RE: 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser: Driven

RE: 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser: Driven

Friday 2nd February

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser: Driven

Can Toyota's utilitarian 4x4 still wade through the ever deepening sea of Chelsea tractors?



That Toyota sells way more Land Cruisers to the United Nations and NGOs than it does in the UK tells you a reasonable amount of what you need to know about its big 4x4. The new Land Cruiser remains a body-on-frame off-roader, capable of towing three braked tonnes and equipped - in the UK, anyway - with a 2.8-litre diesel engine of only four cylinders. That only makes 177hp, but also 331lb ft, so it isn't fast, but it can haul.

It is, then, all it has recently been; the default choice, worldwide, for those who need what it can offer: off-road approach, breakover and departure angles on a par with a Land Rover Discovery, a low-range set of gears, a 700mm wading depth and the kind of reliability and durability that makes Toyota the dominant vehicle manufacturer in places that don't have shiny premium dealerships and where they value cars that don't trouble the warranty.


What's new now, then? The body/chassis combo is 11 per cent stiffer than it was, the suspension - double-wishbones at the front and a four-link setup mounting a live axle at the rear - has been made stronger and tuned for more stability. The hydraulically-assisted power steering gets a new tune and a Torsen limited-slip differential has become available, too, adding to a pretty bold raft of off-road attributes.

A mild redesign of the interior that wouldn't give an Audi Q7 much to worry about has mostly been done to make the Land Cruiser's off-road systems easier to use (an Audi interior redesign would probably make something like booking a restaurant easier, so context is all). As well as the low-ratio 'box, then, there's a locking centre differential, still a lockable rear-differential (an open one or the top-spec Torsen are the three options there), a crawl-control (low speed cruise control, effectively, but it's also very good at freeing the Land Cruiser from rest when you think it's otherwise stuck), a button to make it start in second gear, one to raise the body and a dial for 'Multi Terrain Select'. That helps the traction and stability control, ABS and throttle modulation do you whatever favours they can off-road: so in Sand and Mud you get more wheel slip than in rock, for example.


Anyway, beyond all of that you can spec air suspension (it wouldn't lift otherwise), adaptive dampers, hydraulic links between corners to keep the body flat, and so on. All of this stuff is standard on the 'Invincible' variant, the UK's top spec model, which retails in 5dr automatic form at £52,295 and doesn't want for much else. Most UK buyers opt for this.

But being a body-on-frame design, and what with the Land Rover Defender having disappeared from sale, Toyota hasn't failed to spot another opportunity, so the new Land Cruiser gets a new Utility spec - coil sprung and steel wheeled, at not much more than £34,000 for a five-door manual. Which I think has quite a lot of appeal.

So do the more expensive versions, mind, so long as you remember what this car is about. Given the solid rear axle, high centre of gravity and the knowledge that most people around the world wouldn't look twice at the kind of 4x4 that dominates the UK sales charts, it's unreasonable to expect the Land Cruiser to feel as sophisticated on Tarmac as those road-biased luxury SUVs.


But it's quiet enough (even considering it only has four cylinders), rides comfortably, the 'box shifts easily, the view out is imperious, and the chairs are huge and comfortable. Given it's also a 2,430kg, 1.8m high, 4.8m long off-roader with an unimpeachable reputation for standing up to the harshest environments on the planet, then, it's rather difficult not to like it. There's an honesty to it, huge integrity too, and unlike a lot of SUVs, it doesn't say a great deal about you, beyond the fact that you've obviously bought it because you need it. You're not just buying a car that looks like the real thing, it is the real thing.


SPECIFICATION - 2018 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER INVINCIBLE

Engine: 2,755cc 4-cyl diesel
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 177@3,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 331@1,600-2,400rpm
0-62mph: 12.7sec
Top speed: 108mph
Weight: 2,430kg
MPG: 44.8
CO2: 194g/km
Price: £52,295

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

romac

Original Poster:

49 posts

75 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Having joined the Toyota clan a year ago (Auris Touring Sport Hybrid), I find myself strangely drawn to the Land Cruiser. Reliability, capability, honesty, etc. Still remember that TopGear HiLux! Can't help thinking Land Rover have missed a huge trick here, especially the Defender going out of production before having a suitable replacement.

Ocellia

136 posts

78 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Just got around to persuading self that (after your article) I don't want a Pajero Dakar 4X4....you produce THIS! At least it might be possible to lpg this one (Pajero too small)!! (Whoops!! It's a diesel....)
Nothing like a reliable car in these days of ever more complex (and problem prone) things.
Remember the old 2CV ad that had no features......NOTHING TO GO WRONG! was the slogan.

Bibbs

3,420 posts

139 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Only engine options I can see are a 4.5tt diesel, or a 4.6 petrol. I'd take the petrol any day.

Glad I'm in Australia to get the proper options.

Edit to say, ignore me. It's not the 200 but the baby LC.

Edited by Bibbs on Friday 2nd February 14:23

nicfaz

207 posts

159 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
I wonder what the rustproofing is like though - I had one and whilst the mechanicals kept going, the underneath did not like the British winter combination of water (lots) and salt (also lots). Hopefully they are better now.

Tidybeard

491 posts

118 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
I really want one of these - they're much better than they are given credit for and are brilliant all-round vehicles (if a little expensive now).

The last couple of times I've changed cars I've test driven one and liked everything about it except...the engine. It can barely get the car moving and it's totally gutless. Feels like it needs at least another 100bhp. That leads you to the V8 variant, the most recent of which are at least two years old now and fetching £55k vs new list price of £60k. Bugger.

Drop the V8 diesel in this version (or even a gutsy petrol engine) and it would be the only car I would ever need. Please do it Toyota.
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dunnoreally

166 posts

37 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
As a luxury vehicle with some off-road ability, for people who need that, a well-specced LC makes a lot of sense.Still not sure who in the UK would buy one as a straight-up workhorse when pickups are so much cheaper, though.

troika

150 posts

80 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
One of the best vehicles money can buy. Land Rover offerings really are superficial next to one of these.

olly755

2,025 posts

91 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
dunnoreally said:
As a luxury vehicle with some off-road ability, for people who need that, a well-specced LC makes a lot of sense.Still not sure who in the UK would buy one as a straight-up workhorse when pickups are so much cheaper, though.
Quite.

Yet If Toyota had the foresight to offer the Utility in VAT qualifying Commercial spec (i.e. with blanked rear windows and no rear seats) then they would sell like hot cakes.

Familymad

34 posts

146 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
UN white
Base spec
Steelies with knobblies
5 door
Roof Rack
Tow pack
Seat covers
Rubber mats
Sealed RAI
Winch

Job done. Bring on the zombie invasion

Oldwolf

391 posts

122 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Tidybeard said:
Drop the V8 diesel in this version (or even a gutsy petrol engine) and it would be the only car I would ever need. Please do it Toyota.
You just need to import one....
http://www.toyota.ae/new-cars/land-cruiser/


5.7L V8 Petrol Engine 3UR-FE: Whether you believe power is control or control is power, both concepts are realized in the 5.7-liter DOHC V8. Boasting four valves per cylinder and advanced Dual VVT-i, this massively powerful engine delivers awesome performance with surprising fuel efficiency. Ride comfort and drivability benefit from extensive noise and vibration suppression. The Land Cruiser now comes with Crawl Control and Turn assist function as standard options across the line-up to ensure that the Land Cruiser remains the best performing off-road SUV in the market.

Rich135

420 posts

171 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
I have driving around in a 2010 LC5 for a few years, and it is every bit as good as I expected.

I spent a few years living and working around the Middle East so knew how reliable they were - nobody busy a Land Rover in Iraq, for good reason.

We have loved it. It could be more refined, but does exactly what we want from it, and just needs the annual service - nothing else.

It amazes me people by Land Rovers when they could get one of these. They are more concerned with image than reliability and costs of ownership I guess.

Rich

Willy Nilly

11,448 posts

96 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
That's not the proper Land Cruiser though is it?

nigelonich

938 posts

149 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Land cruisers are great. Superb build quality, reliable and cheap to run in terms of deprecation and operational cost. Most jobs on the car you have a decent chance of doing yourself too like say the timing belt as it is clearly designed to be easy to replace in 20 mins. The Range Rover Sport and Disco 3 needs the whole top body taken off to replace the turbos FFS!

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=12...

The LC is not a rusty car but when you have something that is built for 200k or 20+ years usable life you cant expect the underside to be maintenance free.

jezzaaa

1,688 posts

188 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
It's what they call a Prado everywhere else in the world...the smaller Land Cruiser. I lived in UAE for the last 10 years, and they are Ubiquitous. They hold their value too, out there. However...having borrowed a friends 2015 version, I found it to be dull, slow etc. At £50k I'd take a Landrover/Range Rover over it every day of the week, and take the risk of a break down!

This is all assuming that you aren't using it in the deep desert etc so if it breaks down, it's not life threatening!

The Toyotas have interior design by Early Learning Centre ... they're so dated in every aspect compared to anything European or even some of the newer US stuff. And they're bloody expensive to boot! I decided that if I was going to have a 4x4 with a rubbish interior, I at least wanted it to be cheap, so I bought a Nissan Xterra. Every bit as reliable and good off road/on road as the Prado...but cheap as nuts.

wormus

9,137 posts

132 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Wow, that’s ugly..and slow. I’ll keep my Disco thanks!

vipulsingh

8 posts

74 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Two things look really out of place:

1) The inordinately long development cycle foe this vehicle. This generation was introduced in Sep 2007 (as per wikipedia). Where is the next one?

2) That puny engine! They sell the Hilux-based Innova Crysta 'MPV' with that engine. The Innova weighs just 1.8 tonnes!

Edited by vipulsingh on Friday 2nd February 18:25

Tidybeard

491 posts

118 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Oldwolf said:
Tidybeard said:
Drop the V8 diesel in this version (or even a gutsy petrol engine) and it would be the only car I would ever need. Please do it Toyota.
You just need to import one....
http://www.toyota.ae/new-cars/land-cruiser/


5.7L V8 Petrol Engine 3UR-FE: Whether you believe power is control or control is power, both concepts are realized in the 5.7-liter DOHC V8. Boasting four valves per cylinder and advanced Dual VVT-i, this massively powerful engine delivers awesome performance with surprising fuel efficiency. Ride comfort and drivability benefit from extensive noise and vibration suppression. The Land Cruiser now comes with Crawl Control and Turn assist function as standard options across the line-up to ensure that the Land Cruiser remains the best performing off-road SUV in the market.
I imagine that would be a lot of fun. I'll happily take them at their word that the fuel economy would indeed be "surprising"...but perhaps not in the way they intend. And I say that as someone with a current average MPG of 17.2...

There's also a 4.0L petrol Prado on there (essentially the car this thread is about) but with the engine I want - 272bhp and a 150 litre fuel tank (and just over £40k too). Perfect cloud9

https://nd-mediagallery2-public-production.s3.amaz...

Edited by Tidybeard on Friday 2nd February 18:49

SidewaysSi

4,197 posts

163 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Love them. I think a Utility spec car is one of the most desirable new cars out there.

For me, destroys a LR in every way possible. I would love one to add to the fleet - great family car.

Gandahar

5,236 posts

57 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
"Can Toyota's utilitarian 4x4 still wade through the ever deepening sea of a Nic Cackett PH review?"


Tough question Matt, what is the maximum approach angle again?

More seriously, that simple one with steelies is what Land Rover used to be before they started making money off the school run.... and far more reliable



Edited by Gandahar on Friday 2nd February 20:24

Motorsport3

209 posts

121 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Could they make it look uglier? Think not..