Toyota Land Cruiser: driven - On the road
Admittedly, the separate-chassis construction means that you do feel a bit detached from the action and the steering's initial responses are rather slow, but it's responsive enough and you don't want to be flicking the car from one side to the next if you're slithering along a muddy lane.
That old-fashioned chassis also softens the impact of small bumps well, so the ride is generally comfortable. It's not as adept at dealing with big potholes, however, and on more demanding, undulating roads you're aware of the Land Cruiser's bulk and high centre of gravity working against you.
We drove an LC5 model and reckon that its suspension system works best in 'standard' mode – 'comfort' compromises body control a bit too much, whereas 'sport' adds an unwelcome degree of jiggle on badly surfaced roads.
One upside of the separate chassis is that it filters out road noise very well. Inevitably, the bulky shape creates some wind noise, but the Land Cruiser is a quiet cruiser. The 171bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine is pretty relaxed at motorway speeds, too. It's only when you're trying to accelerate rapidly that the four-cylinder engine seems rather weedy compared with the six-cylinder diesels that most rivals have. It's not too noisy when pushed, however, and the combination of generous torque and a slick five-speed automatic gearbox mean that progress is generally smooth.
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