What is an ASG 4×4 LandCruiser Midi?
LandCruiser Midi is a term coined by ASG 4×4 to describe their mid-wheel based LandCruiser wagon to ute conversions.
ASG 4×4 add 350mm to the chassis length in the conversion process, which takes the wheelbase from 2,850mm to 3,200mm. For comparison, the 70 Series LandCruiser ute (in both single and dual cab variants) has a wheelbase of 3,180mm.
A 200 Series LandCruiser is an expensive base vehicle to cut, but ASG 4×4 has done an expert job. The curve radius from the roofline down into the vertical looks natural, and the bevelled corners ensure there is no sharpness to the transition. The rear window is large and shaped to suit the wider lower stance of the body.
How Did it Drive?
I’ve had the opportunity to drive this vehicle in the city, on the highway and off-road. While the 200 Series is a big vehicle, and this one is a little longer, it’s still possible (not easy) to use this vehicle in the city, whereas the more extended conversions get pretty tricky.
On the highway, it’s a powerful 200 Series; there is nothing to fault. A tall family could crisscross Australia with ample comfort in every seat and plenty of room for gear.
Off-road, this vehicle felt like a standard 200 Series. The extra length seemed to tuck in and follow. The turning circle, while slightly bigger, still allowed for regular feeling turnarounds. With a 2” lift and marginally larger tyres, the ramp over angle still allowed plenty of clearance. 200 Series soak up the bumps well; with remote reservoir shock absorbers and a slightly longer wheelbase, this Midi was particularly smooth.
The only real challenge off-road is width. Again, it’s not a real issue, but if you fit a 2m wide tray or canopy, it’s something you’ll need to watch on the tighter tracks.
What is the Approximate Cost?
I’ll touch on cost, but only to offer a ballpark guide, especially with the 300 Series pricing still yet to be released.
This list breaks down the components and shows the approximate base cost:
- 2020 LandCruiser Wagon GX $76,500
- ASG 4×4 Dual Cab Conversion $19,525
- ASG 4×4 Chassis Extension $6,325
- Second Stage of Manufacture Compliance $985
- Total $103,335
ASG 4×4 fit the Midi with a 4,200kg GVM upgrade in the process, which costs an additional $4,000 or more depending on the suspension chosen. However, I’ve decided to leave this cost off the above total as most remote overlanders/4×4 tourers upgrade the GVM of any vehicle.
Ultimate 4WD, the Western Australian ASG 4×4 dealer, added the accessories to the vehicle we tested. I’ve left these off the cost as these are similarly priced irrespective of the base vehicle you choose.
Comparing a LandCruiser Midi GX to a LandCruiser 79 Series GXL
Currently, Toyota lists the price of the 79 Series LandCruiser GXL model as $87,405. However, the GXL 79 Series comes with a tray for that price, whereas the ASG 4×4 tray pictured in this review is an additional cost. But if you are looking at adding your favourite touring tray or canopy to either vehicle, you’ll be starting from a bare chassis.
So comparing the two vehicles:
- The 200 Series Midi is $15,930 more expensive
- You may choose to correct the rear track on the 79 Series
- The Midi has a 20mm longer wheelbase
- The Midi can accommodate a wider tray – 2,000mm
- The Midi is an automatic
- The Midi has more rear passenger room
Comparing the Midi to a 3,500mm Wheelbase 200 Series Conversion
Another popular ASG 4×4 build is the 650mm extension. It’s a tricky decision, and the 650mm extension allows for a larger canopy without overloading the axle, but the cost is manoeuvrability. Switchback corners can become three-point turns, and tight turnarounds can become tougher again.
With the width of the 200 Series, it’s still possible to fit a roomy compact style canopy to the Midi without overloading the rear axle. If you enjoy more technical exploring, the Midi is a more agile vehicle. But for those focussed on maximum storage, the 3,500 wheelbase is the obvious choice.
Comparing the Midi to the Hilux
The jump up is certainly more considerable from a Hilux than the 79 Series:
- The SR5 costs $66,773, leaving a difference of $36,562
- The Rugged X costs $77,500, so the gap is $25,835
- The wheelbase of the Hilux is 3,085mm, 115mm shorter than the Midi
The Midi has an obvious advantage when looking at the rear passenger room and width (tray/canopy size). However, for those of you that carry or tow heavy loads, the other clear advantage is the performance of the 200 Series engine.
A Run Through of the Test Vehicle
The test vehicle belongs to Ultimate 4WD in Perth. We’ve featured one of their more extended wheelbase ASG 4×4 conversions previously.
The front of this Midi is an ARB Sahara Bar, ARB recovery points, Lightforce Genesis LED driving lights and a Runva 13XP Premium winch.
On the rear is an ASG 4×4 Deluxe Aluminium Tray with tapered rear toolboxes. The tray measures 2,000 wide x 1,550 long!
The already powerful 200 Series has a Safari ARMAX ECU and Snorkel for additional performance and protection.
BFGoodrich KO2s in 305/65R18 sit in Method 305 NV HD rims 18” diameter x 9” wide with +25 offset.
The 4,200 GVM includes TJM Pace Suspension, and Blackhawk upper control arms compensate for the lift.
Clearview Power Boards protect the sills and provide an excellent low step for easy access.
A Kenwood DMX9720XDS stereo offers a little ‘Sahara luxury’.
A GME XRS-370C combined with the on glass GME AE5004 works surprisingly well.
While the Hilux, and similar vehicles like the D-MAX, are competent remote travel vehicles, and the 79 Series is a hard option to beat, the ASG 4×4 LandCruiser Midi is an excellent addition to the line-up, and we look forward to seeing version 300 Series!