Is Toyota’s 4×4 king of the hill lastly over the hill? We take a top-spec Sahara to search out out.

It’s simple to put in writing off the 2020 Toyota LandCruiser 200 as being overpriced and previous. However, it’s additionally enduringly in style with Australian consumers.

Overpriced, particularly while you’ve acquired this specification – $123,590 price of 2020 Toyota LandCruiser Sahara – in your healthily budgeted crosshairs. My anecdotal truth of the day: the variety of Sahara badges I see cruising round city means that this big-dollar specification is a well-liked selection with Australian consumers.

Your complete LandCruiser 200 range remains to be promoting effectively, the truth is. The month-to-month business reporting instrument VFACTS signifies that the one phase competitor is Nissan’s Patrol, which will get outsold at greater than five-to-one. The Land Rover Discovery, a one-time competitor (formally grouped with status higher giant SUVs), will get outsold by this a lot older LandCruiser virtually 16 to 1.

Direct VFACTS numbers aren’t lethal correct, lumping in 76, 78 and 200 Sequence LandCruisers collectively as ‘wagons’, though they’re all very completely different automobiles. Out of the 13,804 LandCruiser wagons offered in 2019, 12,619 had been 200 Sequence. That leaves 1,185 76 and 78 Sequence.

Don’t neglect: there’s a new LandCruiser coming. Contemplating the 80 Sequence ran from 1990 to 1998, and the 100 Sequence LandCruiser ran from 1998 till 2007, the long-serving 200 Sequence LandCruiser, which has been gracing showroom flooring for 13 years now (with updates alongside the best way) is certainly due for alternative.

Particulars are scant in the mean time, which is typical of Toyota. Nonetheless, some reviews do point out the 200 Sequence is perhaps the start and end of the twin-turbo diesel V8.

Massive-budget LandCruiser consumers may even want to have a look at the limited-edition LandCruiser Sahara Horizon, and can most likely wish to run their ruler over the Prado Kakadu whereas they’re within the showroom. Additionally, don’t neglect the carefully associated Lexus LX450d ($135,171 earlier than on-road prices).

Past there, Nissan’s Patrol Ti-L gives conspicuously extra bang for buck, and Ram’s 1500 Laramie additionally competes carefully in lots of facets.

As costly as it’s, the LandCruiser can also be sort of distinctive. Together with room for seven aboard the 4990mm of size, the twin-turbo 4.5-litre diesel V8 is just matched and/or overwhelmed by way of displacement and torque by high-end Vary Rovers and American full-size vans.

By way of energy, 200kW at 3600rpm is stable if a little bit paltry for the capability, however 650Nm at 1600–2600rpm is the place the get together’s at. This torque provides the engine a relaxed and muscular feeling to drive. Whereas it’s not quick, it’s by no means perturbed by hills or heavy masses. Sometimes, driving sees the engine reside in that peak torque vary, solely reaching up into the 3000rpm zone while you’ve planted loads of throttle.

The engine is generally easy and muted, with a little bit of a whooshing rumble below acceleration. You may inform there may be some vital sound deadening put in to maintain issues quiet. Not like status opponents that climb in output as they climb in worth, this driveline is shared proper throughout the vary, from GX ($80,190) to Horizon ($129,090).

Claimed gas economic system for the 200 Sequence LandCruiser is 9.5 litres per 100km, however in our testing the determine was a lot nearer to the city determine (11.2L/100km). Our testing included loads of freeway and city driving, together with a little bit of off-roading.

With a 138L gas tank, it’s best to have the ability to comfortably preserve effectively over 1000km between refills.

Though as soon as the gold normal, a six-speed automated gearbox feels a bit underdone in a world the place seven and eight ratios are the norm. Though, with plentiful torque on faucet, the LandCruiser by no means feels prefer it wants extra ratios. The gearbox (An Aisin AB60F) works effectively with the diesel V8, each on-road and off-road.

Sahara specification doesn’t maintain again on inside fit-out. Whereas it’s actually a bit dowdy nowadays, the 200 Sequence actually turns it on with bells and whistles. Latest updates have improved the usual equipment in GXL and VX variants, which suggests this Sahara is barely much less of a specification standout within the vary.

Inside bits shared with the VX embrace: a 9.0-inch infotainment show (though with no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto), 4.2-inch multifunction show in entrance of the driving force, leather-based seat accents with electrical adjustment, 360-degree digital camera (together with a multi-terrain monitor), 18-inch alloy wheels, auto wipers, sunroof, facet steps and wood-look inside highlights.

Distinctive goodies within the Sahara embrace rear-seat leisure screens, powered tailgate, refrigerated centre console, heated first and second rows, ventilated entrance seats, energetic headrests, electrical steering column, reminiscence seating place, and much more wood-look bits.

I came upon the laborious manner: if you wish to hearth up the Ps Four in your LandCruiser, you’ll want a extra highly effective inverter. The 100W unit within the boot doesn’t provide sufficient grunt sadly. One thing much less power-hungry would work, letting you employ the HDMI port for some further versatility over DVDs.

Though dated in its feel and look, the LandCruiser’s inside is undoubtedly snug and sensible. Storage choices are good across the cabin, and the sheer dimension helps its credentials as a household bus. First and second rows are capacious and comfortable, whereas the third is just respectable. Taller adults will battle, as they’ll in most third rows.

And that must be remembered with this LandCruiser. Whereas the same spend can land you all method of fancy giant SUV equipment from Europe and Japan, the LandCruiser does some issues higher than most: uncooked dimension and house, good consolation, and real potential by way of off-roading and towing.

With room for 5, the LandCruiser 200 gives 1,276 litres of uncooked space for storing, which is sort of large, particularly while you bear in mind the third row does not fold into the ground, and is at all times taking on house. With the third row deployed, Toyota does not quote litres of capability. However, I can inform you there may be nonetheless usable house there. Assume sufficient for a half trolley load of groceries, or much like the boot in a small automobile.

The LandCruiser has at all times embodied the top for Toyota by way of functionality and sturdiness. So, whereas Toyota might need thrown the engineering kitchen sink on the challenge again earlier than it launched in 2007, lots has occurred in these 13 years. Nonetheless, time and progress appear to plod alongside at a slower tempo in 4WD land, and the LandCruiser nonetheless packs an honest technological punch.

Off-road and in low-range, the LandCruiser remains to be a formidable unit. A sensible and well-tuned off-road traction-control system, mixed with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (hydraulic, energetic swaybars), provides plenty of management and articulation. Floor clearance is just common, and (typical of many normal 4WDs) the facet steps can get knocked about off-road. Nonetheless, regardless of its heft, the LandCruiser feels surprisingly succesful off-road.

There’s no locking rear differential, as a substitute the LandCruiser depends on the ‘A-TRAC’ off-road traction management, which could be switched by a number of completely different modes in Multi-Terrain Choose. And whereas a locking rear diff is rarely a nasty factor, the LandCruiser manages to regulate wheel spin deftly with out one. Crawl Management can also be a useful characteristic for novice off-roaders, however is sort of noisy and jerky in operation. For that purpose, I keep away from it.

Though the LandCruiser’s turning circle is respectable at 11.8m, a characteristic referred to as Flip Help (which solely works in low-range) brakes your rear inside wheel to assist the LandCruiser be a little bit extra manoeuvrable. It really works, however does rip up mud and comfortable floor a little bit.

Towing is one other robust level of the LandCruiser, and a purpose why it’s so in style amongst Australian gray nomads. It’s huge, pretty heavy and torquey. The small payload and GCM must be remembered, nonetheless, and the Australian 4WD business has made good cash on GVM-upgrading many LandCruisers sure for heavy masses and many equipment.

With a hefty kerb weight of 2740kg, the 3350kg GVM ceiling leaves solely 610kg of payload. That’s sufficient for normal utilization, however you’ll run into issues while you throw on a bullbar, winch, and different typical equipment. A generally fitted rear bar, which frees up house for a second spare wheel and long-range tank, works out to be an particularly heavy modification.

When you’re planning on such issues, you’d be mad to not embrace a GVM improve as a part of your pre-delivery. Most respected 4WD shops are in a position to do that with nationwide accreditation, and ranging upgrades and changed elements. Like something, do your analysis earlier than taking the plunge.

With a 3500kg braked towing capability and 6850kg gross mixture mass, a completely loaded LandCruiser can nonetheless tow the total quantity, and vice versa. It is a huge enchancment over most 4×4 utes, whose smaller GCM figures rob Peter to pay Paul. It’s additionally higher than a Nissan Patrol on paper, which stipulates a payload penalty, relying on how a lot towball mass you’ve gotten.

There’s new tow-rig competitors for the LandCruiser, which suggests it doesn’t have the identical monopoly it as soon as did. Specifically, the Ram 1500 (and even 2500) provides some selection in selection, and Nissan’s not-so-thirsty 5.6-litre Patrol is making headway changing Australians again into petrol 4WDs.

Security credentials for the LandCruiser are robust because of some considered updates through the years. The five-star ANCAP security score comes from manner again in 2011, when testing was much less stringent than at present. Nonetheless, gear like rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise management are good to have. There isn’t any autonomous emergency braking on the LandCruiser 200. As a substitute, it is a sort of forward-collision warning that Toyota calls ‘Toyota Security Sense’ and consists of pedestrian detection.

By way of guarantee protection, you have acquired 5 years and limitless kilometres with the LandCruiser 200.

As a result of the LandCruiser has service intervals each six months or 10,000km, it really works out to be a bit costly. For the primary three years (or as much as 60,000km) it is $300 per go to, or $1800 to the three-year mark. From there it goes up, totalling $4409 over 5 years. When you’re eager about bean-counting, every service (seventh to 10th) is listed at $796.52, $823.60, $504.41 and $484.19 respectively.

Little question, the LandCruiser stays a sort of aspirational car in Australia due to the repute for reliability. This diesel V8 isn’t with out its points through the years, nonetheless, and maybe isn’t as outright dependable as previous six-cylinder mechanical engines. It’s a tough factor to say with certainty, although, as all proof is anecdotal. If I had been to purchase a brand new LandCruiser (or any new diesel 4WD, to be sincere), I’d be spending some further cash on filtering my gas and crankcase air flow.

Whereas it isn’t the most recent and best by an extended shot, you’ll be able to see the enduring enchantment of the LandCruiser in Australia. And, you’ll be able to see how that interprets into robust gross sales. A lot of it centres round that twin-turbo diesel V8, which is each charming and efficient. Mix that with plenty of house, ample consolation and good off-road chops, and you have a package deal that is prepared for absolutely anything.

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