Built for Africa

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The beast was designed and built with Africa and her inhospitable work and road conditions in mind. The Toyota Land Cruiser, or “Cruisers”, as their owners refer to them, proved their reliability and capabilities on more than one occasion.

Top Rev’s author took one for a day’s outing on the Yellowstone 4×4 trails outside Windhoek to see and feel the Cruiser’s ability to perform.

To start off, the Cruiser comes in a single and double cab and it was the V6 4.2L that was the choice for various reasons.

Reason one was to experience the sheer power while crossing washed away roads at the trails and the vehicle managed all the terrains with ease. There was even a sign warning people about the “rough terrain ahead”. And this is what Cruiser owners want to see and hear, as they see most obstacles and rough terrains as a challenge that needs to be conquered.

The sales executive at Pupkewitz Toyota, Jaco Nel, believes in this brand since the vehicle comes with a track record from the time the Cruiser made its debut in 1969.

Since then technology evolved 360 degrees, lots have changed from the world renowned four-wheel drive system to the entire interior. Today, the vehicle can be considered as one of the most reliable all-rounders on the road.

Apart from the two-cab versions, the bakkie is also available in a SUV (stationwagon) shape. The latter is very scarce, but also very popular in the local tourism sector when it comes to the 76-series fitted with a strait six-valve diesel engine, Nel said.

The Cruiser is not bought for speed or fuel economy, as the average consumption is indicated just under 15 litres per 100 kilometres. The weight of your feet also plays a role and even though the vehicle can reach 165km/h, one must bear in mind that fuel usage increases with speed.

But as the saying goes under Cruiser owners, “Do not look at the fuel usage, look at it as the only car that will safely bring you back.”

Available in engine sizes ranging from 4,0L V6, 4,5L V8 turbo charge, to 4,2L non-turbo strait six, these are all vehicles built for Africa as it is often referred to as the “Africa 4×4”.

Unlike many other 4x4s in their range, these Cruisers are basic in comparison with their more luxurious counterparts and rivals. But, as the saying goes, “It is a Cruiser thing, you will not understand.”

Basic needs like armrests, cup holders and other amenities like USB connectors and moonlights are not on this car’s ticking box. But fitment centres do stock additional items like cup holders, arm rests and even centre console fridges with all the fittings ranging from wireless charging to USB connectors which can even be used as an armrest for both passenger and driver.

But when it it comes to the fitting of after-market accessories like bull bars, cattle rails and towers, you might jeopardise your warranty on the vehicle. Hence, it is best to speak to your dealer before going that direction, Nel said.

Unlike the previous Cruisers Top Revs travelled the country in, the new range seems to have softer suspensions as this author recall the hard and bumpy ride in previous Cruisers.

When it comes to handling loads and towing capacity, the Toyota Land Cruiser again stands out head and shoulders, as the V8 Top Revs used to do a country tour a few years ago, handled a 1,5 tonne trailer with ease.

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