Car: Toyota Land Cruiser 200-series VX 2013
Owned since: 2014
Previously owned: Mitsubishi Pajero, Subaru WRX, Legnum VR4, Ford Explorer V8, Alfa 156, Astra VRX and some truly awful things, including Kia Grand Carnival and Freelander convertible.
Why I bought it:
"The kids were getting too big for the back of the Pajero and there is nothing bigger than the Cruiser! We are always looking for the next adventure with the camper trailer and nothing pulls better than this, with a 4.5-litre twin turbo V8 diesel, it will go anywhere. I'd always had my eye on them as soon as we moved to Australia; they are just as iconic to Aussies as the true blue Ute!"
"Not much that I hadn't researched but my mate has the higher spec Sahara, with the cooling seats. That would have been nice but his is white so it looks like a mine site car. Black is definetly best for looks but the red dust out here in the Western Australian desert gets into every seal and will not budge without some serious elbow grease."
Things I love:
"I love the looks, the space, the power and I love the off road capability. The best bit is that it is practically better than everything else on the road in almost every way. It's more powerful than the rest of the big torque pick-ups; it has got more seats than the dreaded Kia Carnival, better off-road capabilities than any of its counterparts. Okay, the 79-series Landcruiser is better but it's awful at everything else. The Range Rover has become a Chelsea tractor, whereas the Cruiser has all the off road tricks and actually wants to go bush bashing. And the sunroof, no idea why, but I love a sunroof more than my dog. That's not true, but I definitely love a sunroof more than the wife's dog."
Things I hate:
"Filling the tank can be quite painful with 138-litres of space to fill up. It can get quite expensive. No fancy cylinder shut down here, so it gets about 900km of highway driving on a full tank. It came with a 240-volt socket in the boot, but it can't take the amps of the fridge, so it's great for the kettle or hair straighteners. One quick trip to the auto spark will sort that. He can also change the battery for me as the cruiser comes with a dual battery setup. Both batteries are starter batteries so the idea is to whip one of them out, stick in a deep cycle and red arc controller and the power will last for weeks without a recharge."
"Purchase cost was not bad actually, 87,000AUD for an 18month old VX? Yes please. It will hold its value incredibly. Aussies love the Cruiser and it will be worth 30,000AUD when it's 20 years old with half a million km on the clock. I spent about 2,000 getting the wheels and chrome colour-coded, and around 2,000 more on electrical stuff for the fridges and trailers it drags around."
Where I've been:
"It's been from Esperance in the south east corner of WA, all the way across the south coast to Albany, then up to Perth. Keep heading north all the way up the Coral Coast to Exmouth. And back again. We recently went to Karijini National Park where it got all the red dust treatment. Just past 80,000km and it's barely broken in.
It's hard to comprehend the distances when you live in the UK, but driving from Kalgoorlie to Perth is Glasgow to London. Esperance to Exmouth is the same as John O'Groats to Geneva."
"I fancy a trip through the middle of Australia. Kalgoorlie to Cairns in Queensland is a distance of 4,000km which will take two weeks to get there. I would love to take it to Kakadu and Cape York but the distances are just so massive, I'd need to take a year off work..."
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