Bomb-proof cruiser

for the modern age

Toyota Land Cruiser, front
Toyota Land Cruiser, front
Toyota Land Cruiser, front
Toyota Land Cruiser, side
Toyota Land Cruiser dashboard
Toyota Land Cruiser boot
Toyota Land Cruiser, rear
Toyota Land Cruiser, rear

SOCIAL media is alive with the predictions of those who say 2017 will bring a year of judgement, the rapture or, at the very least, knighthoods for Ant and Dec.

Reasons vary from a bit of democratic process to that old favorite, the weather.

Last year we saw the emergence of the greatest climatic threat to man since Krakatoa, thunder snow.

Essentially this a hailstorm but it had several media outlets flapping like a rip in a tramps coat.

One or two bad days and we are promised more skid marks than a front-line platoon's laundry basket.

And moons. Full moons are now super moons. Well they are not at all super are they? They don't rise wearing a silly caped costume. They are just big moons.

Then there is wind. Anything above a light air on the Beaufort scale now gets its own name.

Pre-Christmas there was a bit of a front and before you could say oooh matron it was storm Barbara Windsor. At its deadly peak two wheelie bins were blown over in Boscombe.

To top it all off boffins say a Zombie plague could reduce the world's population to three figures after just weeks.

I don't know about round your way but where we live there has been a bit of shortage of plagues. Some casual norovirus and seasonal sniffles yes, but not a huge amount of pestilence.

All that before we dwell on world politics and Kim Jong's long-range maggot catapult.

Time, you may think, to invest in something completely bomb-proof. A Toyota Land Cruiser.

Today we take refuge in the £56,000 D-4D auto Invincible; beautifully appointed, indefatigable off-road and a fair bit better at economics than some rivals. Sounds like a plan to me.

Each version now comes with a 2.8-litre diesel engine and while its on-road refinement is compromised by this somewhat agricultural unit and the handling of the big as Wales car,that's a price you pay for its legendary ability in the rough and famed reliability. If you buy one be sure you like it, it could be with you for a long time.

Obviously you don't buy one for track days, 12.7 seconds will pass before the clock reads 62mph. All-wheel-drive (AWD) is full time and the 174bhp engine comes with a claim that a combined consumption of 38mpg has been recorded. Have a cigar if you regularly hit 30mpg.

Resulting taxation is £270 but in the first year there is a robber-baron penalty nearer to £500. However think on, the Toyota holds its price especially a high-spec automatic version. Invincible has a Lexus 600-quality interior of leather and wood, for instance.

I could go on about equipment but, with the end being nigh, the high spots are seven seats which are all variously adjustable, drag and drop touch screen with all household electricals, blind spot radar, terrain select and crawl control for the sticky bits. There is also a clever second rear-view mirror which drops down to allow monitoring of dogs and children in the back and a 360 degree camera system.

For people of a muddy mindset the car comes with low-ratio gearbox and a locking diff. It has everything needed to get off road and more importantly the essentials for getting back on it.

Personally I don't find it lacks anything on the tarmac and there are loads of toys like a DVD player and terrain monitoring.

The Land Cruiser may offer a degree of superiority and luxury, especially at this level but be prepared. Either you will wade through the waters of the valley of death or people will wave hessian flip-flops at you and throw lumps of lightly grilled halloumi.

As 4x4s go this is not for the faint hearted. However, if we are supposed to be killing the planet I want to be seen to do my bit.

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