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Toyota Land Cruiser 2.8 D-4D Invincible 7-seat Auto

Click to view picture gallery“Most SUVs are bought for their
  fashionable styling rather than any
  hardcore off-road ability but
s Land Cruiser is different —
  it remains one of the few genuinely
  tough and uncompromising large
  four-by-four warhorses

SOLD IN OVER 190 countries around the world, the latest Land Cruiser, with Toyota's all-wheel drive technology, has sixty-five years of hard-hitting history behind it.

The hardcore Land Cruiser has earned a legendary reputation for toughness, reliability, durability and go-anywhere capabilities in jungles, deserts, mountains, and war zones — and even coping with the demanding requirements of the fashionable SUV so loved by 'sporting' families!

The current generation model was introduced in 2009 and has been regularly updated since then but now the 2018-model range for the UK market has arrived. The latest line-up kicks off with a new entry-level Utility grade in three- and five-door body styles — Utility versions have five seats while the next model up, the Active, offers a seven-seat option; top-spec Icon and high-tech Invincible variants are full-blown seven-seater models.

For superior toughness
and durability the
Land Cruiser mounts its
body on a ladder-frame
chassis — and with
adaptive variable
the Invincible version serves up first class ride
Prices range from 33,435 up to 52,855 and whilst specifications differ considerably between grades, core to all models is the engine and drivetrain — a 2.8-litre D-4D DOHC 16-valve turbodiesel which is good for 174bhp at 3,400rpm with 331lb ft of torque on call from 1,600 to 2,400rpm.

A six-speed automatic gearbox is standard-fit and the 2.8 accelerates from zero to 62mph in 12.7 seconds before going on to a maximum 108mph. The official combined cycle fuel consumption is 38.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 194g/km.

Those who prefer the ultimate control of a manual gearbox can have one in the Utility version, which comes with a six-speeder but slightly less engine torque (309lb ft from 1,400 to 2,600rpm). Acceleration to 62mph takes 12 seconds, while the benchmark figures for mpg and emissions are unchanged for the five-door but marginally more economical for the three-door version which posts 39.2mpg and 190g/km.

Catering for a wider range of potential customers, the expanded 2018 Land Cruiser range comes well equipped: the new three- and five-door Utility grade models have 17-inch steel wheels, roof rails, front fog lights, AirCon, dusk-sensing headlights, cruise control, smart entry and a six-speaker audio system with CD player, Bluetooth, Aux-in and USB Port. For the record, while a six-speed manual transmission is standard on the three-door it can also be specified for the five-door.

Next up is the Active grade, a five-door available with a five- or seven-seat interior and has 17-inch alloy wheels; it also adds rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic AirCon, leather steering wheel trim and the Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen and nine-speaker audio system.

The five-door, seven-seat Icon version adds a number of new features including Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems, 19-inch alloys, leather upholstery and heated and ventilated front seats. Also standard are LED headlights and front fogs, an entry lighting system, rear privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers and Toyota's Touch 2 with Go package with navigation and enhanced connectivity options.

On motorways it’s easy
to maintain an effortless
70mph cruise with little
engine or road noise
entering the very roomy
cabin. And with the
six-speed autobox (with
a manual mode and
permanent four-wheel
drive), the Land Cruiser
is an accomplished
performer that despite its
size and bulk, is easy
to live with...”
Step up to the range-topping Invincible five-door seven-seater and you'll find-plenty of advanced technology features to improve handling and stability both on-road and off.

These include a locking Torsen rear differential, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, Multi-Terrain Select and Multi-Terrain Monitor, Crawl Control, and a 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor that offers a handy under-vehicle terrain view.

The safety specification is further boosted by the addition of a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. More good news — all versions are covered by Toyota's five-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Whilst the majority of SUVs these days use a monocoque construction, for superior toughness and durability the Land Cruiser mounts its body on a ladder-frame chassis. The downside to this is the 2,125kg kerb weight — Toyota's big SUV doesn't have the same on-road handling agility and nimbleness of similar-sized Audi Q7, Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery or BMW X5 rivals.

But with the rear electric and adaptive variable suspension fitted to the 52,855 Invincible version, ride comfort is first class — even with the large 19-inch wheels the Land Cruiser was the most accomplished vehicle I've driven for a long time in terms of absorbing impacts from even the deepest of potholes.

However, the drawback of running with the adjustable suspension in its Comfort mode is dulled handling on winding country roads. That noted, the Land Cruiser is not a vehicle for speed so I was happy to enjoy the comfort, the view over the hedgerows and, with Eco driving mode selected, an impressive 30.4mpg overall for an extended number of my test miles.

On higher speed motorways it's easy to maintain an effortless 70mph cruise with little engine or road noise entering the roomy cabin. Mated to the six-speed autobox (with manual mode) and with permanent four-wheel drive, it's an accomplished performer and despite its size and bulk, is easy to live with.

Many will see the Land Cruiser's large, side-hinged tailgate-cum-fifth door as a definite 'plus' but to open it fully you do need to leave a bit more room behind you when parking — this latest Land Cruiser measures 4,840mm before you open the rear door.

“The middle row of seats
is divided 40:20:40 and
these can be individually
folded flat, as can the
two third-row seats.
With all five rear
seatbacks folded down
there’s a huge load
carrying area providing
up to 1,934-litres of space
— even with the seats in
use there’s still 621 litres
for luggage!
And for those planning
some hardcore hauling,
the Land Cruiser’s
towing capacity is a
braked 3,000kg...”
The drivetrain has lots of settings that turn the Land Cruiser into a serious off-road vehicle when needed — most are operated easily by push-button switches. They're perhaps not as intuitive as, say, the Range/Land Rover's dial-operated multi-terrain system, but once familiar with the Toyota it works smoothly enough.

More adventurous off-roaders can use the electronic height-adjustable suspension system to increase the normal-running 215mm ground clearance enough to allow 700mm of wading depth.

Inside this top spec model the fit and finish and quality of upholstery and the layout of controls is good; admittedly not as posh as a Range Rover; but then not as expensive either. Storage spaces are numerous and there is lots of room throughout and the seating is comfortable and supportive.

The middle row of seats is divided 40:20:40 and these can be individually folded flat, as can the pair of third-row seats. With all the rear five seatbacks folded down there's a huge load carrying area providing up to 1,934-litres of space — even with the seats in use there's still 621 litres for luggage!

For those planning some a hardcore hauling, the Land Cruiser's towing capacity is a braked 3,000kg.

Overall this latest Toyota Land Cruiser is not going to be the large SUV to meet the needs of most UK customers because, unless they really do need a hardcore, go-anywhere 4x4 for serious off-road work and are willing to pay the high tax costs (the first year's road tax is 1,760 then 140 + 310 supplement for five years as the vehicle costs over 40K), it's actually too capable.

The imposingly-styled 2018 Land Cruiser get the thumbs up for its proven durability in the harshest of motoring environments, is hugely capable off-road, comes with a high specification including advanced road safety driving support technologies and a very roomy interior enhanced by an unexpectedly comfortable ride. ~ David Miles
Toyota Land Cruiser 2.8 D-4D Invincible 7-seat Auto | 52,855
Maximum speed: 108mph | 0-62mph: 12.7 seconds | Test Average: 30.4mpg
Power: 174bhp | Torque: 331lb ft | CO2: 194g/km