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Toyota Landcruiser review 2020

Find out more about the Toyota Landcruiser in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

£18,691
Average price
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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Very capable off-road
  • Roomy interior
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not especially comfortable
  • Quite expensive to run
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

  • Video

  • Price Guide

  • Trims

  • Summary

Model review

While you might think of Jeep and Land Rover as the firms for truly unstoppable cars off-road, you shouldn’t discount Toyota – and that’s because of its Land Cruiser. Known for its bulletproof reputation, the Japanese manufacturer has been producing this model since 1951, so unsurprisingly there’s been a lot of change in that time. 

While starting out in life as a rugged no-nonsense off-roader, over the years it’s become more of an SUV-like model, but without compromising on its tough and rugged ability – something that remains the Land Cruiser’s ultimate selling point. 

But it’s also quite old, and despite Toyota’s best efforts to update it, there’s no hiding the fact that this current generation of Land Cruiser has been around since 2009. 

Latest model

Despite being around in its current generation for some years, there have been plenty of updates and range changes over the past decade – including the introduction of a ‘Commercial’ variant, along with styling changes and tech upgrades. 

The most recent of which came along in September 2020, which had a key focus on refreshing its powertrain. This saw an updated 2.8-litre engine being introduced, which brought the likes of stop start for reduced fuel consumption, along with an increase in performance thanks to an extra 27bhp and 50Nm of torque.

Technology and safety has also been enhanced – thanks to the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and driver assistance kit like adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist.  

Value for money

When it comes to the Land Cruiser, you’re really paying for that impressive build quality and outstanding off-roading ability, so prices aren’t cheap. New, this Toyota is available from £42,345, but that’s for the three-door model, so you’ll want to upgrade to the five-door model, which isn’t vastly more expensive at £43,690. 

While standard kit isn’t overly generous, it gets everything you need. It could be worth ticking a few optional extras on this model rather than choosing the top-spec Invincible grade (the only other option on new models), which adds a whopping £14,000 to the price, and is really hard to recommend when it’s so close in price to far more premium SUVs.

Good savings are available on pre-updated models, though, with high-spec Invincible versions that are 18-month-old available from around £40,000. 

Looks and image

Few cars can offer the imposing looks of the Land Cruiser. Just one look at this large Toyota and you know it means business, with high ground clearance and imposing front grille giving it the much-craved ‘SUV’ look. The design itself is quite old school, with no fancy lines or design features, just a smart and functional look that favours substance over style. 

It’s a similar story on the interior. You don’t get the fancy dials and displays that you find in BMW X5s and Audi Q7s, but rather a clear layout and systems and functions that are easy to operate and get your head around. There’s a real sense of durability on the cabin, too, and while not feeling as ‘premium’ as other big SUVs, it’s a vehicle that’s built to last – look at 10-year-old versions and they’ll be just as well screwed together as when they left the factory. 

This rugged and durable feel is also carried through to the experience behind the wheel. Compared to rivals, it might feel like it’s from another day and age, with big and heavy steering, loads of body clean and a true agricultural feel to it. But that’s the aim here – it’s not meant to feel sporty, but rather big, secure and capable, of which it most certainly is. If you want something fun or quick to drive, look elsewhere. 

Video Review

Space and practicality

Despite limited uptake for such things here in the UK, Toyota continues to offer the Land Cruiser in three-door guises. There’s very few of these available, though, and we struggle to see why you’d choose one – it just makes the Land Cruiser more impractical than it needs to be.

And as the five-door version isn’t noticeably more expensive, it’s the one to go for. You can choose it with five or seven seats, and despite it being a huge SUV, it’s not quite as roomy as rivals – the Volvo XC90 and Land Rover Discovery both offer more seating space. That said, it’s still a very spacious car overall, but it’s best treated as a five seater as the third row is small, and only suited to children. The boot is also tiny with seven seats in position (just 120 litres), so leaving five seats in place and making use of the 640-litre cargo area is a much better option.  

Engines

Despite Toyota’s line-up now being predominantly made up of hybrids, it’s diesel engines that continue to be used in the Land Cruiser

Earlier current-generation Land Cruisers (sold from 2009) used a 3.0-litre unit, but since 2015 Toyota has used a smaller 2.8-litre diesel unit producing 175bhp. 

But on this updated Land Cruiser, Toyota now utilises a much-improved version of that 2.8-litre diesel engine – this time producing 201bhp and 500Nm of torque, which allows for a big reduction in 0-60mph time, as it drops by 2.8 seconds to just 10 seconds. All Land Cruiser passenger models also come with a six-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive. 

Running costs

Despite Toyota’s latest Land Cruiser adopting technologies like stop start, it remains a big and thirsty SUV. Claimed fuel economy figures only just hit 30mpg, while CO2 emissions are steep at 250g/km. First year road tax is also expensive at £1,850, though has been cut by £325 as part of this update due to the engine now meeting stricter emissions regulations. 

Things to look out for

Toyota has a pretty bulletproof reputation when it comes to reliability, and given there are still plenty of Land Cruisers on the road that are still several decades old, you shouldn’t worry too much about this Toyota going wrong. With a five-year and 100,000-mile warranty on newer models, that should provide even further reassurance. 

Rivals 

There are two ways of looking at the Land Cruiser – either as a rugged 4x4 or a big SUV. If you want it for the latter, consider a Jeep Wrangler, Mitsubishi Shogun Sport, Land Rover Defender or even a pick-up - Toyota’s own Hilux being a great example. As for more refined SUVs, look at the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes GLE, Volkswagen Touareg or Volvo XC90

Depreciation

As with most big SUVs, the Land Cruiser takes a big hit on the depreciation front to begin with. It’s not out of the question to save £10,000 off the price of a nearly-new model, which makes this Toyota much better value for money. 

However, once Land Cruisers get to a certain age, they pretty much stop depreciating. For example, even a 10-year-old version with over 100,000 miles could still be worth £18,000.

Which Landcruiser to Pick

Cheapest to buy when new

2.8 D-4D 204 Active 3dr Auto 5 Seats Land Cruiser Sw

Most MPG

2.8 D-4D 204 Active 3dr Auto 5 Seats Land Cruiser Sw

Fastest model (0-60)

2.8 D-4D 204 Active 3dr Auto 5 Seats Land Cruiser Sw

Trims Explained

Toyota has slimmed down the trim level range on the 2020 Land Cruiser, with just two grades to choose from – Active and Invincible. Equipment highlights and pricing are as follows.

Active

There’s certainly no shortage of kit on the standard Land Cruiser, including 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a reversing camera and rear parking sensors. It also comes with keyless entry and start, cruise control and LED lights to name but a few features.

From £42,345

Invincible

It’s a huge step up in terms of price to the Invincible trim, though you do get an impressive amount of standard kit to help justify that price. It adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a black styling kit, wooden interior inserts, tri-zone climate control, electric front seats with memory function, heated seats and ventilated front seats. Other features include lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking, along with satellite navigation and a 14-speaker JBL sound system. The Invincible, as its name might suggest, also adds a whole host of off-road trickery to make it even more capable.

From £57,490

Summary

  1. Superb off-road ability
  2. Three- and five-door models available
  3. Only two trim levels available
  4. High-spec models are rather expensive
  5. Bulletproof reputation for reliability
  6. Disappointing to drive on tarmac
  7. Thirsty engines
  8. Plenty of standard kit
  9. Holds its value well in the long run
  10. An old-school type of SUV, but it’s very capable and easy to like

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