Review: 2021 Toyota LandCruiser 300

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

The legendary Toyota LandCruiser has been given a complete new look, with matching technology, drivetrain and chassis. After 14 years of service this was well deserved. We'll take the all-new 300 series out for a drive and closer look.

Initial Impression

Can you believe that the Toyota LandCruiser 200 series came on the market the same year the original iPhone got announced? That's back in 2007!  No wonder the arrival of the all-new 300 series in 2021 was so highly anticipated. Every LandCruiser model has big shoes to fill. On first sight the 300 series does seem to tick all the boxes: it's still the flagship in Toyota's line-up, doesn't compromise on off road capabilities and is still able to tow pretty much (up to 3500kg) anything you like.

The looks are un-mistakingly different though, with rounder lines and a more sleek, streamlined look than its predecessor. Another big difference is the departure of the iconic V8 engine, as the 300 is only available with a 6-cylinder. 

Driveability

Let's address the elephant in the room first: the switch from a very much loved V8 engine to a 6-cylinder. Except for the sound (that aspect is undeniable), there is not really any good reason why you wouldn't want to drive the new V6. It's a powerful, 3.3-litre twin turbo diesel that pouts out 227kW and 700Nm of torque, which is not only plenty to get up and get going, but is also more then capable to tow a large caravan or boat over a mountain range or on the beach.  Linked to the new 10-speed automatic, the power is so evenly distributed that the 300 offers a very smooth ride and even with 2 cylinders less, is strong and lasting.   The plus side is that is now without the associated petrol bill, with the fuel consumption coming in at 8.9L/100km. With its 110L tank, that offers you over 1200 kilometre of range!

The drive is as mentioned, a very comfortable one. The engine is torquey and responsive, the gearbox smooth and easy going, and the suspension absorbs anything in its path - whether on or off road. Driving the latter by the way, there are few places you'd rather be than in the 300 series.  Of course the four-wheel drive system is sophisticated and smart, while the traction-control systems make light work of any uneven terrain. Paired with enough ground clearance to drive over most obstacles, the top level GR sport model comes with the new-generation e-KDSS system that hydraulically controls the sway bars.

Liveability

The inside of the 300 series looks familiar, yet has plenty of upgrades worth touting. It's the same in the sense that Toyota knows there to put the buttons and how to make you feel comfortable and get you to know the vehicle quickly. It's the technology that probably needs a bit more time to comprehend, because there is a lot more of it than in its predecessor. In the base model GX, you'll get a 9.0-inch infotainment display, but in the higher trim levels, that screen grows to a massive 12.3 inches. It's the control centre for pretty much everything, but luckily Toyota understood that physical buttons also still serve a good purpose and the air conditioning underneath can easily be controlled by those.

As you might expect in a big SUV there is enough space for your bottles and cups, plus additional storage space in the (cooled) mid-console and sizeable two-level glovebox. Whether you're seated in the cloth seats of the GX or GXL model, or the plush leather in the higher trim levels, comfort is king in the 300. The seats are supportive and roomy, which also goes for the second and even for the third row. Of course less for the latter, but even passengers on those don't have to lack access to air vents, USB-C power outlets and cupholders, so there is nothing to complain about.

Cost

The all-new 300 series is available in 6 trim levels: GX, GXL, VX, Sahara, GR Sport and Sahara ZX - all available with the diesel V6 as four-wheel drive.

The entry level GX starts just under $96k, which is a five-seater.

One level up you'll find the GXL for just over $110k, which adds the third row and front/rear parking sensors among some other options.

From there it continues with the VX for about $123k with powered, heated and cooled leather seats, plus an electric sunroof.

The Sahara sets you back just over $140k, which adds chrome accents, the 14-speaker JBL audio system, heads-up display and dual rear-seat entertainment screens.

For proper off road work you'll have to closely opt for the GR Sport, which is new to the stable and comes in at the high $140k. This is the one with the e-KDSS, lockable front and rear differentials, and adaptive variable suspension.

Top-of-the-line is the Sahara ZX, which starts just under $150k (V6, FWD) and literally comes with all the creature comforts you can imagine, plus the off road credentials to take you anywhere. With a limited-slip differential, but also a powered tailgate with kick sensor for example.

All models come with 10 airbags, including twin centre airbags (on the inboard cushion of both front seats) to better protect occupants in a side-impact crash. They all also come with speed sign recognition, lane-tracing assistance, autonomous emergency braking with intersection assistance, reverse camera, and automatic high beam - the full suite of safety technology including radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.

You will be covered by a five-year/unlimited-km warranty and 6-month/10,000km service intervals priced at $375 per service.

Conclusion

Want to feel like the king of the road, even when the road stops? Then look no further than the all-new Toyota LandCruiser 300 series. It's heritage as the successor of the legendary 200-series is undeniable, so it has to live up to its name. We know it does. It's comfortable inside with all the safety tech you can dream off, while it will take you answer off road thanks to both technology and the right parts in the right places. It might not boast a grunty V8 anymore, but the new V6 is more powerful and can still tow anything you like.   It's the perfect all-rounder for a trip around Australia - we're ready to go!

Interested in a test drive? Motorama Toyota is the place to be - so make sure you come and see the Motorama Toyota team in Moorooka or Browns Plains.


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