CRUISER CON­TROL ON ROAD AND OFF

Whether to the shops or through a river, Toy­ota’s new model will take you there in com­fort and style

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - JONATHAN CROUCH

TOY­OTA LAND CRUISER 2.8 D-4D

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 say 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. We just re­quire a lit­tle more ver­sa­til­ity.

The lat­est Land Cruiser re­sponds to that call. The 2.8-litre diesel en­gine now on of­fer is slightly smaller than the pre­vi­ous 3.0 D-4D lump, and also a lit­tle down on power, not that pre­vi­ous buy­ers will no­tice much dif­fer­ence.

Toy­ota talks of im­proved torque de­liv­ery and there’s still a lusty 420Nm of pulling power through the gears of the much im­proved six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. 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. Im­proved on-road re­fine­ment hasn’t come at the ex­pense of off-road abil­ity though.

De­sign-wise, the styling is as rug- ged as ever, and the cabin is largely un­changed too, though a lot smarter than it used to be, with trims and de­tail­ing that raise the over­all tac­tile and per­ceived qual­ity.

Prices are in the £36,000 to £55,000 bracket, around £5,000 less model for model com­pared to the lat­est Land Rover Dis­cov­ery. The com­bi­na­tion of a smaller 2.8-litre pow­er­plant, Euro6 en­gine tech­nol­ogy and a more ef­fi­cient six-speed auto gear­box help this Land Cruiser achieve around a 9% im­prove­ment in fuel econ­omy and CO2 emis­sions. The com­bined cy­cle per­for­mance is rated at 39.2mpg and there’s a CO2 fig­ure of 194g/km, th­ese re­turns for the five-door model.

It’ll be ex­pen­sive to tax, but at least resid­ual val­ues are and will stay very strong — ex­pect around 52% of your orig­i­nal pur­chase price back af­ter the usual three year stan­dard own­er­ship pe­riod. This im­proved fourth gen­er­a­tion six cylin­der Land Cruiser has smartened up its act, but it still re­mains a proper 4x4 that will very com­fort­ably get you and six pas­sen­gers wher­ever you want to go.

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