Few vehicles on the road are as recognizable as the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser, which was first introduced in 1951 under the name “Toyota Jeep BJ.” The Land Cruiser has since cemented itself as a reliable off road vehicle capable of tackling any terrain its driver throws at it, and now, it is getting a modern upgrade. The new Toyota Land Cruiser 300, which comes in six trim levels (GX, GXL, VX, Sahara, Sahara ZX, and GR Sport), is the most powerful model yet. And while the 300-series likely won’t make its way to the US, the international market will have an array of new features to enjoy.
- The most prominent upgrade on the 300-series Land Cruiser compared to the outgoing 200-series is its two new engine options, a 409-horsepower gasoline twin-turbo 3.4-liter V-6 with 479 pound-feet of torque, or a 304-horsepower turbodiesel twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 with 516 pound-feet of torque. The new model produces more diesel power than ever before, putting down 227 kW and 700 Nm, all while lowering CO2 emissions. Ten-speed automatic transmission and 4WD are standard, and towing capacity is 3500 kg.
Body and Frame
The Land Cruiser 300 is built on an updated version of the traditional ladder frame, which is 20% more rigid and also extremely lightweight; the 300 weighs 440 pounds less than the 200. This frame also provides improved collision safety, lowers the center of gravity, and makes for a quieter ride.
The Land Cruiser was never meant to spend its entire life on paved streets, and the new 300 is designed for rugged off-roading. On the GXL trim level and above, Multi Terrain Select, which has a new Automatic Mode, uses an advanced algorithm to adjust the hydraulic pressure of the brakes, the driving force, and the suspension systems for improved traction. On the GR Sport, the E-KDSS (Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) also improves both the on-road and off-road experience by responding to conditions in real time.
While the exterior of the 300-series doesn’t look that different from its predecessor, aside for some changes to the grille, lights and tailgate, it now has a much more modern interior. The VX and up have a moonroof as well as heated and ventilated front seats, and the Sahara and up have heated and ventilated second-row seats as well. Plus, there is space for the whole family to come along, with seven seats on the GXL, VX and Sahara and five seats on the GX, Sahara ZX and GR Sport. A cleaner dash and large tablet-style infotainment screen should improve the driving experience, while extra touches like a carbon fiber look on the steering wheel, center console and door trim add to the luxurious feel.
The 300-series is the lightest, most powerful and most luxurious iteration of this classic model to date, all while staying true to the Land Cruiser’s ethos of “reliability, durability, and off-road performance.”
Source: Pictures from Toyota Global