Overview of the Toyota Landcruiser
When 13 Toyota LandCruisers were imported to Australia in 1958 to serve as workhorses on the Snowy Hydro Scheme and various mining and construction projects, the off-roader's reputation for robustness and ruggedness was born.
Today, it's still considered by many to be the 4WD benchmark, despite the latest-generation LandCruiser - the 200 series - having been on sale since 2007.
Its mighty size allows it to carry vast amounts of cargo or up to eight people in GXL, VX or flagship Sahara form. Performance comes from a choice of V8s - the more powerful 4.6-litre petrol or more fuel efficient and torquier 4.5-litre turbo diesel.
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER GENERATIONS (SINCE 1998)
4.6L V8 petrol: 13.4 litres per 100km
4.5L V8 turbo diesel: 9.5 litres per 100k
= Highly economical.
= Good economy.
= Average fuel use.
= Heavy consumption.
SIMILAR MODELS TO TOYOTA LANDCRUISER
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR: TOYOTA LANDCRUISER
V8 diesel defines the latter-day Toyota LandCruiser, but early examples did give owners a few headaches. The biggest problem reported was that the engine had an appetite for oil between oil changes. Running changes were made by Toyota, so the later the build date, the better.
Electronics were also mounted relatively low in the engine bay, so deep water crossings could prove costly. Find out how the car has been used.
Speaking of which, the automatic transmission in the 200 Series meant the big Toyota was a good tow-car, though try to gauge how much load-hauling it has done. Is the tow-bar fitted, for instance, rated for huge loads?
The fact that the Toyota LandCruiser was so good off-road also means that many have led hard lives.
Be wary of examples with winches, mud tyres and panel damage. The flip-side is that many have never been off-road at all. They're the ones to buy second-hand.