FOR years, Australians have turned to the Toyota LandCruiser as their vehicle of choice, thanks to its unwavering reliability and dependability, 4WD capabilities, and sheer interior and exterior size. There’s a truck load of grunt thrown in there too.
In 2020 though, the 200 Series Toyota LandCruiser GXL could carry the last of a great legacy; the final edition of the 4.5-litre 200kW twin turbo V8 diesel power plant, which produces a whopping 650Nm of torque.
If rumours, and there’s plenty of them, are to be believed, the V8 has been consigned to a coffin and floated down a river somewhere, with a high torque turbo diesel V6 and a petrol/hybrid twin turbo V6 to take its place in the next-gen 300 Series LandCruiser.
Our first thought is to shed some tears, sob a little and cry the words “why Toyota, why” but on reflection, the two new options will be more fuel efficient, and are likely to produce similar, if not more power and torque.
But in a bid to convince Toyota to leave the V8 where it is, because lets face it, Aussie blokes love V8s, let’s talk about some of its vital statistics. Claimed fuel economy is 9.5-litres/100km. We managed 11.0-litres/100km in real life testing.
Its kerb weight is just under 2,750kg and its braked towing capacity is 3,500kg. It will pull just about anything on a trailer, and its torque delivery is outstanding. That means oodles of oomph for freeway overtaking as well.
That’s without even mentioning its off-road abilities, a place you might almost describe as its natural habitat, where it can be found climbing rocks and traversing ravines. The LandCruiser GXL is very much a jack-of-all-trades, and that’s part of its charm.
There’s enough room inside the cabin to fit a family of five to seven people with ease (it is in fact an 8-seater), and the big Toyota offers loads of flexibility, with an interior space that’s noticeably larger than say its Prado sibling.
And while it’s big on the outside too, it doesn’t feel that way, if that makes sense. Thanks to a good reversing camera, parking it in shopping centres and crowded spaces is easy enough as well.
We’d best describe it as comfortable, offering a smooth ride around town. The automatic transmission works effortlessly and smoothly, and road noise is minimal inside the cabin. It’s let down in the technology stakes though.
As is often the case with Toyota models that don’t sit at the top of their respective ranges, and despite its price, there’s a few things missing. There’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for example.
You’ll need to upgrade the the VX or Sahara for a larger and more colourful infotainment system too, as you will if you want leather seats. Competitors in this segment, like the Nissan Patrol, offer significantly better equipped cabins.
On the plus side though, there is key-less entry and push button start, satellite navigation and dual zone climate control. The 2020 Toyota LandCruiser GXL also comes with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.
But it’s off-road where the LandCruiser continues to shine, including its ability to go super long distances without refuelling, thanks to its 138-litre fuel capacity. Two separate fuel tanks ensure it can power on, kilometre after kilometre.
Its ability to fit the entire family and a few friends, thanks to its eight seats, and tow a caravan anywhere courtesy of its 3,500kg braked towing capacity, and do it all with a reputation built around reliability, stands the LandCruiser at the head of its field.
Aesthetically the 2020 Toyota LandCruiser GXL is a good-looking rig, and comes standard with 17-inch alloys and a colour range that includes Glacier White, Ebony, Crystal Pearl, Silver Pearl, Graphite, Eclipse Black, Merlot Red (as tested) and Copper Brown.
A kinetic dynamic suspension system and snorkel are available as optional extras on this variant, and ours came with the latter. In its ‘as tested’ form, the 2020 Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series GXL costs $100,414 drive away.
Our test vehicle was provided by Toyota Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series GXL, contact your local Toyota dealer.