We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Well built and spacious

Against Sheer size may be off-putting; running costs are huge

Verdict Great if you live in the country

Go for… 4.2 TD GX

Avoid… 4.7 V8 VX

Toyota L'cruiser Amazon 4x4
  • 1. A cracked cylinder head on the diesel engine can cost £2500 to fix
  • 2. Brake discs can warp
  • 3. Warranty Direct tell us that the suspension is one of the most likely parts to give trouble
  • 4. Look for any signs of abuse off-road
  • 5. Step inside and you'll find the cabin is simply huge
  • 6. Interior space is massive
  • 7. 4.7-litre V8 models drink petrol
advertisement

Toyota L'cruiser Amazon 4x4 full review with expert trade views

There is only one word to describe the Amazon – huge. In fact, it’s only a few centimetres shorter than a Range Rover. Naturally, that translates into massive interior space, and the Amazon easily takes five passengers in complete comfort, although the two extra seats in the boot are a little cramped.

As well as providing some MPV-style abilities, the Amazon also does a good job of combining good on- and off-road abilities. You can take it as read that anything with a Landcruiser badge will be superb away from Tarmac, but what will be more of a surprise is that the Amazon is also pretty good on-road. In particular, it’s extremely comfortable and refined.

Really, the only thing to count against it is its size. It can be awkward to thread through city streets and, even on the open road, you can never forget just how big it is.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Big, strong and reliable, provided it hasn't been abused (many have). Reconditioning costs are high

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Choosing a Land Cruiser Amazon is a pretty simple job, as there are only two engines. And, unless you have particularly deep pockets, you’ll prefer the 4.2-litre turbodiesel to the 4.7-litre V8 petrol.

Not only does the diesel cost several thousand pounds less to buy (partly because the petrol came in top-spec VX trim only), it’s also more fuel-efficient.

Originally, both engines were available only in lavish VX trim, but from early 1999, Toyota launched an Amazon with cheaper GX trim, and this is our favourite version. It’s not quite as plush as VX – there’s no leather or sunroof, and it has air-con rather than climate control – but you’re hardly slumming it.

The only real difference between petrol and diesel is that the petrol has a standard automatic gearbox, but you may well find a diesel fitted with one as an option.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Specialist market and 4.7 petrol bad, but 4.2 TD much better

James Ruppert
Used car guru

This is a big car with big engines – and the costs to match. Amazingly, although the contemporary Range Rover was more expensive as a new car, the Amazon costs more on the used market.

True, the bills aren’t too bad by the standards of big 4x4s, but even the most frugal engine, the diesel, returns just 25mpg on the combined cycle, and the V8 petrol returns a shocking 17mpg.

Servicing is also pretty expensive, dearer than on a Nissan Patrol, although again, it’s almost exactly the same as on a Range Rover. Likewise, the Amazon falls into groups 14 and 15 for insurance, which is on a par with rivals.

However, unscheduled repairs could be quite expensive. Warranty Direct tells us that, although Toyota labour rates are about average, repair costs on Toyotas (and on Landcruisers in particular) are higher than average.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Big, strong and reliable, provided it hasn't been abused (many have). Reconditioning costs are high

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

At least part of the reason for the Amazon’s high prices on the used market is that it has a thoroughly deserved reputation for fine reliability. There have been no recalls and Warranty Direct says Land Cruisers are more reliable than average; and, when things do go wrong, it’s generally the engine, electrics or suspension.

In particular, the company warns that a cracked cylinder head on the diesel can cost £2500 to fix, and that the brake discs can warp. It’s also important to check that the costly servicing schedule has been adhered to and that you look for any signs of abuse off-road.

If the verdicts online from owners are anything to go by, you should have little to fear. Reported problems are few and far between.

To cap it all, Toyota has consistently performed well in JD Power surveys, and other 4x4s from the company have also done well.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Specialist market and 4.7 petrol bad, but 4.2 TD much better

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014