Prices start with the commercial grade GX, but this model is unique not just because it seats only five and has vertically split doors at the rear. It’s the only model with vinyl floor coverings instead of carpets, and sturdy pressed-steel wheels.
The GX is also the only model with a snorkel-style engine air intake standard. This draws air from just above the roofline on the driver’s side, and allows you to ford creeks without fear of water getting into the engine and damaging it. And you can’t get a GX with the petrol engine.
Spend more for a GXL and you get carpets on the floor, leather on the steering wheel, and fancier looking wheels made from aluminium alloy. There is a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a reversing camera, and satellite navigation. Dual zone air-conditioning allows different temperatures to be set for each side of the cabin. Sidesteps help you get in, and at the rear there is a third row of seats. Roof rails make it easier to add roof racks. A proximity key allows you to unlock and start the car with the key safe in a pocket or bag. Headlamps use extremely long lasting LEDs for low beam.
Introduced on the petrol GXL, and as an option on the diesel, is Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS). This gives not only flatter on-road handing but also more off-road capability, by automatically adjusting the tension on the suspension’s anti-roll bars.
Spend more again for a VX and you get body-protecting side-impact airbags for outer passengers on the middle-row seats, for a total of 10 airbags. The central touchscreen display is bigger, at 9.0 inches. There are front and rear parking sensors, windscreen wipers that automatically respond to rain, LED headlamps that switch on automatically when it’s dark, and a sunroof. The seats are trimmed partially in leather, and are power-adjustable up front.
The VX also has bigger, 18-inch alloy wheels with lower profile tyres, which many people like for their looks, and daytime running lights, which help other drivers see you. With either engine, KDSS suspension is standard.
Introduced on the VX is Multi-Terrain Select. It allows the driver to tailor the stability control and traction control for different off-road conditions.
The most expensive LandCruiser, the Sahara, has heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, four-zone air-conditioning (rear-seat passengers too can set their own temperatures), and a memory for adjustments to the driver’s seat, steering wheel and exterior mirrors. There is DVD entertainment for rear-seat passengers, a wireless charger for smartphones, and a cooler box in the centre console.
From November 2015 the Sahara gained active cruise control (which will slow you to match the speed of a vehicle in front), as well as a suite of active safety aids comprising autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot alert, and rear cross-traffic alert. (For more on these systems, please open the Safety section below.)
Specifically for off-road use, the Sahara also has a Multi-Terrain Monitor, which uses four cameras to show you obstacles that might otherwise be obscured. A wheels’ eye view, if you like.