Whether we admit or not, we Filipinos seem to be in love with the Sport Utility Vehicle. Everywhere you go, wherever yu turn, you will see an example of this high-riding conveyance that somehow gives its owner the go-anywhere feeling.
For those that want their rides big (and most people seem to, these days), nothing conveys that image of power more than the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and Nissan Patrol Royale. While each of these offerings started life as a no-frills, rugged off-roader that catered to Japanese farmers, they have morphed into luxo-barges that are the ride of choice of many a corporate executive and those in power.
And why not. These vehicles are truly capable, with their robust chassis and four-wheel drive systems. Never mind that that they are usually confined to roaming city streets, just like a caged beast. Take the Land Cruiser 200, for instance, with its 4.5-liter Common-Rail Direct-injection diesel V8 that puts 232hp at 3,200rpm and an earth-shaking 615Nm at between 1,800-2,200rpm. All that juice is sent to all four wheels by a 6-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system with Hi/Lo settings.
The Nissan Patrol Royale is no slouch, with its 5.6-liter naturally-aspirated V8, this time running on gasoline and employing Variable Valve Event and Lift technology. This nets it 400hp at 5,800rpm and 560Nm at 4,000 revs. Power is also sent to all four wheels courtesy of a 7-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel drive.
As they roam the city streets or go on that occasional out of town jaunt, their owners will be happy to know that each of these large behemoths ride on capable underpinnings. The Land Cruiser 200 uses independent double wishbones with coil springs up front and 4-link with coil springs and lateral Rod out back. Both ends also get the benefit of Kinetic Dynamic Suspension system that promises a fine balance between ride comfort and off-road capability—should the need arise.
The Nissan counters this with a set of independent double wishbones with Hydraulic Body Motion Control. This piece of kit promises the same fine mix of comfort and capability. The Nissan gets 275/60R20 rubber while the LC uses wider 285/60 tires, though the size is down to 18 inches.
When it comes to keeping its occupants safe, the Toyota boasts 7 SRS airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag. It likewise gets goodies like Vehicle Stability Control Active Traction Control, Multi-terrain Select, and CRAWL Control. The Nissan may only have 6 SRS airbags, and the same Vehicle Stability Control. Yet it makes the driver’s life much easier with the Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Parking Guides.
Needless to say, each of these rides is loaded with niceties such as leather seats, moonroof, the requite all-power features, and multimedia infotainment systems. And they both seat seven to eight people in comfort.
The Toyota Land Cruiser 200 retails from P4,284,000 all the way to P4,650,000. The Nissan Patrol Royale only comes in one variant, selling for P3,749,000.