In other parts of the world, Toyota sells their big Land Cruiser SUV with an optional diesel engine. In the latest redesign that debuted in 2007, the diesel is an all-new 4.5L V-8 engine that replaced a long-running inline six cylinder diesel. Recently, German magazine Auto Motor und Sport put the new Land Cruiser diesel through its paces and it apparently didn't fare too well. While the interior panel fits left much to be desired, the real problem was the mechanical performance. The 286hp diesel engine, which would be expected to yield some improved fuel economy for the 5,800lb truck, was unable to match the rated 23 mpg (U.S.) numbers and only managed to eke out 15.3 miles from each U.S.-size gallon of diesel. Since the full article doesn't appear to be online at the moment, it's hard to know what kind of driving they did or whether this is consistent with the way Auto Motor und Sport does their testing. It's certainly possible they were particularly hard on the go pedal. Hopefully that is the case because that same engine is expected to be the one that Toyota installs in the U.S. Tundra and Sequioa in 2010. Another troubling result was the braking performance. With cold brakes the Land Cruiser took 144ft to halt from 62mph. Among modern vehicles that a mediocre result with most vehicles these days getting closer to 130ft or less. When the brakes warmed up things got really scary as the stopping distance climbed to 184ft. If you're driving one of these you might want to pay close attention and anticipate when you need to slow down.

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport, AutoSpies]

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