My name is Mike Taylor, I live near Oxford. I work as a mechanic/self employed. I appreciate your time in reading/rating my reviews and will return the favour. :-) I hope I have done enough for an Exceptional in my latest reviews.
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A masterpiece in its class
Industry leading reliability and build quality, versatile, comfortable .
Parking can be an issue, fuel usage is high if you push this car .
Value for Money
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I believe that the Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon is one of the Japanese firm's greatest achievements and really presents itself with many excellent features from their vast array of technology and high quality parts. As it is their top of the range 4x4, a serious amount of time and effort has gone in to designing a large but road friendly vehicle that will adapt well to the requirements of many people. Even though this car has been in production for a good few years now, it is in my mind the top all round 4x4 on the market for the various reasons I will try to explain below.
I think the first point that I must focus on in general is the incredible build quality and design of this vehicle. I part-own a T registration 4.2TD Amazon, now with 75,000 miles on the clock and have never needed to have anything other than routine services. The biggest thing is that I can say, with good confidence, that I will not have any major problems with this vehicle for many years to come. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised for it to last me for the rest of my life!
The 4.2 Turbo Diesel power plant offers true grunt to make this heavy vehicle no slouch in any way. The low revving diesel produces 201bhp at only 3400 rpm and as long as you are steady with the throttle it will keep going up through the super smooth box to make the fuel bill less painful than you might expect! Also there are a good few companies that will safely increase the power up to 250hp, meaning you can get similar acceleration times but using less fuel. With a reasonable spread of ratios across the 5-speed transmission, you can get good acceleration while also being able to maintain a more efficient motorway speed. On the automatic transmission you do not only have a override features but also you can choose from two different settings of gearshift timing. The standard settings changes gear more easily and thus helps with fuel economy at steady acceleration, However if you are in more of a rush to get up to speed you can choose the PWR mode and it will hold on to the gears for longer to maximise acceleration. This is a very handy feature when used with the override button to overtake more quickly and safely, even in this very heavy vehicle.
The suspension on this vehicle certainly upholds the high quality and performance of the
rest of the vehicle and with electronic control of the ride height you have a very versatile all terrain 4x4. You can alter the ride height to various levels using the custom buttons or you can simply choose between four preset heights from the sport road use setting to the high comfort off-road settings. This really does give you not only something to show off about in the car park but a car that can handle well on the road then at the touch of a dial change back to the off-road machine it so loves to be!
The Michelin tyres that come as standard on the Amazon are truly the best choice for a car in this weight and price bracket. I can truthfully say that I got 55000 miles out of the original tyres with a fairly normal driving style. This is a credit not only to Michelin but to Toyota for making sure the tyres did not drag down the rest of this very reliable vehicle.
We chose to have the metallic paint option on our green Amazon and I think this was a good move as it does add a lot of eye appeal over the standard colours. However this area is about one of the only stumbling blocks on our Land cruiser as the paint has not lasted very well and in bright sunshine shows many small scratches from where it has been washed. I am confident to say that this is not the method of washing as I wash my mother’s car in the same way and hers shows not sign of wear. Unfortunately the paint is simply too soft and thus it does let down the appearance of the vehicle after it has seen a few years service. However this problem is hardly unique to this car as many more modern cars suffer in similar ways due to stricter regulations on paints.
I am fortunate to have been able to get hold of the VX model meaning that the interior is decked out in good quality leather and has a very pleasing array of features to make driving this beast even more of a pleasure! With air conditioning, electric sun roof, heated and electric moving mirrors, a 6 CD changer and good output stereo system and a very clear set out of all the essential controls, this vehicle is not short of up to date features. With a 5 person comfortable seating capacity and scope for 2 extra seats in the back this vehicle does present itself as a good long term investment for a large family that live in the country or have a very varied need from their main car.
I have had the opportunity to take my Amazon to do some proper off-roading and I did not disappoint in this area either. There were a large group of other similar 4x4s attending on the same day. Such included a Range Rover sport, Land Rover TD6, a Nissan x-trail, and a VW tourag. My Amazon certainly never let Toyota down and I managed to complete every section of the Lincolnshire course without too much trouble. The only other vehicle to do so was the Land Rover, which I must admit might be slightly the better off-road machine, but it would certainly not last anywhere near the same length of time under such treatment!
As for road handling this very heavy car does not suit constant town and city driving as its sheer size and weight does compromise cornering somewhat. The biggest other disadvantage is that parking such a big vehicle does take skill and patience! It does come with a handy reversing bleeper that has four sensors across the back of the rear bumper and gives an audible warning that you getting close to a solid object when moving backwards.
However on more open wider roads it does not cause a problem and is a very pleasurable vehicle to drive for any length of time. I would certainly think this vehicle to be a good investment for anyone who needs to travel long distances but also have the capability of travelling off-road and towing. The brake system on this mighty vehicle are certainly up to the job and the stopping distances under really hard breaking are quite astounding for such a heavy car. With the genuine Toyota brake pads and callipers being of such good quality and specification you wont want to be buying any pattern parts for your vehicle.
I have towed many different trailers with this vehicle, including an 18ft box trailer completely loaded with heavy wheels and tyres, and it does not complain with any such load. The engine simply seems to use the great torque and no hill has been able to conquer it so far. For this reason i would definitely recommend this vehicle to a Farm owner or for that matter anyone who needs a vehicle to be presentable and smart when needed but also have the capability to be a good reliable workhorse.
The looks and styling of this vehicle are somewhat of a hard to call issue; I think they are very good and it appeals to me greatly, however some will say it looks too rounded and cumbersome. I will admit it is not the most up to date looking 4x4 but it certainly does have many features that rule over and above this minor issue. For the lower cost and the lower maintenance needed on this car over other similar vehicles in its class, it win hands down with me. For instance the Range Rover Sport with its mighty price tag, will also cost more beyond the initial purchase and I do know of an unfortunate owner that is now on their 3rd gearbox due to simple mechanical failure! This alone could suddenly put you off its looks and make the Amazon seem somewhat prettier!!
The parts back-up from Toyota dealers is very good and I have always had next day delivery of any parts I have ordered for servicing this vehicle. I live near oxford and so use Inchscape Toyota, but I believe that there are many very highly spoke of Toyota dealers throughout the UK and Europe. The manual is comprehensive and I have found doing all the routine maintenance myself not a problem. In fact I rang the parts department once to ask a few questions and the chap was quite happy to spare me 5 minutes and sort my queries out there and then. Also I have found the prices of genuine parts to be surprisingly cheap and while others have moaned how their manufacturers rip them off, I have been able to add good comment to the Toyota spare parts availability and cost.
The more modern versions of this flagship 4x4 have even more impressive features as standard and as extras. I believe from what I have been told that you can now get a built in DVD player, Sat-Nav and also touch screen controls for all your temperatures and settings in the vehicle. I believe that Toyota will keep innovating this vehicle and it will, for a long time, be one of the greatest large 4x4 available. Although it is an expensive vehicle, it still makes many others rival cars look overpriced, especially the Porsche, VW and the Range Rover. You make be buying a desirable modern style and a few mod-cons but really when buying a 4x4 you need to think practically and to me the most reliable, capable but still very comfortable vehicle must surely be worth considering.
I hope you have found this review of benefit and please advise me on any sections that you feel could do with more information to suit your needs.