For many the name "Toyota" is synonymous with the Land Cruiser.
This large off-roader has been in production since 1951 and its reliability and dependability have made it the best-selling car in some of the world's harshest environments - helping drive forward Toyota's reputation as a manufacturer of invincible vehicles.
Here in the UK though, there's another name with the same reputation: Land Rover. The Land Rover Discovery competes head-to-head with the Toyota Land Cruiser in the large seven-seat off-road sector and it's the car that every other needs to conquer particularly if, like the Land Cruiser, the cars are similarly-priced.
From an aesthetic point of view at least there's very little contest. The Discovery's styling is inspired by older Land Rover products and the result is somewhat box-like. It doesn't hide its bulk well at all and there's very little stylistic flair - other than the slightly awkward rear side windows.
The Land Cruiser is a more handsome vehicle. It's still a big car and maintains some serious road presence, particularly with the five bar grille, but with smoother lines and creases incorporating the wheelarches, it's a softer look that conveys far less of an impression of bulk.
It's probably fair to say that Land Rover's interiors are amongst the best in the business for materials quality and build, but this may be a point of concern for those buying a full-sized off-roader. With kids and dogs being flung in and out of the car, not to mention the kind of exterior dirt that a car of this kind will be regularly driven through, plush leather and deep shag carpets will be easy to ruin very quickly - and this will destroy residual values. The materials inside the Land Cruiser are more durable, with nice touches where it matters the most and is no less technologically advanced.
Both cars are feted for their off-road capabilities, but it's likely you'll spend much more of your time on the road. The lighter Land Cruiser - lighter by nearly 400kg - has the edge here too, with a 2.8 litre 4-cylinder diesel returning better fuel economy than the 3-litre V6 diesel of the Discovery.
The Land Cruiser's reputation is built on its dependability and this is reflected in reliability surveys like JD Power. In the 2015 survey Toyota was one of the top 5 manufacturers with 0.88 issues per vehicle, while Land Rover was very firmly buried in the lower reaches at 1.52 - markedly worse than the industry average of 1.14. Neither car has been tested by EuroNCAP, though the Discovery's largely identical predecessor was tested in 2009 and scored four stars. The Antipodean equivalent ANCAP rated the Land Cruiser at five stars in 2013 - scoring nearly 90% on aggregate and full marks in the side impact test.
Throughout the Land Cruiser's history there has been very little terrain that could beat it - and that now includes the Land Rover Discovery!
For more information on the Toyota Land Cruiser, click here: https://www.inchcapetoyota.co.uk/cars/toyota-range/land-cruiser/