Twin Test: Massive Load Luggers

  • We pit popular two of the best workhorses against each other
  • Both well matched for practicality and performance
  • Read on to find out which will come out on top

Two-wheel drive tow-cars that can haul heavy trailers are all well and good on the road, but if you need to drag something weighty on rough terrain then you’ll want one of these 4×4 heavy lifters. Both come with serious off-road ability, impressive reliability and a large towing capacity.

Toyota Land Cruiser (03-09) vs Mitsubishi Shogun (07-)


Land Cruiser: The 3.0-litre diesel engine was upped from 161bhp to 171bhp in 200, bringing with it nearly 50Nm of torque, and this punchier unit is more desirable. Handling wise the Land Cruiser is better off-road than on, where it shines thanks to a strong four-wheel drive. It leans and bounces a bit on tarmac.

Shogun: The 3.2-litre diesel engine has been updated and the latest 197bhp version is the one to have. It offers 441Nm of torque which is enough to haul the two-tonne plus Shogun along at a pace. On-road performance is adequate but off-road the Shogun feels unstoppable.


Land Cruiser: That engine means a braked towing weight of 2,800kg which is enough for most applications. Second from top LC4 trim brings a whole host of comforts including leather upholstery, traction and stability control, satellite navigation with traffic avoidance, electric sunroof, electrically operated and heated front seats, and Hill-start Assist Control.

Shogun: Equippe trim is not the highest grade but gets you alloy wheels, cloth seats, climate control, remote central locking and roof rails. The boot is tiny with the rear row of seats in place, but folding rows two and three away unlocks the full 1,790 litres. The maximum braked towing capacity is a massive 3,500kg, more than enough for a large caravan or even a boat.


Land Cruiser: A maximum fuel economy of 30mpg without a trailer and road tax totalling £490 a year means you’ll need to keep some money reserved for the Land Cruiser’s running costs, although it is in a lower insurance group than the Shogun so that might help claw some pennies back.

Shogun: You won’t need to reinforce your bank account in order to keep the Shogun fuelled but it’s not exactly cheap either. A promised fuel economy of 35mpg is reasonable while VED tax of £290 a year is not bad for a large vehicle like this, but again, not what you would call ‘bargain basement’.



Toyota Land Cruiser

Mitsubishi Shogun


3.0-litre diesel 

3.2-litre diesel




Road tax

Band L – £490 p/a

Band K – £290 p/a

Insurance group




11.1 seconds

10.2 seconds

Max load space

1,850 litres

1,790 Litres




CO2 emissions:



Towing capacity



The Winner- Mitsubishi Shogun

We’ve had to turn to the cold hard currency of stats in order to separate these two. The Shogun can tow more, promises better fuel economy, costs less to tax, and is more powerful. This model may not be as well-equipped as the Land Cruiser but it has everything a workhorse needs, so it gets our vote.

Click here to read our full review of the Mitsubishi Shogun

Click here to read our full review of the Toyota Land Cruiser