Toyota LandCruiser

Toyota LandCruiser
He: Toyota has given its LandCruiser a new look and added some extra gear - but they've also upped the prices across the range as much as $7800. The top-end Sahara V8 petrol model was the one we drove, and, Sal, this thing is huge. How'd you find parking it?

She: The average parking space is 5.4 metres long - and wedging 2.5 tonnes of car into that with only 45 centimetres to spare is a challenge! This beast feels like a freak in the city and, while it has earned its stripes off road, my time was all on the tarmac.

Bulk aside, Matt, you would be hard pressed to find a more comfortable car, and it has loads of goodies.
He: Agreed, Toyota really has thrown a lot of extras into this bus - a large sunroof, heated and cooled leather front seats and heated rear seats, a big central media screen with satnav and a new four-camera exterior view system with a wide-angle front lens that allows you to see over crests.

It's a comfy place to be even if the naff woodgrain finishes feel like it's trying too hard.

She: Yes, that is a fairly nasty veneer and the visuals are a bit busy - like the loud cartoon colours in the nav screen. There are really functional details, like the centre console cooler that easily fits a wine bottle or two.
I imagine the exterior is fairly polarising with those extruded tail lights and moulding over the wheels and bonnet. I really appreciate the almost Baroque styling on a car this big - I like the way Toyota are detailing this as the ''anti-slab''. It's refreshingly unboxy for a big unit, don't you think?

He: I thought it looked even boxier than before! I think of this car as an urban tank. It's big, butch and unrelentingly bold. I was impressed by the new 4.6-litre twin turbo V8 engine - I thought it offered plenty of heft and even a nice soundtrack. I wouldn't want to pay the fuel bill, though - in my city run I didn't see anything lower than 18.0 litres per 100 kilometres.

She: The V8 is fun - on somebody else's fuel card. I was around the 16-litre mark, which is actually less than the company's claimed urban consumption of 18.4L/100km. Somebody buying this as a workhorse would probably go with the turbo diesel engine and, with it, slightly better fuel economy.

Functionally, the car is really resolved - the safety kit's really comprehensive, tricks such as the electronic tailgate and the terrain camera make life easier and it mitigates the huge size with a terrific park assist feature. What's not to love, apart from the fuel economy and maybe the price tag?

He: I wasn't a fan of how it drove. Slow steering, brakes that feel like they're struggling with the weight of the car and suspension that's too rolly through corners. Off-road, a Land Rover Discovery4 can tick a lot of the boxes this does.

While technically not in the same market, for the money I'd suggest a look at a BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz ML. The cheapest Porsche Cayenne - at $107,700 - costs less than this. What would you buy?

She: Honestly, the snow-bunny four-wheel-driving I do can be accomplished by several cars that are about half the price. I like this car for serious road-tripping and off-roading - but it's equipped to do a job that is rarely in my repertoire.

I like that it had eight seats, but I could be swayed by a seven-seat option such as a sub-$100,000 Discovery4 or, for super value, a Volvo XC90. If I was crossing the desert - I'd take the Sahara.

He: If it were for a desert crossing I'd take the more efficient Sahara diesel … because there aren't many petrol stations on the Simpson!

Toyota 200-Series Landcruiser Sahara
The price: $113,990 plus on-road costs
Vital statistics:  4.6-litre V8; 226kW/439Nm; 6-sp auto; 13.6L/100km and 313g/km CO2; 4WD.

Toyota LandCruiser

Toyota LandCruiser

Toyota LandCruiser
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