The recent South African launch of the new flagship Toyota Land Cruiser 300 was without a doubt one of the highlights of the motoring calendar. The motoring media had 3 days to get to know the new kid on the block and put it through its paces.
The new Land Cruiser 300 variants deviate from their predecessors and follow a completely new design trend. They showcase the very attributes that have made this brand one of the leaders in the field, with reliability and robustness at the core of the Land Cruiser 300’s foundation. It is these class-leading traits that have garnered Toyota such a loyal following and repeat business customer base over the decades. Click here for more from the Toyota range.
LET’S DIVE RIGHT IN
There are significant aesthetic and under-the-hood changes to the new LC300. The front of the vehicle offers rectangular headlights and a prominent grille. Some will like the chunky grille, others will be more inclined to something more understated, but I think this rugged look is well suited to the provenance of the Land Cruiser line. Needing 4×4 accessories, click here.
ON THE OUTSIDE
Rectangular headlights accentuate the lines of the tough facade of the LC300’s grille lines and the concave centre channel of the bonnet sets its look apart from the rest. The LED headlights with the Adaptive high-beam System are available on selected models and fog lamps with brushed aluminium surround accents are set at the bottom of the front grille, all adding to the aggressive and powerful look of the exterior. At the rear of the LC300 you will find the bold Land Cruiser lettering and Toyota badge. The rear lights have stylized light guides and the back of the vehicle is uncluttered and functional with a large electrically assisted tailgate. The exterior could be termed boxy when looked at from the side and rear, but this simply accentuates the rugged ability of the LC300 in my opinion. It has a go anywhere attitude with enough grunt to get you out of trouble when required. I’m still trying to decide if there are any competitors out there.
IN WITH THE NEW
The Land Cruiser 300 enjoys a complete overhaul in design and features the new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform designated as TNGA-F where the F denotes the first ladder-frame execution of TNGA.
GOOD UNDER THE HOOD
The new engine line-up offers prospective buyers the choice of a 3.5-litre V6 Twin Turbo petrol engine or 3.3-litre V6 Turbodiesel. Toyota has ensured that both these engine derivatives deliver increased efficiency, improved torque and improved levels of refinement when compared to the older V8 motors.
The diesel motors include a new dual-stage turbocharging system that offers both low-speed response and high-rpm power. The 3.3 V6 diesel puts out 225 kW @ 4000 rpm with an incredible 700 Nm of torque coming in between 1600 and 2600 rpm. The petrol V6 offers 305 kW @ 5200 rpm with a solid 650 Nm available from 2000 rpm. This engine utilises Toyota’s acclaimed D-4ST injection system which is a combination of port and direct injection. The petrol V6 also enjoys a quick-response Dual VVT-i system and low-inertia turbochargers to achieve smooth power delivery. The top speed is pegged at 210 km/h for both variants and the new motors are combined with a new 10-speed automatic transmission with low-range and diff-lock functionality. Shifts between gears are smooth and seamless.
THE MODEL LINE-UP
The Land Cruiser 300 offers the GX-R, ZX and GR-S variants. The GX-R model is a utility-driven model while the ZX inhabits the luxury end of the range. Also in the mix is the GR Sport which has a its focus set as an off-road performance model. The GR-S demonstrates quality exterior styling and trim and is shod with rugged 18″ alloy rims.
The ZX model utilizes a more urban cruiser type image and is shod with 20″ alloy wheels, chrome detailing and sumptuous interior trim. The Land Cruiser 300 range is equipped with luxury, utility and premium performance, pegging it in a bracket suited to a variety of buyers.
SAFETY & SECURITY EQUIPMENT
The LC300 range is fitted with the Toyota Safety Sense which offers a full spectrum of active and passive safety features and autonomous driving technologies such as Lane Trace Assist and all-speed radar cruise control. Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert with braking, and Adaptive High Beam form part of the package. Throw in Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Active Traction Control (ATRC) and you are in good hands. Add Hill Assist Control (HAC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Downhill Assist Control (DAC), ABS, EBD, Brake Assist (BA) as driver support systems to reduce accidents and loss of control and it’s clear that the LC300 is cut from good cloth.
SPECS & THINGS
LED headlamps with integrated DRLs, keyless entry with auto-door-lock, park distance control, electric handbrake, climate control with rear zone, electric driver seat adjustment, Multi-Information Display (MID), built-in Navigation, multiple power outlets with charging port, Crawl Control and Drive Mode Select are part of the LC300 line-up. Click here for some great 4×4 trails.
The ZX and GR-S feature power fold-down third-row seating, an electrically operated rear door with a hands-free function. Also common to these derivatives is a heated steering wheel with wood accents, a JBL 14-speaker audio system with DVD playback and 12.3″ screen, Multi-Terrain Monitor with Panoramic View, a wireless cell charger and tyre pressure monitor. All models have Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality.
The ZX model adds a Wi-Fi enabled rear-seat entertainment system with wireless headphones, while the GR-S model features the E-KDSS system to maximise off-road capability. Both variants also feature additional drive select modes and an AWD Integrated Management system to enhance vehicle control.
It is clear that the new LC300 is highly capable off-road and it will easily handle terrains of varying difficulty. It’s a very capable beast and though we tested the various LC300 models on relatively easy terrains, I got the feeling that it would cope incredibly well under much more testing off-road conditions. The E-KDSS is links the wheels via hydraulically-supported stabiliser bars, allowing great wheel articulation and reduced body-roll. The All-wheel Drive Integrated Management (AIM) combines the vehicle’s key dynamic modules to deliver enhanced performance across all terrains. The Electric Power Steering (EPS), VSC, Brake Control as well as engine and transmission logic are all tailored to suit conditions via the Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) interface. In a tight spot and need a winch? Click here.
The MTS-system allows the driver to select different terrain modes such as dirt, mud, sand and snow to optimise vehicle performance and enhance traction. In low-range rock, mud and sand settings are available alongside the new Auto mode which allows the LC300’s terrain logic and camera system to help predict the preferred driving mode based on inputs from various sensors.
The GR-S and ZX models include a 3D Multi Terrain Monitor (MTM) which uses four surround cameras to display obstacles around the vehicle. A panoramic view mode creates a birds-eye view of the vehicle and aids visibility. The ZX and GR-S enjoy the inclusion of the Turn Assist Function, which helps the vehicle make sharp turns on loose surfaces by braking the inside rear wheel. Click here for bush plates to protect your vehicle.
EXTERIOR COLOUR OPTIONS
- Glacier White
- Pearl White Metallic
- Satin Silver Metallic
- Graphite Grey Metallic
- Raven Black
- Attitude Black
- Avant-Garde Bronze Metallic
- Moonlight Ocean Metallic
- Ruby Metallic
The GX-R is available in two interior trims, namely black and neutral beige. The ZX model offers three luxurious leather colour schemes in either black, black & dark red combination or in neutral beige. The GR-S models feature GR-branded leather interior trim with a choice of either black or a black and dark red combination options.
MODEL VARIANTS & PRICING
- Land Cruiser 300 GX-R 3.3D – R 1 283 200
- Land Cruiser 300 ZX 3.3D – R 1 765 500
- Land Cruiser 300 ZX 3.5T – R 1 797 100
- Land Cruiser 300 GR-S 3.3D – R 1 811 900
- Land Cruiser 300 GR-S 3.5T – R 1 842 900
WARRANTY & SERVICE
The LC300 models are sold with a 90 000 km service plan with annual service intervals or 10 000 km whichever comes first. A 3-year/100 000 km warranty is standard.
The new Land Cruiser 300 is without a doubt robust, rugged, tough, refined and reliable, drawn from a gene pool that encompasses all the good DNA of previous generations of quality Land Cruisers. After a few days at the wheel of the various new Land Cruiser 300 models, my overriding thought was, “Does the new LC300 have any competition?” I think not. What do you think?