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Toyota Land Cruiser

CRUISER CHOOSER (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Toyota channels a little Lexus into the improved and altogether smarter version of its iconic Land Cruiser. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 66

Many serious off-road vehicles are about as comfortable as going over Niagara in a barrel when used on the road, but Toyota's Land Cruiser is one champion mud-plugger that can hold its own on the tarmac. The latest model enhances this reputation with sleeker exterior styling, a more sophisticated, comfortable and higher quality interior, plus improvements to its dynamic performance and user-friendliness, both on and off-road.

Backgroundword count: 166

When it comes to reputation, there's little that can touch the Toyota Land Cruiser. It's the most indestructible of all big 4x4s and has spawned its own legend. Australian backwoodsmen tell you that if you need to get to where you're going, buy a Land Rover. If you need to get back again, choose a Land Cruiser. Here in the UK, however, there's often little requirement for a vehicle that can ford swollen rivers and wade up to its axles in mud. It's not that we're lightweights. We just require a little more versatility. The latest Land Cruiser responds to that call. Yes, it can still take you wherever you choose to go once the tarmac runs out, but now it's a much more pleasant place to be for the majority of the time it's being used as a car rather than a cross-country assault weapon. It's hard to mess with a legend that has over 60 years of heritage behind it. Has Toyota been successful?

Driving Experienceword count: 203

The 2.8-litre D-4D diesel engine is the only one we get in our market for Land Cruiser models and it boasts 175bhp and a lusty 420Nm of pulling power through the gears. There's a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or smooth six-speed automatic transmission. There's an extra 30Nm of grunt available between 1,600 and 2,400rpm, so overtaking is easier than you might expect it to be in a large, heavy serious 4x4. 62mph from rest takes 12.0s - or 12.7s in the auto. That said, a performance SUV this is not. This doesn't mean to say the Land Cruiser need be hard work to drive. Suspension modifications made in recent years offer an improved balance of stability and ride quality. This applies both to the standard set-up and the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System featured on higher grade models. On the standard system, damper performance has been optimised, while the Kinetic setup benefits from an increase in thickness/diameter for several components, including the front anti-roll bar to create smoother vehicle behaviour with better front-to-rear weight transfer when cornering. This on-road refinement hasn't come at the expense of off-road ability though. That's sacrosanct and Toyota only green lights developments that can benefit both roles.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

Performance
50%
Handling
50%
Comfort
70%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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