Toyota Land Cruiser celebrates 60 years

Despite reaching the ripe old age of 60 this year, Toyota’s Land Cruiser refuses to age gracefully. To celebrate its 60 years of production, the firm is launching an anniversary model of the LC5 version tested.

It means the 4x4 gets extra power and torque from its three-litre four-cylinder engine, increasing slightly from 171-188hp and torque rises from 410 to 420Nm of twist.

There is additional specification too, in the guise of a chromed exhaust pipe, chrome front fog light surrounds, clear finish rear light clusters, 60th anniversary badging and carpet mats.

Even the three-door version is being brought back into the range, but only available in entry-level LC3 guise with five seats and 17-inch wheels.

The LC5 we tested remains a goliath of a 4x4. It has huge presence and on the road, it towers over the Audi Q7, Range Rover and BMW X5, though it sacrifices on road manners to maintain its go-anywhere off road credentials.

Yes, it still gets a cosseting interior, but the Land Cruiser is a true 4x4 which soaks up the off-road environment with more confidence than a City banker. It should, perhaps, be known as the Land Bruiser.

This latest model builds even further on its enviable 60-year off-road reputation with a raft of electronic goodies. Features such as active traction control, multi-terrain 4x4 modes, off-road-specific ABS braking and crawl control are designed to make even the most modest driver an off-road veteran.

Opting for the range-topping LC5 means there are no options to pore over when it comes to cashing in the Single Farm Payment. A fully-loaded, all-singing, all-dancing 4x4, the LC5 version comes as a five-door, three-litre auto only.

Dynamic

Clever dynamic suspension keeps body roll in check to create a much more positively steered driving experience, the Land Cruiser’s on-road manners have come on leaps and bounds compared to earlier models.

There is very little noise or vibration in the cabin either, despite the Japanese maker sticking with what seems like a gruff and vocal, large capacity four cylinder diesel. It might be noisy on the outside, but it is serene and peaceful inside at virtually any speed.

But pleasant on-road manners aren’t this 4x4’s only improvement. Innovative crawl control system on LC5-spec allows the driver to ascend or descend slopes at walking pace, or free the vehicle when stuck says the firm, without having to touch the throttle or brake pedals.

It is so capable, that you could drive the LC5 through areas where you wouldn’t dare to walk.

Multi-Terrain Select allows you to choose from four programmable off-road driving modes and the sat-nav screen shows clever electronic marker points - like leaving a string line in a maze so you can find your way back - allowing you to easily retrace your steps when you have strayed too far into the wilderness.

Veneered

A tyre angle display shows which way the front wheels are pointing so you never need to look out of the side window to check the wheels are pointing the correct way. This is particularly useful with the part-veneered finish on the LC5’s steering wheel, which slips through your fingers far too easily.

The Multi Terrain Monitor provides a useful system of external cameras which can give combined, or separate views of areas in front and to the sides of the vehicle that cannot be seen from the driver’s seat.

Toyota has also extended the warranty to five years/100,000 miles - whichever comes first.

With all this muscle, technology and capability at hand, it is perhaps a mild disappointment that the LC5 can still only tow a 3,000kg braked trailer.

Need to know

Toyota Land Cruiser LC5

  • Price: £49,950 (as tested)
  • Engine: 2,982cc, four-cylinder turbo diesel, 171hp @ 3,400rpm, 410Nm @ 1,600-2,800rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed auto with low ratio, full-time four-wheel drive
  • Performance: 11.7 sec 0-60mph, 109mph, 34.9mpg combined, 214g/km
  • Towing capacity: 3,000kg
  • Warranty: Five years/100,000 miles

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