Master of off-road: Land Cruiser VX V8

Thursday March 14 2019

 

By Joan Salmon

The Toyota VX V8 is all about power, but also offers unrivalled comfort. It is great both on and off the road.

Drive terrain
In line with its name, the Land Cruiser is well-equipped to go beyond the well paved city roads and to offer optimal performance in all-weather types. With full-time four-wheel drive, locking centre differential, multi-mode traction control system, and a crawl control knob that works like off-road cruise control keep it in line with its predecessors. Land Cruisers use the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which combines extra-large sway bars that disconnect automatically to reduce body lean off-road but allow tremendous wheel articulation on-road.
With a maximum power output of 3200 kW/rpm, the 4.5 litre, 8-cylinder vehicle produces torque of 2200 Nm/rpm and affords you a maximum speed of 210 km/h.
All these benefit the Land Cruiser on-road as much as they do off-road. It is these that endear Marcus Lukwate to it.
“It is a car that never disappoints me even when I have to go to the village after a heavy downpour,” he said.
While the system does not turn it into a corner carver, it negotiates winding roads with commendably limited body lean.

Fuel consumption
However, its downside is in its weight as it weighs 5934-pounds (about 2,722kgs). It is this that put Herman Ssewali off because the fuel consumption was so high. “It was the car of my dreams until I learned of how much fuel it needed. I will have to look for an alternative, at this rate,” he lamented.
Nonetheless, since it is a diesel engine, the cost is not overly alarming. More to that, the SUV’s turbo charged engine does so well in hauling the weight.

Utility and comfort
Thanks to the supple 4-link coil rigid suspension with lateral rod in the rear and the double wishbone in the front, it offers unrivalled comfort.
Emphasising on luxury, it comes with a 6 CD-changer with 6-speakers, a CD player, and Bluetooth & iPod jack. That is coupled with wireless phone pairing and charging. The seats are genuine leather and the front seats can be adjusted electronically.
The second row is also good enough with room enough for three.
However, its truck-based design does not allow its third row to get tucked away. Instead, it consists of two halves that flop flat and fold upward when not needed. “I do not mind that the seats cannot get tucked away. I still have enough room for any luggage when they are folded,” Jose Kimani, a Land Cruiser owner, says.
The third row is fitted with three seatbelts, and Kimani really loves that, “When I have many children with me, that feature gives me peace of mind if I have to put them at the back,” he says.
It also comes with a power slide sun roof and there is room in its cool box to carry up to six 500ml plastic bottles.

Security
Just like its predecessors, it comes with 10 airbags, including side airbags integrated into the second row and knee airbags up front. It also has parking sensors, active headrests designed to reduce the risk of whiplash, a rear-view camera, LED headlights, and automatic high beams.
It also comes with a child restraint system. Gilda Komukama loves this feature, the most. “With hyper children, I only have to worry about what happens within the car rather than them opening the doors while I drive. I have peace of mind,” she comments.

Downside
The vehicle is not only big but also heavy, weighing approximately 2,722kgs. This means that it also consumes a lot of fuel. That is besides the fact that the car is very costly for the medium income person.

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Available colours
There are several options to choose from: super white, pearl white, silver metallic, grey metallic, black, attitude black mica, dark red mica metallic, beige mica metallic, cooper brown mica and dark blue mica.

jsalmon@ug.nationmedia.com

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