Why we’re running it: To see if a utility vehicle can also be an endearing everyday vehicle
Life with a Toyota Land Cruiser: Month 2
We’re learning to take the rough with the smooth - 28 November 2018
I have been off-road. Properly, I mean, not just pootling down a wee green lane in Surrey for a few pictures, or crawling around a rough horse yard, which was the previous limit of where I’d asked the Toyota Land Cruiser to boldly go.
Now, though, I’ve spent a day in a disused quarry, working the Land Cruiser’s axle articulation and trying, and by and large failing, to get it stuck. This is the problem with the Land Cruiser: you ask it to do something that would seem extreme to most SUVs, and it just mooches along like it’s on a trip to the shops – because, in some countries, that’s what a trip to the shops looks like.
Anyway, the resulting story, which featured the new Suzuki Jimny alongside the Toyota, was on these pages and on YouTube a couple of weeks ago, so the result is known: the Land Cruiser will go further offroad than a Jimny (which probably shouldn’t be a huge surprise), although there are areas where, down to sheer manoeuvrability, life is easier in the tiny, scampering Suzuki. But with a tight turning circle and short wheelbase, in this three-door form I wonder if the Ford Focus-length Land Cruiser isn’t the next most agile ‘proper’ off-roader currently on sale.