This is it: New Toyota Land Cruiser revealed, stays true to its roots

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Words: Matthew Hansen
10 Jun 2021

The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the most revered SUVs on the planet, thanks to its proven reliability, its capability, and its simplicity. In today’s car world it seems increasingly difficult for Toyota to sell such a car, with the emphasis on technology and comfort. But, the brand’s new Land Cruiser appears to offer the best of both worlds.

Unveiled overnight, the new Land Cruiser continues to use a body-on-frame platform. However, this time it’s based on the brand’s TNGA architecture. Toyota says this makes it lighter and more rigid, with a net weight loss of 200kg.

The looks are somewhat new, with three variants shown off by the brand. The entry-level model and flagship (which we suspect will be called the Limited) get lashings of chrome, with the latter getting a slick little body kit to help differentiate it. Then there’s the third model; a new GR Sport model.

The GR Sport gets its own unique, aggressive looking front end (the smaller front bumper will aid approach angle, too) as well as black wheel arch trim and black wheels. Toyota has yet to reveal the model’s mechanical differences, but it’s been speculated that it will get more power and torque than the standard models. A reveal is coming later this year.

For the rest of the line-up, two engines have been confirmed. The first is a 3.5-litre petrol V6 producing 305kW of power and 650Nm of torque. The second is a 3.3-litre diesel V6, producing 227kW of power and a handy 700Nm of torque. Each gets a 10-speed automatic.

Want more numbers? Well, here you go. Despite the switch to a different platform, the new 300 series features the same dimensions as the outgoing 200 series. It’s 4990mm long, 1980mm wide, and features a 2850mm wheelbase.

Toyota says it designed the new Land Cruiser to be a gun off road. The bumpers are designed to not catch on rocks or water crossings. The lights were positioned in such a way to make them less likely to be cracked by fauna and flora while you’re on tight tracks. In their words, it’s “a vehicle that promises to take you anywhere and everywhere and come back alive and safe”.

This thinking is complemented by a reworked suspension system. Along with improved articulation, Toyota has given the Land Cruiser something called an Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, or E-KDSS for short.

This is the updated version of the KDSS package that appeared on the 200 series, which used interconnected hydraulic cylinders to adjust front and rear stabilisers. The old system was mechanical, with the new replacement presumably being quicker reacting and more automated.

The cabin has also received a handy redesign, bringing a touch of Lexus to the Toyota line. The proud central touchscreen might look like a big tech statement, but it’s worth noting that Toyota hasn’t actually fitted the Land Cruiser with a full digital cluster alongside it. Yes, you get standard analogue dials for your speedometer and tach.

Old school, I like it.

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