MONEY TALKS

TOY­OTA’S ICONIC 200 SE­RIES HAS EN­JOYED A HUGE JUMP IN POP­U­LAR­ITY OFF THE BACK OF IN­CREASED DE­MAND FOR THE BIG-DOL­LAR VARI­ANTS.

4 x 4 Australia - - Driven -

THE mighty 200 Se­ries dates back longer than any other ve­hi­cle in the 4x4 top 10, but it has jumped in pop­u­lar­ity in 2016 – per­cent­age wise – more than any other. Sales are up nearly one third – 2648 units – to nearly 11,000. The re­sult fol­lows on from a strong 2015 where a small jump in sales from 2014 saw the 200 as the only wagon in the top 10 with a sales in­crease.

Re­mark­ably the 2016 sales in­crease was made up al­most en­tirely of VX and Sa­hara mod­els that start at $100K and $120K re­spec­tively (be­fore on-road costs). Toy­ota of­fers a sweet petrol V8 in the LC200, but only one per cent of buy­ers went that way. The 2016 jump was also largely off busi­ness sales rather than pri­vate sales, with the rest com­ing from rental com­pa­nies.

Also, 2016 was the first full year of sales for the facelifted 200 that ar­rived in the fourth quar­ter of 2015. That facelift brought dis­tinc­tive new styling, a raft of new safety and tech kit, and Euro 5 com­pli­ance for cleaner run­ning, im­proved econ­omy and even a slight jump in power.

No doubt the 200’s strength­en­ing pop­u­lar­ity is due in part to a lack of real com­pe­ti­tion from Nis­san with ei­ther its Pa­trol Y61 diesel or Y62 petrol V8. With the Y61 no longer able to be sold due to Euro 5 emis­sion reg­u­la­tions in­tro­duced in late 2016, the Pa­trol will of­fer even less com­pe­ti­tion for the 200 go­ing for­ward. An in­ter­est­ing aside to all this is that Pa­trol sales jumped in 2016 by more than 100 units com­pared to 2015 but still only man­aged 2000 all up, so small num­bers com­pared to the 200.

As ever, the 200 works beau­ti­fully both on and off the road, of­fers proven Toy­ota re­li­a­bil­ity and has Aus­tralia’s big­gest dealer net­work to back it up, all of which high­lights its en­dur­ing prac­ti­cal­ity.

At this stage, the de­vel­op­ment of the 200’s re­place­ment is also well ad­vanced and should de­but by 2018 at the lat­est.

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