This ought to bring out the haters!
If I was really, really honest, I could never see the reason why anyone would want to buy just about any recent iteration of Toyota’s Land Cruiser. After the 80 series I reckon the plot was well and truly lost as a super-tourer, Toyota more concerned with making a luxo-barge for around town, such is the lot of the modern 4X4 wagon.
My disdain revolves around one glaring omission and that is an ability to carry anything like a decent load. With a typical base kerb weight around 2,700kgs and a stated gross vehicle mass of only 3350kgs, adding any kit will be impossible if you intend carrying passengers. Bad luck if you want to do any towing!
When I was in Western Australia in August I saw plenty of 200s on the highways, all of them towing and all loaded up to buggery and I bet most of them over-GVM and therefore illegal. You will have seen them, a tinny on the roof and a massive roof rack to carry it, a bullbar, winch, fridge in the back and of course the obligatory monster caravan with everything and the kitchen sink. There’s nothing wrong with aspirations in retirement, but at what risk?
The good folk at ARB have been beavering away again to find a solution to this dilemma and the engineers have just released a second option via their suspension arm Old Man Emu. Now this suspension system is designed right here in Australia by the ARB-OME techs in Melbourne and manufactured in my home State of South Australia. That gives me some assurance that the kit will be right because it’s designed for Australia and with typical Australian use in mind. Oh, and it provides employment for Australians and that is definitely a good thing.
The first option was a kit that supplied a 300kg increase, modest but still very useful taking the payload to 3,650kgs. But such is the want of today’s caravanista, they always want more, so more they get. The latest upgrade takes the GVM to 4015kgs.
Now if you bought the poverty-pack GX you’ve just picked up a total payload of 1,375kgs, or if you prefer a full-fat 200 you’ll get a total of 1,275kgs. That’s more like it. That way you can put a bum on every seat and still have room for trinkets and the tow-ball downforce of that van or boat.
There’s another good reason to opt for an upgrade like this and that is there’ll always be a massive improvement in the way the vehicle behaves both on and off-road, because we’ve said it time and time again, stock suspension is appalling and it doesn’t matter who makes the vehicle, it’s all junk.
Gone will be the wallowing blancmange (that’s a French dessert with jelly-like wobble, a bit like panna cotta) and imprecise handling. There’ll be a modest trade-off in ride comfort but that’s small change compared to the safety benefits of having your springs and shocks doing what they should be doing, suspending the mass of the vehicle correctly.
Call your local ARB store for details or visit https://www.arb.com.au/old-man-emu-4×4-suspension/gvm-upgrades/