One of the most often asked questions that I get is “what would you buy, if you had to buy a car?”, my answer is always a Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series.
I really can’t name a vehicle that does as much as the big Toyota.
It has seating for eight people (comfortably), it can go just about anywhere (and further with a few mods), has five-star safety, Japanese quality, it’s nice to drive, is a lovely tourer, powerful, surprisingly efficient (the diesel) and can tow 3,500kg (with ease).
I used the LandCruiser to take the kids to school and do a bit of running around in the suburbs, sure, it is a big vehicle, but that really high seating position and excellent visibility front, side and rear, make it a lot easier to drive than you might think.
It has a surprisingly good turning circle, and the big wing mirrors and reverse camera help you get it into parking spots.
Occasionally, you do have to search for a slightly bigger parking spot than you would for a small car, but 9 times out of 10 it fits.
There’s plenty of legroom front and rear – a mountain of cargo space (and there’s even some space if you’re using the third-row of seats).
All the controls are well-placed and there’s nothing too difficult about this vehicle at all.
The best bit though is what’s under the bonnet – one of the best engines getting around – Toyota’s silky-smooth 4.4 litre turbo-diesel V8.
Giving you a hefty 200kW/650Nm it never feels under strain – and while the LandCruiser is no racing car, the power helps get the big Toyota keeping up easily with the traffic.
Around town you can expect to use around 12L/100km, though if you drive conservatively you can do better than that.
What’s not to like?
The only weak point is the pricing. For this particular variant (the Altitude), you’re looking at more than $93,000 and that’s just not going to happen for many Aussie families.
The bargain-basement GX starts from a bit over $77,000, the GXL is $88,500 and some change – both have the same engine/transmission etc. and might be an option for you if the budget won’t stretch to the Altitude.
I was a bit surprised to see that the Altitude didn’t have auto headlights – seems a big oversight in a car on the other side of ninety grand!
Big and beautiful and as I said the best all-rounder you can get, if you can find the dollars there are very few weaknesses in the 200 Series LandCruiser.
There will always be a place in my garage for one of these.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2018 Toyota LandCruiser Altitude
- Engine: 4.4 litre turbo-diesel V8 producing 200kW/650Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed auto
- Safety: Five stars
- Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $93,460