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We Tested The Toyota Land Cruiser In The Desert: A True Off-Road Of Those That No Longer Remain

There are fewer and fewer authentic SUVs on offer in the auto market. Due in part to the public’s liking for SUVs that, while country-looking, are primarily intended for asphalt. The mythical Toyota Land Cruiser is one of these few survivors. And this year, it is also renewed to be even more competent and advanced.

The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is, according to the manufacturer itself, as off-road as ever but more refined than ever. And to verify this, we traveled to Namibia, in southern Africa, where almost two years ago. We also tested the new Toyota Hilux. There has been no lack of sand, rocks, or mud, and now we tell you the complete adventure and all the secrets of this robust Japanese 4×4.

The African desert seems the ideal place to put this new Land Cruiser to the test, and it certainly is. Not because of the diverse landscapes and terrain, and because of the different challenges it presents, but because, in addition, the number of Toyota models that you find in Namibia (especially pick-up) has to mean something: they can handle everything and are robust. And durable. Just what they need. Before we move on you need to know from where you can buy your brand new Toyota Land Cruiser, Farago Motors got you covered. Do visit them to know more about the off-road king the Land Cruiser.

Main changes

Before we start, the renewed 2018 Land Cruiser incorporates many and slight changes. But it is not a drastic transformation concerning its predecessor. It grows 6 centimeters, for a total of 4.84 meters in the five-door model and 4.57 meters for the three-door. And debuts a subtly modified look and two new body colors (ten in total).

The new design includes the hood -with a slit in the middle to improve visibility when driving off-road-, the grille with vertical chrome slats, the headlights -which can be halogen or LED, depending on the finish-, the wheel arches. Or the front and rear bumpers. There are also new designs in the range of rims, 17, 18, or 19 inches.

For Spain, the only available engine is the 2.8 D-4D turbodiesel with 177 hp at 3,400Rpm. With both manual and automatic transmission (both with six gears). The maximum torque in the latter amounts to 450 Nm between 1,600 and 2,400 laps (with 370 Nm from just 1,200 rpm). Manual version comes with 420 Nm between 1,400 and 2,600 laps.

The manual Toyota Land Cruiser is slightly faster, with a 0-100 km / h in 12.1 seconds compared to 12.7 seconds for the automatic. Both share a maximum speed of 175 km / h and an approved average consumption of 7.4 liters per hundred kilometers (194 g / km of CO2). There is two gasoline available in other markets: a 2.7 VVT-i with 161 hp and a 4.0-liter V6 with 249 hp.

Inside, the evolution is also significant, thanks to a new instrument panel (analog, yes), redesigned keypads, a larger multimedia touch screen (8 inches), a steering wheel like that of the V8 versions of other markets or seats that As an option, they can be heated and ventilated. In addition, the materials appear of higher quality to the eye and the touch.

The versions with the MTS system (off-road modes) and Crawl Control have a lower console with a specific design. With a more attractive and more elaborate appearance than the simple dials for the other versions. More similar to those of the outgoing model…

Nor could the Toyota Safety Sense system be absent -associated with the automatic transmission. Which brings together safety assistants such as the cross-traffic alert, the blind spot assistant, the recognition of signals, the automatic high beams, or the monitoring of the pressure of the vehicle. 

Also Read: How Turnkey manufacturing works

Authentic off-road

The off-road capabilities and robustness of the model given by its chassis of stringers and its body-on-frame construction (no self-supporting bodywork). The latter point that contributes both to the rigidity of the set and to the fact that the comfort in the cabin. Even on rough terrain, is outstanding. It’s one of the most comfortable SUVs we’ve tested recently.

Of course, there is an all-wheel drive with three differentials: one open front and two lockable Torsen (center and rear). The attack angle of the 2018 Land Cruiser is 31 degrees, the ventral 22 degrees, and the exit 25 degrees. The ground clearance is at least 21.5 centimeters, although, in the case of the three-door variant, it is 20.5 centimeters.

In addition, the Toyota Land Cruiser has an independent double-wishbone front suspension. And a four-link rear axle and optional electro-hydraulic suspension (KDSS) is available. Capable of decoupling the stabilizer bars gain in articulation and travel of the suspensions in use. With combination of Off-road and AVS adaptive variable suspension, pneumatic rear axle whose height can be adjusted in various levels.

The MTS multi-terrain system launches Auto mode, although it retains the five preset terrains that we can choose from ( Mud & Sand, Loose Rock, Mogul, Rock, and Dirt & Rock ). It adjusts the traction control and throttle response to the requirements of each type of surface. On the other hand, the so-called Crawl Control is an automatic speed control for ascents and descents. It allows us to select five different speeds (quite low).

Finally, when activating any MTS mode. The 8-inch screen will show the vehicle’s cameras (with guides that mark the wheels and the trajectory). And useful information such as the angle of lean of the body. In any case, the resolution of the screen – and the cameras – is quite poor for a vehicle of its class.


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