Roy Lewis road tests the Toyota Land Cruiser LC4 3.0-litre five-door diesel auto (From Hereford Times)
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Roy Lewis road tests the Toyota Land Cruiser LC4 3.0-litre five-door diesel auto
8:00am Friday 9th March 2012 in Road Tests
AT-A-GLANCE Toyota Land Cruiser LC4 3.0-litre five-door diesel auto.
Price £45,755 (on the road).
Top speed: 109mph.
0-62mph: 11 seconds.
Fuel: 34.9mpg (combined figure).
CO2 emissions (g/km): 213.
Verdict: Spacious, practical, durable, stylish, generous levels of kit, excellent blend of on and off-road ability, quality build, reputation for reliability.
NOTHING stands still in the world of the 4x4 and Toyota’s Land Cruiser has upped its game continually to keep it among the best off-roaders you can buy.
Like Land Rover and Jeep, Toyota’s toughie is a legend and its popularity has been global for many years.
It has earned a splendid reputation for both durability and reliability.
In its latest guise the iconic Land Cruiser has had all the rough edges nicely rounded off and has the latest electronic bells and whistles to go with a bucketful of built-in driving aids.
Among the wizardry is full time all-wheel drive with Torsen limited slip differential, driver selectable central and rear differential locks nad four driver-select modes to tailor the vehicle settings for different off-road surfaces.
This means the vehicle will go off-road where most Land Cruiser owners have never gone before.
However, a major step forward by Toyota is the improvement in the handling on the tarmac.
These days outstanding off-road ability is not enough and a whole new generation of sports utility vehicles are available with the 4x4 facility and car-like driving characteristics for the highway.
Imitation might be the finest form of flattery but it can also make a dent in the sales of the more traditional 4x4s. So Toyota has ensured that the Land Cruiser is not only awesome offroad but drives like the family transport on it.
Behind the wheel you soon feel just how good the road dynamics are, with the car’s hydraulic rack and pinion steering letting you know exactly what the Land Cruiser is up to.
It corners without body lean and the suspension keeps the vehicle composed over a wide variety of surfaces.
The latest-generation cars come with a 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with 188bhp and maximum torque of 420Nm @1,600-3,000rpm. Prices are not cheap but considering the long list of equipment they are competitive with leading rivals and go from £35,705 to £50,785. Running costs are reasonable with the average fuel figure at 34.9mpg.
The oil-burning unit is fairly refined and mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox has brisk acceleration for a four cylinder unit. In particular, it offers plenty of cruising refinement but the motor can be a touch intrusive when pushed hard.
The improved interior ensures the cabin is a very liveable environment with bags of space for five and extra seats for a further two passengers. The extra seats, an option with the LC3 model, fold or raise electrically at the touch of a button. The front seats are very comfortable and supportive and have the advantage of being electric and heated.
The plush interior is sensibly laid out and well trimmed with the leather upholstery helping to give an upmarket feel. hard-wearing plastics are used on the dash and door panels and helping to brighten the interior are chrome and silver embellishments.
The equipment list is as long as your arm. It includes a world-first system of external cameras, giving combined or separate views of areas in front and to each side of the vehicle that cannot be seen from the driver’s seat. There is also a parking monitor and front and rear parking sensors.
On the middle-range LC4 model the equipment also includes 18in alloy wheels, smart entry and start, cruise control, triple zone climate control and air-conditioning.
There are numerous electronic safety aids, including vehicle stability control, downhill assist, hill-start assist, ABS brakes with brake force distristribution and dynamic suspension.