The Land Cruiser has been a resolute of the Toyota range for a remarkable 70 years, while the biggest of them all – the 200 series – has evolved into a luxurious vehicle that also happens to be ridiculously capable off-road. But the time has come for the 200 to sail off into the sunset and be replaced by a more modern, greener vehicle.
Toyota has unveiled the newest generation of its legendary Land Cruiser SUV, the LC300-generation 2022 Land Cruiser, which sits on an all new platform, gets new looks, and receives two twin-turbo V-6 engine options.
The all-new LC300 is more contemporary and, yes, it is much cleaner, but don’t take those things to mean ‘soft’, because the 300 packs an even bigger punch than the 200.
The naturally aspirated V-8 in the 200-series Land Cruiser has been dropped for the LC300 model and has been replaced by two choices of twin-turbo V-6. The first is a 3.5-liter gasoline model making up to 409 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, and the other being a 3.3-liter diesel-powered motor that produces a staggering 304 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Both engines send power to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota claims the ten-speed automatic transmission reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 10% compared to the previous-generation model. Toyota says there will also be a naturally aspirated V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission available in some markets, but did not disclose details on that powertrain.
Toyota’s gone back to the drawing board, using its modular GA-F platform as a base for the new LC300 model. The new chassis saves around 220 kgs over the old SUV while improving weight distribution and providing a lower center of gravity.
Additionally, Toyota’s added two new pieces of off-roading tech to improve performance. There’s a “Multi-Terrain Monitor,” which displays obstacles at the front of the car so the driver can see them more easily, and “Multi-Terrain Select,” which automatically selects the best driving mode based on road conditions. Along with that, New electronic ‘kinetic dynamic’ suspension has been fitted, mated with a multi-terrain select system, along with some additional assist systems, including pre-collision detection and a new parking support brake.
Looks-wise, the LC300 gets splashes of modernity inside and out, with a new fascia sporting a massive grille and a headlight design that reminds us somewhat of the GR Yaris hot hatch.
As far as the cabin is concerned, the front seats have been moved backwards, and the structure and positioning of the second and third rows have been redesigned. This has led to enhanced interior comfort, greater luggage space capacity, and superior collision safety performance. In particular, the third row of seats can be retracted into the floor to make luggage loading and unloading easier
Despite the new platform, the Land Cruiser 300 retains the same total length and wheelbase length, and the same approach angle, departure angle, and ramp breakover angle as the previous generation, and so inherits the 200 Series’ ease of handling and off-road performance.