Toyota’s 200 Series Land Cruiser has been around for more than eight years, but despite its age and a relatively high price tag, it continues to sell well. In fact, in 2015 its sales were marginally better than in 2014 and it’s the only wagon in the 4x4 top ten to actually increase sales from 2014 to 2015.
The 200 Series benefits greatly from not having any direct competition, thanks to the fact that Nissan doesn’t offer a diesel version of its Y62 Patrol. In fact, while Toyota sold 8251 200s in 2015, total Patrol sales (combined Y61 and Y62) totalled just 1875. The 200 actually gets more competition from the Land Rover Discovery (2915 sales in 2015) than it does from the Patrol, which was the Land Cruiser’s key rival in the past.
In late 2015, the 200 received refreshed styling and some mechanical changes, which will no doubt see it through to the arrival of the newgeneration Land Cruiser, which is well-advanced in its development and is due either late next year or in 2018.
The mechanical changes include new piezo injectors (replacing the electro-mechanical injectors used previously) and a particulate filter for the diesel V8. These changes have bought about an improvement in ADR fuel economy and exhaust emissions and have increased the claimed maximum power from 195kW to 200kW. At the same time, the largely unloved but still sweet 227kW petrol V8 has also been tweaked for better economy and emissions.
Meanwhile, a new grille, headlights, a V-shaped bonnet, front bumper and front mudguards distinguish the facelifted 200. At the rear there are new high-visibility LED taillights, among other changes.
The top-of-the-range Sahara also gained four external cameras that can help the driver place the vehicle in tight parking situations and in difficult off-road situations.
Regardless of these changes, the 200’s practicality as an ownership proposition underpins its continuing popularity. It works on and off the road, offers proven reliability and also has Australia’s biggest dealer network to back it up.