2022 Land Cruiser LC300 debuts as all-new model after 14 years
Years and years of consistent performance, immense popularity or extreme capability. Any one of these three qualities may usually suffice for a car to be called a legend. But seldom do we find a car that flaunts all three. The Toyota Land Cruiser is such a machine that has been successful in keeping its legacy alive for decades. With its outgoing-generation LC 200 going on for donkey’s years and losing market share to the Y62-gen Nissan Patrol, the 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser LC300 is long overdue. And it is here now, and boy oh boy, it is all new.
Yes, there is not much on the exterior that we have not seen, thanks to the abundant supply of spy shots that are available on the world wide web. But do not let the LC200-like body fool you. This is not just a facelifted frock on the same frame. The 2022 Land Cruiser LC300 is an entirely new creation. The full-size SUV utilises the “new” TNGA platform, which mysteriously has the same wheelbase as the older model, and makes us wonder if it’s just a minor update of the old chassis. The latest platform enables the new Land Cruiser to shed 200 kg while maintaining similar dimensions as the old model. The engine and transmission are mounted lower and further to the back, to achieve better weight distribution.
The design gets a decent revision with thinner headlamps and a large grill. The new wheels and the window lines on the side hint at the complete revamp the new Land Cruiser has gone through. The tail lamps are slimmer too. The new design of the LC300 Land Cruiser is by no means a clear departure from the current LC200, yet it arrives as a fresh new face. This conservative approach to the redesign can be the right thing to do when you are dealing with a much-loved classic SUV like the Land Cruiser. But, if you do need a bit more spice, a GR Sport version will also be offered, identified by a mesh grill and different unpainted bumpers that make it look like a base model.
The outgoing Land Cruiser is 14 years old, and it shows, especially when you open the doors. The interior feels dated and is in dire need of a complete revision. And that is exactly what the 2022 Land Cruiser LC300 brings in. The interior is completely new, with modern details like the floating touch screen raising its appeal. The screen can be as big as 12.3-inches in the higher trims, while a 9.0-inch screen is offered as standard. The 2022 Land Cruiser is packed with modern features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Wireless charging, heads-up display, 360-degree camera, powered tailgate, and even a fingerprint authentication system. The third row of seats can now be folded down into the floor, unlike the current model which needs them to be folded and stowed away to the sides.
If there is bad news in this section, it may be the engine. Well, at least for some. The V8 engines are no longer a part of the range, as they get pipped by the smaller twin-turbocharged V6 engines. The silver lining is that these new motors bring in even more power than the eight-pot monsters even while sipping less fuel. The LC300 is powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 engine, creating 409 hp, way more than even the aging 5.7-litre V8 of the outgoing Land Cruiser. It also blesses the new LC300 with 650 Nm of torque as well, 120 Nm more than the current top dog. The downsizing may be a disappointment for V8 devotees but in these changing times, it is inevitable. The improved LC300 can allegedly do the 0 to 100 kph run in 6.7 seconds, a figure quite respectable for an SUV of its size.
In addition to this, the 2022 Land Cruiser will also offer a twin-turbo 3.3-litre diesel engine in many markets. Both these engines will be hooked up to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The old 4.0-litre V6 engine will be carried over for the Middle East market, mated to a 6-speed automatic.
It goes without saying, four-wheel drive is offered by the 2022 Land Cruiser as standard, complete with three differential locks (in some markets). The approach and departure angles measure 32 degrees and 26.5 degrees, respectively. It gets a ground clearance of 230 mm. Toyota has also added an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) to the LC300, along with an upgraded Electronically Controlled Kinetic Dynamic Suspension Stabilisation (E-KDSS) system. There is an advanced Multi-Terrain System as well, with additional Deep Snow and Auto modes. An underbody camera gets thrown into the mix, as a part of a Multi-Terrain Monitor system.
The 2022 Land Cruiser LC300 is the first all-new Land Cruiser in 14 years, even though its design does not speak the same language. Nevertheless, Toyota’s longest-running nameplate will surely go further into the future with this modern iteration of a full-size, ladder-frame SUV. And with no doubt, it will light up the sales charts in our region, as all Land Cruisers have always done.