The Toyota Land Cruiser is getting a redesign for its 70th birthday. Dubbed the 300 Series, it’s superior almost across the board to the outgoing 200 Series.
According to Car and Driver, it weighs a whopping 440 pounds less than its predecessor. Two powerplants are available at launch: a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 producing 409 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque, or a twin-turbo diesel V6 producing 304 hp and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both are mated to an all-wheel-drive 10-speed transmission.
The front light positions and bumper shape have been reconfigured to minimize the damage from treacherous excursions. Inside, there is also a horizontal instrument panel that displays the vehicle’s position at all times. The interior is accented with wood trim, and the console is the same kind of infotainment touchscreen found in many new, even moderately well-appointed cars.
Toyota’s Safety Sense driver aid package has also gained two pre-collision system functions. One detects oncoming vehicles and crossing pedestrians at intersections. The other assists with steering and lane-keeping when a steering maneuver is performed to avoid a crash.
What hasn’t changed are the dimensions, departure, and approach angles, all of which are carried over from the 200 Series. No issue there — automotive authorities like DriveTribe have heralded the preceding model’s off-road capabilities.
Here’s the catch: The Toyota 300 Series won’t be offered in the United States, at least not with that name.
Car and Driver predicts a very similar SUV from Toyota’s luxury sub-brand Lexus will arrive in the next-generation LX.