By Khulekani Dumisa
It may be long on the tooth but the Land Cruiser 200 still sells like hot cakes. The flagship Land Cruiser 200 VX-R has received tech and gadget upgrades for 2020. These include a 14-speaker JBL Premium sound system and Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) system. The rear-seat entertainment comprises two 11.6” screens (29cm) with multimedia inputs located in the rear console (along with the four-zone climate control). Six exterior colours are available. Customers have the option of either Black or Beige interior trim on the VX-R grade.
Spending time with the LC200
We spent just over a week with the Land Cruiser LC200 VX-R which is the big daddy in the Toyota line up. The LC200 is massive but interestingly not difficult to live with, especially in the city. You are tempted to switch off- the lane keep as it tends to beep at every instance due to the size of the car.
The interior shows the age of the car. The quality is good for a vehicle north of a million rand. Toyota also throws in a fridge which can easily fit six 500 ml bottles. The rest of it seems dated. The touchscreen is dark and doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and there’s only one USB which isn’t great for 2020. Nevertheless, the JBL sound system and two TV screens at the back make up for some of this.
From a practicality point of view, there’s ample room in the car, particularly for front and second row occupants with the third row not being comparable but still adequate. The third row is best reserved for children up to 14 or so. The fact that the last row doesn’t fold flat but folds to the sides takes up space but there’s tons of luggage space with the last row down. In fact, you can still fit some luggage with it up. We managed to fit two small suitcases and a soft bag with the last row up, and we could have fitted more stuff.
In terms of the drive, the 195 kW / 650 Nm from the V8 engine turbodiesel engine that is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission may make you believe you can pounce off the line but you can’t really. The massive body holds you back. The car does well on highways. In fact it’s comfortable and the ride doesn’t feel detached as can be the case with some large luxury contenders with an air suspension set-up. The car does all you ask on the highway at national speeds. Don’t expect more in corners, this beast is not about that life. Hit the off-road circuit and you’ll be the talk of the town. We had the pleasure of visiting family in remote areas of the KZN South Coast over the weekend. It had rained and the gravel roads turned into an off-road course of sorts presenting waterlogged, muddy and rocky off-road terrain. With low-range gearing, a multi-terrain select system, differential lockers for the centre and rear differentials, Crawl Traction Control system, the accidental 4×4 challenges proved to be nothing for the capable Land Cruiser LC200 VX-R. Overall, still the LC 200 is still a worthy option in the segment. I would actually buy one!
The Land Cruiser 200 4.5D V8 GX-R range is to priced from R1,086,200.
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