2008 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 | RPMGO Test Drive section

So last weekend I had the opportunity to test one hell of a car. Because it’s big. Really big. Huge. Did I mention it’s really big?

The Toyota Land Cruiser is a big car, everyone knows that. But Toyota Land Cruiser V8 is even bigger. So big that getting in the car can be a challenge if you’re not in shape or you happen to be shorter.

Exterior

What’s there to say? It’s a huge off-roader (you can’t call it an SUV), with wheels the size of a Daewoo Tico, which doesn’t look bad but isn’t an example of perfect aerodynamics either. Honestly, I like the old version’s design better, this one looks too rough to me. It follows the latest trend in Toyota design, with the headlights sticking out (I don’t particularly like it) and the large chrome radiator grill.

Interior

It’s big on the inside, as you can expect. It can fit three rows of chairs and seven passengers, but I wouldn’t ask my friends to sit in the last row and hope they’ll still be my friends afterwards. If you’ve got kids though, it’s perfect.

The interior is full of leather and wood, the unavoidable plastic on the dashboard looks very well, but it felt inconsistent at times: you see wood on the central console, then you see aluminum, like they couldn’t decide if they wanted a sporty interior or not.

This car is the first I’ve driven that had 4 climate zones (two in front, two in the back, of course). The controls and the central monitor look a lot like those on the Toyota Prius (including the start button). The central display has a touch screen and controls the audio system, the climate and the GPS system.

I almost forgot: I liked that the steering wheel remembers the position you choose, but it goes back to the default position when you stop the engine. Since I drive with the steering wheel very close to me, I always have trouble getting in the car. No such problem with the Land Cruiser.

The trunk is big, especially with the back seats folded. What else could you expect from a car this size? The trunk door also has an interesting two-step opening (you can open only the window or the whole door)

Handling

The inside and the outside can be seen in photos, but the coolest part of a test drive is the *driving*. I was lucky/unlucky enough to drive it for about 1000 km (620 miles), plus the chance to take the car for a ride on a construction site, just for the fun of it, to see what it can do.

On the road the car behaves better than I’d expected. Remember that it’s a 4.5 liter V8 engine which goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds. Faster than many of the small cars we see every day. So you’re very tempted to hit the gas pedal, because it reacts immediately and you get pushed into the seat. I didn’t get to the top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph) because I didn’t have where to do it, but at 130-140 km/h (80-85 mph) it felt very cool, you almost couldn’t tell you’re driving at the maximum legal speed for the highway.

The issues, from my point of view, started to show up when going on not so great roads, full of small bumps. This is where the car, being so large, makes you feel you can lose control in such conditions if you’re going too fast, because the wheels don’t have a proper grip and you need to hang on to the wheel. So we slowed down to 60-70 km/h (around 40 mph) and I felt safer. Perhaps it was best for other cars’ safety, too.

Like I said, I also deciced to go into a construction site and test it on the slopes for a bit. And the car did very well. I didn’t get to opportunity to test it on a very steep hillside so I only tried to go down a couple of slopes, to go in the river next to the construction site, to compare to a bulldozer.

I’m really sorry I didn’t get the chance to go on a real hill and test the off-road abilities. Fortunately, everyone knows what’s it capable of, but what’s special about this V8, unlike the previous generations, is the road behavior (at least that’s what they say, I haven’t tested any older Land Cruiser) – which really is superb. The only problem is that you need to keep reminding yourself that it’s a big car which needs a lot of space when passing others, because otherwise you’d step on the gas in no time.

Conclusion

All in all, a huge car, perfect for when you want to leave the crowded city or if you’ve got a house in the mountains and want to be able to get there no matter the weather (flood or 1 m of snow of the road). The powerful V8 engine makes it more of a sports car than you’d expect.

This being said, I don’t understand why you’d use something like this in the city. It’s enormous, it’s difficult to park, it’s difficult to manage in the horrible traffic. Yes, the inside is comfortable and it can be an incentive for when you’re stuck in traffic for 3 hours, but still.

The fuel consumption is smaller than I’d have expected from an engine this big: 15 liters/100 km (15 mpg) in the city and 12 liters/100 km (20 mpg) on the highway.

What’s the downside to all this? It’s price. 86,000 Euros is a lot of money. Of course, the car is targeted to the people who can afford it. And I’m not one of them, which makes it even worse, because I really liked the car.

Details for Toyota LandCruiser V8

Engine: 4.5 liters D-4D V8 Power Output: 286 hp Top Speed: 210 km/h (130 mph) 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph): 8.2 seconds

Fuel consumption (city/highway, combined): 12/9.1/10.2 liters/100 km (20/25.8/23 US mpg)

Photo Gallery: 2008 Toyota Landcruiser V8 Test Drive



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Post tags : Toyota, toyota landcruiser, toyota landcruiser v8