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