New Toyota Land Cruiser 2014 review

1 Feb, 2014 9:00am Mat Watson

Tweaked Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 for 2014 aims to keep pace with upmarket rivals


If you’re one of the few who genuinely need off-road ability, then the Toyota Land Cruiser 2014 is still a great choice, and this update makes it marginally better than before. However, for everyone else the changes don’t go anywhere near far enough. Compared to modern 4x4s, the trusty Toyota is simply too agricultural.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

• Best 4x4s and SUVs

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This is the best 4x4 in the world, no car can beat the off road ability of this Land-Cruiser. Offcourse this car is agricultural, that's it's main purpose. If you want a more luxurious 4x4 you buy the Toyota Highlander or a Lexus RX, or even the Landcruiser V8.

But this is a Toyota so Autoexpress will only give 2 stars for a five star 4x4, shame.

Only 2 stars ?? WTF?!?!?! Landcruiser is a great 4x4 ! go to anywhere in world Aus, middle east, asia there are lots of Landcruisers especially the deserts ! AE, what do you know !

It's a shame to see such an obvious case of a writer picking holes in a product he clearly has an issue against. I'm not saying the LC couldn't do with a more radical approach to modernise but a two star rating is clearly missing the point.

For example, I very much look forward to reading in AutoExpress that the Discovery engine is "not up to scratch for economy" (the figures seem identical to the LC).

No mention of the 5 year warranty, the superb dealer network, nor of the fact that the reliability and strength is legendary. True 90% don't go off road as such but what gets you up a mountain gets you out of a country lane ditch and, for those 10% the LC is the ideal vehicle.
Don't forget that a Ferrari's performance can't be used by 99% of owners (legally) but no mention is made of that.

Yes, I hope that Toyota catch up on some of the less well-executed elements but I'd still take the Landcruiser over its rivals, perhaps you have to experience one for a while to gain that feeling of solidity and dependability (not to mention exclusivity - do you really want to spend hours searching for your Disco amongst a sea of others in the car park ;-) ?

Please try to gauge the market a car is aimed at and try not to pre-judge it with prejudiced views of a make.

You are missing the one obvious point... It looks sh!t.

So does a BMW 5 series GT but people still buy them!

If I lived up a 5 mile single track road that was prone to flooding, freezing, filling up with snow during winters and could only have one car - this would be it. It would start first time (unlike certain british made 4x4s), it would go up a hill with wet grass (unlike a certain German 4x4), and would know that if something did go wrong (unlikely) that the dealer would fix it first time.

However, if I lived in suburbia and going off-road meant bumping up on the kerb to drop off the kids, I'd avoid it.

AE... get my point.... 2 stars is ridiculously unfair.

This car is so offensiven I'm
speachless. Zero stars would have been more appropriate. And the

This car has a ride of a 1950' russian tractor. No wonder they don't sell well in
Europe. Toyota please take this monstrosity away from my face and limit your
sales to the Middle East, Russia, USA and other
places of the world with no taste and sense of aesthetics.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Lagoya ;)

It is a mediocre review even by Mat Watson's standard. It shows writer's complete lack of interest in this car's legendary abilities.
The result is a defective star rating based on a myopic and one-dimensional criteria. It's a Land Cruiser, not an Audi crossover.
People buy this to stay mobile when the going gets really tough. It's not only for yummy mummies' adventurous school runs.
If Mat has no interest in the subject, why doesn't he stick with urban cars and leave the off-roaders to someone who cares?

Im sure theres other off-roaders out there that can handle rough and tumble without looking quite so awful and being like a tractor to drive.

Land Cruiser was good in its time, but has fallen behind. Shame. Needs a compete new model with modern tech and engineering. Two stars is appropriate and this is reflected in poor sales.

Getting a bit long in the tooth and not really up to modern 4x4 off road, and is too compromised on road, as proven by latest other makers.

Also, the smelly people that drive them make me sick!!

'not really up to modern 4x4 off road' errr are you serious? The Toyota LC is arguably one of the very best off roaders. It is one of the toughest cars around which is why the U.N. have a fleet of them!

It had its day in the 90s and the U.N. is all about politics.

In 2014 all cars start first time, regardless of where they were made. You need the 1970s and pull-chokes with carburettors for your view of the world.

I can't believe the moaning on this thread! Two stars is a very fair rating considering the pre-facelift model received three stars. Do you really think this uglified revision doesn't deserve a reduced rating?

The Defender has a three star rating on this site. If Land Rover attempted a similar rehash job as Toyota, I'm sure that would also get a lowered rating.

Errr no, your are talking a lot of rubbish on both counts!

Errr no, it's not rubbish. Prove otherwise. Show me sales numbers.
BTW, U.N. use Nissan Patrol.

Agreed. It's had its day. Toyota should come up with something new and more 2014.

Are you saying that sh it looks beautiful to you?

Er, no.

Hey Albert, I'm a bit unclear about which aspects of this car are not up to the standards of other 4 x 4s off road? I've recently switched to Toyota for 4wds, and they've proven vastly more capable than any RR or X5 I've ever owned. Landcruisers are reliable and trustworthy, which if you live in the countryside, as I do, and require a vehicle for agricultural purposes, then it is unmatched. Range Rovers , though handsome and desirable, are overpriced, unreliable trinketry; BMWs are much too sporting for proper farm work, hauling and trailing etc. Audis give up the ghost on harsh winter mornings and are next to useless. RRs etc might be much more comfortable to drive for long commutes, but for serious work I have joined my many neighbours in enjoying the reliability and quality of this boring old Toyota; in fact, there simply isn't a holding within miles of me which doesn't own one. That's how good they are

Indeed they use Patrols and some Mitsubishis too! Would be less than ideal using Euro 4x4 vehicles in the middle of war zones such as Land Rover Discos since they are some of the least reliable vehicles on the planet! Best used kept in Chelsea! BTW, why dont you show some evidence to back up your statements above..

True, The 5 GT makes the Toyota LC look elegant!

What 'HTG' is obviously getting at is that some cars (in 2014) are still more reliable than other cars and offer more long term durability. Many Euro cars are great after they leave the showroom but years down the line they become a liability to own. I can talk from experience! Cars like the Landcruiser have a well deserved reputation for longevity which is why they are highly regarded in some of the darkest corners of the planet. Did you never see the Top Gear Toyota Hilux 'destruction' film?!!

Nick I would agree with your remarks if the reviewer were harping on the ugly appearance rather than the off road capability. He made it clear that the reason for his 2-star rating was largely due to it's off road handling.

Key specs

  • Toyota Land Cruiser: Icon 3.0 D-4D 7-Seat
  • Price: £47,495
  • Engine: 3.0-litre 4cyl turbodiesel, 185bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed auto, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 11.0 seconds
  • Top speed: 108mph
  • Economy/CO2: 34.9mpg/214g/km
  • On sale: Now