It takes a bit of getting your head around, the fact that Toyota's $84,000 GXL Landcruiser doesn't have a trip computer.

I mean, you pay that much for a car and you expect a bit of kit, like a computer telling you how many kilometres you've got to go before you're empty. It's not right.

THE LINEUP

The eight seat V8 GXL is the family wagon and entry point to the petrol range, priced from $83,990 plus on roads.

You can get a cheaper, lesser equipped GX from $77,990 but its a five-seater and available only as a diesel, (did I say only because diesel is the way to go with a truck this size). Top of the range Sahara is incidentally equipped with the same diesel, priced from $118,990.

NEW V8

It's lost a litre but the new 4.6-litre V8 is more powerful and more importantly more fuel efficient. It's good for 228kW of power and 439Nm of torque at 3500 revs and is paired with a 6-speed automatic.

Fuel consumption is rated at 13.6 litres/100km but that's on a good day because at 2600kg this is a large vehicle no matter which way you cut it. It has a 138-litre fuel capacity which means you won't see a lot of change from $200 filling up from dead empty. The upside is a theoretical range of 1000km plus.

ON ROAD

It's a great view from up here. You look down on just about everyone and it affords plenty of warning of traffic snarls up ahead. That's a good thing because you don't want to make any sudden moves and squash anyone. For its size though it's incredibly smooth and quiet, with a smooth changing auto. Roundabouts and speed humps are hardly noticeable.

OFF ROAD

Off road the Landcruiser reigns supreme, challenged only by long time rival the Nissan Patrol and more expensive offerings from Benz and Land Rover. When the going gets tough this is the vehicle you want under your bum. And, despite what others might suggest, the auto makes the whole off road thing much easier just put it in D and you're good to go.

There's also sorts of electronic aids these days to take the guess work out of four-wheel driving, including the kinetic dynamic suspension system (KDSS) and crawl control with turn assist which helps maintain a constant speed.

With the centre diff locked, 225mm of ground clearance and a wading depth of 700mm, almost nothing will stop it. The locally developed KDSS system provides greater wheel articulation off road and controls body roll on road.

SAFETY

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

GOODIES

While it doesn't get a full featured trip computer it does unaccountably get plenty of other things like Bluetooth, a reversing camera and touch screen satellite navigation. Having said that the sound quality from the audio/satnav system is terrible. There's also smart entry, twin zone climate air, cruise control and steering wheel audio controls.

VERDICT

Can't help wondering if the Kluger might not be a better option. I know we bang on about Kluger being too thirsty but it has nowhere near the thirst of this monster, particularly if you don't need its off road capabilities?

Diesel though more expensive would be a wiser choice. Good to know it qualifies for capped priced servicing, at $210 a pop for six services, 60,000km or three years whichever comes first.

Toyota Landcruiser GXL

Price: from $83,990
Warranty: 100,000km 3 years
Weight: 2685kg
Engine: 4.6-litre 8-cylinder, 228kW/439Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Thirst: 13.6L/100km, 313 CO2 emissions