Shades of black: Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Executive Black test
This is how you stand in the Moscow traffic jam, look out the window and you will certainly see several Land Cruiser around. They are literally everywhere: in the parking lots of glass business centers, in the courtyards of panel high-rise buildings, at the doors of pathos restaurants, behind barriers of elite residential complexes and even in motorcades on the dividing strip of Kutuzovsky Prospekt. Advertising says the thing is “legendary reliability, ” and this is partly true. Probably, it is hardly possible to find a car more durable and durable than the long-established cult Toyota Land Cruiser.
By the way, this SUV is produced longer than all other Toyota cars - the first generation appeared back in 1951. When Japanese industrial enterprises were instructed to create an all-wheel drive frame car for the U.S. armed forces, Toyota did the job best. True, until 1954, the SUV was called the BJ and only then was renamed the “Land Cruiser”. The charismatic name of the new model was invented personally by the technical director of the company Henji Umehara. More than 60 years have passed since then, and classic Toyota SUVs are still popular. A huge gap from the closest rivals leaves no chance for anyone, and last year the demand for the Land Cruiser 200 even increased by 22.2%. The crisis? No, I haven’t heard ... Probably, the new five-seater Executive equipment with a hydropneumatic suspension from Lexus LX, a full range of options and even stylish bumper covers made a contribution to the inexorably growing popularity of the model. It appeared on sale in the spring, and two special versions were added to the winter: Executive Black and Executive White.
We got a more brutal “black version” of the Land Cruiser 200 for testing. First of all, the impressive front bumper blade, summed up by the chromed “mustache”, is noteworthy. Those in the theme will also notice a black-painted radiator grille, darkened headlights, roof rails with matt chrome trim, pretty 20-inch wheels and a rear bumper trim.
But the most interesting guys are inside. Pulling the massive chrome-plated handle, we pull the door toward us and climb inside with a convenient step. Executive Black seats and doors are decorated with cool brown leather with a diamond-shaped stitching, and the ceiling with a large hatch is covered in black fabric. Chic! Thanks to such simple touches, the interior looks and feels much more expensive. Fortunately, instead of a confused joystick, like the "elder brother" Lexus LX, there is a large and convenient touch screen, and it is quite aesthetically inscribed in the panel. True, the joy of progress is somewhat overshadowed by the low resolution of the 9-inch display and its dull graphics. Yes, the multimedia system is in urgent need of updating.
The Executive version became the first Land Cruiser to receive a hydropneumatic suspension from Lexus (I had to share the V8 biturbo diesel in response) and a system of selecting driving modes from five settings: ECO, Comfort, Normal, Sport S and Sport S +, which change the engine, gearbox steering and suspension. And they change, I must say, very successfully. Using hydropneumatic elements, you can control the height of the body both manually and in automatic mode. From the standard position, the body can go down 50 and 60 millimeters for the front and rear axles, respectively, and also go up 60 and 40 millimeters. In addition to the three height modes that the driver chooses on his own, there are three additional suspension positions that are activated automatically: when you set speed above 100 km / h, the body “crouches”, when you switch to a lower transmission line, it rises, and when you activate the off-road CrawlControl system - rises even higher.
However, it should be noted that when changing the height of the body, the ground clearance of the Land Cruiser 200 does not change due to the presence of a continuous rear axle: in any position of the suspension, the clearance is 230 millimeters. This, in general, is more than enough, as I was personally convinced, climbing on a SUV into a forest near Moscow. There is a Multi-Terrain Select pavement system like Terrain Response from Land Rover. It allows you to programmatically change the degree of permissible wheel slippage, providing maximum traction. In each of the five modes - “Large stones”, “Stones and dirt”, “Mogul”, “Crushed stone”, “Dirt and sand” - individual settings for the sensitivity of the gas pedal, engine control program and traction control. For example, in the "Large stones" mode, the algorithm allows a minimum degree of wheel slippage, and in the "Dirt and Sand" mode it is already possible to slip properly. Together with the central differential lock and electronic imitation of the inter-wheel locks, as well as the enviable articulation of the suspensions, this provides the Land Cruiser with excellent cross-country ability. It’s a pity that in the Executive Black version the “geometry” is limited by bumper pads, which I was constantly afraid to tear off. Well, beauty requires sacrifice, it is understandable.
To minimize losses (and the cost of subsequent body repair) helps the interesting function of the "transparent floor". The front-facing video camera, hidden in the radiator grill, takes the road three meters in front of the SUV, but the image from it is shown not in real time, but with a carefully calculated delay. The result is that the screen shows the surface that is directly under the wheels at the present time. In this case, the picture shows the position of the front wheels and the contours of the car. Visually and very convenient! In addition to adaptability, the suspension pleases with energy intensity: it is so light-hearted to rush without dismantling the road, it is only possible on the Toyota Land Cruiser. Only the beautiful 20-inch wheels of our “black version” are worth fearing. Otherwise, not a single SUV will ride you with the same comfort and permissiveness.
And what about the stone jungle? On the pavement, the Land Cruiser 200 is thoughtful and imposing. You need to get used to control - like any large and heavy car, it requires proactive actions by the steering wheel and pedals. But after a little adaptation you find it a special pleasure and relax. Traffic ceases to be nervous, neighbors in the traffic stream suddenly become polite and willingly give way, and the Land Cruiser leisurely, without fuss, floats through traffic jams in the capital. Like the "elder brother" Lexus LX 450d, the power unit works best in Sport mode. Objectively, it will not make the car faster, but subjectively, the difference is quite noticeable: the hitch in the gearbox disappears and the SUV clearly follows the gas pedal, without forcing itself to spur itself and thereby rock the body. The main thing is to remember about the impressive braking distance.
It is clear why Land Cruiser is so adored. A classic frame SUV is the best you can think of for our harsh conditions. He is hardy and, as the experience of many acquaintances shows, surprisingly reliable, comfortable and unpretentious. It is only a pity that criminals have long fully appreciated all the advantages of the car, therefore, alas, no way without insurance against theft. The Executive Black series made the appearance of the Land Cruiser 200 much more interesting, and I don’t feel like leaving the cozy interior the size of a room in Khrushchev. In our age of disposable things, this is an excellent example of a solid mechanism made to last. And there are fewer of them.
Specifications of Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Executive Black
|Engine||diesel, V8, turbocharged|
|Working volume||4461 cm³|
|Acceleration 0-100 km / h||n.d.|
|Top speed||210 km / h|
|Fuel consumption||10.2 l / 100 km|
|Dimensions (length / width / height)||4975/1980/1865 mm|