Sadly, for it’s an amazingly capable vehicle, Toyota sells way fewer than 1,000 Land Cruiser V8s in the UK each year. Despite the 250g/km CO2 number, the 25mpg average, and the GBP63,910 price tag that keep it such a well kept secret, Glenn Brooks wants one.

First up, confession time. The Land Cruiser V8 is absolutely my kind of car. Granted, it isn’t ideal for the south of England, due mostly to the hassle of parking it in many places, but it’s an amazingly capable vehicle. Which do you want in your driveway next time snow falls suddenly and heavily? The nation’s best selling Fiesta, or one of these?

I won’t bore you by banging on too much about how out of sync we are with so many other parts of the world other than to say the Land Cruiser is the SUV for anyone who needs to have faultless reliability from their big 4×4. If it breaks down in the desert, you tend to die. People in places like the Middle East and Australia know that, so they buy these, as well as the petrol-engined Lexus variant, the LX 570.

Toyota doesn’t offer its 5.7-litre V8 in the Land Cruiser, instead fitting a 4.0-litre V6 and/or a 4.6-litre V8 in its place so as to keep the bigger unit exclusive to the Lexus. We don’t get the LX 570 here in the UK (of Toyota Motor Europe’s markets, it’s only available in Russia and certain CIS countries), nor are we offered any form of petrol-powered Land Cruiser – the engineering and homologation costs likely couldn’t be justified.

The 4,461cc diesel V8, standard for the British market, is coming up for its fifth birthday and it’s still a pretty sophisticated bit of engineering. It produces 268bhp or 200kW, but the torque figure is what really impresses: 650Nm at a mere 1,600-2,900rpm. If you need to pull a tree stump out of your lawn, this’ll do it. Come to think of it, you could probably also level a forest if you wanted to.

That wave of torque driving through the standard six-speed auto gearbox makes for silky progress be it just around town, or at higher speeds. Zero to 62mph takes 8.9 seconds, and the top speed is said to be 130mph. Motorway cruising is quieter than you might imagine and one of the advantages of the sheer size of the thing is that you can see a long way ahead – or over the cars in front when you get caught in a jam.

The latest Land Cruiser, fresh from a mid-life styling and on-board electronics update earlier in the year, boasts something that does help with the irritation of Britain’s clogged roads: TPEG digital traffic information using DAB technology.

TPEG, shorthand for Travel Protocol Expert Group, is part of something called Toyota Touch Pro, said to be the most advanced version of the Toyota Touch multimedia system. Its clever trick is that it will provide you with detailed, accurate and timely traffic information, co-ordinated with the SatNav system, whereas the usual RDS-TMC system in so many cars is limited to alerts about incidents, such as accidents or roadworks.

In my experience, TPEG did what Toyota claims it will do. I was told where the roadworks were, as well as collisions and jammed roads and offered a re-routing option and expected new time of arrival at my destination. Is it a stress prevention technology? For me it was.

Something else which impressed me was just how fast the this system is. It’s said that it’s up to five times quicker at sending you traffic news compared to an analogue service – how many times have you seen a motorway exit coming up and missed it while waiting for the Navi system to suggest a new route to stop you getting caught up in a tailback?

Toyota says that the 10-times greater digital bandwidth of DAB means TPEG can give motorists more detailed intelligence about what’s happening on the road ahead. So you receive details of traffic speeds, the length of queues and the impact of a delay on overall travel time. You also get pinpoint accuracy thanks to latitude/longitude co-ordinates: RDS-TMC can only give you the general location of incidents and jams.

Toyota GB has fitted Toyota Touch Pro, plus a lifetime subscription to the service, as standard to the Land Cruiser but it is also being rolled out to cheaper models. You can also have it as part of the Technology Pack that is offered for the Prius T Spirit but on that one, it’s an extra cost option.

So we know the keep-you-moving technology’s state of the art, but what about the rest of the interior? Build quality, as you’d expect, is impeccable. The Land Cruiser comes from the same Tahara plant in Japan which also makes the Lexus LX 570, which says it all. You also get a lot for your money. Between the front seats (which are themselves fitted with integrated air-con fans) there’s a fridge which you can load up with multiple bottles of water, the steering wheel is electrically adjustable, the headlights and wipers are automatic, the four-zone A/C chills or heats the vast interior amazingly rapidly, there are 14 – yes 14 – airbags and there’s loads of room for all seven occupants.

I didn’t have the chance to take this car off-road, more’s the pity, but you just know it’s got what it takes when you see the spec-sheet includes a limited-slip diff, active height control for the suspension and five-speed crawl control. Match that, BMW X5. Still, you can’t really imagine too many people cross-shopping these two vehicles. The likely Land Cruiser-considerer would more likely be a Discovery owner wondering if he should switch brands for something a bit novel, especially when the new Range Rover is also now way more pricey than the big Toyota.

People who drive these kinds of vehicles tend not to spend too much time noting the price of fuel but there are of course other bills to keep in mind for anything with a high average CO2 emissions number. The Land Cruiser pushes out a Combined 250g/km, while its VED band is M and its insurance group is 48E. Consider also the Combined fuel consumption of 29.7mpg or a more realistic 25.2 on the Urban cycle and you soon see why this vehicle is a relative rarity on UK roads.

In common with the Toyota, I’m an import to these isles so I often find myself questioning the established order of things. I can see why Land Rover vehicles sell  well here and the build quality is now much improved, so they deserve to be as successful as they are. Sometimes, though, you can have too much of a good thing – the home brand is everywhere, especially in England’s highly populated southern parts.

In my week of driving the Land Cruiser, which incidentally looked menacingly cool in black, I never saw another one. Weighing up all other factors, I’m certain I’m not the only person out there for whom that would be the thing to tip a buying decision. After all, shouldn’t premium pricing buy you a certain amount of exclusivity?