Just cruising and big time

Of all the 4x4s out there, and there are many, Toyota’s Land Cruiser takes some beating.

It’s a giant among the school-run brigade and the only thing that looks down on you on the road are lorries.

Now, before you all go rushing off to buy one, there are a few points to address. Firstly, it costs £60,000, which is rather a lot of money for what appears to be a boxy Toyota, and secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it probably won’t fit in your garage... perhaps not even on your drive.

Thinking back to the previous Amazons to carry the Land Cruiser badge - there have been seven - this V8 is the eighth iteration and brings the genre bang up to date.

It’s longer, wider and taller than before and the interior has been brought up a few notches too.

So what’s all the fuss about?

Well, the best bit about it is the engine. Imported for the UK in diesel spec only, the mighty 4.5-litre V8 produces a whopping 282bhp which is all well and good but the Toyota has a torque figure of 650Nm starting at just 1,600 revs per minute – meaning only something the size of the Ark Royal, as was, has more pulling power.

Top speed is 130mph, with 0-60mph taking just 8.2 seconds.

Despite its weight and obvious bulk, the Land Cruiser comfortably achieves 31mpg, and the emissions are 270g/km.

Power delivery is immense as you can imagine, the V8 growling at you as the revs start to climb; the high speed stability is pretty good and when the fuel tank holds just over 90-litres, it has an excellent cruising range.

Not only good on the roads, the Land Cruiser would feel just at home off it, unlike some of the shall we say ‘higher-end’ 4x4s.

It has a remarkable ride height clearance of about 60cm (2ft in old money), and all this can be adjusted internally with the touch of a button; clever dampers ensure a smooth transition.

It has a six-speed automatic gearbox which can be used as a manual but as it delivers such a wide spread of torque it’s best to leave it in ‘D’ and let your right foot do the rest.

It’s rather large inside and the fit and finish certainly befits a car costing as much as this does.

Access is good through all four doors, plus the third row of seats can be easily clambered into; great news also is the fact they fold flat with just one hand.