The latest Toyota Land Cruiser is practical and made to last, but as a tow car it’s miles off the best machines in the heavyweight class, and struggles to justify its price tag.
For well over £50,000 you have the right to expect a smooth, refined engine. Instead you get a noisy four-cylinder lump that delivers modest performance. It took the Land Cruiser 19.3 seconds to tow from 30-60mph – more than eight seconds slower than the Land Rover Discovery.
Stability at speed proved underwhelming, with the caravan moving around if the driver backed off the throttle. In the lane-change test the Land Cruiser leaned heavily, and the back of the car lost grip on the two fastest runs.
Like most big 4x4s, the Land Cruiser coped well with the hill-start test. The handbrake held so long as it was pulled on firmly, and the engine easily pulled to the top of the hill. Reversing up a slope was also straightforward for the big Toyota.
Our practicality testers were a lot more impressed than the drivers. With the third row of seats stowed they found plenty of room for a typical load of holiday luggage. The handy reversing camera and unhindered access to the towball and electrics also contributed to the Land Cruiser’s strong score in this aspect of our judging.