I’m not generally a fan of white cars, but I have to admit that the newest Toyota Landcruiser looks pretty smart in bridal colours.
Ok, so it does look as if it would be more at home ferrying John Simpson from Kabul to Helmand or festooned with AK47-toting militiamen than tootling around with the agronomist, but don’t let that stop you.
As 4x4s go, the Toyota Landcruiser is legendarily robust and more than capable off-road, with a terrain response system to challenge the likes of Land Rover. The full-time four-wheel drive system has a limited-slip diff that constantly distributes drive between front and rear axles and drivers can choose to lock them if the going gets rough.
With the LC5 model we tested, there are several buttons to adjust wheelslip settings such as mud and sand, loose rock, rock and – for the skiers among you – mogul.
The refined three-litre, four-cylinder, engine rumbles along comfortingly and, although fairly sedate at low revs, it soon picks up power. Because of its size, however, it inevitably feels slightly sluggish.
I expected driving the massive beast to feel like manoeuvring a naval flotilla up an inland waterway. But, despite its bulk, it’s deceivingly agile. And cornering, if a little wallowy at times, wasn’t too bad either.
Don’t expect the handling of a Discovery when on the road, though. Think of the Landcruiser like a Cleveland Bay – safe, secure and bristling with brawn. The Discovery 4, by contrast, is more like a finely tuned thoroughbred (with maintenance costs to boot, no doubt).
Inside, Toyota has kept things smart and functional, with the odd splash of walnut-effect trim. The presence of leather, a DVD system complete with foldable rear screen, plus electrically-controlled seats in the boot make it a true family wagon but it’s nearing Range Rover pricing at £47,395.
Model Toyota Landcruiser LC5 | Engine 3.0 D-4D | Towing capacity 3t | Fuel use (quoted 34.9mpg | Price £47,395