The Land Rover Defender 90 recently went on sale in South Africa, with the top-of-the-line diesel trim being the Defender 90 D300 X.
In terms of price, features, and specifications, one competitor stands out among the rest: the Toyota Land Cruiser 200.
Below, these capable SUVs battle it out to see which offers the best value for money at R1.6 million.
It’s a given these SUVs come equipped with leather interiors, climate control, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and large infotainment displays.
They also support Bluetooth, but the Defender adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – which the Land Cruiser does not.
Additionally, electrically-adjustable heated and cooled front seats are fitted in both, while the Toyota’s seconds row of seats are heated, too.
Both are then treated to a sunroof as standard, as well as keyless entry and start, and adaptive cruise control.
What sets these premium SUVs apart, however, is what they have on top of this.
This particular Defender comes with a heads-up-display, a personalisable digital instrument cluster, an assisted tailgate, and Land Rover’s ClearSight rear-view mirror that displays a feed from the rear-view camera.
The Land Cruiser does not boast these systems, but makes up for it with seven seats, a cooler box inside the cabin, a wireless charger, and Toyota Connect – an app that enables an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and displays vehicle data on your smartphone.
Along with the high levels of standard equipment comes high levels of safety.
The Land Rover achieves a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating and offers ABS with emergency braking, a 360-degree camera, all-round parking sensors, blind spot assist, lane keep assist, wade sensors, hill launch and descent assist, brake hold, and a clear exit, rear collision, and rear traffic monitor.
The Toyota gets a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and sports ABS with brake assist, a reverse camera, all-round parking sensors, blind spot assist, lane keep assist, hill assist control, an over-run and speed limiter, and a pre-crash programme that prepares the vehicle when a collision is imminent.
The impressive showdown kicks it up a gear in the performance department, where these SUVs battle it out with 4×4 capabilities.
The Defender D300 is fitted with a 3.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine that produces 221kW and 650Nm – paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
It also gets electronic air suspension, an active differential, cornering brake control, trailer stability assist, a new terrain response system, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The suspension setup provides a 216mm clearance, and segment-leading approach and exit angles along with a maximum water wading depth of 900mm.
All elements combined will let this Defender reach 100km/h in 6.7 seconds, tow up to 3,500kg, scale 45-degree inclines, and use fuel at a rate of 7.6l/100km.
A 4.5-litre, turbo-diesel motor is installed in the range-topping Land Cruiser 200, which mates with a six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission to generate 195kW and 650Nm.
It has less-fancy features than the much newer Land Rover, but still provides a multi-terrain select programme, crawl control, a tool set, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Toyota’s ground clearance comes in at a higher 230mm, but less-aggressive angles and a 700mm maximum wade depth means it can’t go everywhere the Defender can.
This is compensated for by its massive size, however, as the Land Cruiser 200 can carry just over 600 litres of cargo in five-seater mode – while the Defender is only capable of 397 litres.
Combined fuel consumption for this vehicle is rated at 10.2l/100km, 0-100km/h is done in 8.6 seconds, and a maximum braked towing capacity of 3,500kg is available.
The Land Rover Defender 90 D300 X has a South African price of R1,617,752.
This includes a 5-year/100,000km Land Rover Care Plan.
The Toyota Land Cruiser 200 4.5D V8 VX-R has a South African price of R1,606,600.
Included in the price is a 3-year/100,000km warranty and a 9-services/90,000km service plan.