Toyota Land Cruiser SUV
Price £35,895 - £54,895
- Very good off-road
- Impressive build quality
- Basic model is cheap to buy
- Top-spec models are expensive
- Poor boot space with seven seats in place
- Not as comfortable as Land Rover Discovery
At a glance
"Mighty off-road ability and good reliability make the Toyota Land Cruiser a bulletproof 4x4, but it's not as comfortable as rivals like the Land Rover Discovery 4."
Tonka-toy looks and incredible mechanical toughness make the Land Cruiser a popular choice for drivers who are planning big adventures off-road. Inside, the interior looks and feels a little dated, but at least there's a new dashboard that gathers together all those easy-to-use controls in a smart-looking fashion. The Land Cruiser has decent equipment levels, with satellite navigation, air-conditioning and electric windows standard on higher-specification models. Chunky indicator stalks and heater controls are in keeping with the car's no-nonsense image, but rivals like the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7 feel more luxurious and refined.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Relatively low CO2 figures should help out with your tax bills
The new 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which replaced the less fuel-efficient 3.0-litre diesel engine in the middle of 2015, returns up to 39.2mpg and emits 194g/km, for an annual road tax bill of £265. Insurance will be expensive, but as this car is so reliable you can trust that servicing and maintenance costs will be reasonable. Just make sure you budget for replacement tyres and clutches if you plan on off-roading or towing. Both activities are sure to wear out the car more quickly.
Engines, drive & performance
Feels every bit as heavy and tough as you'd expect a large off-roader to
If you've just come from the driving seat of a small car like the Ford Fiesta, the Toyota Land Cruiser will feel heavy, unwieldy and intimidating to drive. The vague steering is another disappointment, and there's precious little feedback. Along winding roads, the car often feels as though it's lumbering.
The addition of electronically controlled suspension reduces body lean, while road and wind noise at motorway speeds is not as bad as you might imagine, given the blunt nose and chunky tyres. The Land Cruiser’s four-cylinder diesel engine offers respectable CO2 emissions, but it isn't as smooth (or fast) as the Land Rover Discovery’s 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, and the Volkswagen Touareg has lower CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, the Land Cruiser’s engine suits its workhorse character.
Interior & comfort
No squeaks and rattles, but comfort is disappointing
The Toyota Land Cruiser's rattle-free cabin is a testament to its excellent build quality. However, the car is far from perfect. Despite a new adjustable Adaptive Variable Suspension system which is designed to react to – and smooth out – rough roads, the Toyota never seems totally settled. It offers a variety of driver settings. However, in comfort mode it wallows and floats, while in the dynamic setting its body fidgets over the smallest lumps and bumps.
Entry level models have Toyota's Touch 2 multimedia system with a DAB radio, and the Touch 2 system comes with sat-nav on all but the entry-level ‘Active’ model. An optional Safety Pack throws in kit like adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection and a 'Multi Terrain Monitor, which gives a 360-degree view of the road, or ground, around you.
Practicality & boot space
Cabin offers seating for up to seven, but space is limited
On paper, the top-specification car's seven-seat cabin sounds extremely practical, but the Land Cruiser's narrow track and large engine and suspension components intrude and make it feel small inside. What's more, the rear seats are not easy to fold flat, like they are in the Land Rover Discovery. We recommend the five-seater.
Reliability & safety
Few cars will prove so dependable and trouble-free
Few cars are built to withstand the abuse you can throw at a Land Cruiser. Owners all seem to agree: there aren't many cars that'll prove so dependable and trouble-free. Perfectly suited to life in the extremes (anyone who travels a lot will tell you Land Cruisers are a familiar sight anywhere from the Equator to the Arctic), the Land Cruiser has an unrivaled reputation for toughness. Safety is reasonable, with all cars fitted with driver and passenger airbags, as well as traction and stability control.
Price, value for money & options
Resale values are strong, but it's expensive to buy
The Toyota Land Cruiser is far from cheap, but it's well equipped and offers good value for money, given that second-hand prices are relatively strong. Owners can expect their Land Cruiser to retain about 40% of its value over three years – that's as much as some upmarket models from BMW and Mercedes. However, mid-spec Icon models have Toyota’s Touch 2 Multimedia system, which includes sat nav, a DAB digital radio and a Bluetooth phone connection. As a bonus, TomTom Real Time Traffic alerts and Google Street View come pre-installed and are free for a year.