Cars usually only have one facelift in their lives, but the current Toyota Land Cruiser – first introduced early in 2009 – is now on its second.
• Full Toyota Land Cruiser review
The most noticeable update is a more outlandish grille design flanked by new upswept headlamps that give the boxy 4x4 the surprised look of an ageing Hollywood starlet. The lights are placed higher than before to protect them while off-roading, while the front bumper is raised, too, in a bid to improve the Toyota’s approach angle.
That’s great for markets where off-road ability is key, but in the UK a 4x4’s desirability is as important as its utility – more so, in fact.
And in this respect the Land Cruiser is way off the pace. Yes, it gets Toyota’s easy-to-use Touch 2 Multimedia system, new bits of interior trim, a revised driver display and a dial for the off-road settings. But even in our mid-spec Icon model it still feels nowhere near luxurious enough.
Then there’s the engine. The 3.0-litre four-cylinder diesel has been tweaked for lower emissions, yet it’s not up to scratch for economy, performance or refinement.
The same can be said of the ride. While Toyota has uprated the suspension, the Land Cruiser still fidgets over broken surfaces, bobs over undulations and bumbles its way through corners.
And this will be a problem for most UK buyers, as 90 per cent of them never take their 4x4s off road.