Toyota Land Cruiser Invincible, a straightforward diesel

In 4x4, Car Reviews, SUV, Toyota by Tom Scanlan

This boy’s a big ’un…definitely Sumo, not Sushi

Car Reviewed: Toyota Land Cruiser Invincible 4×4

And, after a diet of EVs and PHEVs, it was a strangely reassuring and old-fashioned feeling to go about my business in a simple, straightforward diesel.

Not that the Land Cruiser, although powerful, is unsubtle. In fact, it was almost surprising to discover that it performed in a totally well-mannered way.

It was easy to drive, handled well with little roll, pitch or yaw, steered quite precisely and provided a comfortable ride…Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension is at work here, and the Land Cruiser also has quite a tight turning circle that helps manoeuvrability.

The high driving position is one reason why SUVs have become so popular and this one sits you up higher than most. There’s a step provided to help you up and down.

Toyota, on announcing this development of the Land Cruiser in 2020, talked amongst things of its aerodynamics, including a free flow of air past the rear of the car; So, here’s a thing: the car arrived from its base fifty miles away reasonably clean, given wet roads on a damp morning, having picked up the inevitable road dirt on the way; that was no problem.

Some gentle rain then started as I went on a twenty-five-mile trip on ordinary roads— at the end of which, it was as though the car had actually decided to suck up as much dirt as it could find. The rear wiper had to be deployed pretty well continuously. The back was surprisingly filthy, so the lesson learned was then to ensure that the rear-view camera was able to do its job, along with the parking sensors. And a spare glove would have been handy for the dirty tailgate handle.

But that was how it was that day: the step got a free clean from the back of my trousers!

Having got those thoughts out of the way, the Land Cruiser did prove to be a capable all-rounder. Part of the appeal comes from the neat, accessible buttons and switches laid out handily on the console. Simplicity is a virtue in a car. Top marks for this one.

The 2.8-litre diesel engine is a robust, beefy 4-cylinder that is refined and smooth. Taking off from zero mph, there’s that well-muted diesel combustion sound, quickly dissipating to leave only some road noise, with just a breath of wind noise at speed.

201bhp and a massive 500Nm of torque from 1600rpm is ample for safe overtaking. Zero to 62mph through a nice six-speed auto box can be reached in 9.9 seconds and the brakes are properly smooth and powerfully progressive back to zero.

The Land Cruiser has an impressive list of safety features. It should, bearing in mind that a) current technology allows this, and b) so do all its rivals. Nonetheless, it’s worth pointing out that the ones most often used, especially on dark winter nights in the countryside, as I found, included automatic high-beam.

Thankfully, the car is not so autonomous that these safety features are constantly bleeping at you and taking over the steering wheel — no, they are there if necessary and lend a good sense of security. My favourite little Sushi touch in this Toyota (as in many automatic gearbox cars over the last year or more) is the auto-hold brake.

The Invincible version includes a third row of seats, allowing accommodation for seven passengers. The rear two are beautifully designed to be raised and lowered at the press of a switch. When dropped, the carpeted boot floor is completely flat. With the seats up in use, typically with this sort of arrangement, there’s the usual compromise on luggage capacity; otherwise, there’s a reasonable amount, although it’s a bit surprising, on first opening the tailgate (side-hinged, by the way), for such a big car to have a relatively limited carrying area.

I drove around four hundred miles during the seven days’ loan, about two-thirds on motorways and 70 mph dual carriageways, never exceeding 75 mph; the overall fuel consumption was indicated at 31.0 mpg, this, if accurate, being an improvement on the WLTP figure, but a big and powerful vehicle such as this is not going to be the cheapest, and, at current prices, especially if it’s a diesel.

Nonetheless, the financially-onerous moment of filling up can be as infrequently as the 87-litre tank allows: perhaps as much as 550 miles. An emission figure of 250 g/km translates to one of the higher VEDs.

The Toyota Land Cruiser has long had a global reputation for tremendous off-road strength and capability. We didn’t doubt this and didn’t test it, but on-road, yes, also very impressive.

Want one? £64,150, please. With a sunroof, £65,020.

Author Rating 3.8/5

Car reviewed: Toyota Land Cruiser Invincible

on the road prices start at £64,150 as tested £65,020

  • 0-62mph 9.9secs
  • Top speed 108mph
  • Mechanical 2755cc common rail diesel
  • Fuel Economy WLTP Combined 29.4mpg
  • Power 201hp@3000rpm
  • Torque 500Nm@1600rpm
  • Dimensions MM 4840 L / 1885 W / 1830 H
  • CO2 emissions WLTP combined 250g/km
  • Transmission 6 speed Automatic 4×4
  • Bootspace 190 / seats up

Tom Scanlan

Motoring Journalist

Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.

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