UK Car Road Test

Toyota Land Cruiser Colorado 2002

 Movie Clips of this Car

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The Colorado is the smaller of the Land Cruiser brothers which is strange as you would have thought that a smaller item would have less problems down the Amazon than in the open spaces of Colorado. Perhaps it floats??

Style much improved recently

All 4x4s were becoming a bit so-so for me recently. The Brits stagnated, the Japs improved, the Yanks stayed much the same and the Germans gave us some unobtainable expensive choices ranging from swish to slosh.

As a second hand 4x4 this one is more than acceptable in the looks department although the new Disco may redefine the 4x4 market me thinks.

Size defines many a 4x4 and for me the Colorado is just the right size. It lacks the gross bulk of the Amazon and its tarmac crushing ilk but stays usefully big, unlike some of the more playful 4x4 offerings.

Inside is as well done as any Toyota and fairly impressive by 4x4 standards though, as you can see, the target audience is more Badminton horse trial than upland sheep farmer.  Personally I could do without being surrounded by bits of fake wood when squashing the real woods and the carpets could be a little more of a dirt friendly colour but then that applies to every car I drive.

Thankfully some of the daft touches of pretend off-roaderism have gone and have been replaced by an interior that is aimed where the Colorado's real application is - the lifestyle, tow truck, load carrying beast.

Compass like clock 

All in all I like the size, the style and the balance between practicality and luxury that the Colorado carries.

 

 

Typically Japanese all-singing-and-dancing wipers

Japanese cars are not usually backwards or subtle in their application of the extras and this Toyota is no exception. The Colorado is festooned with bins, pockets and spaces to rival an MPV. 

Nice touches like the soft touch of the steering wheel only help to endear it to you for the normal day-to-day grind.

Comfort Features
Adjustable Steering Column
Adjustable Steering Column
Drivers seat Lumbar Support
Drivers seat Lumbar Support
Front Door Bins
Front Door Bins
Head Rests (front & rear)
Head Rests (front & rear)
Height Adjustable Seat Belts
Height Adjustable Seat Belts
Remote Boot Release
Remote Boot Release
Remote Petrol Cap Release
Remote Petrol Cap Release
Split rear seats
Split rear seats
Time Clock
Time Clock
General Features
Exterior Side Mouldings
Exterior Side Mouldings
Heated Rear Window
Heated Rear Window
Rear Wash Wipe
Rear Wash Wipe
Tinted Windows
Tinted Windows
Luxury Features
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette Lighter
Electric Mirrors
Electric Mirrors
Electric Windows (front & rear)
Electric Windows (front & rear)
Leather Upholstery
Leather Upholstery
Radio Cassette
Radio Cassette
Trip Counter
Trip Counter

 As is the Japanese way, everything works flawlessly.

 

 

 

Service Interval Insurance Group Safety Rating Smog Rating
9000 14 Not Available N/A
Engine BHP CC Fuel Inj.
Turbo Diesel 4 Cylinder 161 2982 No
Cyl Camshafts Valves/cyl Compressor
4 Single 2 Turbo Charger
Top Speed 0 to 60 BHP per Tonne
106mph 11.6seconds 88
MPG@Urban MPG@Cruise MPG@Speed Fuel Type
24.1mpg 34.4mpg 29.7mpg Diesel
Kerb Weight Tow Weight Length Width Height
1840kg 2800kg 432cm 187cm 182cm
Boot Seats/up Boot Seats/Down Seats
169 Litres 1100 Litres 5

Okay, let's just work that out - 2982cc/4 - that's 745.5 per cylinder in the legendarily unsmooth straight four and diesel format. And with a specific output per litre of just 53.99 bhp, does this sound like a good recipe?  Add in an auto to blunt it further and a huge kerb weight and it starts sounding like a real bind to drive.

However, in reality it's far different. This motor has torque in abundance, real stomping pulling power from Zero to Hero (well, to about 4000 rpm when it's all well and truly died off).  The auto box is a perfect match and it keeps the motor on the boil between 2k and 4k rpm. Note - the first Range Rover with its mighty 3.5 litre V8  petrol only pushed out 130bhp. How far we have come! The box has some extra functions to aid off-road manners and they are simple to engage and understand. Only really heavy footedness confuses it; try a succession of on/off on/hard throttle applications and the engine revs for what seems like an age before drive is taken up (a more sensitive foot will never notice).

It maybe an engine more suited to a truck but, hey, that's what this really is after all so the engine is perfectly matched to application.

On the road the D4-D keeps you well up with traffic without the slightest feeling of pedestrianism. In fact, given the limitations of the chassis, it's probably well and truly more than fast enough.

Once upon a time, to get a 4x4 with car-matching speed, you needed to accept 15mpg, The fact that a big off-roader can give 35mpg  if  (not) pushed and 30mpg with comparative ease and yet supply decent road performance really is incredible. 

Despite its lack of cylinders and inherent balance, engine vibes are well kept in check, perhaps the mountings are the size of the tyres?

The body is typical in that it has all the aerodynamics of a bus, so noise will always be a problem but the cabin is well sealed and engine noise fairly well damped out (at least with the windows up).

   

Big hefty alloys look nice.

Just in case you forget how big it is.

Forget the technical stuff, it's standard 4x4 fare underneath. Ladder chassis, live axles, coil springs and alloys that pretend at lightness and usefulness. It has full time four wheel drive (proper full time that is, not a viscous coupling like the Freelander), dual speed box and diff lock for those really difficult situations. 

The real upside, though, is the steering response. The power assisted steering is light and manageable and surprisingly swift.  Okay Okay, it's not like a car and never will be but the old tedious 30 turns lock-to-lock of many 4x4s has gone. Its response is quick enough to make tight multiple manoeuvres.    

Steer/Susp/Tech Features
Alloy Wheels
Alloy Wheels
Catalytic Converter
Catalytic Converter
Diff Lock
Diff Lock
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Full Time 4 Wheel Drive
Full Time 4 Wheel Drive
Halogen Head Lights
Halogen Head Lights
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Independent Suspension
Independent Suspension
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Power Assisted Steering
Power Assisted Steering
Rev Counter
Rev Counter

Body control is also really rather good and its cornering limits seem to be directly related to the amount of your bottle than its grip. Taking corners rather faster than you think prudent is rewarded with the truck nonchalantly sailing around the bend. Certainly those big road biased tyres do a good job of keeping you on the straight and narrow!

It also rides really rather well and much to my surprise. It felt like the big tyres, bereft of new model low profile rubber, gave a pliancy to the ride without bothering the suspension. 

Off course, all comments are made with regard to what the beast is. If it was a middle of the range saloon and rode and cornered like this it would be well slagged off but for a 4x4 it really is quite domesticated.

Off road, with its short overhangs, sensible wheelbase and diff lock, it is as good as its tyres. It will go just about anywhere until the road pattern gets clogged and then it will struggle. That's the same for any 4x4 really and a trade-off that has to be made between road and off-road use. The engine, with all its slogging grunt, is well up to the job though.

Braking is solid and assured via a light pedal although weight takes time to stop no matter how you splice it.

 

Big helm with good response

 Neat and rattle-free steps

Personally, for your average scrape with another vehicle, I would put my trust in mass over airbags any day of the week. If what you hit is somewhat more immovable like the side of a mountain or rolling down  a rocky crevice, then twin front air bags may be of some help. Though God help your five passengers!

Safety/Security Features
Alarm
Alarm
Antilock Braking System
Antilock Braking System
Engine Immobiliser
Engine Immobiliser
Front Twin Airbags
Front Twin Airbags
High level brake Light
High level brake Light
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Fuel Cap
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Rear Seat Belts Fitted
Rear Seat Belts Fitted
Remote Central Locking
Remote Central Locking
Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Protection
Visible Identification Number
Visible Identification Number

Alarm, VIN, immobiliser and central locking help to keep the thieves at bay or at least point them towards an easier target. 

Not really quite sure how it stacks up a Group 14 insurance quote though; perhaps they quote by weight as well as performance.

 

When winter's here it's sometime nice to have the security of  a go-anywhere-stop-at-nothing vehicle. And with the first snowfall surrounding the area and painting the hill tops white and converting the 1:4 that I call  my street into an ice chute, there really is something in this 4x4 thing that brings a big smug grin to your face.

Many around me in the depths of the hillybillydom that I call home have 4x4s as second or third cars not so much for the image or the lifestyle or as  mud plugging, grin-inducing plaything but as a get-you-home guarantee. And for all that the politicians may mock, they do that job peerlessly for those of us who do not live in the sun-baked southern Riviera of Ken's personal fiefdom.

Belching Tube for the Artics engine.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the Colorado. The Land Cruiser range has developed nicely and in the Colorado D4-D they have a little star (maybe that should be medium/large star). It goes perfectly adequately on the road and can give sensible, if not exactly, economical fuel figures. And for me it's just the right size. 

Seats face forward

Mechanism not quite in disco class

Unlike many (Japanese especially) 4x4 it contains a sensible boot, even with five or seven seats (which multi split for maximum flexibility).

Rear leg room on the second row is good although third row access is tricky and the folding mechanism is just a little tedious.

Even the mirrors give a good view and, for once in a 4x4, I had a good idea of where all the edges of the car were. Thanks being, in no small part, to the relatively low profile of the bumpers.

Sharp teeth

Vegetation decimation
is what it's best at!

My 4x4 shopping wish list is fairly short and the Colorado just added 50% to it.

They would all have to be Turbo Diesel powered as I just don't own a petrol station, they all have to be capable off road and sensible on it and big but not the size of a Tiger Tank.

So the list now stands at: Jeep Cherokee, Land Rover Discovery, Toyota Land Cruiser Colorado. 

Much as I hate to say it, the Colorado has perhaps the most attractive engine of the three. 

If you are after a big(ish) 4x4 you really would be hard pushed to find a reason to say no to this car.

 

 

 


 

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UK Car Road Test Toyota Land Cruiser Colorado 2002

UK Car Road Test Keywords: 4*4 Estate DieselLand Cruiser Colorado