The Toyota Land Cruiser V8 is the best yet on the road, and it remains supreme off it.

Toyota’s modest sales projections reflect the new Land Cruiser V8’s arrival in a dying part of the market. But there are still people who need their SUVs to deliver genuine go-anywhere ability and who demand that such utility is combined with plush trim and a comprehensive selection of toys.

The V8 moves the Land Cruiser up a class. Still tough, but now Lexus-style luxury.

The overwhelming majority of these buyers in the UK end up choosing a Range Rover, a car that the previous Land Cruiser Amazon could never properly rival.

The understanding of what buyers want is displayed perfectly in the Land Cruiser V8. It’s rugged when you want it to be and smooth when you don’t, and a well thought-out – and comprehensive – list of equipment is a welcome change, even on cars costing more than £50,000.

Now the Land Cruiser has a masterpiece of a V8 diesel engine and greatly improved on-road manners. It isn’t quite as accomplished as the Range Rover TDV8, let alone the soft-road alternatives, but it impresses more than the Mercedes ML420 CDI, Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDi and Volvo XC90 D5.

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As a long-term ownership proposition, Toyota’s legendary tough build quality means it’s second to none. If you’re in search of the genuine article, this is it.

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