Back before SUVs became all the rage, for decades, Toyota built a bruiser of a truck called Land Cruiser. Like its counterparts from America and the UK, the Jeep CJ/Wrangler and the Land Rover Range Rover, the Land Cruiser has always delivered the biscuits for the world's hardcore off-roaders. Unwilling to give up its stranglehold as one of the world's best partners in inhospitable climates, Toyota has just launched the latest iteration of its standard Land Cruiser in Europe, and it is an altogether different (and somewhat smaller) creature than the V8 model we get here in North America.
While the Land Cruiser has gotten significantly more luxurious and upwardly mobile in recent generations, Toyota has retained its off-road capability, and that appears to remain the case here. Power for the Euro Cruiser comes from a 3.0-liter four-cylinder diesel that cranks out 171 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. The body-on-frame Land Cruiser has 32- and 24-degree approach and departure angles, 8.5 inches of ground clearance and the ability to wade through 27.6 inches of water. Active roll management and active traction control allow the driver to get over and around the boulders while front and side view cameras allow the driver to see where they are. Unfortunately for the dedicated rock crawlers among us, we will likely never see this Land Cruiser on our continent – at least with a Toyota badge on it. If you're still interested, however, you can check out a video of the spanking new 'Yota getting dirty after the jump along with a full press release.
TOYOTA LAUNCHES THE ALL-NEW LAND CRUISER
Off-road excellence and on-road poise from latest in a line of 4x4 legends
* All-new Toyota Land Cruiser builds on a world-leading heritage
* Equipped with advanced new systems for safe and secure off-road performance
* Engineered to excel in the toughest conditions, while maintaining on-road poise and comfort
* Five-door model seating up to seven, powered by 3.0-litre D-4D engine with five-speed automatic transmission
* Three equipment grades – LC3, LC4 and LC5 – priced from £29,795 on the road
The Toyota Land Cruiser has built a formidable reputation around the world for its ability to take even the most extreme conditions in its stride. From arid deserts to polar wastes, Land Cruiser has demonstrated its unrivalled toughness and durability in a heritage that spans six decades.
This background of achievement makes the launch of an all-new Land Cruiser a particularly significant event and Toyota has wasted no effort to ensure its new model builds on the pedigree of its ancestors. It is equipped with a raft of new and advanced handling and driver assistance systems that take its off-road capabilities to new heights. At the same time, it has been engineered for greater poise, comfort and performance when driving on-road.
In the UK new Land Cruiser is offered as a five-door model powered by a revised 171bhp 3.0-litre D-4D engine, matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. Three equipment grades are offered – LC3, LC4 and LC5 – with seven seats fitted as standard on all but the entry level version (on which third row seats are an option). Customer orders are being taken now with first deliveries from early December. On-the-road prices range from £29,795 to £44,795.
Design and Construction
The new Land Cruiser is only slightly larger than its predecessor, which helps maintain its off-road agility. The styling combines the model's traditionally robust looks with styling cues that were first introduced on the larger Land Cruiser V8.
Intelligent interior packaging provides more space inside the cabin, with Toyota EasyFlat third row seats that can be raised of folded flat at the touch of a button (LC4 and LC5 models). The usable loadspace has been significantly increased and a new rear glass hatch allows items to be loaded without having to open the full side-hinged tailgate – ideal for tight parking places.
Toyota has retained the body-on-frame construction that has always been an integral part of Land Cruiser's exceptional off-road ability. Careful attention to the suspension design and NVH measures ensure high standards of on-road ride, handling and comfort are maintained.
Technology for on and off-road performance
New Land Cruiser introduces a series of advanced but user friendly features that help the driver tackle even the most challenging routes. These include: -
* Electrically modulated Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which minimises body roll and gives positive steering on-road, and increases wheel articulation off-road.
* Full-time All-wheel drive with Torsen limited slip differential.
* Multi-Terrain Select (MTS), with four driver-selectable modes to tailor vehicle settings for different off-road conditions.
* Multi-Terrain Monitor, a world-first system of front and side view cameras that give the driver a real-time view of areas immediately around the vehicle that can't be seen from the wheel.
* Crawl Control, which controls the engine and brakes to maintain a slow, safe speed when driving off-road or wading, so the driver only needs to concentrate on steering. This operates in both forward and reverse gears.
* Active Traction Control (A-TRC), Multi-Terrain ABS and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) are fitted as standard on all models.
There is nothing spartan about life on board the new Land Cruiser. 17-inch alloys, roof rails, fog lamps, climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth and Smart Entry and Start system are all part of the LC3 specification.
LC4 models add triple-zone climate control, 18-inch wheels, powered folding third row seats, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable heated front seats, dusk-sensing headlights, auto-dimming rear-view mirrors, rear parking monitor, 17-speaker JBL premium audio package and a hard disc drive (HDD) navigation system with a 10GB sound library.
At the top of the range the LC5 models come with Adaptive Variable Suspension with Active height Control, sunroof, Crawl Control, Multi-terrain Monitor, Steering Angle Display, Multi-terrain Select and a rear seat entertainment system for DVD playback and gaming.