New but still familiar – the Land Cruiser 300

The truth of the matter is that SUVs in South Africa keep on selling in impressive quantities and something like the robust Land Cruiser with so many reputable years has been the king of family vehicles.

As capable off-road the Land Cruiser 200 is, the model has finally reached the end of its life cycle and it has been replaced by a luxurious 300 that boasts an all-new design as well as notable changes.

The new Toyota Land Cruiser 300 is now modern and features a cleaner look than its predecessor. However, do not let its cleanliness fool you, it packs impressive tech and it is brilliant in more ways than one.

It is available in three trim levels; GX-R, ZX and GR-S.

Look at the GR-S as the off-road performance model bolstered with 18-inch alloy wheels and off-road-biased bits and tweaks.

The Toyota Land Cruiser 300 ZX is all about luxury and comes fitted with unique 20-inch alloy wheels, chrome detailing and buyers can choose between three character profiles; utility, luxury and off-road performance.

Design-wise, Toyota has nailed the look of the new Land Cruiser 300 and while it retains its two-box stance, it features a large grille with U-shaped radiator openings, sculpted rectangular headlights and large trapezoidal taillamps with styled light guides.

Get inside the tech-laden large SUV and you are greeted by a somehow familiar interior, however, Toyota has made it a point to make the car more upmarket to keep up with what competitors have to offer.

The new Land Cruiser 300 is loaded with tech. It comes fitted with park distance control, electronic parking brake, multi-information display, built-in navigation and several power outlets.

The ZX and GR-S spawn power fold-down third-row seats, electronic tailgate with a hands-free feature, heated steering wheel with wood accents, JBL sound system with DVD playback, a 12.3-inch upper central infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, seat heating and cooling and ventilation for the first and second-row seats.

There is a wireless charger and tyre pressure monitoring as well as Wi-Fi-enabled rear-seat entertainment for the ZX.

The engine line-up is one of the simplest with only two on offer; a 3.5-litre V6 turbocharged petrol with 225kW and 700Nm of torque.

The oil-burner comes courtesy of a 3.3-litre V6 turbocharged diesel with 305kW and 650Nm.

These replace the V8 mills that powered the outgoing Land Cruiser 200 and are paired with a smooth new 10-speed automatic transmission with low-range and diff-lock.

At the launch, we sampled both engine options over a period of three days through different terrains and conditions and the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 stood out in the most impressive manner. The new offering still feels very much like a Land Cruiser but has been improved in so many ways.

It is comfortable and ready to go with strong pulling power in all the gears, and its efficiency, in the long run, may just become very useful. Cabin insulation is excellent and the Land Cruiser remains composed even at high speeds and during cornering.

Safety comes courtesy of 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, vehicle stability control, active traction control and hill assist control.

The list further includes trailer sway control, downhill assist control and ABS, EBD and Brake Assist.

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

All LC300 models are sold with a 9-services / 90 000km service plan with service intervals set at 12-months or 10 000km (whichever occurs first).

A 3-year/100 000km Warranty is included across the board. Customers can also purchase service, maintenance and warranty extensions from their nearest Toyota dealer.

Photos: MotorPress

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