Land Rover Discovery vs Toyota Land Cruiser

Land Rover Discovery vs Toyota Land Cruiser
Credits: Otis Clay
31 Mar, 2014 4:50pm

Mud in the blood: off-road legends head-to-head as new Toyota Land Cruiser meets Land Rover Discovery

Think of the ultimate off-roader, and the Land Rover Defender springs immediately to mind. However, 4x4 aficionados can name a rival that’s been going nearly as long as the Defender, and is possibly even more capable in the rough: Toyota’s Land Cruiser. The Japanese 4x4’s been around for 60 years, and while early cars mirrored the Defender’s workhorse nature, the Land Cruiser has grown in size and moved away from its utilitarian roots.

Land Rover Discovery review

Toyota Land Cruiser review

The latest model is packed with luxury kit and a raft of off-road extras, and with prices starting from £34,995, it now rivals the largest Land Rover – the Discovery. We’re big fans of the Disco thanks to its family-friendly luxury cabin and superb off-road ability, while constant development has kept it at the front of the 4x4 pack. Here we pitch the flagship Land Cruiser Invincible against the Discovery HSE to see if the new Toyota can claw its way to the top.

Head-to-head

Off-road kit

These cars use a raft of electronic aids to boost their off-road ability. Both get switchable air-suspension, hill descent control, low-range gears plus rear and centre diff locks, while the Land Cruiser has surround cameras as standard.

In use, the Discovery’s Terrain Response system is easier to navigate – simply press a button to suit the terrain you’re on. The Toyota’s buttons, switches and large dial are a bit messy.

Land Rover Discovery 2014 buttons

Third-row seats

The Toyota has an electrically folding third row of seats, which is easy to use. Its rival’s seats require more effort, but the levers feel robust and are more spacious. Tall adults can sit comfortably in the back, and access is easier with the middle row folded forward, too.

Towing

Both cars’ stability control systems are designed to work with trailers. The Land Cruiser has a maximum towing capacity of 3,000kg, while it’s 3,500kg for the Discovery. A tow bar costs up to £650 on the Toyota and £510 on the Land Rover.

Verdict

1st place: Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery 2014 front action

Constant development means the Discovery still leads the premium SUV pack. It’s spacious, comfortable, smooth and refined on-road, and its off-road ability has to be experienced to be believed. It’s well worth the extra outlay over the Land Cruiser.

2nd place: Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser action

The Land Cruiser is a supremely capable performer in the rough, and very well equipped, but it feels like it’s from a different era to the Discovery. The cabin seems dated, while the soft, bouncy suspension and underpowered diesel spoil the on-road performance.

Figures

Land Rover Discovery 3.0 SDV6 HSE Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0 D-4D Invincible
On-the-road price/total as tested £53,750/£54,750 £52,495/£54,555
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000) £31,336/58.3% £27,140/51.7%
Depreciation £22,414 £25,355
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £3715/£7,431 £3,627/£7,255
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £2,544/£4,240 £3,339/£7,255
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 39/£595/K/£280 38/£716/K/£280
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service £397/£567/£408 £179/£269/£179
Length/wheelbase 4,829/2,885mm 4,780/2,790mm
Height/width 1,891/2,053mm 1,890/1,885mm
Engine V6/2,993cc 4cyl in-line/2,982cc
Peak power 253/4,000 bhp/rpm 185/3,400 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 600/2,000 Nm/rpm 420/3,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission 8-spd auto/4WD 5-spd auto/4WD
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 82 litres/£185 87 litres/yes
Boot capacity (7/5/2 seat modes) 280/543/2,476 litres 104/553/1,833 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 2,570/670/3,500kg 2,420/570/3,000kg
Approach angle/departure angle 32/27 degrees 32/25 degrees
Breakover angle/wading depth 23 degrees/700mm 22 degrees/700mm
Turning circle/min ground clearance 11.5 metres/185mm 11.6 metres/215mm
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (unltd)/1yr 5yrs (100,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers 16k miles (1yr)/130 10k miles (1yr)/181
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 25th/15th 9th/3rd
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars 4/4/1 (pre-2009) N/A
0-60/30-70mph 8.4/8.5 secs 10.9/11.9 secs
30-50mph/50-70mph in kickdown 3.3/5.3 secs 4.5/7.6 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 112mph/1,700rpm 109mph/2,100rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 50.3/32.5/9.4m 57.0/41.7/10.7m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph 67/46/57/65dB 65/49/57/69dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 29.4/6.5/530 miles 22.4/4.9/429 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 32.5/37.2/35.3mpg 29.1/39.8/34.9mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 7.1/8.2/7.8mpl 6.4/8.8/7.7mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 257/213g/km/35% 338/213g/km/35%
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameras Six/yes/yes/one Seven/yes/yes/four
Auto/stability/cruise/hill descent ctrl Yes/yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seats Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go Yes/yes/yes £700/LEDs/yes
Sat-nav/DAB/Bluetooth/rear DVD Yes/yes/yes/£2,300 Yes/yes/yes/yes

Disqus - noscript

Choosing between these two really depends what you intend to use it for... If it's for cruising up and down the motorway then the LR is clearly better at that, but then if all you want to do is cruise up and down a motorway surely there are better vehicles... However, if you need a big 4X4 for actually going off-road through mud, snow, water then I'd go for the big Toyota - you just know that even after 1000s of miles of doing this it will still start first time, feel as tight as it was when it left the factory, and more than likely rattle free. Not sure you could say the same for the LR!

An early 1 april joke from AE, the LR wins, what a surprise.

The Landcruiser is not only the best 4x4 also the most reliable car money can by.

Very true ! I prefer the looks of Landcruiser ! go to places like Australia, Middle East you see many many Landcruisers especially on the deserts and of course parts of Africa ! I remember when my dad drove the Landcruiser Colerado (Prado) back in 2000 loved it, however the Discovery in similer age back then not so impressed ! Not saying the Discovery is bad !

Landcruiser had its day in the 1990s. It was a good solid beast with real endurance but unfortunately a bit too agricultural for 2014.

Toyota stood still whilst the automotive world moved on.

I don't like the Disco, but I don't have to deal with deserts yet (climate change may change that) and at least the Disco is a modern car.

Which one would I choose to cross a desert?

No choice..

Toyota landcruiser all day long.

AEX 1,338
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