Landcruiser began life as a humble 4X4 in 1951. It had rubber mats and was 100% utilitarian.
In 2008, the Landcruiser 200 series was born. Since then it has been lavished with updates in comfort, technology, and capability.
Models are GX, GXL, VX and the luxuriously, fully-appointed Sahara. Our semi-luxury VX scores much of the goodies of the Sahara for 15 grand less.
In 2018, Landcruiser was fettled again with the addition of an upgraded infotainment system, blind spot monitor and a trick 360 ° camera that also gives a view of underneath the car, and where the front wheels are placed.
Australia is Toyota’s largest Landcruiser market with 13,677 sold last year, giving Toyota 91,6% of the segment. Admittedly, only Nissan’s Patrol shares that segment. Landcruiser 80 series adds another 10,037 to that total.
Landcruiser is massive. There is no hiding the 2,740kg body. It is 1980mm wide not including the mirrors, and 4990mm long with a 2850mm wheelbase.
VX has 18” alloys which look a bit lost under the enormous wheel arches. Tyres are 285/60R18, with enough height to provide comfort on all terrain.
Bi-LED auto headlights were added but look added on to the aging body. LED taillights look more successful.
There is a 2-part manual rear hatch, which along with all other doors, has smart entry and locking.
Side steps help with access into the high-set 7 or 8 seater cabin.
Landcruiser is over 10 years old, which is geriatric in automotive terms. Despite that it continues to be one of the best selling vehicles in the country.
The cabin is comfortable if a bit dated.
There is space for 8 seats, and 7 in the diesel models. The 3rd row swings up to each side of the cargo hold allowing the floor to be as low as possible.
The interior is cavernous.
Seating is comfortable, heated, and has power adjustment on the front seats.
The driver has an update dash which includes a 4.2” LCD where a digital speedo can be displayed.
The 9” touch screen controls audio, video and climate settings, and displays the external cameras.
You sit a very long way from the dash but the controls remain easy to use. VX has touches of woodgrain and leather upholstery, which contrasts ironically with the tough rubber mats.
The 3rd row is a bit tight and best kept for occasional use. You’ll need the cargo hold for longer trip anyway.
2nd row room with the 3rd row stowed is limo-like.
Still no CarPlay/Android auto, but the audio system has great sound from 9 speakers. DAB radio can be used closer to town.
Towing up to 3,500kg is possible, but the star feature is the Crawl Control. Crawl is part of the off-road terrain programmes. It allows Landcruiser to extract itself from deep sand and mud. There is an auto steer function which helps the wheels find the best way out. It will even allow Landcruiser to make a turn almost in its own length like a skid-steer earth mover.
Smart entry/start leaves the key in your pocket too.
Quad zone air climate control has additional knobs for rear seats.
Drive and Engine
Our VX had the 4.5L V8 diesel option which is about $5,000 over the petrol engine model.
The twin-turbo V8 common rail diesel has 200KW/650Nm and uses 9.5L100k. You’ll get even further on the highway too. When it comes time to fill up, you’ll need 138L of fuel.
Both engines use a 6-speed automatic driving the full-time 4WD system. There is a Torsen limited slip centre differential, and high/low range gearing.
It makes Landcruiser feel nippy around town with lower gears providing get-up-and-go at the lights. It runs out of puff in higher revs so allow plenty of time for overtaking. It isn’t as fast as you think it is.
Landcruiser is almost unparalleled in its off-road capability.
Parking is easier than you might think. The cameras give an accurate impression of your place in space, even in tight spots.
On the open road, you feel like you could drive forever. Seats are supremely comfortable even after many hours.
Steering is more akin to sailing a yacht. You point, and more or less go there if the wind is right. The ride is luxurious with double wishbones at the front, and a fancy 4-link Panhard setup at the back.
ANCAP gave Landcruiser a 5star rating back in 2011. Since then, Landcruiser gained blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, AEB, automatic high beam and active cruise control
There are auto-steering aids such as automated parking, lane centering and accident avoidance, but you tend to find that people get out of your way just like the do with B-Doubles.
- Sensational ride
- Terrain controls
Not so Good Bits:
- aging interior
Despite being a behemoth, Landcruiser is remarkably agile around town. It can tow a small moon, and is like a mountain goat off-road. What’s not to like? You could drive almost 24 hours on a single tank, taking most of your friends with you.
If you have no friends, a thrash along a beach is just as much fun.
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Facts and Figures: 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor
- Engine: 4.5L V8 TwinTurbo producing 200kW/650Nm
- Transmission: 4WD 6 speed Auto
- Warranty: 5 Yr/ Unlimited km
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $99,990 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.