2019 Toyota Landcruiser 200 VX review
Which car is it?
Landcruiser began life as a humble 4X4 in 1951. It had rubber mats and was 100% utilitarian.
In 2008, the Landcruiser 200 series was born. Since then it has been lavished with updates in comfort, technology, and capability.
Models are GX, GXL, VX and the luxuriously, fully-appointed Sahara. Our semi-luxury VX scores much of the goodies of the Sahara for 15 grand less.
In 2018, Landcruiser was fettled again with the addition of an upgraded infotainment system, blind spot monitor and a trick 360 ° camera that also gives a view of underneath the car, and where the front wheels are placed.
Australia is Toyota’s largest Landcruiser market with 13,677 sold last year, giving Toyota 91,6% of the segment. Admittedly, only Nissan’s Patrol shares that segment. Landcruiser 80 series adds another 10,037 to that total.
Landcruiser is a big boy. There is no hiding that hulking 2,740kg brute of a body. It is 1980mm wide not including the mirrors, and 4990mm long with a 2850mm wheelbase.
VX has 18” alloys which look a bit lost in that endless sea of wheel arch. Tyres are 285/60R18, with enough height to be comfortable regardless of the size of the rocks under them. That’s a good thing..
Bi-LED auto headlights were added but look added on to the aging body. LED taillights look more successful, but are still what I’d call pretty.
There is a 2-part manual rear hatch, which along with all other doors, has smart entry and locking. The bottom section can be used to stand on, if you manage to be able to scramble up on to it.
Side steps help with access into the high-set 7 or 8 seater cabin. You feel like you’re boarding a jet.
Landcruiser is over 10 years old, which is geriatric in automotive terms. Despite that it continues to be one of the best selling vehicles in the country, mainly because it has only one rival.
Overall, the 2 box shape is OK. It’s the best shape to be wrapped around such a capacious cabin.
What’s it like inside?
The cabin is comfortable if a bit dated.
It’s got everything you need, a few things you want, and the odd thing you probably hadn’t heard of before.
There is space for 8 seats, and 7 in the diesel models. The 3rd row swings up like a couple of broken wings. They stow against the side windows of the cargo hold allowing the floor to be as low as possible. Other 7 seaters raise the floor by up to 30cms. The seats can be left in the garage if you don’t need them.
The interior is positively voluminous.
Seating is akin to a lounge chair, heated and cooled depending on how much money you’ve paid. There is power/memory adjustment on the front seats.
The driver has an updated dash which includes a 4.2” LCD where a digital speedo can be displayed. You can scroll through menus for fuel and distance data, but the speedo is the most useful. There is no HUD which is a shame.
The 9” touch screen looks huge. It controls audio, video and climate settings, and displays the external cameras.
You sit a very long way from the dash but the controls remain easy to use. VX has the merest hint of woodgrain and sensible leather upholstery, which contrasts ironically with the tough rubber mats. The reason Landcruiser is so popular is its ability to navigate our tricky dirt roads with grace and aplomb. Imagine getting out for a comfort stop in the middle of nowhere. Should you step in something wayward, you don’t have to worry about soiling the Axminster.
The 3rd row is a bit tight and best kept for occasional use. Although most people can sit in them, you probably wouldn’t want to. You’ll need the cargo hold for longer trip anyway.
2nd row passengers will feel like they are in a limo. There is a mountain of space..
Despite not having CarPlay/Android auto, the audio system has…..