Toyota reveals retro-look Land Cruiser

New version of Toyota's venerable off-roader receives design inspired by classic FJ60 Land Cruiser

By Felix Page, Autocar UK calendar 02 Aug 2023 Views icon3230 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

After nearly 14 years on the market in its current form, the Toyota Land Cruiser has been drastically overhauled in a bid to steal sales from the Land Rover Defender and Jeep Wrangler. 

Designed with obvious influence from past Land Cruisers and with a chunky two-box silhouette that nods to its “ability to withstand harsh conditions”, the model again majors on practicality, durability and dependability.

The go-anywhere 4x4 has long been one of the world’s most competent off-roaders, but the focus for this new fifth-generation car, codenamed J250, is on providing improved on-road refinement and competitive levels of technology.

To that end, the Land Cruiser moves from the old J150 platform to Toyota’s new Global Architecture, following the larger J300 Land Cruiser. 

The new body-on-frame structure ensures the SUV is “easy to manoeuvre and more comfortable during on-road driving”, according to Toyota.

The chassis is said to be 50% more rigid than that of its predecessor and the entire body-on-frame assembly is some 30% stiffer. That, plus improved suspension, means the Land Cruiser promises to be more responsive and comfortable in all driving situations.

Measuring 4920mm long and 1870mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2850mm, the J250 is slightly larger than its predecessor, and its roomier, redesigned cabin is a world away in design and technical terms.

Chunky physical controls still abound and there is a clear emphasis on utility, but the full-length glass roof, multi-zone climate control, plush leather upholstery and wraparound digital display – hosting a new-generation infotainment system – hint at a bid to move upmarket to more closely rival Land Rover’s three-year-old Defender.

Staying true to its roots, the Land Cruiser maintains a prevailing focus on all-terrain ability, with increased wheel articulation, an upgraded Multi-Terrain Monitor interface and improvements to the off-road driving modes among the headline upgrades that will boost its standing in this area.

It’s also equipped with a disconnecting front anti-roll bar, which can be disengaged via a switch on the dashboard to allow for maximum wheel articulation on especially challenging trails.

From launch, the Land Cruiser uses a familiar 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, carried over from the outgoing car and shared with the Hilux pick-up truck. It drives both axles through a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Later next year, Toyota will introduce the first electrified Land Cruiser, pairing the diesel engine with a 48V belt-integrated starter-generator for mild-hybrid assistance.

Toyota hasn’t announced UK specifications yet, but the new car will likely command a premium over the J150 and edge past the £50,000 mark in entry form.

It’s not yet known when Toyota will replace the outgoing model’s smaller three-door version and bare-bones commercial variant. 

 

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