Land Cruiser is best-kept secret of 4X4 lovers...

Toyota Land Cruiser V8
Toyota Land Cruiser V8
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There are some very good looking large 4x4 plying our highways these days.

The Toyota Land Cruiser V8 isn’t one of them, and the recent facelift has done nothing to change that.

For such a big vehicle, rear space isn’t so clever, either.

So what’s the appeal?

Well, odd as it may seem, the combination of that rather low key, unshowy approach and a reputation for toughness and reliability earned in some of the harshest climates and terrains on the planet.

Plus, and it’s the thing people tend to forget, properly civilised, comfortable and refined on-road manners. It’s as good on long motorway hauls as it is wading through a muddy swamp.

The Land Cruiser’s 4.5-litre turbodiesel V8 has never wanted for power and torque - currently 268bhp and 650 Nm respectively - but it did need cleaning up, so a diesel particulate filter has been fitted with several beneficial consequences.

As it has allowed the main exhaust silencer to be smaller, there are gains in the areas of noise and vibration as well as fuel efficiency and emissions. But the way all that torque, available from just 1600rpm, and the slick-shifting six-speed auto make such light work of the Toyota’s considerable bulk is still something to marvel at, not least the briskness of the step-off from rest.

A 0-60mph time of 8.2s is impressive enough but the 130mph top speed, while largely academic, is fairly astounding for something with the aerodynamics of a barn door. Likewise its excellent crosswind stability at motorway speeds, and a 93-litre fuel tank means you can travel a long way without having to stop if you can ease back on the throttle for long enough.

The thing about the Land Cruiser V8 is that its status is virtually unimpeachable among people around the world who know what a good luxury 4x4 is all about and something of a mystery to those who don’t. And the people who buy them would probably like to keep it that way.

FACTS AT A GLANCE

CAR: Toyota Land Cruiser V8

PRICE: £62,285 - on the road

INSURANCE GROUP: 48

CO2 EMISSIONS: 270g/km

PERFORMANCE: 0-60mph 8.2s / Max Speed 130mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 27.7mpg

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twelve airbags / ABS with EBD and Brake Assist / downhill assist / hill start control

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height tba.