The What Van? Road Test: Toyota Land Cruiser Utility Commercial (2018)

Date: Friday, March 1, 2019   |   Author: Steve Banner

 

LC - Rear 3-4


Operating

Fuel economy? We averaged around 33mpg compared with the official combined figure of 37.6mpg.

While not outstanding, it is a little better than we expected given that four-wheel drive is always engaged.

At 12 months/10,000 miles the service intervals are too short, and need to be extended.

They could be accompanied by interim safety inspections if the vehicle is used off-road extensively and might have suffered damage without the owner being aware of what has happened.

The short service interval contrasts with the long duration of the comprehensive warranty.

A five-year/100,000-mile package protects your acquisition and is accompanied by three-year paintwork and 12-year anti-corrosion perforation warranties.

One year’s AA roadside rescue and recovery is provided too that, like the service interval, could stand to be lengthened.

The Utility Commercial would benefit from external side rubbing strips to protect it from minor damage.

This was especially the case with our demonstrator because it was finished in optional silver metallic paint with colour-keyed bumpers.

An alarm is included in the deal with perimeter and interior protection.

It makes sense given that the driver may be carrying power tools and other equipment that need to be defended against thieves.

A steel cargo body certainly offers better protection against theft than an open pick-up bed.

In summary, the permanent 4x4 – plus a low-ratio set of gears, a limited slip diff and plenty of ground clearance – and the rugged construction makes one wonder whether some customers might see the Toyota Land Cruiser Utility Commercial as a potential replacement for their ageing Land Rover Defenders now they have gone out of production.


Toyota Land Cruiser Utility Commercial SWB

Price (ex VAT)      £26,636
Price range (ex VAT) £26,636-£27,599  
Gross payload     593kg
Load volume     1.57m3
Load length      1,170mm
Load width(min/max)     1,065/1,450mm
Load bay height     1,040mm
Loading height     838mm
Rear door aperture      1,016x1,162mm
Gross vehicle weight      2,600kg
Braked trailer towing weight      3,000kg
Residual value      44.3%
Cost per mile     47.9p
Engine size/power      2755cc, 175hp @ 3,400rpm
Torque     420Nm @ 1,400-2,600rpm
Gearbox     6-spd
Fuel economy      37.6mpg (combined)
Fuel tank     87 litres
CO2      197g/km
Warranty     5yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals     1yr/10,000mls
Insurance group     43E
Price as tested     £27,219

Options fitted

Metallic paint     £583

Rivals

Land Rover Discovery Commercial
Price (ex VAT) £40,975-£52,875
Load volume    1.9m3
Gross payload    721-883kg
Engines     240hp 2.0 diesel, 306hp 3.0 diesel
 
Verdict: Eye-wateringly pricey, this 4x4 is what you want if you’re eager to impress the neighbours, although customers might wonder how you can afford one. A hugely impressive piece of kit, but we question whether acquiring one solely as a working tool really makes sense.

Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Commercial
Price (ex VAT)  £30,000 (est)
Load volume      1.5m3
Gross payload    600kg
Engines    181hp 2.4 diesel

Verdict: This Mitsubishi 4x4 uses the same ladder-frame chassis as the L200 pick-up, but gets a multi-link coil suspension system at the back rather than leaf springs. That’s good for on-the-road handling, and it’s competent enough off-road too. Standard eight-speed auto ’box is to be applauded.

Volkswagen Transporter 4Motion
Price (ex VAT) £27,285-£35,270
Load volume 5.8-9.3m3
Gross payload  987-1,126kg
Engines 150hp, 204hp 2.0 diesel

Verdict: Not a 4x4 van that’s designed for arduous off-road work, but one that should get up an icy country lane with an urgent delivery in mid-winter. Build quality is exemplary and there is far more space in the back than the Utility Commercial or Shogun SportCommercial can muster.

The Final Verdict

Design

8/10

A chunky, purposeful off-roader.

Cabin

8/10

Comfortable enough with lots of storage.

Ride

8/10

Copes well with Britain’s rough and ready road surfaces.

Refinement

7/10

In-cab noise could be better quelled, but rock-solid build quality.

Load area

7/10

Easy to access and a beefy-looking bulkhead.

Handling/performance

8/10

Looks more than capable of coping with off-road assignments.

Engine/transmission

7/10

Former has bags of power, latter could offer a smoother change.

Standard equipment

7/10

Most of the features you need but no dashboard touchscreen.

Operating costs

7/10

Service intervals too short. Economy better than we thought.

What Van? subjective rating

7/10

 Well put together. Could be a smart alternative to 4x4 pick-ups.

Overall Rating 74/100



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