Toyota Land Cruiser review
The Toyota Land Cruiser is the ideal car for when the going gets tough, and is cheaper than its rivals, too
If you want go-anywhere capability, huge amounts of space and a luxurious cabin then the Land Cruiser is a good choice. It's not as refined or as comfortable as a Land Rover Discovery but it is a good deal cheaper.
Our choice: Land Cruiser LC4
The Land Cruiser is a big car with a high-riding stance and chunky looks. It's arguably not as elegant as the design of some rivals, but high ground clearance at the front and rear are perfect for off-roading. Luxury is the order of the day inside Toyota's big off-roader. Every model except the entry-level car gets full leather upholstery, while the dashboard and switchgear are all made of high quality materials too.
There's just one engine in the Land Cruiser line-up – a 3.0-litre diesel with 187bhp. The smooth unit does a good job of lugging around the huge weight but it never feels particularly brisk. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 11 seconds. Through corners the Land Cruiser feels like a tall, heavy car. There's a fair amount of lean and the steering could do with being a bit sharper. It's worth mentioning though, that off-road there's not much that can stop the rugged Toyota.
Euro NCAP hasn't yet crash tested the Land Cruiser but it's worth assuming it would perform incredibly well because of its seven standard-fit airbags and stiff body. Toyota has built itself a reputation for reliability and is renowned for having a great dealer network should anything go wrong.
The side-hinged rear door makes loading into the 620-litre boot incredibly easy, but can cause problems in tight parking spaces. With the third row of seats in place, boot capacity is cut almost in half, but there's still enough room for most people's needs. On the higher-spec models the seats will fold away electronically at the touch of a button. Aside from missing leather seats, the basic LC3 model still comes with plenty of kit, including cruise control, keyless go, air-con and Bluetooth. Go for the range-topper and you'll get heated seats, TV screens in the rear and parking sensors.
Big cars come with big running costs and the Land Cruiser is no exception. The diesel engine manages 34.8mpg combined while CO2 emissions are 213g/km. That means hefty road tax bills. On the plus side however, Toyota does offer a fixed-price servicing plan.