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Toyota Land Cruiser

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Toyota Land Cruiser
5/10

Overall
verdict

If you live in the desert, the Land Cruiser is as good as it gets. But seeing as we don't, the Discovery is a much better bet.

Additional Info

  • Short of something armoured, nothing will get you as far into, and more importantly out of, a hostile place than a Toyota 4x4.
  • Our choice

    Land Cruiser 3.0 D-4D LC4 5d

    Price £45,575

    BHP 171

    LB FT 302

    MPG 34

    CO2 213

    0-62 MPH 11.70

    Top Speed 109

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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?

Driving

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 171bhp and 320lb 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 £40k 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.

Owning

Running costs are actually quite good for an SUV of this size. The 3.0 diesel's official combined fuel economy figure is 3mpg, while 214g/km of CO2 puts it in VED Band K, attracting road tax of £245. By comparison the Discovery 3.0 TDV6 returns 30mpg and is in VED Band L (£245).

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