Toyota LandCruiser 2017 Tow Test by todaycarspro.com

It’s virtually ten years since the primary reviews and tow tests of the much-loved Toyota LandCruiser two hundred Series hit the web. And re-reading a number of those reviews these days, it’s clear very little has changed…

Despite all the protection and technology advances that have proliferated within the market since, the two hundred Series still lags behind the pack in normal luxuries, a minimum of within the more cost-effective, sub-$100K versions. And initial impressions still ring true: “As a sure-footed tow vehicle for significant masses over long distances, the Toyota LandCruiser two hundred Series GXL V8 Turbodiesel is tough to beat on or off the hydrocarbon,” was one reviewer’s summation at the time, that remains valid these days.

How do I know? as a result of I’ve simply towed a detailed to 2 and a [*fr1] t caravan from Melbourne to Darwin with the newest, V8 turbo-diesel GXL LandCruiser seven-seater, continuance up over 6000km together with concerning 300km on jarring, furrowed dirt.

Still the best?
I’ve towed dozens of vans deliberation up to a few tonnes or additional with a spread of SUVs, dual-cab utes and wagons over the years, however none are as stress-free, or - dare I say it - as pleasant, to tow with because the powerful, robust ‘Cruiser.

Because let’s face it; towing any giant trailer, caravan or horse float deliberation over 2 tonnes is usually not specifically a pleasant expertise – the constant lingering doubt is you’re only 1 unpredictable trailer sway from disaster.

But not with the LandCruiser, which mixes all the attributes needed of a high tow tug -- robust torquey engine (200kW/650NM twin turbo four.5-litre V8 diesel), long distance (2850mm), hefty curb weight (2740kg) and shut proximity of tow ball and rear wheels – to deliver a sleek, stable towing platform in contrast to something this aspect of a super-sized yankee pick-up.

If it ain’t broke…
Considering it will the towing/touring basics therefore well — cozy overstuffed chair seats, relaxed ride, sleek punchy performance, commanding read — it’s a shame the GXL ‘Cruiser misses out on options currently on the market on several sub-$30K runabouts, sort of a touchscreen with full smartphone compatibility and a digital trip pc from the twenty first century.

The second-from-entry-level GXL model retails from $88,541 and on road prices (about $8000 over back in 2008). except for that cash it still won’t live fuel consumption, or run Apple CarPlay.

However, for long-distance road, actuation a giant trailer and loaded with individuals and lading, it’s onerous to fault. The creamy V8 (mated to a sleek six-speed automatic transmission) loses very little in performance with two.5 tonnes out back, fast powerfully from the lights and stormy up hills like there’s very little hooked up behind.

It quickly settles into fifth gear and 1800rpm on the main road, and typically, on a lighter throttle, sixth gear for lower revs. It’s fairly quiet within the cabin, facultative occupants to create the foremost of the fundamental six-speaker sound system (the $10,000 dearer VX model gets the nicer 9 speaker stereo).

There’s very little of the stomach-churning pitching you frequently get with a leaf-sprung dual-cab ute on lumpy, truck-trodden B-roads and, with the rig established nice and level, there was ne'er enough sway to activate the quality Trailer Sway Assist, coupled with worry the driving force, even in some stiff cross-winds.

Outdated however practicable technical school
Although superannuated, the 6.1in touchscreen show features a practicable if somewhat unwieldy interface, and covers the fundamentals together with on-road sat-nav and phone and audio plug-in or Bluetooth property.

What you are doing appreciate is all the in-cabin house and extra-large storage areas, together with a generous, two-part console compartment, glovebox and door pockets that swallow all the drink bottles, snacks, sunnies and alternative odds and ends you would like near hand on a giant road trip.

There’s conjointly one thing to be same for further leg, head and elbow stretching area, all of that helps you arrive recent at your destination when many hours behind the wheel…

With the 2, removable third-row seats rolled up, there was lots of area within the rear lading house for the Weber barbeque and thirty five metric capacity unit moveable icebox, that plugs into the handy 220V socket for cold drinks on the go.

To make the foremost of all that house, the two hundred Series boasts above-average weight capacities, together with a healthy 6850kg GCM and 3350kg GVM. That leaves a helpful 610kg payload (including up to 200kg on the roof) which may be lawfully carried, even once towing the most 3500kg, though any weight on the tow ball can annoy the payload.

Dirt cruiser
Whereas some cross-country vehicles sound out of kinds once going at an honest clip on the hydrocarbon – and typically on dirt -- the ‘Cruiser feels in addition planted cross-country as on. due to the luxurious coil-spring ride, it soaks up bumps and corrugations, and was quite snug maintaining a 70km/h ‘sweet spot’ to iron out the corrugations and cut back wear and tear on each rig and occupants.

Helping matters may be a wise wheel/tyre jazz group of 17in alloys with Dunlop Grandtrek AT22 rubber. Even while not dropping tyre pressures of around 35psi on the dirt, it ne'er felt harsh and that we did not get a puncture.

The dual-range system, with full-time  4 wheel drive and twist-dial low-range choice, didn’t skip a beat and, due to a 700mm walking depth (but while not the $500 nonobligatory snorkel fitted), the sole time we tend to had to show back was at a trouble crossing on the track to Twin Falls in Kakadu.

All of that no-worries trait within the outback makes the LandCruiser’s further bulk easier to forgive back within the ‘burbs. Sure, it struggles around corners and will not slot in tight parking spots, however the long-range fuel tank ensures you pay less time at the bowser – we tend to calculated around ten.5L/km driving solo around city, for a variety of 1300km.

When towing, consumption averaged around 17-23L/100km, betting on changes in gradient, average speed and side-winds, that born the vary all the way down to a still respectable 600-650km.

Only trainspotters can have detected the minor updates to the Toyota LandCruiser two hundred Series on the means, and periodic value rises. the fundamental package remains identical, that is why the ‘Cruiser continues to sell powerfully (around twelve,000 in Australia in 2016.)

To be honest, the LandCruiser in all probability has fewer serious rivals these days than a decade agone, because the latest Land Rover Discovery sheds weight and prices additional for fascinating six-cylinder versions.

If you’ve got the ‘folding’, extra enclosed kit makes the additional luxurious VX or Sahara Desert grades well worth the further bucks. Otherwise, the bare-boned LandCruiser GXL is simply fine if all you would like is one amongst the most effective tow tugs on the world.

Toyota LandCruiser two hundred Series GXL
Price: $88,541 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8
Outputs: 200kW/650Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel: 9.5L/100km (ADR combined)
CO2: 250g/km (Estimated)
Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP
Tow Rating: 350kg, 3500kg

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