Toyota Land Cruiser Commercial - 1 month review

BenB

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Newbury, Berks
I've had my SWB Commercial for a month now and just about to hit 3000 miles so I thought I would do a bit of a write-up/review of how it has gone so far (warning long read!).

Background

I'd been looking for a vehicle to replace my highly trusted and loved Skoda Octavia estate which had served as an excellent 'agronomy-wagon' for the past 3 years. Utterly reliable but obviously a big struggle for ground clearance (although it is surprising what tracks you can get down when it's 6pm on Friday and you've already walked 16 miles that day). I saw the launch of the Land Cruiser Utility & Commercial and liked the look of them, test driving one back in August 2018. I have lots of clients with Toyota vehicles and they seemed to love them. However a new SWB at list price was just not feasible and being a new launch I knew I would have to wait a while for used ones to come onto the market. Although it seems that even used ones command a high premium, so the possible strong re-sale values also appealed.

LWB Commercial from Toyota Bristol I test drove in August 2018...LWB a bit too big for my needs.

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Keeping all options open, I also test drove a Dacia Duster. I really, really liked it and appreciate what it stands for (I was not on a mission to find every possible black car).

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I continued to keep an eye out for the next few months before finding my Land Cruiser. Firstly it would seem that it was pretty good luck that I found it at Listers Toyota, Lincoln as an ex-demo vehicle that had done about 500 miles. For some reason, it was actually listed as a 2.0 Petrol on their website/system, hence the reason it probably hadn't sold! There was quite an amusing exchange with the salesman, when after the test drive he announced "It's got lots of torque for a 2-litre petrol, hasn't it?". Followed by me replying numerous times that I was fairly certain it's a 2.8 Diesel..."No, no, they've changed it to a petrol". Goes away to check and comes back sheepishly 5 minutes later, "Ah, you're quite right, our system seems to be wrong...". :ROFLMAO:

The buying experience from Listers Toyota was fairly painful, not the easiest to deal with but got there in the end. I don't think the salesman was used to someone not just walking in and wanting to PCP a white Yaris for £99 a month. It was up for about £3000 off list price and they weren't at all interested to budge. I think they knew they had about the only one in the country!

Picked it up and made a stop off with some family in Leicester on the way back down home to get a few photos, knowing it would never, ever, look like this again...

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Now, I know beauty is 'in the eye of the beholder' and all that, and seeing as I am indeed the beholder, I think it looks good. :D I am probably on my own here, I believe @Mounty described the above as 'pig ugly' and @PSQ made reference to the 'f'ugly front' on the other thread. :whistle:

I like the fact that it looks 'fit for purpose' and despite being a fair size it is fairly inconspicuous, with black plastic trim instead of chrome. I wasn't sure on the steelies at first but now they have really grown on me, and I never worry about wrecking them!

Driving Impressions

Bearing in mind I was coming from an Octavia estate (effectively a Golf), I was prepared for a bit of a shock on the driving front. Wrong!

As expected the 2.8 lump pulls very well, lots of torque low down. I don't do any towing so capability, stability etc on the towing front not a concern for me. The engine seems pretty refined, obviously some diesel groaning once you start thrashing it. Another advantage of them stripping everything out the back is that it feels quite spritely. Add the short wheelbase and the fact you are sitting pretty much dead in the middle of the car, it can be surprisingly 'fun' to drive (for what it is!).

Gearbox is a 6-speed manual, seems OK, still a bit tight so expect it to loosen up a little yet. Quite a long throw on it but soon get used to it.

Ride quality is far, far better than I was expecting. The suspension set up is very compliant and it soaks up bad roads quite well, I'm sure the big profile tyres are helping as well. Bearing in mind that I do about 30,000 miles a year on all types of roads, farm tracks, etc. I soon know if I am not enjoying the ride!

The cabin is very quiet. I read in another review that the reviewer suspected not a gram of sound-insulation had been sacrificed in this model compared to the top-spec £50k Invincible model, and I can well believe it. At low revs or big bumps you do get some vibration/reverberation through the mesh bulkhead.

Driving position is well and truly 'commanding'. Range Rover drivers don't seem that impressed that I can look down on them from my 'van'! :cool:

It is full time 4WD, with low-range and lockable centre diff. Not had to try these out in anger yet.

Fuel economy is.....OK. Before buying this was probably my main concern especially given the mileage I do. I think the official combined MPG is 37, driving like miss daisy on a long highway/motorway trip you can get pretty close to that. My current average MPG over 3000 miles is about 33, so not too bad (again I knew I was in for a shock coming from my Skoda which averaged 55 MPG over 3.5 years!).

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Interior

Functional, but comfy. Love the retro velour seats! Lots of adjustment in the drivers seat (manual) with electric lumbar support. No lumbar support on the passenger seat, but my passengers so far have reported it has been comfortable. Given this is hopefully a 'long term' investment, I've got some decent seat covers on there now to hopefully keep them protected.

There is a bit of stupid piano-black trim above the glove box and around the radio/AC settings. It just gets covered in dust and some has been scratched already. It does add a bit of jazz.. fine in the top spec trim but not very practical in the 'Utility Commercial' :scratchhead:

IMG_1245edit.jpg


Something which you don't appreciate until you get into the cabin is how much space there is between the back of the seats and the bulkhead. I actually considered putting the spare wheel there (more on that later) and it fitted no problem. I would like to make/find some sort of storage for back here, possibly for my farm maps/folders, reference books etc.

So, to the boot/load area. Massive space and very square access which is ideal. The side-opening tailgate will not be to everyone's taste, although you can open the rear glass on it's own which is quite a neat touch, if you're in a tight space and want to grab a coat, etc. or shove something in the back.

IMG_1251edit.jpg


One 'problem' I have found with the boot is that although it is well and truly massive, it isn't especially useful if you have an assortment of random stuff, like waterproofs, wellies, boxes, soil sampling gear, etc. It is begging for some sort of storage/drawer system - thats on my to-do list once the spring madness is over!

This brings me onto possibly the biggest flaw with this vehicle so far, something which I would also consider to be unforgivable! The short wheel-base vehicle does not come with a spare wheel. I knew this before I bought it, and prepared accordingly, but for this type of vehicle to come with a can of tyre-sealant and compressor is bloody ridiculous. I have since sourced a matching spare steel wheel from eBay and stuck a tyre on it, which is currently temporarily strapped to the back of the bulkhead (securely). Everywhere else, including Ireland, it seems that the SWB Land Cruisers come with the spare on the backdoor (see below). I have no ideal at all why they can't do the same here.

Why can't they do this for the UK SWB vehicles? (Not my photo...)

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Verdict so far

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I am very happy with the vehicle so far, but obviously still very early days. Service intervals are 12 months/ 10,000 miles, which is a bit of a shame it's not longer, I am going to be well-acquainted with the service staff at the dealership. Hopefully the famed Toyota reliability also turns out to be well-founded, time will tell. I will update this thread as we go, I haven't seen another SWB Commercial on the road yet so they still seem to be fairly rare on the ground.

The big thing I need to sort out is some sort of storage solution for behind the seats and then in the boot, with a proper mount/fixing for the spare wheel against the bulkhead. If anyone has a recommendations for companies that make stuff like that, be glad to hear.

If anyone has any specific questions etc. i'll try my best to answer (I am not the most mechanically minded..:LOL:).
 
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BenB

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Newbury, Berks
Good review(y)
Would you say this would be a suitable replacement vehicle for a Defender 90?

I'm sure that Toyota firmly has its sights on existing/previous Defender owners with this vehicle, who for whatever reason don't want to a pickup truck (me included!). I have a lot of experience with Defenders and have a massive soft spot for them, but its very difficult to make a comparison, despite them effectively doing a similar job. The Land Cruiser is a much more refined place to be, it feels solid, well put together but obviously doesn't have the same bolt-on-bolt-off customisation options (yet?) and it's not like you can just drill out a few rivets and hammer a panel back into shape like with a Defender!

However it does feel like an evolution of what the Defender might have become. I like the fact that despite this Land Cruiser being the lowest possible spec you can buy, they haven't skimped out on the essential kit like other manufacturers do on their base spec vehicles.
 

Mounty

Member
Location
Suffolk
Well done @BenB for doing this review and revealing a bit more detail than currently available on these.
I think they do have a place in the 4x4 market and Toyota have kind of pitched it right. How is @ian marsh getting on with his LC Commercial saga??
@Magnificent Earwig I would say this is the closest thing you would get to a 90 Defender these days.

I still have reservations about its appearance although it's growing on me. Saw one front end, square on the other day and thought it looked a lot better. SWB appeals to me less than the 5 door LWB as that's what I've been used to and find it really practical for access of gear. I've attached a pic of how I store a lot of my gear Ben. Looked at drawer and locker systems and I'd really need to spend around a grand and more to get what I want. This route cost me £65. I looked at https://www.gearmate.co.uk/
Think NFU discount is possible too?
obERUVBySm2E%fehpoK%fA.jpgZvOrAmMARfyxczQEs8A02g.jpg
I like the steel wheels and virtually impossible to get on other 4x4's these days. Shaves a few £'s off the price and more practical. I believe that part of the bulkhead has a hinged section on these Toyotas? Really good idea as commercials with bulkheads can be very restrictive when you need to pick up something longer. No spare wheel is a joke!! So many manufacturers doing this now and while a can of gunk and a compressor is acceptable on a little hatchback, If you're fully laden and towing with a 4x4, you need a spare, and not a space saver.
I know you mentioned you don't tow. 50% of my mileage would include a trailer, so another downside I see on the LC is the tailgate. (Even worse with the spare wheel mounted on it). Hinged on one side is a nightmare with a trailer on as it will only open as far as your jockey wheel allows. So if you're in and out of the back a lot with a trailer on it's a pain. The rear window access is a good idea but no good if it's a large or heavy item or right at the front of load space with the 3 door. Defenders were also a pain like this.

I hope it goes well for you Ben and another review 6 months down the line would be good. Coming from the Octavia 4x4, you will find the clearance and off road ability in the winter very useful and probably find you walk a bit less than you did because the Octavia made you think, "better not risk it, I'll walk the next bit"

I've just changed my 4x4 commercial after a period of really not knowing what to change it for. Could also do a similar review when I get a min. Think you're right @jellybean about the reviews thing. Maybe a dedicated topic page on reviews would be an idea.
 

chaffcutter

Moderator
Arable Farmer
Location
S. Staffs
Wish these had been available last year when our disco van contract ended, the security of the van rather than the pickup back of the Amarok would have been welcome.

I do like the Amarok to drive, comfortable and gutsy, tows really well.

Thanks for the review Ben, very thorough!
 

H200GT

Member
Location
NORTH WALES
Looks a good workhorse in SWB format, and I can see that the LC will gain sales, it will fill the void left by the Shogun, Tropper and defender offerings. Missed a trick by not offering 3.5t towing, but still i guess most will crack on regardless.

Would be interesting to compare it to the new shogun sport commercial (LWB only) that looks a nice truck, with better spec in base format, although i guess you could spec the LC up if you wanted. https://www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/new-cars/shogun-sport/commercial/

I would have test drove both when changing last September had they been available, but with a small family the extra seats in the pickup are handy at times, and as such i would probably gone down the pickup route regardless.

Best of luck with it, im sure it will prove a good long term investment
 
Good review and I like the sound of this vehicle.

BUT

Sorry to sound like a self righteous barsteward - personally I hope to continually take steps to cut our fuel consumption and emissions as and when we upgrade vehicles.

For me, if a Skoda car has previously been doing the job at 55mpg, why on earth change to a gas guzzling Landcruiser??

TSS
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
I believe @Mounty described the above as 'pig ugly' and @PSQ made reference to the 'f'ugly front' on the other thread. :whistle:

I think the correct term of abuse was:
Avert your eyes! - they've copied the Jeep Cherokee's 'gap toothed gypsy' grill :hungover:


And I'll concede that it looks fine in your photos, certainly better than the airbrushed pics in the brochure.
Would I be far off the mark guessing £24 (ish) K plus VAT?
 

BenB

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Newbury, Berks
Well done @BenB for doing this review and revealing a bit more detail than currently available on these.
I think they do have a place in the 4x4 market and Toyota have kind of pitched it right. How is @ian marsh getting on with his LC Commercial saga??
@Magnificent Earwig I would say this is the closest thing you would get to a 90 Defender these days.

I still have reservations about its appearance although it's growing on me. Saw one front end, square on the other day and thought it looked a lot better. SWB appeals to me less than the 5 door LWB as that's what I've been used to and find it really practical for access of gear. I've attached a pic of how I store a lot of my gear Ben. Looked at drawer and locker systems and I'd really need to spend around a grand and more to get what I want. This route cost me £65. I looked at https://www.gearmate.co.uk/
Think NFU discount is possible too?
View attachment 790338View attachment 790340
I like the steel wheels and virtually impossible to get on other 4x4's these days. Shaves a few £'s off the price and more practical. I believe that part of the bulkhead has a hinged section on these Toyotas? Really good idea as commercials with bulkheads can be very restrictive when you need to pick up something longer. No spare wheel is a joke!! So many manufacturers doing this now and while a can of gunk and a compressor is acceptable on a little hatchback, If you're fully laden and towing with a 4x4, you need a spare, and not a space saver.
I know you mentioned you don't tow. 50% of my mileage would include a trailer, so another downside I see on the LC is the tailgate. (Even worse with the spare wheel mounted on it). Hinged on one side is a nightmare with a trailer on as it will only open as far as your jockey wheel allows. So if you're in and out of the back a lot with a trailer on it's a pain. The rear window access is a good idea but no good if it's a large or heavy item or right at the front of load space with the 3 door. Defenders were also a pain like this.

I hope it goes well for you Ben and another review 6 months down the line would be good. Coming from the Octavia 4x4, you will find the clearance and off road ability in the winter very useful and probably find you walk a bit less than you did because the Octavia made you think, "better not risk it, I'll walk the next bit"

I've just changed my 4x4 commercial after a period of really not knowing what to change it for. Could also do a similar review when I get a min. Think you're right @jellybean about the reviews thing. Maybe a dedicated topic page on reviews would be an idea.

Thanks everyone for their comments so far, glad it's useful and I agree that hopefully others will do the same with their vehicles, kit, machinery etc. It's all well and good reading the official reviews but in the is industry we give things a rather good 'workout' ! I will certainly keep things updated as we go.

Cheers @Mounty for your comments and the pictures. I've pretty much copied you in the mean time, just a couple of plastic boxes to chuck stuff in. I have checked Gearmate out, it looks very nice but as you say it certainly isn't cheap. I had wondered if a chippy could knock something up as well actually. Something to think about in the summer. Certainly be interested to see how your vehicle is going - is that a Disco 5 commercial?

Good review and I like the sound of this vehicle.

BUT

Sorry to sound like a self righteous barsteward - personally I hope to continually take steps to cut our fuel consumption and emissions as and when we upgrade vehicles.

For me, if a Skoda car has previously been doing the job at 55mpg, why on earth change to a gas guzzling Landcruiser??

TSS

I admit that my Skoda estate did the job - just. It was actually just a regular one, not even the 4x4 version! Unfortunately it was getting to a stage where increasingly I couldn't get down tracks/to fields without ditching the car and walking. Being an agronomist I am very used to walking, very much enjoy it, however at busy times of year I simply can't afford to lose 10 minutes walking down a track to a field and then 10 minutes back again.

Add into the fact that a Skoda estate (or most normal cars, for that matter) are simply not designed to be bumping down tracks and going off road on a daily basis. I probably went through 4-6 tyres a year on the Skoda - not from wearing them out, from killing them before they were done. Also had to have steering realigned a couple of times a year - and I'm a careful driver!

So to me, there's people doing a heck of a lot more polluting things than me buying a Land Cruiser (is 33 mpg 'gas guzzling'?), which will hopefully last for many years whilst others have throw away the Lithium batteries from their electric car...

I am also under no illusions, with the way things are going, that this has the potential to be my last car with an internal combustion engine. However, this won't matter if @Clive 's prophecy comes true and agronomists are no longer required. Maybe then I can just sit at home with a coffee watching drone imagery coming in!
 

ian marsh

New Member
Picked up my lwb land cruiser last week after a 6 and 1/2 months nightmare with many broken promises from January on wards of delivery managed to get it just in the last 30 minutes of last years tax year.
I have so far removed the bulkhead as you can not use the space behind the seats .fabricated a new one with a steel frame
and dropped down hinged ply board 50/50 split height, 2" square mesh above placed it just behind the 2 rear doors this allows me to use the rear area for my German shepherd dog and by opening the rear passenger doors use all this space for storage.Also by having a drop down board can use the full length load through. Have stripped off the rubbish fitted vinyl on the outside of the glass as it does not cover the whole glass and leaves a halo effect round the window with light coming through the 6mm gap all round. Am having these windows tinted so as to comply with hmrc ruling on side windows rear of drivers seat being opaque to make it a commercial vehicle.
Have bought some cheap leatherette seat covers for the 2 front seats and are quite good actually the fitted cloth seats wont last five minutes in an industrial enviroment and due to not towing a trailer am going to get some reversing sensors fitted.
 

BenB

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Newbury, Berks
Picked up my lwb land cruiser last week after a 6 and 1/2 months nightmare with many broken promises from January on wards of delivery managed to get it just in the last 30 minutes of last years tax year.
I have so far removed the bulkhead as you can not use the space behind the seats .fabricated a new one with a steel frame
and dropped down hinged ply board 50/50 split height, 2" square mesh above placed it just behind the 2 rear doors this allows me to use the rear area for my German shepherd dog and by opening the rear passenger doors use all this space for storage.Also by having a drop down board can use the full length load through. Have stripped off the rubbish fitted vinyl on the outside of the glass as it does not cover the whole glass and leaves a halo effect round the window with light coming through the 6mm gap all round. Am having these windows tinted so as to comply with hmrc ruling on side windows rear of drivers seat being opaque to make it a commercial vehicle.
Have bought some cheap leatherette seat covers for the 2 front seats and are quite good actually the fitted cloth seats wont last five minutes in an industrial enviroment and due to not towing a trailer am going to get some reversing sensors fitted.

Glad to hear you have been able to get yours sorted Ian.

Your bulkhead removal and splitting the cargo area sounds great, would you be able to put a couple of pictures up?

How easy was it to get the vinyl on the windows off? I was also wondering whether to take this off an switch to a tint instead.
 

Kildare

Member
Location
Kildare, Ireland
For years the Toyota Land cruiser was the most popular vehicle for farmers over here. I would think the double cab Toyota Ford and vw are now.
I only ever see one on steel wheels and as you said all have a spare wheel.
Local enthusiastic owners.[emoji16]
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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