Toyota’s new LandCruiser has loads of extra safety, comfort and technical features, including suspension so good it’s been banned from rally cars.

Story By Ian Glover

The release of any new iteration of a successful vehicle is always eagerly anticipated by prospective buyers, but none more so than a brand-new LandCruiser. Toyotas have been cruising Australia for more than 50 years now, from the original BJ Series onwards.
In terms of family-style four-wheel-drive wagons, the first was the (petrol-engine only) FJ55, released here in 1975, followed by the 60 Series (1980), 80 Series (1989), 100 Series (1998) and this year, the 200 Series. With each generation, LandCruiser has become bigger and more powerful, and the 200 Series is gigantic – almost five metres long and two metres wide and weighing in at 3300 kilograms (meaning payload is a little limited if you want to stay within your insurance limits). The twin turbo 4.5-litre V8 diesel develops 195kW and 650Nm, with the 4.7-litre V8 petrol motor up on power (202kW) but down on Newton meters (410). The fuel-frugal shouldn’t be concerned that both are V8s; with modern engine-management systems, it’s possible to enjoy all the benefits of V8 performance without spending most of your life at the bowser.
There are six variants in the 200 range, starting off with the petrol engine GXL at just under $70,000 and topping out with the diesel Sahara at almost $105,000.
The initial impression as you jump in the cabin of the LC200 is one of incredible spaciousness – it will seat eight adults. Though the Toyota diesel engine isn’t as quiet as some of the modern European equivalents, soundproofing within the vehicle insulates occupants from external noise. On top-line variants, the cockpit is all leather and woodgrain, with dials and switchgear standard Toyota – clearly legible and ergonomically sensible. Other pluses include Bluetooth capability, 10 airbags (on VX and Sahara, with six on the GXL), dual-zone climate control, a potentially eardrum-detonating sound system, a reversing camera, Satnav, keyless ignition and electrically adjustable front seats (with memory) and steering (which moves away from you as you switch off the engine, and resets as you start up).

This story excerpt is from Issue #59

Outback Magazine: June/July 2008