I LIKE my vehicles like Africa - tough!
Luckily, you don’t get stronger than the Land Cruiser 70 Series, which was launched early this year. But now, Toyota has added a large oil burner to the mix to power this big barge.
The new Euro 5-compliant diesel engine is a hefty 4.5-litre V8 turbo powertrain. Capable of producing 151kW of power at 3 400rpm and mammoth torque of 430Nm available from as little as 1 200rpm, it literally can idle over anything with very little effort on its behalf.
As the undisputed off-road king, it goes where very few can and now that it’s equipped with this monstrous V8, it cements itself as supreme ruler.
While everything else in the world seems to be getting soft, the rugged Land Cruiser hasn’t lost any of its macho capabilities.
The two-speed transfer case and part-time four-wheel-drive system with manual free-wheeling front hubs are still present and the wheels are driven by a five-speed manual transmission.
While the engine technology is modern, the styling is straight out of the 70s. The boxy design and old-school interior lends itself perfectly to a Burt Reynolds, moustache-wearing bygone era. A few modern features have been adopted though, like on-board navigation and a stereo system incorporating a CD player and an auxiliary USB port.
With the new V8 fitted, fuel consumption is pegged at a claimed 11.5 litres/100km. You’ll have to be on your best driving behaviour to get anywhere near that claim though, because truthfully the Land Cruiser couldn’t be concerned about curbing its drinking problem for pricey fuel. Hence it comes with a 130-litre fuel tank.
The other member of the Land Cruiser family to get a nip and tuck recently was the FJ Cruiser, which has more willingly embraced the modern era. Embodying retro styling, this big bruiser knows how to grab attention.
It’s available in two versions - Standard and Sports Cruiser. The latter is distinguished by its Raven Black paint scheme and extra chrome detailing, which includes chrome trim on the high-mounted air intake and FJ-styled door scuff plates.
The FJ is anything but a poser. Housing a massive 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine and a five-speed automatic gearbox, this big boy isn’t scared to hit the dirt and obstacles, thanks to its part-time four-wheel-drive, electronically activated rear differential lock and switchable Active Traction Control technology.
The FJ’s interior is incredibly well specced for such a hardcore cruiser, with specification including a steering wheel with remote audio and Bluetooth controls, integrated audio/CD sound system with six speakers and iPod connector, external audio and USB connectors, a powerful air-conditioning system, extra power socket and cruise control. The FJ also boasts Toyota’s rear-monitor system, which integrates a rear-facing video camera, electro-chromatic interior rear-view mirror and video screen integrated into the rear mirror to offer ease of reversing on all models.
These rugged men of the motoring world both come with a 3-year/100 000km warranty. All versions of the FJ Cruiser also come with a5-year/90 000km service plan.