Toyota Land Cruiser now 60 years young!

THE iconic Toyota Land Cruiser needs little introduction. It has graced our roads, industrial estates and farmyards for decades now and continues to offer unrivalled reliability and ruggedness.

THE iconic Toyota Land Cruiser needs little introduction. It has graced our roads, industrial estates and farmyards for decades now and continues to offer unrivalled reliability and ruggedness.

Road Tested By Hugh Maguire

What started out as a utilitarian and rather sparse work horse over 50 years ago has now become an icon for durability and dependability. Most purchasers of the Land Cruiser in Ireland go for the short wheel base commercial, but there is also a short wheel base passenger and a long wheel base passenger available (the subject of this week’s road test) which has all the virtues of its stablemate with the added bonus of being a LWB passenger vehicle. All Land Cruisers are powered by the same 3.0 D4D diesel engine with either manual or auto gearboxes.

First Impressions

Well it’s big, and long! It has all the signature Land Cruiser style details such as the large front grill, big headlights and high ground clearance. Compared to a Range Rover its not really going to win any prizes in the style stakes but it looks good and purposeful.

Behind The Wheel

The cabin is huge and as always with Toyota very well finished. Standard kit on the GX tested is good with multiple airbags, ISOFIX, the 3rd row of seats, full leather trim, cruise control, DAC, (descent assist control), HAC, (hill assist control), high and low range push button selector, push button two to four wheel drive, full vehicle stability control, climate control, 18 inch alloy wheels, roof rails, Bluetooth, voice activation, the usual electrics, stereo system and so forth. Overall I liked the cabin but it does not look particularly luxurious, and I wish manufacturers would keep the interior dash lighting consistent. In the Land Cruiser the radio etc lights up green, then the climate controls are white and the dials are white. It makes it all look a bit disjointed.

The rear is roomy but as always with these vehicles the 3rd row is strictly for the kids and with those seats in place the is no luggage space.

Performance

Powered by Toyota’s excellent 3.0 D4D engine this big 4x4 has plenty of pace and lugging power. Mated in this case to a very nice 5-speed auto box the combination works very well. It’s refined too! 0 to 100km takes about 12 seconds and top speed is around 175km/h (do you care??). It costs €1,050 to tax for a year and over my 600km road test returned a fuel consumption of 7.1 litres per 100km which is very good.

Road Behaviour

The new Land Cruiser sits tall with loads of ground clearance. as a result you do get a lot of body roll in corners and this big vehicle does not encourage you to do some press-on motoring. It handles fine, but again push it in a bend and the accompanying tyre squeal and bodyroll will have you backing off. So it’s no Range Rover Sport in this department. Brakes are mighty, refinement levels impressive and is pleasant to drive. In a brief sortie off-road the new Land Cruiser confirmed what I already knew really, that this is a true 4x4 off roader and a very capable one at that!

Verdict

So the new Land Cruiser is overall a very fine 4x4. In the LWB passenger version it proves to have all the virtues of the workhorse commercial with the added benefit of being able to transport all the family with ease.

The new Toyota Land Cruiser LWB GX Auto costs €71,995! The short wheel base passenger starts at €61,995. So these vehicles are not cheap by any means.

Consider for a moment that a Range Rover 2.7 TD V6 SE costs from €72,500 and you may be presented with a dillema!