Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series Sahara: Tow test

By: Philip Lord, Photography by: Matt Fehlberg

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Packed with new features, the new LandCruiser 200 Series is a caravanner’s ideal companion.

With is fettling for 2016, does the LandCruiser 200 have what it takes to keep it at the sharp end of the tow-vehicle pecking order?


The Sahara’s new party trick is its panoramic view, using four cameras (front, rear and in the side mirrors). The front camera now rotates so that the horizon is always displayed as level on the centre screen. There’s also an under-floor view, displaying images taken approximately 3m ahead of the vehicle, which indicate where the front wheels are placed.

Other new features include autonomous braking, dynamic radar cruise control, lane-departure alert, and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

This is in addition to the ongoing features of power tailgate, heated electric side mirrors, multi-terrain monitor, a cool box in the centre front armrest, heated front and second-row seats, ventilated front seats and active headrests. The electrically-adjustable steering column has three memory positions that include that of the seat and mirror.

The features list is capped off with dual-zone front climate-control air-conditioning, a rear cooler, rear spoiler, aluminium side steps, a second 12V port and a 220V rear port, horizontal-split tailgate, smart entry and start, reversing camera, satellite navigation, privacy glass, body-coloured mirrors, leather seats, 18in alloys, rain-sensing wipers and the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System.

The cabin is the familiar 200 Series layout, with acres of room for five occupants in the first two rows and a decent amount for three sub-teenagers in the third row. The seats are not body-hugging but deliver the right kind of support to settle into them comfortably for long transport stages.


The powertrain is a familiar setup: 4.5L V8 twin-turbodiesel engine linked to a six-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4WD with Torsen limited-slip centre differential and two-speed transfer case. This is the same powertrain that has been offered on the LandCruiser 200 Series since 2007, but in this update the engine has come in for some improvements.

To meet EU5 emissions requirements, the 4.5L gets more power and better economy. Power is up 5kW to 200kW thanks to new injectors and revised ECU mapping. Fuel consumption average is now quoted as 9.5L/100km, a decrease of 7.7 per cent. Along with the addition of a particulate filter, CO2 emissions have improved to 250g/L.

The engine mapping changes also appear to have resulted in better response off the mark and in the mid-range. While the 4.5L V8 has never been a quiet engine, the diesel truck audio was diminished once the big diesel settled into a cruise. The V8 has plenty of torque and the automatic transmission slurs through its ratios. The auto can be fooled by a sudden lift off the throttle – and responds by clunking into the next gear – but otherwise is intuitive and smooth.


Weights and measures

  • Length 4950mm
  • Width 1970mm
  • Height 1905mm
  • Wheelbase 2850mm
  • Ground clearance 225mm
  • Kerb mass 2675kg
  • Gross Vehicle Mass 3300kg
  • Gross Combined Mass 6800kg
  • Towing capacity (unbraked/braked) 750kg/3500kg
  • Towball (max) 350kg


  • Engine Twin turbo-charged V8 diesel
  • Transmission Six-speed automatic
  • Power 200kW at 3400rpm
  • Torque 650Nm at 1600-2600rpm
  • Gear ratios (:1)
  • 1 3.333
  • 2 1.960
  • 3 1.353
  • 4 1.000
  • 5 0.728
  • 6 0.588
  • Rev 3.061
  • Final drive 3.909
  • High/low ratios 1.000/2.618

Options fitted

  • Premium paint $550


  • Fuel capacity 138L
  • Suspension Independent, coil springs (front); live axle, coil springs (rear)
  • Brakes Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear)
  • Wheels 8x18 alloy
  • Warranty Three years/100,000km
  • Roof load 100kg

More information


  • $119,050 (plus on-road costs)

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The full test appears in Caravan World #548 April 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!