Toyota has revised the Land Cruiser, but despite improved fuel economy and emissions it’s still a poor tow car.

The 2.8-litre engine has 332lb ft of torque, which you’d think would be enough for decent performance. However, the big Toyota lumbers from 30-60mph in 19 seconds, accompanied by loud clatters of complaint from under the bonnet.

It’s the Land Cruiser’s stability which really lets the car down. It’s the only car in this year’s test to fail to complete the lane-change test, even at the slowest of the three planned speeds.

Stability is better at speed, but it’s not up to the standard of the best big 4x4s. There’s some slight looseness at 60mph, and movements become more pronounced at 70mph. The Al-Ko ATC stability system confirmed the impression of the drivers.

The Toyota partly redeems itself in the hill-start test. The handbrake needed to be pulled on firmly to keep car and caravan still, but otherwise it comfortably pulled to the top of the hill and had no trouble reversing a short distance up the other side.

If you need genuine off-road ability, or value reliability above all else, then the Land Cruiser has some appeal. But for a two-tonne 4×4 with a near-£50k price tag, it’s a very weak tow car.

2019
Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners
2018
1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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