV has just one engine - a three-litre, four-cylinder diesel. It may have 188bhp and 420lb ft, but in nearly 2.5 tonnes of car, it’s not powerful enough for most driving. It’s OK once you’re up to speed on the motorway, but overtaking anything is tedious and if you so much as breathe on teh accelerator it sets up a racket you just wouldn’t hera in a Land Rover Discovery.
On the inside
Built to Toyota’s high standards but some of the plastics don’t feel worthy of the car’s £50k price. They’re fine in a £20k Avensis, but not here.
The Land Cruiser comes with seven seats and the rear-most ones fold electrically on top-spec cars. These are totally automatic to fold or raise - even the headrest stows itself at the touch of a button. You could get a pair of adults in there for a short journey without having to amputate, but the boot is pretty tiny with the seats up.
Running costs are actually quite good for an SUV of this size. The 3.0 diesel’s official combined fuel economy figure is 34.9mpg, while it produces 214g/km of CO2.