We have the king of the off-roaders at our disposal.
The Land Cruiser in all its iterations has been popular with people betting their lives on a car. Whether it is the UN peace keeping missions or the rebels that carry both live chickens and rocket launchers in the back, hardcore people opt for a Land Cruiser.
I love the burgers at Grilled situated in Dhanmondi 27. It's a tiny restaurant. You can't park this thing up front. It’s way too big. But you can park the entire Grilled burger joint inside the Toyota. It seats about 8 people who have just had multiple burgers. Could probably fit more.
What is it like inside?
It feels like a fortress. While they have used a lot of brushed aluminium and wood accents to bring about a high tech space-age feel to the surroundings, it is no Range Rover study in fashion. Buttons are plenty and easily accessible. Individual AC front and rear, left and right means you can laugh at the summer sun and call it disrespectful names.
How does it drive?
The lazy V8 pulls in a manner as if to condescendingly ask you, 'What's the rush?' just before it lifts the nose and rushes forward. While it starts off lazy, it'll reach 100kmph in under 7 seconds each time much to the annoyance of the photographer who wanted a clear shot. In-gear acceleration is rapid yet effortless thanks to the 460 NM of torque, most of it available below 3000RPM.
There are multiple modes for the ride but it all feels like a slight variation of soft. And this is how a proper off roader should be to soak in the bumps. It does it well despite the massive 20 inch wheels which thump along silently outside the well-insulated cabin. FYI, this is designed to be fitted with 18 inch wheels with tall sidewalls and deep treads to tackle just about any terrain. And that too without any modifications to the suspension or bodywork.
That's a long list. I love the camera unit just behind the grill that helps navigate the sea of cars by coming on whenever other vehicles are close by in city manoeuvres. It shows how far objects are and how soon you will hit them depending on where your wheels are turned. Nifty.
The limited-slip center differential splits torque 40/60 front/rear but is quickly able to send more power to any side as needed. It also has 4-Wheel active height control (AHC) and adaptive variable suspension (AVS).
Does it off-road?
When it rains, our cities, especially Chittagong, always auditions to be the next Venice. A 700mm (or 27.5 inches) wading depth is the official figure. Add a snorkel and you can dive underwater, almost. Good point for people of Chittagong considering how water levels keep rising.
We didn't dare contemplate about the fuel consumption for too long. In the city it'll average 5.5 km/l and about 7.6km/l cruising on the highways. This is an old-school style machine with a lot of hidden grunt. Yet, it is civilised while static and in motion. There is no drama or noise, just purposeful movement. It is all about getting you to your destination no questions asked.
4.6 V8, 318hp, 460NM torque. 6-speed automatic. 4-wheel AHC & AVS. Adaptive variable suspension. 700mm wading depth. Ventilated disc brakes front and rear. Dual 11.6-inch rear seat entertainment system with Super Live sound system. Ventilated power leather seats. Tilt and slide electric moon roof. LED headlights. Power tailgate.
Price: 3.5-4.4 crore Taka depending on specification.
Available from Rancon Imports.