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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For It’s strong off-road; spacious, well equipped and very reliable

Against Far from a cheap option; sheer size could be off-putting

Verdict Short of class, but very good in every other way

Go for… D4-D GX

Avoid… V6 VX

Toyota L'cruiser Colorado 4x4
  • 1. Cracked cylinder heads on the diesel engines can cost as much as £2500 to fix
  • 2. Faulty fuel safety cut-off valves can cause misfires on petrol models
  • 3. Cabin may look pretty drab, but it's as roomy and well-built as the very best
  • 4. Rack and pinion steering gives better feedback than the different systems of some rivals
  • 5. Five-door models had the option of two extra seats in the boot when they were new
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Toyota L'cruiser Colorado 4x4 full review with expert trade views

The Colorado is one of the best rivals for a Land Rover Discovery, and much the same size. Like the Disco, it’s very strong off-road, with standard high- and low-ratio gears, but pretty handy on Tarmac, too. It rides well most of the time, better even than a Land Rover in certain situations and much better than a Mitsubishi Shogun.

Unlike many rivals, it has rack and pinion steering, which gives better feedback. That said, more modern rivals such as the BMW X5 are better buys if most of your driving is on-road.

The Colorado’s cabin may look pretty drab, but it’s as roomy and well-built as the very best. Even the three-door model has more than enough room for five, and the five-door is even more practical, with two optional seats in the boot, giving it some MPV-style flexibility.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Clean ones with history are hard to find. Many grey imports. Common-rail diesel from '01 best

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

At any given point in the Colorado's life, there was only ever one diesel and one petrol engine. However, our favourite is the D4-D diesel that was introduced in January 2001. It was stronger and more fuel-efficient than the TD it replaced, so it was much more suitable for a typical Colorado owner than the V6 petrol.

What’s more, if you want a three-door, you have to choose a diesel engine - the V6 petrol engine only ever came with the five-door body. That said, we think the five-door is the better choice, because it's considerably more versatile.

No matter which trim you choose, you won’t be short-changed. Even the basic FX (available only with the diesel engine and without the seven-seat option) includes air-con and electric windows, but we’d spend a little more to get a CD changer and other luxuries on our favourite GX trim.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Popular with 3.0 TD with GX spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Word of the Colorado’s many strengths and excellent build quality has clearly spread to the used market, so prices remain high.

In most other respects, the Colorado is right on the money for running costs. The V6 petrol is more fuel-efficient than a V8 Discovery, for example, and the D4-D diesel is only very slightly worse than the Disco’s Td5 diesel engine.

Similarly, routine servicing on the Land Rover is a little more expensive than on a Land Cruiser and insurance is pretty much identical on the two, with most Colorados in group 14 or 15.

The only possible fly in the ointment is that unscheduled repairs could be quite dear. Warranty Direct tells us that, although Toyota labour rates are no worse than average, repair costs on Toyotas in general, and on Land Cruisers in particular, are higher than average.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Clean ones with history are hard to find. Many grey imports. Common-rail diesel from '01 best

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

All Land Cruisers have a reputation for solid dependability, and the Colorado is no exception. Although Warranty Direct has no figures on this precise model, the only words of caution are that cracked cylinder heads on the diesel engines can cost as much as £2500 to fix, and that a faulty fuel safety cut-off can cause misfires on the petrol models.

There have been no recalls on this model, and we don’t expect any problems to appear in the future. Not only has Toyota done consistently well in JD Power reports, the company’s other 4x4s have also performed strongly.

Certainly, if the reports from owners online are anything to go by, you should have nothing to fear. Although faults are not completely unknown, the majority of owners report absolutely no problem with their cars.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Popular with 3.0 TD with GX spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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