2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX 4WD Review

2019 Toyota Landcruiser VX Road Test Review

Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Sahara2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Overview

LandCruiser began life as a humble 4X4 in 1951. It had rubber mats and was 100% utilitarian.

In 2008, the LandCruiser 200 series was born. Since then it has been lavished with updates in comfort, technology, and capability.

Models are GX, GXL, the semi-luxurious VX and the luxuriously, fully-appointed Sahara. Our semi- VX scores many of the extras of Sahara for 15 grand less.

In 2018, LandCruiser enhanced with the addition of an upgraded infotainment system, blind spot monitor, and a trick 360 ° camera that also gives a view of underneath the car, and where the front wheels are placed.

Believe it or not, Australia is Toyota’s largest LandCruiser market with 13,677 sold last year, giving Toyota 91,6% of the segment. Admittedly, only Nissan’s Patrol shares that segment. LandCruiser 80 series adds another 10,037 to that total.

Other Large SUVs include:

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Exterior

LandCruiser is a big, very. There is no hiding that hulking 2,740kg brute of a body. It is 1980mm wide not including the mirrors, and 4990mm long with a 2850mm wheelbase.

VX has 18” but look small compared to the wheel arch. Tyres are 285/60R18, with enough height to be comfortable regardless of the size of the rocks under them. These give extra comfort on and off-road.

Bi-LED auto headlights were added to modernise an aging body. LED taillights look more successful, but are still not what I’d call pretty.

There is a 2-part manual rear hatch, which along with all other doors, has smart entry and locking. The bottom section can be used to stand on, if you manage to be able to scramble up on to it. The added advantage is that you can open the rear end closer to walls, and other cars.

Side steps help with access into the high-set 7 or 8 seater cabin. They help to protect the car in rouch terrain too

LandCruiser 200 is over 10 years old, which is geriatric in automotive terms. Despite that it continues to be one of the best selling vehicles in the country, mainly because it has only one rival. Australians continue their love affair with SUVs large and small.

Overall, the 2 box shape is the best one to be wrapped around such a capacious cabin.

Colours have not received updates, and lighter shades tend to look best. They also attract less heat in the hot summer sun.

Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Sahara

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Interior

The cabin is dated but comfortable.

Dash and doors look chunky. They lack the European flair for smooth lines and there are no plans for a new model. At least, not one Toyota wants to talk about.

Switches and dials are all correct and present but you need to reach for some of the audio controls.

There is space for 8 seats, and 7 in the diesel models. The 3rd row swings up and to the side. They stow against the side windows of the cargo hold to make the floor lower. Other 7 seaters raise the floor by up to 30cms. You can remove the seats altogether if they aren’t needed..

The interior is cathedral-like.

Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Sahara

Lounge-like Seating is heated and cooled depending on model. There is power/memory adjustment on the front seats.

There is an updated dash with a new 4.2” LCD.  You can display various vehicle data, but the large digital speedo is by far the most useful. There is no HUD.

The big 9” touch screen has menus for audio, video and climate settings. It also displays the external cameras.

You sit a very long way from the dash but the controls remain easy to use with a little effort. VX woodgrain highlights, and easy-clean leather upholstery. Tough rubber mats keep muddy feet off the floors. The reason LandCruiser is so popular is its ability to navigate Australia’s mixed terrain . Although expensive, it isn’t so precious that you wouldn’t feel comfortable in the outback. Remember, LandCruiser have been used by generals, explorers, and organisations working in the desert. It is tough.

The 3rd row far too tight for regular use. Although most people can sit in them, you probably wouldn’t want to.

2nd row passengers will feel like they are in a limo. Legroom is generous with 30 cms between my knees and the back of the front seat.

You get controls for the quad-zone air conditioning too.

Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Sahara

 2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Features/Technology

Toyota has Apple CarPlay/Android auto in some models overseas, but not here. The audio system packs a lot of punch with 9 speakers. There is DAB radio, with USB/Bluetooth music streaming also available.

Towing capacity is 3,500kg of braked load, and includes Sway Control.

The star feature is the Crawl Control.

Crawl is part of the off-road controls. The automated system allows the big SUV to dig itself out of sticky situations..

Cameras have “Auto” mode using the sensors to select the appropriate view. Views include Birdseye from above, along with cameras at the front wheels, and on the undercarriage. It takes the place of a spotter guiding you from in front.

Crawl is so good, it almost like a winch. Search YouTube for the Sahara videos in the Sahara desert. It is buried to the axels in sand. Normally you’d expect to spend your day digging yourself out. LandCruiser simply uses ABS-like functions to apply power, braking, and torque to force the tyres to look for grip.

It does a far better job than a human could do on their own.

All doors can be locked and unlocked by using the handles, or the little rubber pads on the back hatch.

Quad zone air climate control has additional knobs for rear seaters.

Updated LandCruiser 200 Series due in October. (Pre-production Sahara model shown).

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Engine and Drivetrain

LandCruiser Comes with a V8 Petrol, or V8 diesel. Our VX had the 4.5L V8 diesel option which is a $5,000 premium over the petrol engine model.

The twin-turbo V8 common rail diesel has 200KW @ 3,600rpm, and 650Nm from a low 1,600RPM. Fuel figures of 9.5L100k (combined) are far healthier than the petrol model. Range is even better on the open highway too. There is a 138L tank to aid long-range driving.

The only transmission is a 6-speed automatic driving the full-time 4WD. There is a Torsen limited slip centre differential, and high/low range gears.

2015 Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series VX

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Driving Experience

Driving Something as big a LandCruiser is a much easier enterprise than you might think. Landcruiser feels nippy around town with lower gears providing get-up-and-go at the lights. It runs out of puff in higher revs so allow plenty of time for overtaking. It isn’t as fast as you think it is.

The 6 speed transmission, like the rest of the car, is old. In a world where 10 speed automatics are beginning to appear, 6 cog seems a bit mean. Despite the age, it is incredibly smooth. Change under normal acceleration are almost undetectable. First gear is low to aid low-speed work, but it makes take-off surprisingly brisk too.

LandCruiser is almost unparalleled in its off-road capability.

Not only will Crawl get you out of a bog, but you can creep over rocks too. It allows the driver to concentrate on steering and wheel placement. It controls the engine and brakes to maximise grip.

Parking is easy, believe it or not. The cameras give an accurate impression of your place in space, even in tight spots. Left in Auto-mode, they come on when sensors detect something it thinks you should be aware of. Around town it is incredibly annoying but it does keep you on your toes.

Long considered King of the Road, LandCruiser makes the kilometres slip away unnoticed. Seats are supremely comfortable and you feel like you’re navigating from your lounge room. There is nowhere out of bounds to a LandCruiser driver. Changes in road surface go almost unnoticed.

Steering is typical of a gutsy, robust 4WD. Although LandCruiser goes where you point it, you drive it more like a truck than a car. The ride is luxurious with double wishbones at the front, and a fancy 4-link Panhard setup at the back.

Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System is standard and was developed by an Australian R&D company in Western Australia. It allows the stabiliser bars to disconnect on rough terrain and for the wheels to operate independently of each other.

5 passengers will all be comfortable on a long trip, 7, not so much. School runs will need most of the accompanying gear to be on the kid’s laps. Cargo space is limited once the 3rd row is deployed.

The drive experience is regal rather than sporty.

Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Sahara

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Safety

ANCAP gave LandCruiser a 5star rating back in 2011. Since then, LandCruiser gained blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, AEB, automatic high beam and active cruise control

There are auto-steering aids such as automated parking, lane centering and accident avoidance, but you tend to find that people get out of your way just like the do with B-Doubles.

People feel safer in big cars because there is more metal between you and oblivion. You sit higher, especially in this beast.

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Fit for Purpose

LandCruiser is fit for a family. At a pinch, it will do the “people mover” role nicely. Off-road credentials are borne out by the fact that businesses wanting something super tough for mine, or construction sites will choose LandCruiser .

It may be old, but it is certainly fit, period.

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Summary

LandCruiser makes you feel like a king. You sit tall and superior.

It feels luxurious enough to keep the chairman happy, but robust enough for a tradie towing a work trailer. Grey Nomads like it for the power and economy, and families like it for its flexibility.

In short, LandCruiser is all things to all people.

Also Look At:-

The Good:

  • Limosine-like ride
  • A full suite of Terrain controls
  • Built to last

The Not so Good

  • Aging looks
  • aging interior
  • very big

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX Details

  • Model Price from $99,990 MLP*
  • Engine: 4.5L V8 TwinTurbo
  • Drivetrain 6 speed automatic, full-time 4WD
  • Power 200KW @ 3,600rpm
  • Torque 650Nm @ 1,600RPM
  • Safety ANCAP 5 star (tested 2011)
  • CO2 TBA
  • Economy ADR 9.5L/100 combined
  • 0-100KMH n/a
  • Top Speed n/a
  • Warranty 5 Yrs. / Unlimited km Roadside Assist

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

2019 Toyota LandCruiser 200 VX 4WD
  • Rating
4.0

Summary

LandCruiser is fit for a family. At a pinch, it will do the “people mover” role nicely. Off-road credentials are borne out by the fact that businesses wanting something super tough for mine, or construction sites will choose LandCruiser.

About Alan Zurvas 102 Articles
Alan’s interest in cars began in his early teens and has been a member of several car clubs having owned a number of classic cars himself. He has a background in the corporate sector and has reviewed everything from restaurants to theatre and accommodation before settling on motoring. Alan is the founder of Gay Car Boys and is a contributor to AnyAuto