Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Review
The comprehensive Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series review
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|Motoring||81%||"Toyota's LandCruiser Sahara is still worthy of all the claims, hyperbole and marketing bluster, despite its age and its premium price tag."||Read more|
|Car Advice||80%||"The LandCruiser has always been the company's flagship off-roader."||Read more|
|Anyauto||90%||"The LandCruiser 200 series still is the yardstick by which all other large off road 4WD's are measured."||Read more|
|Drive||75%||"The Toyota LandCruiser is the king of four-wheel drives."||Read more|
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How does the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series compare with its peers?
A comprehensive review of the Toyota LandCruiser
Toyota LandCruiser pricing
There are four models in the LandCruiser range, the workhorse GX, the more thoroughly equipped GXL, the further equipped VX and finally the top of the range Sahara.
Toyota LandCruiser GX
Toyota prices the entry model LandCruiser GX at $85,082 drive-away. This model is ideally suited to off-roading or for carrying workers to remote places. Its equipment levels and features reflect this. Toyota installs a behemoth 4.5-litre V8 bi-turbo diesel with a 6-speed auto transmission. Instead of alloy wheels, you receive rugged 17" steel wheels. Satellite navigation helps keep you on the right track, while air conditioning will help bring the internal temperature down to a reasonable level. The infotainment system has Bluetooth® connectivity and GX LandCruisers also have Hill Start assist control. Further preparing the GX for offroad use is a snorkel and washdown vinyl floor coverings.
Toyota LandCruiser GXL
If you're willing to ditch some of the off-road accessories for a little more comfort, the GXL is a great model to look at. Priced at $91,687, the GXL can be fitted with either a 4.5-litre V8 bi-turbo diesel or a 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine. Steel wheels are done away with, replaced by 17" alloy wheels. The single-zone climate control from the GX transforms into dual-zone and you also get a smart entry/start-system. The GXL has a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and LED headlamps. You also get privacy glass, side-steps and a more premium feeling interior. Windows all around are electric. Toyota adds an additional two speakers to bring the total to six.
Many journalists said the GXL was their preferred trim level and commented on how it was the perfect choice for families.
Toyota LandCruiser VX
Upping your budget to $102,617 will net you a VX LandCruiser that has even more creature comforts. The VX runs on 18" alloy wheels as opposed to the 17-inch rims on the GXL. Again, you have the choice of the V8 petrol or diesel engines but receive four-zone climate control and a large nine inch touchscreen infotainment display. The VX interior has leather accented trim with wood-grain inlays, a back-guide monitor, rain-sensing wipers, a moonroof, a multi-terrain monitor, an auxiliary input, three more speakers (nine in total), multi-terrain select and Kinetic Dynamic Suspension as standard. You also get smart safety features like blindspot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
Toyota LandCruiser Sahara
Finally, Toyota produces the Sahara LandCruiser, billed as a model that will give you the ultimate driving experience on- or off-road. Sahara models come installed with Toyota Safety Sense as standard. This suite includes:
- High-speed active cruise control
- Lane departure alert
- Automatic high beam
Other Sahara only upgrades include a cool box, ventilated front seats, front and second row (outer) heated seats and a power tailgate. Rear passengers will be entertained by a dual 11.6" infotainment screen that has a DVD player and 3 wireless headphones.
Click on the model you're interested in to compare LandCruiser finance options.
|4WD, 6-speed automatic, 4.5-litre V8 diesel, 5 seats: $85,082||4WD, 6-speed automatic, 4.6-litre V8 petrol, 8 seats: $91,687|
4WD, 6-speed automatic, 4.5-litre V8 diesel, 8 seats: $97,042
|4WD, 6-speed automatic, 4.6-litre V8 petrol, 8 seats: $102,617|
4WD, 6-speed automatic, 4.5-litre V8 diesel, 7 seats: $107,972
|4WD, 6-speed automatic, 4.6-litre V8 petrol, 8 seats: $123,972|
4WD, 6-speed automatic, 4.5-litre V8 diesel, 7 seats: $129,327
Metallic and pearlescent finishes cost an extra $580.
The above prices are the manufacturer's recommended drive-away prices (MRDP) for a base model (no options). They incorporate 12 months registration and CTP, the maximum dealer delivery rate and government duties. CTP is calculated based on the LandCruiser being garaged in postcode 2000, with a 40-year-old "rating 1" driver.
OverviewTo find fault with Toyota's legendary Japanese built Australian icon, the motoring press had to get really fastidious. It's a proper off-roader that can (just about) cope around town. It's the perfect car for families and will carry up to eight people depending on the final configuration. The only major problem is it has a hefty price that matches its weight and dimensions.
With a very solid engine line-up that was praised by all reviewers and Toyota's extensive dealer network, the LandCruiser makes a lot of sense for those who like to travel around Australia, whether that be for business or recreation.
|Motoring||"Yes, it's expensive, but with the family in tow and for exploring our vast, often remote landscape, the 200 Series LandCruiser Sahara remains in a class of its own."|
|Car Advice||"It's not the most attractive or affordable large 4WD wagon available but for so many it remains the standard setter. Hit the dirt for any length of time and it's not hard to see why."|
|Anyauto||"These pale into insignificance compared to the benefits of a powerful and economical diesel engine, awesome 4WD and towing ability, outstanding outback touring ability and comfort."|
|Drive||"The LandCruiser hasn't earned the title 'King Off the Road' without justification, and if you need a car that will, quite literally, go anywhere then few cars can match its off-road capabilities."|
Engine and performance
A brawny engine is needed to propel the colossal LandCruiser. Fortunately, Toyota builds two. One is a 4.6-litre petrol V8, the other, a twin-turbo, 4.5-litre diesel. The petrol engine creates 227kW at 5,500rpm. The diesel engine measures 200kW at a much lower 3,600rpm. Torque for the petrol is given as 439Nm at 3,400rpm, but the diesel engine outputs an unearthly 650Nm from 1,600-2,600rpm. To put that into perspective, there are light trucks and utes that have less torque than the LandCruiser.
Both engines are paired with an automatic 6-speed transmission that adjusts gear shifts to suit driving conditions. The LandCruiser 200 has a Torsen limited-slip centre differential.
Car reviewers' thoughts on the Toyota LandCruiser engine and gearbox line-up
Summing up the LandCruiser 200's diesel V8 engine, it's fair to say that it was universally adored by the motoring press. It was labelled a gem, effortless, smooth and refined. In off-road conditions, journalists described this engine as a through and through powerhouse. One even said it was close to perfection. On-road, the engine makes cruising at highway speeds refined and towing a doddle. Still another outlet commented how they thought this engine was a standout.
All of our sample reviewers were given a diesel LandCruiser to review. The general consensus was that the diesel engine was the one to go for, as it offers more torque through a wider band and better fuel economy. With that said, the diesel models do cost on average over $5,000 more than the equivalent petrol LandCruiser.
The gearbox too was applauded, with some testers explaining how it would convert even the most ardent off-road enthusiasts to choose an automatic over a manual cog-swapper.
Toyota LandCruiser engine and transmission statistics
|V8 Petrol||V8 Diesel|
|Engine type||Naturally aspirated, DOHC with VVT-i and Multipoint EFI||Twin-turbocharged with a DOHC and Common Rail Direct Injection|
|Fuel type||Petrol (91 RON)||Diesel|
|Fuel tank capacity|
|Max power||227kW at 5,500rpm||200kw at 3,600rpm|
|Max torque||439Nm at 3,400rpm||650Nm at 1,600-2,600rpm|
|Fuel consumption (combined)||13.4L/100km||9.5L/100km|
|Top speed (km/h)|
|Towing capacity (unbraked/braked)|
According to the Green Vehicle Guide, the 4.5-litre turbo diesel will use:
- Combined: 9.5L/100km
- Urban: 11.2L/100km
- Extra-urban: 8.5L/100km
A petrol model will consume as follows:
- Combined: 13.4L/100km
- Urban: 18L/100km
- Extra-urban: 10.7L/100km
The Green Vehicle Guide estimates the annual fuel cost for a diesel LandCruiser to total $2,259 and a petrol one will set you back $3,106. These numbers are based on covering an average of 14,000km per year with two thirds under urban driving conditions.
As the LandCruiser is such a heavy and large, full-time 4WD SUV with beefy engines, it's no surprise it uses more fuel than a ute, for example. The fuel economy figures published by manufacturers are determined in a heavily regulated test procedure. As a result, the conditions do not vary as they do in real-world driving, so actual fuel usage is generally higher on public roads. How much fuel did the testing panel use? One reviewer drove a diesel LandCruiser approximately 50% on-road and 50% off-road and used 15.4L/100km. Another journalist saw the fuel usage go into the high 11s for urban driving and into the 9s for highway use.
Thanks to the 138-litre fuel tank (split between two tanks), achieving a range of 1,000km and over should be doable. However, one reviewer was compelled to mark Toyota down for not providing a distance till empty gauge.
As a burly, full-time 4WD SUV, favoured by NATO, you'd be forgiven for presuming that the LandCruiser handles like a drunken hippo. However, most reviewers were pleasantly surprised to find that on-road, it drives like a much smaller car. Around town and if driving with enthusiasm, then testers did say that it tended to wallow around a bit. But GXL models and upwards have a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, designed to give the LandCruiser respectable on-road manners while still allowing for proper off-road use.
Most reviewers struggled a bit with the sheer size of the LandCruiser in cities but noted how the multi-camera system and parking sensors do help matters. Toyota uses a rack and pinion steering set-up and the long SUV can do a 180 degree turn in 11.8 metres, kerb to kerb. One expert said the steering was light, and that for an off-roader, it handles itself respectably. But most seemed to suggest if you were buying a 'Cruiser for pure urban driving, you'd be a bit bonkers. You should weigh up the pros and cons of owning such a bulky SUV because it does have a cavernous interior which can seat up to 8 people, and a LandCruiser will tow 3,500kg, lapping up almost any terrain you would reasonably throw at a factory standard 4x4.
Interior and features
The Toyota LandCruiser is a beast for sure, but it's Jekyll-and-Hyde. That's because the bog standard model is aimed squarely at farmers, mining and utility companies, the emergency services and those who need to get to far-flung places, whatever the ground is like, with a modest amount of passenger comforts. Contrast that on the other hand with the Sahara, which could almost be an entirely different vehicle. One critic said it was the best interior the LandCruiser has ever been given.
First off, most reviewers were struck by just how big the interior of the LandCruiser is. It'll easily seat five adults and two kids (or three on the eight-seater models) or eight adults on shorter journeys. As with most cars, personal space is most abundant at the front and slowly dwindles away further from the front seats you move.
There were a couple of gripes with the passenger compartment. One reviewer said they found the touchscreen sometimes failed to register their initial contact, another had difficulties reading it in sunlight. Also, on models with a third row of seats, journalists criticised their fold-up design, which severely robs you of cargo carrying capacity. Another journalist complained that the middle row seat headrests did restrict rear vision slightly.
Sitting in the interior, all reviewers commented on how quiet Toyota has managed to make the LandCruiser, which is great for a car that isn't terribly aerodynamic and has an engine that could have a go at propelling a road train.
Setting its crosshairs towards rough ground, the GX model is stripped back in terms of interior comfort, in favour of more practical substitutes. For example, higher specification LandCruisers have carpeting on the floor, whereas the GX has a vinyl floor covering you can scrub down. This model doesn't have an alarm either. It does have a 6.1" touchscreen display with built-in satnav, MP3 support, Bluetooth connectivity and a CD player. The audio system plays through four speakers. Further adding to its off-the-street credentials is a factory fitted snorkel, manual air conditioning and rugged 17" steel wheels. Interestingly, on the GX, the rear doors are vertically hinged like a barn door, rather than the lift up tailgate all other models wear.
GXL, the journalists choice?
The GXL has more passenger comforts. There's privacy glass to keep the worst of the sun's rays out, along with dual-zone climate control. You'll find a 220V plug in the rear, an additional 4.2" information screen and side steps to help you clamber in. The touch screen is upgraded to have DAB and Toyota workers also drop in two more speakers. For the driver, you'll get a smart entry system, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and LED lamps. This LandCruiser is more car-like inside, thanks to little touches like the carpet floors. The exterior has additional body coloured paraphernalia, a set of 17" alloy wheels, roof rails and an alarm.
Moving up, the more pricey VX brings a leather and wood grain-effect accented interior and 18" alloy wheels. There's a moon roof installed and a multi-terrain monitor. The rear-view mirror dims automatically and you get the ability to select the terrain you're driving on. Rear passengers can chill out thanks to four-zone climate control. There's also an additional three speakers, totalling nine, with a nine-inch screen that has USB and auxiliary inputs. Front passengers can adjust their seats electronically.
Finally, the LandCruiser Sahara brings neat touches like a powered tailgate, heated side mirrors, a cool box for drinks and snacks, chilled front seats, a wireless phone charger and active headrests that deploy in the event of a rear end collision, reducing the risk of whiplash. The front and outer middle row seats are heated, the steering wheel is electrically adjustable and in the back, passengers can watch films on twin 11.6" entertainment screens.
All journalists took their press LandCruisers off-roading, with impressive results. The 'Cruiser has a very tall 9-inch ground clearance and competitive approach, breakover and departure angles. Helping the big 4x4 over uneven ground are a series of electronic aids such as a crawl control and a trick suspension system. Toyota's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System is fitted on GXL models and up, which hydraulically wrangles the bulky 4x4's on-road manners while retaining as much suspension articulation as possible. Across the board, the motoring media liked this system.
Off-road, it performed with surefootedness, with little wheel spin and plenty of traction. With the terrain-select system and terrain-monitoring cameras found on VX and Sahara models, this thing is incredibly talented when driven away from the blacktop.
Toyota LandCruiser safety and driver assists
|5-star ANCAP rating||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Toyota Safety Sense with Lane Departure|
Alert (LDA), Pre-Collision Safety system (PCS) with pedestrian detection, Automatic High Beam (AHB) and Active Cruise Control (ACC)
|Active Cruise Control||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Front and rear parking sensors||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Active Traction Control (A-TRC)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Multi-Terrain Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Driver and front passenger SRS frontal, knee, first row side and first and second row curtain airbags||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Second row side airbags||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Third row curtain airbags||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Child restraint anchorage points x3||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Luggage tie-down hooks||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Toyota LandCruiser interior and comfort features
|Leather accented interior with wood grain-look highlights||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Smart entry and start system||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Back Guide Monitor||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Manual air conditioning||✔||✖️||✖️||✖️|
|Dual-zone front climate control air conditioning with rear cooler controls||✖️||✔||✖️||✖️|
|4-zone front climate control air conditioning||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Power windows (all) with auto up/down (driver's only)||✔||✖️||✖️||✖️|
|Power windows with auto up/down (all windows)||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Accessory power sockets: front (12V) and rear (220V)||Front only||✔||✔||✔|
|Rain sensing wipers||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|3-position driver's seat memory||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Dual 11.6" rear seat entertainment screens with remote, DVD player and 3 wireless headphones||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Premium steering wheel with audio, MID and telephone controls||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Premium and woodgrain-look steering wheel with audio, MID and telephone controls||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Multi-Terrain Monitor (4 external cameras)||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|4.2" Multi-Information Display (MID)||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Electrochromatic interior and exterior mirrors||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Single disc CD player, MP3 compatibility and AM/FM tuner||✔||✖️||✖️||✖️|
|Single disc CD player with 6.1" LCD touchscreen, MP3 compatibility, AM/FM tuner and digital radio||✖️||✔||✖️||✖️|
|Electro Multi-Vision (EMV) with 9" LCD touchscreen with digital radio/AM/FM tuner||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|3.5mm AUX input for portable audio players||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|USB input for some iPod®/USB memory sticks||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Number of speakers||4||6||9||9|
|Vinyl floor covering||✔||✖️||✖️||✖️|
|Premium steering wheel and gear lever||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Passenger assist grips and grab handles||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Driver 6-way manual seat adjustment and power lumbar support||✔||✔||✖️||✖️|
|Power adjustable driver and front passenger seat and driver seat power lumbar support||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Ventilated front seats||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Front and second row outer heated seats||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Second row seat: 60/40 split folding seatbacks||✔||✔||✖️||✖️|
|Second row seat: 40/20/40 split folding seatbacks||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Third row seat: side folding and 50/50 split seatbacks||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
Toyota LandCruiser exterior styling features
|LED headlamps with auto-levelling||✖️||✔||✖️||✖️|
|Bi-Beam LED headlamps with LED Daylight Running Lamps (DRLs) with washers and Dynamic Auto-levelling||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Front fog lamps||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Power retractable exterior mirrors||✖️||✖️||✔||✔|
|Rear barn doors||✔||✖️||✖️||✖️|
|Power back door||✖️||✖️||✖️||✔|
|Spare tyre mounted underside of cargo floor||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|LED rear licence plate illumination||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Rim size/material||17" steel||17" alloy||18" alloy||18" alloy|
Toyota LandCruiser off-road features
|Air intake with pre-cleaner and snorkel||✔||OPT (Diesel only)||OPT (Diesel only)||OPT (Diesel only)|
|Crawl control (incorporating off-road turn assist)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)||✖️||✔||✔||✔|
|Torsen limited-slip centre differential||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Approach angle (degrees)|
|Departure angle (degrees)|
|Breakover angle (degrees)|
Words like beast and behemoth are often bandied around when reviewing off-road vehicles, but the LandCruiser has a list of specs that would make other 4x4s run away and hide. From reading the experiences of several automotive experts, it's clear that Toyota has managed to update the LandCruiser to keep it relevant, with a spacious cabin and well-appointed interior on higher models. But it hasn't neglected customers who buy the LandCruiser for utility reasons. There are very few competitors to the LandCruiser 200. If you're in the market for a car that can do almost anything, this is probably the one you should go for.
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