The Toyota Landcruiser has long been the go to vehicle for those looking to tow, go off-road or simply have a chunk of metal bigger than anyone else in the burbs. Its latest update brings a new, almost American front end, but in general more of the same. Chris Bowen takes a quick look at this Aussie hit.

Make: Toyota

Model: Landcruiser

Variant: GXL

Engine / Transmission: 4.5 litre twin-turbo V8 Diesel. 6-speed automatic.

Vital Stats: 200kW / 650Nm

Toyota Claimed Fuel Economy: 9.5L / 100km

Price: From $88,460

Wow Factor: The V8 diesel up front is simply a cracker, it sounds good too, moving this huge beast with effortless, relentless ease. It’s also efficient and when combined with a 138-litre fuel tank it’s a long time between drinks. The Landcruiser sits eight, easily and comfortably and despite its old world interior overall this is a very refined, smooth riding beast.

Most Impressive: It has the ability to waft along over every surface with a remarkable ease. This is partly why so many are simply used as family mobiles. Considering its mass, the as tested GXL model is an easy drive in most situations. Sure physics dictate some care needs to be taken in tight carparks or along a twisty piece of road but in general it’s a cinch to drive.

Least Impressive: For the coin you’d hardly expect to see a steering wheel with not one button on it, but you do. Along with any number of other shortcomings not befitting the price tag. Toyota has long struggled with infotainment systems with only the very latest models such as the Corolla, Hilux and Fortunner finally addressing this issue. It’s pretty disappointing to see an aftermarket, low resolution and poorly lit unit in what is a 90k car after on roads.

The interior is very basic still, the fabric seats a drab and most of the interior materials are from another decade. But as with all Toyotas it’s still well put together and unlikely to crumble apart for many a year.

The Sweeping Statement: Despite the lack of prestige the Toyota Lancrusier is still somewhat of a status symbol. It sits comfortably aside Range Rovers and Mercedes-Benz equivalents in the more affluent areas but remains probably the most capable off-road vehicle for Australian conditions. It’s an enigma and despite its numerous dated elements I kind of like it. I award the Toyota Landcrusier GXL the EFTM Credit Rubber Stamp.