AM&S: Toyota Land Cruiser Sucks (But Them's the Brakes)

Martin Schwoerer
by Martin Schwoerer
am s toyota land cruiser sucks but them s the brakes

The famously chauvinistic German monthly Auto, Motor & Sport (AM&S) recently gave the Toyota Land Cruiser 4.5 V8 the thumbs down. They called it uneconomical, expensive and declaimed the uncomfortable rear seats. The major (and headline-making) factor: AM&S says the Cruiser's brakes suck. More politely, they "perform miserably." To reach this conclusion, the Germans conducted ten braking tests. With cold brakes, the Land Cruiser needed 44 meters to come to a halt from 100 – 0 km/h. When the brakes were hot, the car needed an "alarming" 56 meters to come to a complete stop. Hang on, who carries out repeated high-speed panic stops with a 4X4, or an SUV? For its part, AM&S says there's no real reason why a SUV has to fail this test, since the Mercedes GL and G models fare way better (natch). In the past, many cars from Toyota and Lexus have performed poorly in the braking department in various Auto Motor & Sport tests. The Land Cruiser joins the Jeep Wrangler & Commander, Mitsubishi L200, Hummer H2 and Cadillac Escalade as the worst braking SUV's tested so far. Of course, a SUV that's used for lugging a trailer through the Rockies needs good brakes, but it seems likely that better testing criteria could be found for this task.

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  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Mar 03, 2008

    A Greek reader, Mr. Kambas, sent me this email...

    Dear sir,

    Since I was not able to leave a comment on your news post [TTAC investigating] about AM&S criticism on the Toyota Land Cruiser's brakes performance, I would like to inform you that the Greek version of the magazine is in courts with Fiat Hellas (the Greek Fiat importer) after the new Fiat Bravo 1.4 failed the same test carried out here in Athens.

    The Bravo's brakes failed completely on the 3rd attempt of the procedure resulting in the car to crash and stop on bush at the end of the airport runway where the test was taking place. Fiat took the magazine to court for publishing this, accusing AM&S for "improper methods" of testing. The magazine carried out a research and found out that the model on test, a special 1.4 petrol version for Greece and Portugal, is equipped with the smaller in diameter disk brakes from the Fiat Grande Punto.

    Other Bravo models, including all sold in Europe are equipped with larger brakes, on par with the C-segment competition. Whether the disk size is relevant to the complete failure of Bravo's brakes is of course to be proven, however the matter is now awaiting trial and AM&S is banned from all Fiat/Lancia/Alfa Romeo press cars. Links can be found on the Greek AM&S site.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Mar 03, 2008

    A failing judgment for brakes is a little iffy. It's probably glazed pads/calipers from an abused press car. And I wonder who glazed them in the first place. :)

  • Dinu Dinu on Mar 03, 2008

    I always thought braking distance from a set speed should be measured and advertised, along with real world fuel consumption (EPA city is what real people seem to average) and torque instead of HP and price... But that's just me.

  • 210delray 210delray on Mar 03, 2008

    184 ft from 62 to 0 mph is "alarming," assuming I did the math correctly? And on the 10th panic stop?