Workhorse revamped into a sturdy steed

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

Since its introduction to the South African market in 1971, Toyota's legendary Land Cruiser has proved itself to be the off-road utility vehicle of choice.

Now the rugged and durable one-tonner has received a face-lift.

The redesigned front end of the new Land Cruiser reflects a more contemporary look without diluting the essential purpose of this long-life model as it continues to evolve.

As with earlier models, the new vehicle's looks are softened by the wrap-around headlights that incorporate the turning indicators. The bonnet, the grille, the front bumper and the mudguards have also been revised.

The car's front and rear differentials incorporate locks with electronic selection of either rear differential lock or front and rear lock.

The vehicle's suspension remains the proven combination of live axles front and rear, with coils at the front and long leaf springs at the rear with the front suspension having been designed to cope with long-distance travel. All of this ensures superb handling and stability with excellent wheel articulation.

The new model has automatic locking front hubs so the change to four-wheel drive is now achieved without needing to stop and lock the hubs.

The addition of a long-range fuel tank takes up the space previously occupied by the spare wheel under the load box. The spare is now mounted behind the driver in the load box, which has a lockable guard frame to provide the spare with protection against theft.

Comfort and convenience features of the new Land Cruiser include a digital clock, air conditioning and key-operated central locking. The vehicle is pre-wired for radio fitment with an antenna fitted as standard. An auxiliary power point is provided under the bonnet.

The diesel engine variant has a 4,2litre 1HZ engine, which develops 96kW at 3800rpm with 285Nm of torque at 2200rpm.

The 4,5litre petrol model is fitted with an 1FZ-FE 6-cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection, which develops 162kW at 4600rpm with a healthy 384Nm of torque at 3600rpm.