Currently reading: Discovery v Land Cruiser
Which is the ultimate off-roader? Video, pictures and comparison test

Land Rover Discovery or Toyota Land Cruiser, which is best? 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.

See the Land Rover Discovery v Toyota Land Cruiser pictures

The figures

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.

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It also has an aura of dependability that the Land Rover doesn't. It feels all but immune from mechanical failure.

The verdict

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.

The postscript

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.

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Add a comment…
Lee23404 28 March 2010

Re: Discovery v Land Cruiser

Rich boy spanners wrote:
In a country where a breakdown in the wrong place can mean you get murdered

That just means stopped at a set of traffic lights in RSA.

I know, some friends out there were car jacked by an armed gang for their old shape Clio. They and their two toddlers were lucky to escape with their lives.

Rich boy spanners 28 March 2010

Re: Discovery v Land Cruiser

I've just spent time in S.Africa and they had little good to say about Land Rover products. They think they look nice and don't doubt their off-road ability, but they don't trust them. In a country where a breakdown in the wrong place can mean you get murdered, and where going to neighbouring countries takes you into such remote (and sometimes hostile) areas you need to take a satelite 'phone, you always go for reliability above anything.

However, there was also a criticism that all 4X4's are getting too high tech for proper off-road environments.

tangelo 28 March 2010

Re: Discovery v Land Cruiser

I knew the result without watching video...However I watched !!!!

Do you called that is the "Ultimate Off Road" ????

It's p**y, nothing !!!

As a car, Discovery is better all around. Even basic model.

HOWEVER, you never seen Disco in deep, deep outback here in Australia.

I am not talking about fancy Sydney or Gold Coast.

I am talking about tough, serious off road...Outback.

Disco is great even in Outback, but if something serious problems happened, you can't get spare parts !!!

So we have simply Toyota, Nissan and Mitsu !!!

Hyundai? oh!!! that's a another p**y too.