Words & Pictures: Kevin C. Limjoco
The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the last vehicles built today that is known by practically everyone on the planet and is desired by anyone wanting a full-size premium SUV despite its plate tectonic model evolution (which apparently is also one of its salient selling points!). It is still the gold standard answer for the question: “if you could only have one vehicle for the rest of your life that can do everything and drive everywhere, what would it be?”
The primary reason that would hold an SUV buyer from making the life-long commitment with the Toyota is price. And after testing the very latest updated Land Cruiser LC200 variant with the gasoline 5.7-liter V8 mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox, I can reconfirm that it is still the greatest generalist in the market. The North American Land Cruiser model has every infotainment and electronic safety feature in the Toyota parts-bin on top of its facelift. Our domestic version is also very loaded with the same key standard equipment that includes the full LED lighting, suspension, brakes, and 4×4 system, except for two crucial features: the 8-speed gearbox and the 14-speaker Entune Premium JBL by Harman audio system.
Our 4.5-liter V8 twin-turbodiesel engine’s 230 bhp @ 3200 rpm / 454 lb ft @ 1800-2200 rpm of torque is the more usable and elastic powerplant that also has a whopping 25% better fuel efficiency rating even if it is using the 6-speed transmission. I may pine for the 8-speed gearbox for our domestic model, but in truth, you cannot currently get it with the turbodiesel engine.
What the gasoline V8 engine does, though, to make up for its compromising fuel efficiency is make the behemoth quite a shockingly swift monster on the road even if it weighs almost 6,000 pounds! I wasn’t always blasting around during the test cycle, but I couldn’t get more than 18 mpg even when I deliberately babied it. The limited-slip center differential is a Torsen unit that runs a default 40:60 front-to-rear torque split, but it can send more power automatically fore or aft as required. You are always pampered and you do feel an overwhelming sense of invulnerability inside the Land Cruiser. Even with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System actively managing the Land Cruiser, it did still wallow more than expected, but it was never sloppy. In totality, the Land Cruiser is a class act with superior kit, ability, and durability. The only reason why the US model did not get a perfect C! Rating is because of its poor fuel economy.
Engine: V8, 5663 cc, dohc 32V, VVT-i, 8-speed AT
Max power: 381 bhp @ 5600 rpm
Max torque: 401 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 6.9 sec.
Top Speed: 220 km/h (137 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 13 mpg City / 18 mpg Highway
Price as tested: US$ 84,820.00
+The full-size premium hardcore SUV standard
-Dismal fuel economy
C! Editor’s Rating: 9.5/10