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Toyota Land Cruiser V8 Station Wagon engines, drive and performance

2008 - 2011 (change model)
Performance rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

Just one engine is available and as the name suggests it’s a V8. The 4.5-litre diesel unit uses twin-turbochargers to boost power to 282bhp along with huge reserves of pulling power – making it ideal for towing heavy trailers. While the power and torque figures are a little lower than those of rival big diesels from Audi, Mercedes and VW, the Land Cruiser is certainly not lacking and there’s a hefty shove away from a standstill.

0-62mph takes 8.2 seconds – impressive for a car that weighs more than 2.5 tonnes. However, the D-4D engine is noisy and the move can be quite intrusive under hard acceleration. Compared to other large 4x4s, the engine is relatively efficient, although fuel economy of 28mpg can never be called impressive. The gearbox is a six-speed automatic with a manual mode and selectable low-ratio for off-road use.

The Land Cruiser V8 has vague steering which means tackling corners at higher speeds doesn’t instil much confidence. It feels heavy and cumbersome while heavy braking causes it to pitch and dive. On the plus side, it does have a soft suspension set-up which means it’s good at soaking up motorway potholes. It’s actually fitted with an adaptive variable suspension system, designed to give good ride comfort, but the Toyota often struggles to settle down after a bump.

In comfort mode it wallows while in the Dynamic setting it feels constantly busy on rough roads. It’s impressive off-road though and is fitted with a raft of 4×4 features. It uses a permanent four-wheel drive system, with driver-selectable modes for ride height along with hill-start assist control to aid moving off when on a hill. There’s also downhill assist control to maintain a set speed when descending slopes.