Land Rover Discovery or Toyota Land Cruiser, which is best? Autocar.co.uk pitted the two against each other to find out the answer.
These two may pander to the recreational off-roader market, but neither has forgotten its core values. For many owners, they represent nothing less than the only practical form of transport.
Alternatively, you can watch the video by clicking on:Land Rover Discovery v Toyota Land Cruiser
Both have just been revised, offering leather-lined cabins containing equipment lists to make a limousine blush, yet, beneath it all, both are hard-as-nails off-roaders, separate chassis, low ratios, unfeasible approach angles and all.
On test are the range-topping Land Rover Discovery HSE, at £48,795, and mid-spec Land Cruiser LC4 at £41,267.
On paper the Land Rover has the advantage. Both cars have 3.0-litre diesels, but while the Land Rover's has six cylinders and 242bhp, Toyota's is a four-cylinder rattler with 171bhp. The Cruiser gives 302lb ft, the Disco 442lb ft - one reason its 0-62mph time of 9.6sec is over two seconds clear of its rival.
Off-road potential is all Land Rover's too. It is ahead in terms of ground clearance, approach, departure and breakover angles. Only the Toyota's wading depth is better.
In the Discovery you are greeted by an interior of a class and quality you'd not complain about in a car costing half as much again.
In the Toyota you wonder how it can cost this much money - there's no design cohesion, just an instrument pack and scatter of switches. However, this is an off-roader, and it does have a back-to-basics honesty.
On the open road, the spec sheet advantage of the Land Rover is even greater. It is quieter, has more precise steering and an incomparably superior ride.
Off-road, the two are more evenly matched. During the best part of a day in a snow covered forest, where one went so did the other. Even so, we'd still rather go mud-plugging in the Disco, as life in it is a whole lot more comfortable.
Living with the car
You're expecting another Land Rover whitewash, aren't you?
Well, the Toyota is more spacious, most noticeably in the second-row seats. The back seats will also flip more easily in the Land Cruiser too.
It also has an aura of dependability that the Land Rover doesn't. It feels all but immune from mechanical failure.
The Land Rover issimply too broadly talented to allow itself to be rolled over by a car as crude as this Toyota. Different conclusions may be reached in different regions of the world, but we threw everything at these two that any UK owner could possibly want, and there's only one winner.
During the forest section of this test we were looked after by Selwyn Kendrick of Nationwide 4x4, a professional off-road instructor for the past 20 years.
While he admires the Land Rover, it's the Toyota that captures his heart. "They just keep going - quite unstoppable," he says. "The Discovery is wonderful to sit in, but if I needed a car to depend upon, it would be the Land Cruiser every time."
All of which goes to show there is no right or wrong here, just opinions.