2008 Land Cruiser
If you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere, the new Land Cruiser, with its combination of go-anywhere ability and Toyota reliability, is the SUV of choice to get you home. Of course, with a massive V8 under the hood, it goes without saying that you would also require an unlimited supply of fuel.
To ensure that you get home even from the ends of the earth, the new Land Cruiser has active height control and adaptive variable suspension, a full time four-wheel drive system that features a limited slip center differential, crawl control, and hill start assist control. As well as numerous safety features, such as vehicle stability control (VSC), active traction control, multi terrain ABS, electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and brake assist. God forbid, should all the preventive systems fail, it also has 14 airbags as standard.
In the urban environment, if you can get over its considerable dimensions, which do provide unparalleled interior space, the new Land Cruiser shows great versatility by working brilliantly on city streets as well. As part of its evolution, the latest generation has a beautifully crafted and luxurious interior with all the electronic gizmos you could wish for.
From the Outside
In keeping with today’s styling trends, the new Land Cruiser has a striking and imposing front grille. It’s a very clean overall design that isn’t likely to polarize opinion. On the whole, the styling does work well and manages to mask its substantial size.
From the Inside
It’s a somewhat high step getting into the cabin, where you’re greeted by enormous amounts of space and comfort – with an easy to stow third row of seats. The straightforward design theme carries forward into the cabin, which offers very high quality materials, as well as a sliver of matte faux-wood trim that runs the length of the dashboard and provides a touch of understated elegance. It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position with the combination of an electrically adjustable seat and a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. In the rear, you not only get massive leg room but also AC controls mounted on the back of the front central armrest.
Again in keeping with the trend these days, the Land Cruiser has a key fob that only needs to be in the cabin in order to fire up the engine courtesy of a start/stop button mounted on the center console. This particular car also features a remote starting system. The interior also has Bluetooth compatibility and a 6 CD/DVD changer. The equipment levels and quality of the interior do make you wonder what else could possibly be on its more up-market Lexus counterpart.
The only downside of the interior on this particular car imported from Japan is that the interface and some buttons on the center console are in Japanese, as is the owners manual. As you can imagine, it’ll take a little getting used to and some trial and error trying to figure out certain functions. If you want all the controls in English, you’ll have to opt for the 4.5 liter diesel V8 imported from the UK market – although be prepared to shell out substantially more.
On the road
Once on the move, the car doesn’t feel as big as it initially appears. The very refined driving experience makes the car feel as though it’s shrinking around you. You get a commanding view of the road with a large square bonnet outstretched in front. The Land Cruiser also has an array of cameras and sensors that let you know exactly what’s happening at all four corners.
The extremely smooth and powerful V8 propels this mammoth machine with sublime ease. While it’s ordinarily very silent, you can hear a nice V8 rumble when you step on the accelerator pedal with some intent. The 5-speed automatic transmission is also exceptional as the gear changes are seamless and almost imperceptible. You do have the option of going through the gears manually if you so choose. Again, the shifts are extremely smooth and very quick, but sometimes the computer does overrule your command and shift whenever it sees fit. For example, if you have your foot to the floor and choose to up-shift just before the 5700rpm redline, the computer will analyze throttle position and shift only when it reaches said redline – undoubtedly to aid your effort of picking up speed quickly.
The Land Cruiser has massive tires (285/60 R18) that provide great stability and grip – both on and off the road. It handles extremely well and has very good body control with minimal body roll for a car of its size. This is achieved by its Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System that adjusts the stiffness of the front and rear anti-roll bars in accordance with the conditions. Also, while the weight of the steering at low speeds is heavier than most Toyotas, the Land Cruiser actually has quite good steering feel
The new Land Cruiser is an extremely advanced and capable machine. And while it’ll be content to ferry you around on city streets, to truly realize just what a capable machine it really is, you do have to take it off road. The very qualities that make the Land Cruiser excel all over the world, its ability to handle any terrain and its proven reliability, also make it a fantastic choice for Indian roads – if you can afford it that is.
Engine: 4,663cc / V8 / 32 valves / VVT (variable valve timing)
Transmission: 5 speed automatic
Power: 273bhp @ 5400rpm
Torque: 314 lb/ft @ 3400rpm