Toyota has been named the best manufacturer and Land Cruiser has won the “most improved” honour in the 4×4 Awards, presented by 4×4 Magazine.
Announcing the Manufacturer of the Year Award, 4×4 Magazine commented: “Toyota has always had our respect for its famed build quality; now the 4x4s it’s building are spot-on, too.”
It highlighted the launch last year of the Land Cruiser Utility, with its simplified specification, the prospect of the all-new RAV4 Hybrid with increased off-road capability and the introduction of an Arctic Trucks-engineered AT35 version of the Hilux pick-up, designed to deal with even more extreme conditions.
Where Land Cruiser is concerned, 4×4 Magazine reported: “What has made all the difference is the introduction of the new Utility model, which has brought this outstanding off-roader within reach for those who want just that – an outstanding off-roader. At last you don’t need to shell out for luxury toys to get this legendary 4×4.”
It pointed out that the Land Cruiser Utility has also been made available in van form – in its words, “perfection perfected”.
The all-new RAV4, arriving in the UK in the spring, will be exclusively available as a self-charging hybrid. The range will include versions with a new intelligent electric all-wheel drive system, AWD-i. The AWD-i concept is also being applied to the 2019 Toyota Prius, the first time a Toyota hybrid passenger car has been given all-wheel drive capability. The system, engineered specifically for Prius, provides automatic all-wheel drive at low speeds when pulling away from stationary, and engages at higher speeds when low-grip conditions are detected.
Mark Roden, sales director of Toyota GB, said: “It’s a great seal of approval to receive these awards for what we have accomplished with Land Cruiser and with our wider range of all-wheel drive vehicles. This year we will be demonstrating how new electric AWD technology can provide our self-charging hybrids with new dimensions in performance, both for off-road driving and for safer handling in difficult on-road conditions, giving the driver peace of mind without compromising fuel efficiency and low emissions.”