Toyota reveals all-new Land Cruiser 300

It's all change for the legendary 4×4 – except where it counts, of course

By PH Staff / Wednesday, June 9, 2021 / Loading comments

Toyota doesn’t sell the Land Cruiser in the UK anymore. This is understandable. Its traditionalism, size and price meant it was always a niche item in this country. For 70 years the Land Cruiser has been about conquering mountain ranges and savannah and boundless deserts. For the Lake District, it’s a bit much. Plus you could always buy a Range Rover. Which mostly everyone did.

But we don’t apologise to pointing you at a new version because they don’t come round very often. Toyota says this is the first new ‘station wagon’ variant since it launched the 200 Series in 2007. As life cycles go, that’s glacial. This one is called the 300 (no time wasted on naming conventions) and is notable because it is completely and utterly new – new platform, new engines, new 10-speed auto, new suspension, new look, new cabin.

And yet in length, width, wheelbase and departure and approach angles, the Land Cruiser is the same. Because if it’s not broke, Toyota doesn’t fix it. Rather this is about bringing the model into the 21st century, hence the deployment of a new TNGA platform – the GA-F. This is the first designed for a body-on-frame model, and, as you can imagine, it’s modernity is said to result in a quantum leap forward in rigidity, safety and dynamism.

Most significantly, it reduces the Land Cruiser’s kerbweight by 200kg, which is a significant off-loading of timber even in a car which remains unapologetically large. Attached to it is a chassis that boasts an epic acronym even by Toyota standards: E-KDSS – Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System. Pow. The manufacturer doesn’t go into specifics in the press material, but we’re told to expect optimum wheel articulation in virtually any situation.

Especially when it’s combined with a new Multi-Terrain Monitor to give you a real-time view of the surface beneath you – and automatically adjust the driving mode to suit. Clever. Powering the Land Cruiser over obstacles large and small is a twin-turbo V6 in 3.5-litre petrol and 3.3-litre diesel flavours. So no more V8, but Toyota is promising class-leading performance and superior drivability from both.

Then there’s the styling, which despite the manufacturer’s claims of newness, is all about consistency. It looks like a Land Cruiser – and that’s plenty good enough. Or it ought to be for the rest of the world at any rate. Toyota UK tells us the closest the new model will get to the UK is Russia. Which is probably about right; if we were driving across Siberia, it’s precisely the car we’d choose to be in.


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