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Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Sahara turbo diesel 2012 review

A big wobbly truck that doesn't like to be hurried through corners - off road however it has few rivals.

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?

What is it?

Toyota's top of the line Landcruiser 200. Fitted with a V8 turbo diesel and all the trimmings.

How much?

Deep breath. $118,490 plus on road costs. That's a lot of money for a Toyota no matter how good it might be (mind you it's cheaper than the $140K Lexus)

What are competitors?

The aforementioned Lexus (brothers under the skin), top of the line Discovery and maybe the Ranger Rover Sport? Top of the line Patrol is not in the same ball park at just over $70K.

What's under the bonnet?

4.5-litre twin turbo V8 diesel. Kicks out 195kW of power and 650Nm of torque from 1600 revs. It's hooked up to a 6-speed automatic, with full time four-wheel drive. Can tow 3500kg.

How does it go?

Effortless is probably the best description. But it's a big wobbly truck that doesn't like to be hurried through corners. Off road however it has few rivals. Multi-Terrain Select that regulates wheel-spin in tough off-road conditions with five driver-selectable modes: rock, rock and dirt, mogul, loose rock, mud and sand.

Is it economical?

The diesel is rated at 10.3 litres/100km. We were getting 11.9 after 300km, with 600km to go according to the computer. With a 138 litre tank it has theoretical range of 1340km. At $1.42 or so a litre for diesel that still around $15 per 100km.

Is it green?

Make that a no. Gets only two stars from the Govt's Green Vehicle Guide. Benchmark Prius gets five.

Is it safe?

It's been around since 2007 but apparently hasn't been tested yet (last one got four stars).

Is it comfortable?

Like a loungeroom. Lots of leather and wood and it feels like you're driving on pillows. The beige/brown decor is real old school.

What's it like to drive?

Think big. Generally quiet inside. Smooth and responsive in a straightline, but gets out of shape easily with too much corner speed. Like the digital speedo display. Better satnav but misses out on speed camera warnings.

Is it value for money?

Additional kit includes Multi-Terrain Monitor with four cameras for checking terrain hazards. Also has four-zone air and airconditioned front seats, upgraded navigation system, power-operated tailgate, and three-position memory for the power driver's seat, steering wheel and exterior mirrors. Kids will like rear seat DVD with three pairs of wireless headphones.

Would we buy one?

Probably not. Unless we needed the seven seats we'd opt for something smaller and more dynamic.

Pricing guides

Based on 230 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

60TH Anniversary L.e. 4.7L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $36,500 – 47,190 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser 2012 60TH Anniversary L.e. Pricing and Specs
Altitude 4.5L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $45,990 – 68,998 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser 2012 Altitude Pricing and Specs
Altitude SE 4.5L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $44,500 – 56,320 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser 2012 Altitude SE Pricing and Specs
GX (4X4) 4.5L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $47,500 – 51,500 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser 2012 GX (4X4) Pricing and Specs