The Land Cruiser (aka LandCruiser) wagon first chiseled its way into the Australian psyche
during the development of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme in the 1950s.

Now, 60 years later, the latest version of the iconic Toyota 4×4, the 300 Series, hangs on
firmly to its exalted position in the pantheon of the large off-roader, paralleling a Henry
Moore statue in the art world.

There’s still a local link, with the owners of the upper-end variants able to take advantage
of Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system, which was developed Down Under with reference
to Australian widely varying on and off-road conditions.

The new Land Cruiser also includes two new flagship variants, with the luxury Sahara ZX
and the off-road-focused GR Sport joining the core GX, GXL, VX and Sahara.

Major upgrades include a new 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel engine, a new exterior design
underpinned by the Toyota New Global Architecture platform and advanced driver
assistance technologies to provide superb on-road performance and unmatched off-road

Prices range from $89,990, plus on-road costs for the entry-level GX and top out at
$138,790 for the Sahara ZX. Premium paint is a $675 add-on. The GXL on test tips the
scales into six figures at $101,790.

For the first time on Land Cruiser, the Toyota Service Advantage has been extended from
three years / 60,000 km to five years / 100,000 km, providing customers with capped-price
servicing for their first 10 services at $375 each. Intervals are every six months or 10,000
km, whichever comes first.

Owners are able to extend their warranty on the engine and driveline to seven years by
sticking to the service schedule.

Newly constructed from the ground up, the 300 Series extends Land Cruiser’s long-
standing statuesque stance in the big 4×4 market segment, combining trademark features
with new, powerful styling.

From the front, new Land Cruiser pays homage to its heritage through its wide, horizontal
grille, flanked by slimline headlights, both set higher than the previous model to avoid
damage when off road. The front bumper is more rounded.

In profile the cabin is set further back in line with early generations of the vehicle, the rear
bumper curves more steeply upwards to improve off-road ability, while the whole rear end
is tapered for better aerodynamics.

Rear lights are arranged horizontally in a new aluminium hatch. The GXL rolls on unique
18-inch six-spoke alloy wheels.

Along with the significant upgrade in features and technology, the Land Cruiser’s cabin
has been extensively soundproofed to ensure occupants travel in quiet comfort, while the
top of the console box, driver and front passenger kneepads and lower length on the
centre console are all upholstered in soft-touch materials.

The GXL test car joins the flagship VX and Sahara in offering seating for seven occupants.
The third row makes room for 1004 litres of luggage and seating for five when it is stowed
away in the floor, with up to 1967 litres with both rear rows folded.

Storage includes a dual-opening centre console storage box, centre storage tray / box,
overhead sunglasses holder, glovebox and a range of door bins and cupholders capable
of holding 750 ml bottles.

Information and entertainment are provided by a 9-inch display with a six-speaker audio

The new multimedia system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and
features Bluetooth connectivity, AM / FM / DAB+ radio and voice recognition. Sadly, sat
nav and CD / DVD are absent from GXL while all variants bar the entry-level GX feature Qi
wireless phone charging7. Two USB terminals and a 12V socket allow further charging

All variants are powered by a new-generation 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel engine
producing 227 kW at 4000 rpm and 700 Nm from 1600 to 2600 rpm, a 27 kW / 50 Nm
increase over the V8 it replaces. The V6 is mated with a segment-first 10-speed torque
converter automatic transmission.

Thanks to its new-generation engine, intelligent transmission and weight-saving measures,
fuel economy, says Toyota, has reduced by 6.3 per cent on the combined cycle compared
with the outgoing V8, to 8.9 litres per 100 km.

The test vehicle recorded 11.7 litres per 100 kilometres in city and suburbs, and 5.7 litres
per 100 kilometres on the open road.

All Land Cruisers take in the latest Toyota Safety Sense technologies including
autonomous emergency braking pre-collision safety with daytime cyclist and oncoming
vehicle detection, night-time pedestrian detection, intersection turn assist and steering

Active cruise control now offers curve speed reduction, while road sign assist, and on VX
grades and above, lane trace assist with steering wheel vibration, have been introduced
for the first time.

Other safety features on all grades include automatic high beam, reversing camera and 10
airbags. New Toyota Connected Services offers enhanced safety and security with
automatic assistance in the event of an emergency, and vehicle tracking if the car is

The two-way turbocharging of the new 227 kW / 700 Nm V6 ensures smooth and efficient
power delivery. At low speed, the primary turbocharger is engaged for responsive power

As engine speed increases, the second turbocharger is activated to deliver optimal power
and torque with smooth acceleration. Both turbos have been designed to maximise low-
speed torque, perfect for off-roading or towing.

The 300 Series retains the LandCruiser’s 3500kg braked towing capacity, offering
effortless towing thanks to a combination of greater torque, the sophisticated 10-speed
transmission and a stronger, more stable chassis. A tow wiring harness is also now offered
as standard, making the process of connecting a trailer easier than ever.

Multi-Terrain Select features six different modes for off-road terrain – five in high range and
four in low range – for ultimate traction in the harshest conditions.

Developed extensively in Australia, MTS offers dirt, sand, mud, deep snow, rock and new
auto modes, the last able to intelligently sense the terrain underfoot and adapt the traction
control systems accordingly.

Combining with MTS is the low-speed crawl control function and the multi-terrain monitor
system which provides 360-degree and underfloor views of the path and approaching

Fans of the V8 might be disappointed at the demise of the big block, but the V6 twin-turbo
replacement figures – more power, more torque, less fuel – go a long way to standing up
for the newbie’s case.

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 6/10
Tech: 7/10
Value: 6/10


Land Cruiser 300 GX: $89,990
Land Cruiser 300 GXL: $101,790
Land Cruiser 300 VX: $113,990
Land Cruiser 300 Sahara: $131,190
Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport: $137,790
Land Cruiser 300 Sahara ZX: $138,790
Premium paint $675
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GXL 3.3L Twin Turbo 6-cylinder diesel, 10sp
automatic, AWD)

Capacity: 3.346 litres
Configuration: Six cylinders in ‘V’
Maximum Power: 227 kW @ 4000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 700 Nm @ 1600-2600 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.9 L/100km
CO2 emissions 235 g / km

DRIVELINE: Ten-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

Length: 4980 mm
Wheelbase: 2850 mm
Width: 1980 mm
Height: 1950 mm
Turning Circle: 11.8 metres (tyre); 12.6 m (body)
Kerb Mass: 2580 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 110 litres (80L main, 30L sub)

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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