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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For It’s surprisingly refined and seats up to seven

Against It’s huge and comes with huge bills

Verdict It’s the world’s toughest limo, but rivals are better

Go for… 4.2 TD

Avoid… 4.7 V8

Toyota L'cruiser Amazon 4x4
  • 1. Cracked cylinder heads on diesel versions are costly to fix
  • 2. There are two (removable) seats in the back, which give the car some MPV-style ability
  • 3. The turning circle is massive - not ideal for tight spots
  • 4. 4.7-litre V8 models drink petrol, but 4.2-litre diesels aren't great,either
  • 5. Cabin is huge, refined and comfortable
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Toyota L'cruiser Amazon 4x4 full review with expert trade views

The fact that Toyota used to sell this car in the States with a Lexus badge tells you all you need to know. Although it looks like a 4x4, it really wants to be a limousine.

Certainly, it’s refined, if not quite as good as a Mercedes M-Class, and the petrol engine is every bit as smooth as the automatic gearbox it comes with. The diesel isn’t quite as refined, but it’s not bad.

The driving position is commanding, to say the least, and there is masses of legroom for centre-row occupants. There are even two removable seats in the back.

The Amazon drives pretty well, too, considering its impressive abilities off-road. The ride is smooth and the handling safe, if no match for a BMW X5. However, the biggest problem is its sheer size, especially combined with its huge turning circle.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Consistent demand, especially in rural areas but it needs to be diesel

James Ruppert
Used car guru

This is a mighty big car, and you have a choice of two mighty big engines to shift it: a 4.7-litre V8 petrol or a 4.2-litre turbodiesel.

Both give the Amazon a surprising turn of speed, but we prefer the diesel for two major reasons. First, it’s the more economical, although that’s not saying much; and, second, it offers much more pull low down in the rev range, which is ideal for towing and serious off-road work.

There are only a couple of trim differences between the two models: the petrol version has a standard automatic gearbox (an option on the diesel) and electronic stability control, which isn’t available on the diesel.

Otherwise, the cars are pretty much identical, with lavish standard equipment including climate control, sat-nav and leather upholstery. Other than the auto ’box on the diesel, the only option you might search out is metallic paint.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates, but costly bills

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

A big car with big engines brings – you’ve guessed it – big bills, as the Amazon proves. Buy the petrol version and you’ll be dreaming of as much as 20mpg; even the diesel version does only 25.4mpg on the combined cycle. That may be much the same as a diesel Range Rover, but it’s a lot worse than a diesel BMW X5.

At least insurance costs look a little better. Both models are in group 15, which again is on a par with the Range Rover. However, it’s better than its BMW and Mercedes rivals.

The cost of routine servicing is certainly not what you’d call cheap, but it is at least no worse than on any of the Amazon’s rivals. However, unscheduled repairs could be quite dear. Warranty Direct tells us that repair costs on Toyotas are higher than average.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Consistent demand, especially in rural areas but it needs to be diesel

James Ruppert
Used car guru

This version of the Amazon is such a new car that even the oldest cars are only just reaching the end of their new-car warranty, and we are yet to hear of any problems. What’s more, there have been no recalls affecting the car.

Mind you, that should perhaps come as no surprise. Toyota has consistently performed well in JD Power surveys, and its 4x4s have done well. The RAV4 topped in class in both 2003 and 2004, for example.

Warranty Direct has no figures on this latest Amazon, but the omens are good. The previous-generation car has enjoyed better-than-average reliability and the only word of warning is that cracked cylinder heads on diesel versions prove costly to fix.

Initial reports from owners have been good. True, there is the occasional glitch, but for the most part, there have been no reports of any major problems.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates, but costly bills

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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