- Exceptional off-road ability
- Not the best to drive on-road
- Lacks finesse
- Thirsty diesel engine
Tough rugged off-roader that’s built to last
The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the mainstays in the 4x4 class. First introduced way back in 1951, and now in its eighth generation, the Land Cruiser is well-regarded as one of the toughest off-roaders on the market. Today however, people expect a bit more from their 4x4s. In some respects, the Land Cruiser does meet modern buyers needs. Aesthetically, the Land Cruiser is pretty good looking, and it’s practical as well. And though it doesn’t have the premium feel of a Land Rover Discovery, or a Mercedes GLS, neither can match the Land Cruiser for solid build quality, off-road ability, and reliability. If you’re after a 4x4 that does everything a 4x4 should, the Land Cruiser might just be the perfect car for you.
Spacious, comfortable, and generously equipped, but lacks a premium feel.
Compared to the majority of its big 4x4 rivals, the Land Cruiser lacks finesse in the design and finish department. Despite this, the interior is well-built and spacious, whilst practicality is also a strong point.
The dashboard design of the Land Cruiser isn’t a match for its key rival, the Land Rover Discovery. The controls aren’t particularly well laid out, which makes it hard to make adjustments whilst on the move. Material quality isn’t the finest either, with some hard plastics found lower down the dash. Despite this, everything feels like it’s built to last, so whilst the Land Cruiser might lack the high-end finish, it isn’t going to fall apart anytime soon.
Practicality is a primary concern for buyers of large SUVs, and the Land Cruiser is actually pretty impressive in this area. Legroom and headroom are exceptional in the middle row of seats, whilst the sixth and seventh seats are roomy enough, even for adults. In terms of boot space, the Land Cruiser is a bit of a mixed bag. With all seven seats up, there’s barely any storage space at all, but with the back row down, there’s a gargantuan 621 litres on offer. So it really does depend on how big your family is.
Equipment levels in the Land Cruiser are pretty generous, though it does depend on which trim you choose. The entry-level Active trim comes with climate control, alloy wheels, and Toyota’s Touch 2 infotainment centre that includes Bluetooth and a DAB radio. If you want satnav and leather seats, something most buyers will want in a car of this class, you’ll have to go for the mid-range Icon trim.
Overall the inside of the Land Cruiser is a bit of a mixed bag. It really does depend on where your priorities lie. If you want a high-end luxurious finish, the Land Cruiser won’t be for you, but if you value space, practicality, and rugged build quality, the Land Cruiser will be right up your street.
Excellent off-road, not so good on-road.
When it comes to fun behind the wheel, the Land Cruiser’s strengths lie off-road, rather than on the tarmac. It’s strong steel chassis and four wheel drive mean that you can take the Land Cruiser anywhere. It can cope with almost all terrains, so far adventurers, the Land Cruiser will be a lot of fun. On the road, however, it’s not quite so impressive. There’s plenty of grip through the corners, but the vague steering and heavy kerb weight mean it handles more like a ship than a car.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride comfort isn’t the best either, though it isn’t what you’d call uncomfortable. Just don’t expect it to drive as well as a Land Rover Discovery or a Mercedes GLS. Potholes and loose surfaces in particular can sometime make for a shuddering experience, especially at speed. Because of the Land Cruiser’s vast dimensions, and large wing mirrors, it’s not the most refined motorway cruiser on the market. It’s no worse than some family hatchbacks however.
Gearbox options in the Land Cruiser come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six-speed manual transmission, that is ideal for off-roading. With low gear ratios, and slick gearchange, it’s perfect for around town as well. Higher-spec models come with a six-speed semi-automatic gearbox that is reasonable enough, though it is sometimes slow to react when you need a quick burst of acceleration.
Diesel is gutsy enough, but isn’t as refined as some rivals.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Land Cruiser, you’ve only got the one option. No matter which spec you go for, your Land Cruiser will be fitted with a 2.8 litre diesel engine. It’s not the most efficient, or the most refined, but as with everything else on the Land Cruiser, it’s built to last.
Petrolheads aren’t known for their love of big bulky SUVs, and the Land Cruiser certainly doesn’t offer a new option for them to consider. For a car like the Land Cruiser, low end power and torque is far more important. The 2.8 litre D-4D diesel engine thankfully offers enough of both. With 177bhp and an impressive 310lb/ft of torque under the bonnet, there’s plenty of capability for off-roading, and for towing a caravan or a trailer. The 0-62mph time of 12.1 seconds isn’t earth-shattering, but that’s not what the Land Cruiser is all about.
Another group of buyers who don’t usually go for rugged 4x4s are the eco-conscious. The Land Cruiser indicates exactly why this is the case. With 194g/km of CO2 emissions, the Land Cruiser isn’t going to save any trees anytime soon. It won’t be cheap to tax either, costing £270 per year. Fuel efficiency isn’t great either, though the claimed 39.2mpg isn’t far off some of the class-leaders. All in all though, the Land Cruiser isn’t a car for money-savers.
Huge size and decent safety kit make the Land Cruiser a safe choice.
Though the Toyota Land Cruiser hasn’t yet been tested by NCAP, its huge size, dominant road presence, and impressive safety kit make it a great choice for buyers concerned with safety. Standard features include seven airbags, stability control, traction control, ABS, and an emergency braking system. Advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, and lane assist, are all part of the option safety pack.
Excellent reliability makes the Land Cruiser a solid investment.
The Toyota Land Cruiser isn’t by any stretch of the imagination a cheap car to own day-to-day, but the fact that it’s one of the most reliable cars on the roads certainly helps matters. Fuel efficiency and low road tax aren’t one of the Land Cruiser’s strong points, but you won’t be spending much money on garage bills. The Land Cruiser also comes with a five year warranty, which will give buyers peace of mind. The Land Cruiser is also cheaper to buy than its rivals, especially if you go for a quality used model.
Insurance groups for the Land Cruiser are actually pretty reasonable for a car of its size, though it does vary between model to model. The range starts in group 35 for the entry-level 2.8 D-4D Active, and climb up towards group 41 for the range-topping 2.8 D-4D Invincible. Whichever model you go for, you shouldn’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Toyota Land Cruiser, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Toyota Land Cruiser has long been admired for its tough, reliable off-roading ability, and the latest is no different. It might not be the greatest SUV to drive on-road, nor is it the most refined, but few cars can match it once you’re off the straight and narrow. And though the interior isn’t the finest, and the engine is a little on the thirsty side, if you want a car that’s built to last, there aren’t many cars that will withhold the rigours of the great outdoors quite as well as the Land Cruiser will.
Buying a used Toyota Land Cruiser online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Toyota Land Cruiser for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Land Cruiser. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Toyota Land Cruiser online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Toyota? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Toyota Land Cruiser, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Land Cruiser, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Toyota to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.