One month after purchasing our brand-new LandCruiser 200 Series Sahara, we hitched a caravan and embarked on a four-week trip from Melbourne to the Red Centre. The Sahara was amazing in the way it towed the three-tonne caravan. It was both the towing ease and, more importantly, the weight of the Sahara itself that kept the caravan very stable in every situation.
Our previous tow vehicle was the diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee, and as good as that was, the Landcruiser was a level beyond the Jeep. Even when passing a large road train, we experienced zero disruption and it always felt assuring and in control. Although, our driver’s mirror would sometimes fold in due to the wind turbulence from the road train.
In addition, and most important, is comfort. When touring Australia, there are days when you need to spend 8–10 hours behind the wheel just to make your next destination. The ’Cruiser’s cabin was a pleasure to be in, and after a long day of driving, all my occupants felt comfortable and as refreshed as one can be.
Fuel economy was also very acceptable. Towing the three-tonne caravan, our overall bill was just under $1800 for the four weeks, however our co-travellers in a new HiLux towing a lighter two-tonne caravan consumed just over $1500 of diesel. Overall, we’re very happy with the LandCruiser’s performance, comfort and economy.
On the negative side, the LC200 is a large vehicle, and visiting the CBD needs to be a well-planned trip as parking the thing can be a challenge. In saying that, the Sahara’s camera system and technology make the task somewhat easier. We love the diesel of a ’Cruiser, but the auto gearbox is still somewhat last generation and probably not as good as some of the newer ZF nine-speed boxes.
Another negative is price. While I paid $114K for the Sahara, it was still a better deal than a Nissan or even a Disco’. We looked at the Disco’, but felt it was a bit fancy, and I always worry about reliability and resale. While not perfect, the LandCruiser was a hands-down winner as the ideal touring vehicle.