Toyota Land Cruiser (2003 – 2009) Review

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Toyota Land Cruiser (2003 – 2009) At A Glance

Big, roomy, tough and stacked full of kit. Very capable off-road and as a tow car. Seats up to eight people.

Feels very big, especially in urban environments. Lacks the refinement and road manners of a Discovery 3.

Insurance Groups are between 28–30
On average it achieves 90% of the official MPG figure

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Real MPG average for a Toyota Land Cruiser (2003 – 2009)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

18–34 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.


Can you recommend a towing vehicle for a small budget?
I want to buy an SUV which tows at least 2-tonnes, it must be auto and ideally have 4WD as well. I tow a horse trailer which has a 1600 kg MAM and travel about 250 miles per week to work. But I only have about £4000-6500 to spend. I have looked at the Kia Sorento (would be about a 2004-2006 model with 80,000-100,000 miles at this price), Hyundai Santa Fe (can find slightly newer than the Sorento), also Tiguan, Shogun (possibly a bit too much for what I need), Land Cruiser (same as Shogun, but a lot pricier). I have avoided anything Land Rover due to reliability issues I have read about. Are there any you would recommend for this purpose in this price bracket, any you'd strongly avoid, or any I may have not considered? Thank you.
You're certainly thinking along the right lines - we'd be avoiding Land Rovers at this price, too, and the Kia Sorento/Hyundai Sante Fe/Mitsubishi Shogun/Toyota Land Cruiser all sound like more sensible options. Have you considered a SsangYong Korando? They're very popular with the towing fraternity due to their two-tonne towing capacity. You should be able to find a fairly tidy 2012 model within budget. We'd also recommend a Honda CR-V. Certain models can tow up to 2000kg. It should be a very reliable choice, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Could you recommend me a powerful, off-road vehicle?
I'm a sheep shearer and I'm struggling to identify the right vehicle that meets my needs: • Room for all my shearing equipment (stand, toolboxes, motor, 5ft sq. wooden board...) • I do quite a few miles visiting over 200 farms a year but all within one hour of our house • Often visit farms and shear at places with no road so 4x4 capability is preferable • Need to be able to tow a trailer full of building materials e.g. sand, cement, gravel etc. • Where I live is hilly, so it needs some power to get up the hills. I currently have a 4x4 Renault Kangoo that is on its last legs. Currently considering a pick-up (probably Toyota Hilux but not sure which year), a Toyota Land Cruiser or a Land Rover Defender. Budget around £8000. I'd really welcome any advice you could offer. Thank you!
The Toyota Hilux would be my recommendation: it's brilliant off-road and has a strong reputation for reliability. The 2.5-litre turbodiesel is the best engine in the range. It has lower fuel costs, compared to the 3.0-litre, and delivers its 343Nm of torque much lower down the range (at 2800rpm) which makes it better suited for hilly terrain. For our Toyota Hilux review and used buying guide, see:
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best used SUV 4x4 for reliability and performance?
I am looking to buy a reliable 4x4 as our Volvo XC90 keeps getting stuck in our field. I'm considering either a Land Cruiser or a Nissan Pathfinder - which do you recommend?
My money would go on the Land Cruiser. It's unstoppable off-road and will last forever. I wouldn't be concerned about high mileage provided it's been regularly serviced. The Pathfinder has a few issues particularly with corrosion:
Answered by Andrew Brady
Replacement or repair to carpet for Land Cruiser?
The fitted front carpet in my Toyota Land Cruiser has been torn and a Toyota replacement is £1303 but discontinued anyway. Is there anyone who could make a good repair or fit a replacement at a reasonable cost rather than Toyota prices?
Yellow Pages ( 'car upholsterers and trimmers'. Lots of excellent local people.
Answered by Honest John

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