Used Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon (2002 - 2006) Driving & Performance

Review by Simon Harris on
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2014
3.5
Feeling its age now but this leviathan off-roader is still a highly competent machine and can still double as a luxury cruiser in the mould of the Range Rover. Old technology turbodiesel engine is a little crude but is highly effective - mainly because of its enormous size at 4.

3.5 out of 5

Performance

The Amazon offers a choice of six-cylinder turbodiesel or V8 petrol engines - the diesel with a five-speed auto option while the auto is the only transmission in the V8. The diesel is an old-school unit which seems out of place alongside Toyota's other very clean diesels. However, with 201bhp and 317lb-ft of torque, it is still able to shame the current diesel Range Rover for pulling power, if not refinement.

The V8 model offers 235bhp and 320lb-ft and delivers its power with less noise. Diesel's manual gearchange is hard work, although the optional five-speed auto works well. Never feels fast (0-60mph is more than 11 seconds in petrol and diesel autos and higher still in diesel manual) and you are always conscious of its size, but mid range acceleration is reassuring.

Maximum pulling power in the diesel is available from 1400rpm.

3.5 out of 5

Handling

This is the area where the Amazon loses out to newer vehicles like the Range Rover, and feels dated when compared to the latest generation of 4x4s that prioritise on-road behaviour. The steering is geared towards the precision needed for off road driving and lacks directness when driving on the road and is too light. The Amazon also suffers significant body roll when cornering, although the dampers can be adjusted to one of four settings.

The standard setting has a comfort bias, with a further comfort setting and two 'sport' settings. There isn't a great deal of difference between 'comfort' and 'sport' although you are more aware of bumps on the road in one of the 'sport' settings. However, the Amazon has good brakes with excellent feel and stopping power. Off road, the Amazon is exceptional.

In addition to a set of law ratio gears, it also comes with both rear and centre differential locks to prevent the wheels from slipping in muddy conditions or on loose surfaces. It also has adjustable air suspension with low and high settings in addition to the standard setting. The Amazon has a maximum approach angle of 34 degrees, a maximum departure angle of 23 degrees and will tackle an incline of 45 degrees and tow a maximum of 3500kg.

It has a maximum ground clearance of 256mm (10 inches).