The Toyota Land Cruiser is the preferred choice for miners and farmers in the most desolate areas. Toyota ads a double cab while we wait for the V8 Diesel.
Toyota Land Cruiser review by John BealeFinally, the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser series has received a much-needed update, as well as the addition of a double cab to the range. South Africans pick the comb out of your socks and rejoice!
Toyota Land Cruiser first impressions
Arriving for the launch at George, we were greeted by the entire range, made up of a single cab, station wagon, wagon (or UN ambulance as I termed it) and double cab. Taking the route out towards the Karoo, I was expecting the typical “sports bra” ride, but was actually pleasantly surprised. Look, it’s no magic carpet ride, but the suspension (live axles front and rear, with coil springs at the front and leaf springs at the rear) isn’t as HUMVEE as you’d expect. There’s now central locking, electric windows all round, Sat Nav (in DC & SW), stereo, air-conditioning and electric mirrors. The rear seats in the DC are a bit tight for adults and the bench is upright but this is expected. We took the double cab through a combination of typical undulating surfaces, ruts, axle twisters and then some rather large rock river-bed climbing ensued.
Powertrain and performance
Our unit was the 4litre petrol producing 170kW at 5600RPM and 360NM at 3800RPM. The perennial 4.2litre diesel also does service in the double cab, however I have it under good authority that a V8 diesel will make an appearance for those who need more torque and power. I found the diesel a bit lacking when we had to haul uphill. Due to it being a petrol, some revving was needed to maneuver the vehicle over some of the terrain but we got through most of it with very little wheelspin or damage to the environment. The DC comes standard with those UN spec steel wheels. Spec the alloys, unless you want kids hanging out at your window waiting for food parcels or peace.
Land Cruiser features and specifications
All models come standard with diff lock, five speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drive system with low-range transfer box. The petrol engine has excellent anti-stall in 1st and 2nd in low range. The longer rear and step bars take some getting used to when off road, but front approach angle is excellent. Fuel consumption in the petrol suffered a bit during the rock-smacking (no trip function), but I would guess “guzzling/100km” would be close enough. Turning circle is good, but there is a vagueness about the steering that took a little time to get used to.
High ground clearance of 230mm for the wagon and 235mm for the rest of the range. The Toyota Land Cruiser is tough, and you can feel everything has been put together well. I love the simplicity and utilitarian nature of these vehicles, even driving long distances on dust roads, we had no dust creep into the cabin, which is testament to the build quality. This said, simple doesn’t have to mean cut down, as the range has had some significant upgrades:
- 4-Wheel disc brakes with ABS (which disengages when diffs are engaged) now std.
- Central locking & electric mirrors now standard
- Fuel tank size grows to 130 / 180 litres in some cases
Toyota Land Cruiser conclusion
The double cab is a worthy addition to the range and will do those that require the extra passenger hauling ability justice in any place on earth.
Toyota Land Cruiser - PriceToyota Land Cruiser DC 4litre petrol - R463 900
Toyota Land Cruiser DC Diesel - R487 000