Toyota Land Cruiser VX Ltd 2008 Review

Toyota Land Cruiser VX Ltd 2008 Review


When you look at published lists of the most stressful things in your life usually they contain changing jobs, death of a loved one, moving house, divorce/separation, and personal illness. So, I’d say that the past couple of weeks have been fine — just two out of the five for me¦

It was made slightly more tolerable by my fortuitous booking of a gargantuan Toyota Land Cruiser 200 VX Ltd.

I wanted to move some things that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving in the hands of the removals guys, and the Land Cruiser just swallowed them up like a humpback whale taking in a mouthful of krill.

Opening the split folding tailgate revealed a capacious luggage area mildly compromised by seats six and seven, which are folded up against the side of the car. It would have been nice to be able to remove these, but it ended up not being necessary as the second row of seats folds forwards and hooks in place, giving an extra long loading bay that’s also around as wide as a standard station wagon.

I could have actually moved my whole house with the Land Cruiser — just hitched it up to the back and let the 650Nm from the twin-turbo 195kW diesel V8 ease it off its foundations. I write this as oil’s price has come tumbling down to US$110 per barrel — that’s a decline of more than 20% off its high, which means we’re officially in an oil bear market. That’s good news, because some people will always need big cars with torque-laden V8s. Many have boats, horses and other large items that require more than a van; or they need the off-road ability. Not that the Land Cruiser is that thirsty. Toyota quotes 10.3l/100km on the combined cycle; I managed 12.2l/100km.

Favoured by organisations that like to operate in rugged territories (like the UN, which has bought over 12,000 of them over the last few iterations), the Land Cruiser is built tough, but also built very luxuriously.

Not only do you get useful off-road features such as locking differentials, hill descent mode, a ground clearance of 225mm and full-time four-wheel drive with low range 6-speed gearbox, but inside you’ll find quad-zone air conditioning, phone integration, and a satellite navigation system that is extremely intuitive, allowing you to directly type a destination into the touch sensitive screen (no faffing around with a jog wheel and buttons like in a Mercedes-Benz or BMW, for example.)

The touchscreen allows access to all manner of audio functions and setup parameters giving you the ability to finely customise your car to you. One area where I would like to see a reversion back to dials, though, is the air conditioning — it was too difficult to control settings like the fan speed on the touch screen while driving, whereas with a dial it’s a simple twist.

As there’s no getting away from the substantial size, Toyota has included proximity sensors on the front and rear and a reversing camera with direction visualisation (lines that show you where you’re heading, depending on the angle of the steering wheel.)

Another manifestation of the size is the less-than-sporty handling around the city, as is to be expected from a car that weighs over 2700kg. Open road manners, though, are excellent. A couple of medium distance trips left me in no doubt that you can pop a couple of soft drinks in the built-in chiller, plug in your favourite selection of CDs, and ride the wave of torque from Auckland to Wellington, arriving feeling relatively refreshed.

So I’ve established that driving the Land Cruiser is fairly stress-free. Its multitude of features, pleasant cruising attitude, and superior parking assistance would make owning it easy. My own personal stress top 5 includes learning the layout of a brand new supermarket, running late, stationary traffic, people answering their cellphones in meetings, and finding out I’ve run out of deodorant on a hot day. I mean, I may be able to quickly navigate to a new supermarket and use the technology to park with ease, but finding the deodorant in unfamiliar aisles would be an absolute drama!

Click through to the next page to read the full specs of the Toyota Land Cruiser VX Ltd.

Price: from $126,490

What we like

  • Performance x size x fuel economy equation is more than reasonable
  • It’s loaded with everything you need¦almost
  • Starter button plus keyless entry is the way to do it
  • 14 airbags!

What we don’t like

  • It’s not the prettiest girl at the prom
  • No seat warmers


Description     Multi-terrain Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Active Traction Control (A-TRC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC)
Front: Power-Assisted Ventilated Disc Brakes
Rear: Power-Assisted Ventilated Disc Brakes
Park Brake: Centre Floor Type Mechanical Parking Brake
Active Traction Control (A-TRC)
Downhill Assist Control (DAC)
Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
Pedal Type Mechanical Parking Brake
Power assisted ventilated front and rear disc brakes
Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
Multi-terrain Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)


Front Track      1640 mm
Rear Track     1635 mm
Gross Vehicle Weight     3300 kg
Kerb Weight     2675-2720 kg
Minimum Ground Clearance     225 mm
Overall Height     1905 mm
Overall Length     4950 mm
Overall Width     1970 mm
Tow Capacity Braked     3500 kg
Tow Capacity Unbraked     750 kg
Wheelbase     2850 mm


Engine Model Code      1VD-FTV
Type     V Type, 8 Cylinder, 32 Valve, DOHC with Twin Turbo Chargers and Intercooler
Alternator     150 Amps
Battery Voltage     12 Volts
Bore     86.0 mm
Capacity     4461 cc
Compression     16.8 : 1
Configuration     V Type
Condition     Combined
Emission     273 g/km
Test     Australian Design Rule – 81/01
Fuel Tank Capacity     93 Litres
Fuel Type     Diesel
Injection Type     Common Rail Direct Injection
Location     Front, Longitudinal
Maximum Power     195 kW
Maximum Torque     650 Nm
Starter     2.7 kW
Stroke     96.0 mm
Litres per 100km     10.3


Body Coloured Exterior Door Handles
Front and Rear Mudflaps
Front Fog / Driving Lights
Fuel Cap with Tether Anchor
Intermittent Rear Wiper
Multi-reflector Halogen Headlights
Rear Spoiler
Side Door Impact Bars
Touch-up Paint
Washer-Linked Variable Intermittent Wipers
Aluminium Side Steps
Body Coloured Front Bumpers
Body Coloured Rear Bumper with Step
Chrome Plated Electric Exterior Rear View Mirrors
Chrome Plated Front Grille
Electric Luggage Area Exterior Door Handle
Front (2) and Rear (1) Towing Hooks
Front (2) and Rear (4) Parking Sensors
Green Tinted Side Privacy Glass
UV Resistant Glass
Headlight Cleaners
LED High Stop Light
LED Rear Combination Lamps
Radio Antenna Embedded in Left and Right Rear Window Glass
Rear Window Demister
Tinted Laminated Acoustic Windscreen Glass with Top Shade
Towing Hitch Attachment Point with Cover
Under Floor Mounted Spare Wheel Carrier


12-Volt Accessory Power Outlet
2×3-Point ELR Front Seat Belts with Pre-Tensioners & Force Limiters
Adjustable Front Seat Belt Anchors
Automatic Glare-Resistant Electrochromic Interior Rear View Mirror
Centre Differential Lock Switch
Child Proof Rear Door Locks
Child Restraint Tether Anchor and ISO Fixing Points
Cigarette Lighter with Illumination
Clean Air Filter with Pollen Filter
Cruise Control
Dash Light Dimmer
Digital Clock
Digital Type Heater Controls
Door Ajar Warning
Door Scuff Plates
Driver’s Footrest
Engine Immobiliser & Alarm System
Front and rear door operated interior room lights
Front Ashtray
Front Headrests with Height and Angle Adjustment
Front Personal Lights
Front Seat Back Pockets
Fuel Level Warning Light
Gear Shift Position Indicator on Gear Lever and Instrument Panel
Illuminated Entry System
Key Reminder Warning
Leather Door Trim
Leather Seat Material
Lockable Glovebox with Light
Optitron Instrument Panel
Outside Temperature Display
Power Windows with One Touch Auto Up/Down, Anti-Jam Safety Function
Rear Coat Hooks
Rear Personal Lights
Remote Fuel Lid Release
Shift Lock System
4 Spoke Leather and Wood-style Steering Wheel with Audio, Display and Bluetooth Controls
40/20/40 Split Folding Second Row Seats with Slide, Recline and Tumble Functions
50/50 Split Folding Third Row Seats with Recline, Fold and Space-Up Functions
Adjustable Second Row Outer Seatbelt Anchors
Auto Off Headlights
Card Holder
Downhill Assist Control (DAC) Activation Button
ECT 2nd Start Button
EMV (Electronic Multi-Vision) Display with DVD Satellite Navigation System, Bluetooth Telephone Capability, Audio Controls, Climate Controls, and Reversing Camera
Front (2), Rear (2) and Third Row (4) Cup Holders
Front (4), Second (4) and Third (2) Row Assist Grips
Front and Rear Door Armrests
Front and Rear Door Courtesy Lights
Front and Rear Door Pockets with Bottle Holders
Front and Rear Four-Zone Climate Control Air Conditioning with Independent Temperature Controls
Power Adjustable Front Seats with Slide, Recline, Tilt and Height Functions with Driver’s Lumbar Support
Front Sunvisors with Illuminated Vanity Mirrors, Cover and Sub Visors
Fuel Sediment Warning Light and Buzzer
Leather and Wood-style Gear Lever
Luggage Area Cargo Hooks (4)
Manual Idling Control Button for Improved Heating Performance
Multi-Information Display (with Twin Trip Meters, Gear Lever Position, Driving Range, Average Speed, Distance Travelled, Current and Average Fuel Consumption and Warning Functions)
Park Assist On/Off Button
Pioneer AM/FM Radio and 6 Disc In-Dash MP3/WMA CD/DVD Player with 9 Speakers
Rear Console Box with Cup Holders (2)
Rear Seat Centre Arm Rest
Roll-Sensing Curtain Shield Airbag (RSCA) On/Off Button
Second and Third Row Headrests with Height Adjustment for Second Row and Inner Third Row Seats
Silver Interior Door Handles
Smart Key System with Remote Central Door Locking & Answer Back Function
Smart Start System
Power Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column with Automatic Retract Function
VSC/A-TRC On/Off Switch
3×3-Point ALR/ELR Second Row Seat Belts with Outer Pre-Tensioners
3×3-Point ALR/ELR Third Row Seat Belts
Driver and Front Passenger Seat Belt Warning Lights and Buzzer
Driver and Passenger Front, Knee and Side Airbags, 2nd Row Side and Full Length Curtain Shield Airbags


Description      Engine Speed Sensitive Power-Assisted Rack and Pinion Steering
Minimum Turning Circle     11.8 m
Steering Ratio     16.7
Turns lock to lock     3.14

Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column


Front      Fully Independent Double Wishbone Coil Spring with Stabiliser Bar
Rear     4-line Coil Rigid Suspension with Lateral Rod and Stabiliser Bar
Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)


Description      6-Speed Super ECT (Electronically Controlled Transmission) with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Shift Control and Sequential Manual Mode
Type     6AT
Drive Type     Full-Time 4WD
Diff Type     Torsen Centre LSD (Torque sensing Limited Slip Differential)
Gear 1 Ratio     3.333
Gear 2 Ratio     1.960
Gear 3 Ratio     1.353
Gear 4 Ratio     1.000
Gear 5 Ratio     0.728
Gear 6 Ratio     0.588
Reverse Ratio     3.061
Final Ratio     3.909
Shift Type     Auto
Rotary Switch Type for High/Low and Momentary Switch for Free/Lock


Description      8J x 17″ Alloy Wheels
Tyre Size     285/65 R17 steel belted radial ply tyres
Wheel Type     Yokohama Geolander G94
Full Size Alloy Spare Wheel

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

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