With the proviso that it doesn’t drive like a BMW X5, the Land Cruiser V8's driving manners manage to exceed expectations across the board. In large part, this is due to the adaptive dampers fitted by Toyota, which can be switched between sport, standard and comfort modes.
In the softest setting, high-speed ridges and compressions create an uncomfortable heaving motion. Encountering rough surfaces in the firmest sport setting does allow occasional juddering to enter the cabin, but stiffening the dampers helps to keep everything lashed down at higher speeds.
Although you’re always aware that this is a large off-roader, it doesn’t feel like it weighs nearly three tonnes. For a start, it’s quick in a straight line and its body control is good under braking. And although you sit extremely high, the Land Cruiser rarely feels precarious.
Its steering, which is light at low speeds, weights up as speed rises; when pressing on it’s positive and has decent resistance. At its limit, the Toyota is prone to understeer, although it thinks about loosening its tail if you brake mid-corner.
Off the road, the Land Cruiser V8 displays the same abilities as it always has. The ride height, long wheelbase and sophisticated air suspension make it an extremely comfortable way to travel over rough terrain. The combination of anti-roll bars that decouple at low speeds and a traditional solid rear axle allows the Land Cruiser to cross a step as high as 63cm while keeping all wheels in contact with the ground.
The steering is probably the big Toyota’s weakest dynamic link. It’s low geared and generously assisted, but incapable of mustering much in the way of feedback. And even with the dampers turned up to maximum, any kind of enthusiastic cornering still comes at the expense of acute body roll.