Land Cruiser 300: Five things that are new

What makes a vehicle special? Is it the exterior design? Is it the power under the bonnet? For me, it’s the memories that are created with the vehicle. And this new Land Cruiser will be creating many memories in its lifespan!

Last week saw Toyota South Africa officially launch the new Land Cruiser 300 in the Western Cape. The area was perfect to test the new 4×4 top dog in the Toyota line-up. With all-new engines matched to an all-new 10-speed auto box, the Cruiser 300 seriously impressed on the road. With the addition of a full array of Toyota safety features, it is the ideal companion for the long haul – wherever you may want to go.

Five things we loved:

Interior: The new interior is premium and functional. The huge 12.3-inch touch screen is intuitive to use, and brilliantly paired with a 14-speaker JBL sound system. A choice range of leather trim colours and styles are available for the two top models, the ZX and GR-S.

Drivetrains: We drove the ZX and GR-S models, both available with new twin-turbo V6 engines in diesel and petrol. The 3.3-litre diesel V6 pushes out an impressive 225kW and 700Nm of torque from 1600-2600rpm. The 3.5-litre petrol V6 dishes up 305kW and 650Nm from 2000-3600rpm. Both these engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic that I experienced as very smooth and superbly accurate in selecting gears through a range of driving conditions.

Models: The model line-up is well thought out, catering for various needs. The GX-R is the hardy base model available only in diesel. The ZX is the boulevard cruiser with 20-inch wheels and a tighter focus on style, luxury and comfort. The GR-S is aimed squarely at the adventurer and 4×4 enthusiast, and is the only model to offer Toyota’s clever E-KDSS electronic suspension system.

Fuel consumption: Compared to the outgoing 4.5-litre V8 diesel engine, the new twin-turbo V6s will radically slash your fuel bill. Gone are the days where you had to lie to get your Cruiser’s fuel consumption down. Toyota claims the new diesel will deliver below 9 litres/100km, although we averaged closer to 10 on our trip. That’s still a huge improvement on the V8 in the Land Cruiser 200.

Crawl Control: The gremlins that sounded as if they were ripping your vehicle apart when Crawl Control was engaged in the 200 Series have been given the boot. The system in the 300 is quiet and works brilliantly. Now you can also adjust speed and select the terrain you are tackling to ensure the best possible traction.

Things we did not love:

One thing I did not like was that the 300 now has a little switch to engage the parking brake. The old analogue lever is gone. That in itself is not a big issue for me. The problem is that the parking brake disengages as soon as the vehicle is taken out of park. Not ideal for going off road, or when you are on a steep slope.

In conclusion

The new 300 is purpose-built for exactly what you expect from the flagship Land Cruiser. Everything is functional, practical and easy to use. Toyota did not try to reinvent the wheel, but rather took was great from the previous generations and tweaked the formula to fit today’s demands for fuel efficiency, connectivity and performance. A Master Class!

Our pick: The GR-S diesel was our favourite 300. We loved the torque, the ride comfort is superb and the massive grille makes it stand out from the crowd!

Model line-up & pricing: 

GX-R: R1 283 200

ZX diesel: R1 765 500

ZX petrol: R1 797 100

GR-S diesel: R1 811 900

GR-S Petrol: R1 842 900

For more info on this vehicle, check out our technical report: https://4x4afrika.com/2021/06/09/toyotas-lc300-breaks-cover/

*Grab a copy of our next issue of Adventure Afrika or Avontuur Afrika for a full driving impression on the Land Cruiser 300

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