Land Rover Discovery vs Toyota Land Cruiser

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

Land Rover Discovery vs Toyota Land Cruiser

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

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 HSEToyota 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/cost39/£595/K/£28038/£716/K/£280
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£397/£567/£408£179/£269/£179
   
Length/wheelbase4,829/2,885mm4,780/2,790mm
Height/width1,891/2,053mm1,890/1,885mm
EngineV6/2,993cc4cyl in-line/2,982cc
Peak power253/4,000 bhp/rpm185/3,400 bhp/rpm
Peak torque600/2,000 Nm/rpm420/3,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission8-spd auto/4WD5-spd auto/4WD
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel82 litres/£18587 litres/yes
Boot capacity (7/5/2 seat modes)280/543/2,476 litres104/553/1,833 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight2,570/670/3,500kg2,420/570/3,000kg
Approach angle/departure angle32/27 degrees32/25 degrees
Breakover angle/wading depth23 degrees/700mm22 degrees/700mm
Turning circle/min ground clearance11.5 metres/185mm11.6 metres/215mm
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (unltd)/1yr5yrs (100,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers16k miles (1yr)/13010k miles (1yr)/181
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.25th/15th9th/3rd
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars4/4/1 (pre-2009)N/A
   
0-60/30-70mph8.4/8.5 secs10.9/11.9 secs
30-50mph/50-70mph in kickdown3.3/5.3 secs4.5/7.6 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph112mph/1,700rpm109mph/2,100rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph50.3/32.5/9.4m57.0/41.7/10.7m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph67/46/57/65dB65/49/57/69dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range29.4/6.5/530 miles22.4/4.9/429 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined32.5/37.2/35.3mpg29.1/39.8/34.9mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined7.1/8.2/7.8mpl6.4/8.8/7.7mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket257/213g/km/35%338/213g/km/35%
   
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/camerasSix/yes/yes/oneSeven/yes/yes/four
Auto/stability/cruise/hill descent ctrlYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless goYes/yes/yes£700/LEDs/yes
Sat-nav/DAB/Bluetooth/rear DVDYes/yes/yes/£2,300Yes/yes/yes/yes

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