It's been a long wait. But after numerous spy photos, leaked documents, and teaser videos the all-new Land Cruiser 300 is finally out. And since Toyota has been opting to hold the world premieres of their models in the strongest markets (i.e. all-new Hiace premiered in the Philippines), they chose to reveal the all new LC in the Middle East.
Thanks to numerous spy photos, we already have a good idea of what the new Land Cruiser looks like. Rather than giving the SUV a radical makeover, Toyota decided to give the 300 Series Land Cruiser a more subtle redesign. The front end is dominated by a large grille flanked by squarish headlights. The headlights are connected by a black trim piece that forms a U-shape surrounding the grille. Meanwhile, the foglights have been moved down near the bottom of the bumper. There's also more sculpting on the hood compared to the outgoing 200 Series model.
There are two distinct versions that Toyota debuted; one version has the T logo on the grille, while the other version has TOYOTA on the grille. While it may seem like a base model, the latter is the GR-Sport version as evidenced by the sportier black accents and black wheels.
Along the side, the fenders have been squared off, giving it a more muscular look. Meanwhile, the high window line makes the SUV look taller than it is. Depending on the variant, there are various wheel sizes and designs available on the new Land Cruiser.
At the rear, the new Land Cruiser closely resembles the out-going model. But rather than square taillights, they've been rounded off and made smaller to match the front. The new rear bumper doesn't have much overhang as well, making it look flatter. Higher trim models will come with a sunroof once again.
It's hard to debate about the new Land Cruiser's design. Everyone will have their own opinion on whether they like it or not. But if you ask us, we like how Toyota's new flagship SUV looks. Now onto the engines.
Unfortunately for the V8 lovers, the reports were true. The engine options have been downsized; only V6 engines are available. Specifically, the launch models are available with either a 3.3-liter V6 diesel engine rated at 309 PS and 700 Nm torque or a new turbocharged V6 petrol engine good for 415 PS and 650 Nm torque.
Both engine options are paired with a Direct Shift 10-speed automatic gearbox that Toyota says will help enhance the emissions of the Toyota Land Cruiser by about 10%. Toyota says other markets will get the option for a non-turbo V6 with a 6-speed automatic.
As with any Land Cruiser, four-wheel drive is standard, allowing the SUV to go through any kind of terrain. Toyota says they redesigned the vehicle to be optimized for off-roading such as the shape of the headlights and the bumper. The vehicle has also been lightened by 200 kilograms, and features a new stronger platform, lower center of gravity, weight distribution, so on and so forth. Toyota says the Land Cruiser incorporates lessons learned at the Dakar Rally.
The key to the new LC300 is the off-road technology. Toyota says they optimized the LC300 to offer superior wheel articulation, and also fitted it with the new Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System. The vehicle also gets a Multi-Terrain Monitor which simulates an x-ray view of the tires to aid with off-road precision and tire placement. The LC300 also gets a Multi-Terrain Select system which automatically adjusts the capabilities of the 4x4 system to suite the terrain.
While the exterior changes are quite subtle, Toyota has updated the Land Cruiser's cabin. There's a new dashboard with a large touchscreen infotainment system sitting front and center together with a revised center stack. The infotainment screen now has a floating stack design and is positioned above the aircon vent. It's similar to what you'd find in the Lexus LX.
In front of the driver is a new instrument cluster with a multi-info display. No full-digital cluster here as the tachometer and speedometer are still analog. Since this is the higher-spec variants, it's filled with luxurious amenities. There's leather all around – from the steering wheel to the seats.
Toyota Safety Sense is also available, but it is likely such features will be reserved for higher trim models.
With the launch of the new Land Cruiser, it's time to bid farewell to the 200 Series model. Then again, it has been on the market for around 13 years as the LC200 first debuted in 2007, making it one of Toyota's oldest models. And now, the wait for its arrival in the Philippine market begins.