The flagship of Toyota’s 4WD range is the 200 Series Landcruiser Sahara Turbo Diesel. The first thing you notice about the Sahara is its sheer size but it is surprisingly manoeuvrable, with a turning circle of 11.8 metres.
The seating in the Sahara is comfy with full power adjustment for the front seats and the rears having firm but flat padding. Rear legroom is adequate and the third row seats are better for short trips or pre teenagers.
There is leather and replica wood grain on all the seats, door trims as well as the electronically adjustable steering wheel and shifter.
The dash is well laid out, with easy to read gauges and controls falling easily to hand. The entertainment system is a pearler to keep children entertained for the long drives without affecting the stereo. The radio comes with Bluetooth which can store up to four phones and controls on the steering wheel.
The sat nav also worked well but is not to be relied upon for off-road navigation.
Storage Inside the Sahara is as roomy as you would expect and when we were travelling around we were loaded up with two child seats and five adults and there were no real complaints even from the two adults in the third row though they weren’t in there for all that long. The centre console fridge also came in handy.
The Landcruiser has a 4.5L twin turbo V8 diesel putting out 195kW @ 3,400rpm and 650Nm @ 1,600rpm of torque coupled to a six-speed triptronic auto running all wheel drive. This is more than enough to get the Sahara moving along nicely and coupled with a 3500kg towing capacity.
Freeway driving was a breeze with the Cruiser idling along and on road handling is good as long as you remember that the Sahara weighs close to 3000kg. There is a bit of body roll and if you push it, it will understeer.
Off road is where the Cruiser really shines. There is good wheel articulation for a vehicle with IFS and coupled with the CRAWL control there isn’t much that it won’t climb within reason. We put the CRAWL to the test on a long chopped up climb up a dune and it worked flawlessly.
Safety wise the Sahara has all the usual suspects with ABS,EBD,BA, TRC, VSC, airbags everywhere and seatbelt pretensioners etc. There is also a function that enables you to turn off the curtain airbags, when you are off-road.
The Sahara is a very capable vehicle on and off road. You can easily fit an extended family in; load it up for that dream adventure into the wilderness or potter around town. There are more genuine accessories as well as aftermarket than you can poke a stick at and it will tow nearly every caravan/camper or trailer available on the market with ease.
If you are looking for a large 4WD that holds its resale value, is good off-road and can haul a load then you can’t do much better than the Sahara.
What is good:
• Towing capacity
• Off road ability
What is not so good:
• Size especially around town
Model Toyota Landcruiser Sahara TD
Model Price $127,690 RDAP
Drivetrain 4WD 4.5L Diesel 6 speed auto
Power 195 Kw @ 3,400 rpm
Torque 650 Nm @ 1,600 rpm
Safety 4 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions 273 g/km
Green Vehicle Rating 2 Star
Economy (ADR comb) 10.3 L/100km
Tow Capacity – Max 3500 kg
Tow Ball Rating 350 kg
Servicing Capped $ 3yrs/60,000km
Warranty 3yr/100,000km with full roadside assist
Overall OzRoamer Rating 87/100
Behind the Wheel 9
Ride & Handling 8
Fit for Purpose 9
Towing Ability 10
Off Road Ability 9
Value for Money 8