Toyota Land Cruiser

The Essentials

  • Price from £32,085
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 34.9mpg
  • What is it? Tough, practical 4x4 that's at its best off-road.

Great

  • Go-anywhere off-roader
  • Sturdy build and practical interior
  • Cheapest model looks good value

Gripes

  • On-road performance lags behind the best SUV rivals
  • Engines don't have the wallop we'd expect
  • Cabin is built for practicality not for style
  • Drive

    At its best negotiating rugged ravines rather than smooth, quiet cruising in town

  • Inside

    Designers could have done better here; too many switches are fiddly and poorly sited

  • Safety

    As well as the security of four-wheel drive, there are seven airbags, stability control and active headrests to protect you

  • Reliability

    Sturdy build and a five-year warranty bode well, as does Toyota's superb reliability record

  • Space

    Vast for five and luggage, or opt for extra seats to seat seven

  • Standard and extras

    Basic models have climate control and Bluetooth; stepping up to more luxurious spec costs a bomb

  • What's it like to drive?

    Large rival 4x4s offer a smoother, quieter experience on the road, but when it comes to driving your way over the Andes, this is the car to choose. The cheapest model has a 185bhp engine with a six-speed manual gearbox while the rest have a 187bhp engine and a five-speed automatic. Either way, there's no shortage of low-down pull, but they need plenty of revs to keep up the pace and swift manoeuvres at speed are a challenge.

  • What's it like inside?

    It's an enormous car, so there's plenty of room inside for passengers. Basic LC3 models have five seats with the option of an extra two that fold out of the boot floor. In LC4 models the rear two seats are electric and will just about carry adults comfortably.
    The boot is huge, although space is reduced with the extra seats in place, and the high floor and side-hinged door won't suit everyone. The driver enjoys a fine view out, thanks to the raised seat and big, square windows. Annoyingly some of the controls are hidden behind the steering wheel.

  • How reliable is it?

    Toyota has an enviable reputation for reliability and if that's not enough, there's a five-year warranty to put your mind at ease.
    You can be reassured on the safety front, too, with seven airbags, stability control and active headrests to prevent whiplash all fitted as standard.

  • Should I buy one?

    In its cheapest form the Land Cruiser fits its no-frills off-roader brief perfectly and this is the model to pick if you can do without the auto gearbox and luxury extras. Don't expect running costs or resale values to offer such good value, however. Look elsewhere for frills and a better drive on-road.