Off-roader completely reinvented for first time in nearly15 years
Adds capability, slashes weight, is still 100 percent Land Cruiser
The all-new Toyota Land Cruiser has officially launched. The 300 series is a complete redo of the model, replacing one that launched in 2007, but meant to accomplish the off-road, utility, and luxury jobs that have been a Land Cruiser trademark for decades.
Still a ladder frame for durability, new welding techniques have helped make the new frame stronger, with better safety performance, but much lighter than the outgoing LC. Combine that with more high-tensile steel and aluminum for the hood, roof, and doors, and the new Land Cruiser is a very useful 200 kg lighter. That means a lower center of gravity, better weight distribution, and even a better driving position all helping the truck’s performance on and off-road.
A new suspension with double wishbones in the front and trailing links in the rear adds suspension articulation for off-road traction and performance. Toyota says the positioning of the rear shocks has improved steering and ride comfort at the same time. It also offers an adaptive suspension that varies each damper independently. The headlights are high up, the radiator is high up, and the bumpers are shaped to help clear trail obstacles.
Multi Terrain Monitor, a camera system seen on other Toyota trucks, is expanded on the Land Cruiser to offer four under-vehicle cameras. These will let the driver see all around the underside of the truck off-road, hopefully alleviating the need for a spotter.
A 3.5L twin-turbo gas engine making 409 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque will be available, along with a 3.3L twin-turbo diesel V6 making 305 horses and 516 lb-ft of torque. Toyota says the diesel’s new variable nozzle turbos will deliver “thrilling acceleration in all manner of scenarios.” Both get a 10-speed automatic.
The Land Cruiser is the same exterior size as the model it replaces, giving it that same level of trail-fitting performance. The seats, though, have been moved around for more comfort, more cargo space, and better collision performance.
If you were impressed by smart keys and phone keys, the new Land Cruiser blows them out of the water. A fingerprint sensor linked to the ignition will start the engine with a push of a thumb, no key required.
The Toyota 300 Series Land Cruiser starts from 5.1m Yen, or around $60,000 Canadian. Most expensive is the diesel GR Sport model, which starts from around $92,000, though we don’t expect either to come to Canada anytime soon.