Friday, November 28, 2008
Cannot afford a Land / Range Rover? Buy a Land Cruiser. Yes, this is true. Here’s the justification.
This 2586 kilo weighing behemoth has changes in its looks. Umm, you could call it merely a refinement. Well, the next comment is up to individual taste, but to me, it looks bad. I do not like the bulge in the back. To me, it looks like an additional Botox treatment which is vapid. Even the peel-off headlamps do not look that good. I strictly prefer the older model in terms of looks. Although when it comes to technology, it has got to be this Toyota.
The adjustable-height suspension system is disposed of and a new hydraulic system termed KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) has been installed which release the front and rear sway bars. This makes you feel like you are lying on a swinging chair tied to tree trunks. Yes, it makes you feel as if you are afloat.
Then is the CRAWL feature available in 4-low gear only. This takes control of the gas usage and the brakes proving it to be better than the driver which is fine because it actually handles the terrain very well. Yes, it works even when the going gets tough and the terrain allows only three wheels to touch it. Yes, it functions also when you are in reverse. Now, that is incredible.
The 381hp, 401lb-feet of torque producing 5.7litre, DOHC, V8, 6-speed auto that has a KDSS system can disconnect the anti-roll bars and has thicker front and rear bars. The advantage is maximum wheel articulation for off-roading and heavy-duty sway bars for on-road driving. Cornering, and I mean this, is more precise than a H2 or even a LR3. The intelligent ABS senses different weather conditions and switches profiles appropriate for the condition.
The interior is filled with leather and wood surrounding a 14-speaker system with rear entertainment system. The central console cools your drinks within this 8-seater, silent and high-quality filled cabin. The second row of seats may give you less foot space and the third row like almost all SUVs may be devoid of comfort and space. But, the Land Cruiser fairs better than the worse here. So, strictly speaking, only 5 people can “comfortably” sit in an 8-seater which is still okay. Summon the kids to the last seat and you can make use of the number of seats provided. No, don’t worry; there are 10 air bags in this vehicle. There is also an optional collision system provided during hard-braking and skidding occurrences. So, your kids are safe there.
Due to the high centre of gravity, SUVs are prone to roll-over. But, the possibility in the Land Cruiser is considerably less; thanks to its superb stability control system.
The fly-by-wire accelerator takes you from rest to 120kph in 6.5 seconds. Despite giving more displacement, the vehicle goes 13 to 18 mpg. You get all this for USD 64,755 instead of paying USD 77 – 92,825 for a 4.4litre, 305hp, 325lb-feet V8 / 4.2litre, 400hp, 420lb-feet supercharged V8 running 12 to 18 miles per gallon – a Range Rover. The only consolation in the Range Rover is the badge and its luggage capacity (74 cu. ft.) because of being a 5-seater. Get rid of the last row in the Land Cruiser and you will end up with more amount of space (82 cu. ft.). The terminologies of technology are different but the result is the same. Being an off-roader, the Land Cruiser also has more “minimum” ground clearance of 9.0 inches as supposed to Range Rover’s 8.7 inches. It is taller, longer and has more interior passenger space than the Range Rover. The towing capacity too is 784 lbs. more than the competitor. And if this 200-series Land Cruiser is hurt, it will definitely be dearer to mend.
After 5 decades, it still remains the undisputed luxury 4-wheel drive money can get you. God, this is like a handsome, hi-tech mountain goat.
Copyright © Ajey Padival 2008 (Brisbane, Australia; +61-434360675; firstname.lastname@example.org)