2017’s most popular 4x4s: Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series report card

#7: It may be ten years old, but the popularity of Toyota’s 200 Series is on the charge.

Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Report Card
Gallery1

IT MAY be hard to believe, but sales of Toyota’s mighty Land Cruiser 200 Series are currently growing as fast as the Ford Ranger.

In fact, LC200 sales are as good as they have ever been and have surged nearly 20 per cent in the first five months of 2017 compared to the same time last year.

This comes off the back of a very strong 2016 that saw sales jump by one-third over the 2015 numbers, and it moves the 200 up yet another spot in the top ten.

Last year was the first full year of sales for the facelifted 200 that arrived in the fourth quarter of 2015. That facelift brought distinctive new styling, a raft of new safety and tech kit, Euro 5 compliance, improved economy, and a slight jump in power for the popular diesel engine.

Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series rearThere is a petrol option with the 200, a very sweet 4.6-litre V8 backed by a six-speed automatic, but it is a non-event when it comes to sales.

It’s difficult to pinpoint where this renewed interest in the 200 is coming from, but one thing that’s clear is the interest in the more expensive 200 variants. While the $90K GXL remains the best-seller with 1429 sales YTD, the $100K VX is only just behind with 1418 sales and the $120K Sahara is thereabouts with 1388 sales.

Contrast all that with the work-spec GX’s 223 sales. Business and fleet buyers currently account for 57 per cent of 200 sales, with the remainder going to private buyers.

Looking more broadly, the 200 has probably benefitted from the demise of the diesel Patrol (Y61) and the age of the recently-replaced Land Rover Discovery. Luxury European brand SUVs from BMW and Mercedes-Benz have also turned more city-centric in recent times, which doesn’t please well-healed country buyers.

Either way, there’s not much competition for the 200, aside from the more expensive Prado variants.

SALES
2017 (to June): 4800
2016 (to June): 4027
Change: +13.2%

REPORT CARD*
Powertrain: B
On-road: C
Off-road: A
Cabin & Equipment: A
Towing & Practicality: A
Final word: If you want a large 4x4 wagon, the 200 ticks all the boxes. *Scored against class competitors. A= Excellent. B= Very Good. C= Good. D= Fair. E= Poor. F= Fail.

 

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Fraser Stronach
Journalist

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