Review: The Toyota Landcruiser, Touches Of Class And True Grit All In One

Review: The Toyota Landcruiser, Touches Of Class And True Grit All In One

BIG is not always best. But in the case of the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series… big is pretty bloody good…

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The recently face-lifted LandCruiser is not exactly a run-about-town proposition. Big not always being best, remember.

But it is truly in its element on the open road and when venturing off the beaten track to the best Adelaide and its surrounds have to offer.

We’ll glide over the specs in a similar fashion to the way the LandCruiser deals with the road – ride comfort in this 4.5-litre twin-turbo diesel beast is very impressive.

With the bold and powerful new look of the big boy of the Toyota range comes a marginal 5kW increase in power to 200kW, while peak torque remains at 650Nm.

Fuel consumption is down to a claimed 9.5L/100km from 10.3L/100km but our 450km real world test (Adelaide and a Mid Murray adventure being the realest of real worlds) returned a consumption rate of 12.7L/100km.

That’s pretty impressive considering I drove the as tested LandCruiser VX enthusiastically (within the road rules, of course).

Our testing took us beyond the Barossa Valley, through the tiny hamlet of Truro and on to a riverside favourite for many…. Hogwash Bend.

If I had a van or a boat, it would sit more than comfortably behind this beast with its 3500kg towing capacity. I have neither, and instead folded the third row seating away completely and split-folded the second row of seating to fill the ample rear load space with an over-abundance of camping gear and supplies for no more than an overnight riverside camp at Hogwash, a sandy-beached bend on the Murray between Waikerie and Cadell.

Our camp, in a swag out the back of the LandCruiser and under the stars, was a great reflection of what this car can be. It combines class and sophistication with toughness and durability with ease.

Its instrumentation and bigger screen (in the VX and top-of-line Sahara) information panels are very well paired. There’s great functionality and a definite sense of hi-tech when at the wheel so you can get on with the job of driving rather than fiddling with complex controls.

The interior is refined, without being excessive. You don’t feel you have to tread with care when climbing back into the LandCruiser for a sense of comfort (AKA escape mosquitoes) after bashing around the riverside bushland checking out the 2m long goanna the kids of the campsite have found up a nearby tree.

Likewise, the exterior styling – while never going to be to everyone’s taste – has the new look Cruiser fitting in at the family campsite or the short drive up the road at the funky and fun Caudo Vineyards cafe and cellar door which will host hundreds of adventurers at True Grit Adelaide on May 7 and 8.

Just like the environment we test drove the LandCruiser in, this car has both a touch of class and a tonne of true grit.

Pricing – Top of the line Sahara is from $118,500 plus on road costs.

Where We Went

Bric-A-Bank, Truro – A funky little second-hand store set up in a former Bank of Adelaide building on the main (Stuart Highway) drag. If you’re keen on old records, record players, cameras, lamps and dazzling colourful glassware this is worth a look.

Caudo Vineyards – Makers of Sangria, stockists of Hogwash Bend Lager and purveyors of yum. It’s hard to beat the location of this cellar door on the banks of the mighty Murray. Come by boat or car off Cadell Valley Road.

Hogwash Bend – Great little riverside family camping area with sandy shore and sandbar for splashing away a weekend.

Accommodation Hill – Cute or creepy, the fence line of fluff stuffed friends atop Accommodation Hill is a quirky slice of SA.

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