2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Assessment

2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Assessment

Neglect the Corolla or Camry. The Land Cruiser is Toyota’s longest operating automobile sequence ever, having simply reached its sixteenth technology after first debuting means again in 1951. Some 14 years for the reason that 200-Collection was launched in 2007, the all-new 300-Collection model has arrived with a bolder exterior, new engines, extra luxurious inside, and an extra evolution of that very same bullet-proof reliability that made the automobile a residing legend.

However order one at present, and also you received’t be choosing it up till summer time 2023. Sure, that’s proper. The brand new Land Cruiser has a ready time of over two years! In keeping with Toyota, the intermittent provide of superconductors and components from South-East Asia has severely hampered the manufacturing of the brand new mannequin to the extent that Toyota in Japan has stopped taking orders. Deliveries to main export markets might be delayed as nicely.

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

In its house market of Japan, it will not be one of many model’s huge sellers (after they have sufficient stock to promote that’s!), however over the past seven many years, the Land Cruiser has turn into a massively widespread, heavy-duty, go-anywhere automobile in areas just like the Center East, Australia, Russia and Africa. Up towards sturdy rivals just like the Land Rover Defender and Mercedes Benz G-Class, Toyota’s superior construct high quality wins out.

Center East and Australia Account for over 70% of gross sales

Whereas the Center East market may account for round 60% of world gross sales, my house nation of Australia simply occurs to boast a ten% international share because of a robust rural fan-base the place greater than two in three farmers personal a Land Cruiser. The explanations: reliability, sturdiness, and price efficiency. Whether or not within the Center East or Australia, if you’re 100 miles from the closest city, in tough off-road terrain and the temperature is 45C, you’ll be able to’t afford to interrupt down. If this off-roader is known for something, it’s not breaking down.

The automobile’s unparalleled reliability, dependability, and recognition make the Land Cruiser a vastly sought-after automobile in lots of components of the world—to the extent {that a} thriving underground community of smuggling and unlawful exportation has developed. Actually, in Japan at present, the Land Cruiser at the moment holds the unenviable document as ‘essentially the most stolen automobile.’

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

So let’s see what makes this legendary SUV such a success. Firstly is it the design? In contrast to the Defender, G-Class, Jeep, Ford Bronco, and even Suzuki Jimny, which, over time, have inherited related and evolving design themes from technology to technology, the Land Cruiser has not had one identifiable exterior characteristic all through the many years. So Toyota might have been actually adventurous with the brand new mannequin’s design, in the identical means as Land Rover completely overhauled the Defender’s styling however retained key design traits from earlier fashions thus sustaining the styling lineage. However it was not. A giant a part of what Toyota did do to make the automobile deal with higher and enhance economic system and emissions made the Land Cruiser some 200-kgs lighter by using such weight-saving measures as lighter powertrains and an aluminum roof and hood. The brand new mannequin now ideas the scales at round 2430-kgs.







Design Options New Physique-On-Body Chassis

Merely put, the brand new 300-Collection Land Cruiser, which is available in a selection of both 5-seater or 7-seater variations, appears to be like like a neat, protected, unadventurous evolution of the outgoing 200-Collection. The brand new mannequin inherits the identical boxy proportions, however this time it will get a bigger, bolder grille and related squarish headlights. With extra on-road presence, the brand new model does seem extra rugged, having been given accented edges and contours on its aspect profile, flared wheel arches, deeper aspect skirts, and a extra stylized D-pillar.

What does all that imply? It interprets to Toyota desirous to please a robust, international however conservative buyer base who care much more concerning the reliability and the most recent expertise than design flare. The underside line is that Land Cruiser house owners need extra of the identical efficiency and reliability, extra of what this robust SUV has delivered over the past 70 years.

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

Talking of expertise, the brand new 300-Collection sits on the identical upgraded platform because the Lexus LX and US-spec Toyota Tundra, quirkily known as the TNGA-F (Toyota New International Structure, the ‘F’ referring to full-size SUVs) platform. This refers back to the Land Cruiser’s separate physique and chassis setup or as Toyota calls it, a ‘body-on-frame’ construction. For the document, some SUVs just like the Defender use a monocoque physique shell like many vehicles, whereas others together with the Jeep Wrangler and G-Class, have a separate physique and chassis. Now, having a separate chassis, just like the Jeep and Land Cruiser, permits carmakers to suit strong axles and beefier suspension to soak up sizable off-road undulations. This additionally aids in offering extra exact, sharper dealing with and higher experience high quality.

The outgoing 200-Collection mannequin used Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic System which might change the stiffness of the dampers and even quickly disconnect the anti-roll bars to offer higher axle articulation or improved traction on uneven surfaces. The brand new 300-Collection employs the same system however it’s managed by electronics as an alternative of hydraulics which permits it to react quicker and be extra compliant in altering highway situations.


The Driving Expertise

Given the Land Cruiser’s pedigree as an unbreakable off-roader, it incorporates full-time 4WD and locking differentials as commonplace. However it additionally comes with Multi-terrain Choose (MTS) which routinely detects what sort of floor you’re driving on and units the automobile’s suspension up for you. That’s linked to the Multi-terrain Monitor that reveals you a digital ‘see-through’ of the SUV’s hood on the infotainment system to provide you a transparent view of what rocks and ruts lie forward. Clearly, it helps drivers park in slim areas and prevents you from scraping your wheels on excessive kerbs.

The outdated 200-Collection had been unbeatable off-road however when it got here to on-road dealing with, the outgoing mannequin used to roll and wallow within the corners and did endure from understeer. The brand new mannequin’s platform is stiffer and has a decrease middle of gravity whereas the upgraded Kinetic Dynamic suspension and steering upgrades assist the automobile to show in sharper with better precision, sit flatter and with better poise on straightaways whereas decreasing physique roll within the corners and brilliantly absorbing undulations and highway vibrations.

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

One of the vital important adjustments within the new 300-Collection is the all-new engine vary. Gone are the growing older gasoline and diesel V8s, changed by newly developed V6 twin turbo gasoline and diesel powertrains with 10-speed automated transmissions. That’s proper, the outdated 8-speed has been upgraded to an eye-opening 10-speed field. The brand new Land Cruiser may get a 10-speed automated gearbox, however being a heavy-duty off-roader, it additionally comes with the same old low-range gears permitting you to have interaction sluggish crawl modes to descend sharp slopes.

The smaller, extra compact gasoline V6 3.5-liter produces 415-hp and 650-Nm of torque, a determine that considerably outperforms the earlier gasoline V8’s 381-hp and 543-Nm. In the meantime, the diesel V6 3.3-liter twin turbo pumps out 309-hp however generates a gutsy 700-Nm of torque which makes it the extra fascinating selection for farmers in Australia, for instance, who want loads of pulling energy to haul trailers and livestock round.

Each V6s ship higher gasoline economic system, lighter curb weights, cleaner emissions, and extra energy, which all sounds just like the holy grail of engine lineups. And nicely it might be for the Land Cruiser. Having spent a while behind the wheel of each the brand new gasoline and diesel variations, I’d must say that each ship greater than sufficient efficiency, merge easily and powerfully in site visitors, and generate good pulling energy whereas decreasing your gasoline prices. Improved sound absorbing supplies within the cabin and ground additionally make the driving expertise extra nice with much less wind and highway noise reaching the cockpit. Actually, the Land Cruiser is approaching the whispery silence of the Lexus LX, particularly on the gasoline model. At idle and low revs, nonetheless, the diesel V6 nonetheless shows the customary diesel clatter of earlier variations till you get the automobile over round 20km/h.


Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

Did Toyota Pinch Some Lexus Designers?

Ah, that new cabin. Toyota appears to have pinched some designers from Lexus as a result of the brand new inside is leagues forward of the outgoing mannequin. Fitted with smooth leather-based, prime quality plastics, aluminum accents, and glossy tactile switches, the 300-Collection feels extra like a Vary Rover than an outdated Land Cruiser. It’s much more high-tech with full digital readouts within the driver’s binnacle, and a big touchscreen boasting crystal clear graphics and easy-to-use slide capabilities. However one facet of this new mannequin I notably like is its bent for analog switches that each one have an opulent feel and appear to them together with the air-conditioner and audio quantity controls.

One different characteristic that basically caught my eye was the power-assisted third row seat foldaway and fold-out operate. Press a button simply contained in the rear doorways and you’ll interact electrical motors that slowly increase the third row seat again from a completely flat place to an upright one, earlier than revealing the seat cushion from below the ground like a child poking their tongue out at you.

Apparently this operate will not be out there on fashions equipped to the U.S., a rustic that truly doesn’t get the brand new Land Cruiser. In keeping with a U.S. colleague, Toyota made an enormous mistake in its advertising plan by phasing out the 300-Collection from the American lineup. The one vehicles that might be equipped are autos destined for armored automobile manufacturing firms like Alpine Armoring within the Washington DC space. They’ll match bulletproof glass, armor plating, and strong rubber tires to entry-level Land Cruisers for native clients needing one of the best on-road safety.

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

As I identified above, the Land Cruiser is a major goal for automobile thieves in Japan and past. Actually, after I take a look at drove the automobile in Japan final month, I used to be handed to quite shocking items of twentieth century anti-theft gadgets—specifically a tyre clamp and an anti-theft steering wheel bar. I’ve been take a look at driving vehicles in Japan for over 30 years and I’ve by no means been requested by a producer to suit these very analog clunky gadgets to a hi-tech automobile. That in fact will not be saying that Toyota has not performed all the things it will probably to forestall theft. To (attempt to) counter these with gentle fingers, Toyota designers have fitted a primary for the Land Cruiser—a fingerprint recognition ignition change in addition to different strengthened anti-theft capabilities. Earlier than you’ll be able to drive the brand new mannequin, you need to ‘register’ your fingerprint on the starter button and place the important thing fob subsequent to the starter change simply to have the ability to begin the engine. To be sincere, it felt eery having to make use of the most recent theft prevention expertise alongside a tyre clamp and a steering wheel bar.

Along with this state-of-the-art anti-theft system, the automobile additionally will get the most recent in security options. Fitted with adaptive cruise management as commonplace gear, the 300-Collection additionally will get a blind spot monitor and lane maintaining capabilities of the Toyota Security Sense system but additionally employs an upgraded security equipment together with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection and emergency braking.

For many who is perhaps contemplating a Land Cruiser however assume it appears to be like too conservative when in comparison with the G-Class and Defender, Toyota has additionally introduced a ‘GR’ model. Sure, that interprets as a sporty high-performance mannequin specifically constructed by Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s in-house motorsport and customizing arm. They’re the identical individuals who conceived the GR Yaris, GR Supra, and GR86. However don’t get too excited that you just’ll have the ability to compete within the grueling Dakar Rally. The GR Land Cruiser is extra like a dressed up model form of like Audi’s S Line sequence of autos that provide visible upgrades.

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan

Pricing and Choices

The brand new Land Cruiser 300-Collection comes with a selection of both diesel V6 twin turbo or gasoline V6 twin turbo engines, each mated to 10-speed automated transmissions. Clients additionally get a selection of 5 or seven seats and a sporty GR model as nicely. The diesel model begins at 7.6 million yen (@$66,580) whereas the gasoline mannequin begins at 7.3 million yen ($63,900). However on condition that deliveries might be delayed indefinitely because of components provide points, we will anticipate some premium costs to be paid as individuals attempt absolutely anything to seize one among these massively widespread fashions. Simply so long as they don’t attempt to pinch one, says Toyota.

Picture Credit: Toyota Japan



Picture Credit: Toyota Japan