First coming to the scene way back in 1951, the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser nameplate is the Japanese giant’s longest running model in its history. It was created as an idea to match the American Jeep’s sheer off-road capabilities, rugged simple nature and add to it a built for an eternity quality that has now become synonymous with Toyota. Quite frankly, in the world of legendary off-road nameplates, only two, the Land Cruiser and its British rival, the Land Rover have truly established themselves as the true emperors. The Land Cruiser has also been Japan’s paramount of indestructible engineering for almost 70 years now. Across the globe you would still find earliest of the Land Cruisers still in a working condition, still up for a challenging mountain or two and that speaks volumes why the Land Cruiser is among the greatest superstar of the automobile world. Over the years the Land Cruiser has established itself as the undeterred brawler of the highest echelons of the premium luxury SUV market segment. Japan’s finest, Arab world’s love affair and rest of the world’s projection of absolute power, the Toyota Land Cruiser command unmatched respect and awe on Indian roads as well. The current model, the Toyota Land Cruiser J200 arrived as a standard practise mid-life facelift in the Indian market in 2015 and has not undergone any significant changes since then. In its current form, the Toyota Land Cruiser is in its most imposing, premium, appealing and classiest states yet. The exterior has gone through a few changes making it even more imposing, upmarket and premium than the previous model. The larger hexagonal grille at the front, the inclusion of LED headlamps, newly designed tail lamps and even a new alloy wheel design, all lead to the mighty SUV’s present street lord cred. Then there is the presence of virtually every possible create comfort and safety y feature that you might need in an SUV that would keep you safe and high up in the chain even in an after apocalyptic world, that too in style. The high capacity 4.5 litres twin-turbo V8 diesel unit, carried over from the previous model makes robust power output and is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. Priced at a jaw-dropping Rs 1.34 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi), Land Cruiser rivals high-priced competitors in the segment such as Land Rover Range Rover. In the last dose of the update, the premium SUV received minor cosmetic tweaks and additional kit. Mechanically it remains unchanged with the same powerplant, transmission and four-wheel drive from the pre-facelifted.
A discussed above, the new larger hexagonal grille for the front is dominating with its three slat horizontal philosophy. This massive front grille connected to the big, burly rounded (in a very Japanese way), headlamps which are an all LED affair. The side profile does no effort in hiding what a behemoth the Toyota Land Cruiser is. The sheer brutality of the side profile is elaborated with the new 18 inch alloy wheel design that wears those massive 285 section tyres. Towards the rear, new tail light design with LED tail lights brings freshness. Since it is at the top end of the SUV food chain, its dominance is well characterized by the high horizontal character lines on the side profile and acres of chrome thrown into every conceivable place. The exterior also gets stuff like the LED projectors that are automatic, the clearance lamps are also LED, mighty strong fog lamps both upfront and at the rear. Other additions includes the likes of electrochromatic and electrically adjustable ORVM’s that have memory settings and camera. The tail lamp combination is also LED, a rear spoiler that aids style but nothing else than that. However, the decently sized moonroof does look pretty neat.
The size from outside is a clear indication that you feel like you are in a studio apartment inside the Land Cruiser at any given time. And looking at the feature listing, it would be a rather luxurious studio apartment. Leather seat (a given) are all around. They are big, cosy and comfortable. The steering wheel is now heated while the controls on it help you alongside the audio-video infotainment system that has a 4.2-inch touchscreen display. And then there are those high-quality top spec JBL speakers, all 14 of them covering every nook and corner of the interiors that can convert this studio apartment on wheels into a concert arena. You can connect with the system through a USB, AUX, or through Bluetooth. Other more safety oriented and SUV cred features include the likes of Hill start assist as well as downhill assist control here ABS is present along with EBD and Brake Assist. As many as 10 airbags make sure that you are kept safe as is technologically possible. Features like active headrest for front seats, an onboard monitoring system to check tyre pressure, vehicle stability control, and immobilizer with embedded power siren. You also get ELR seat belts for all occupants inside the cabin as well. However, the feature list isn’t complete yet, the Toyota Land Cruiser also offers rain-sensing wipers, and it has also got de-icer to help with visibility in cold climate, defogger and rear wiper. The air conditioning is capable 4 zone climate control unit, while a park assists with sensor all around, is a massive boon for an SUV of this size.
An SUV of such planetary dimensions and weight which has to be capable of eating mountains for breakfast needs a behemoth of an engine. And the Toyota Land Cruiser has just the right kind of a power plant for the job at hand. It is a 4461cc V8 engine that makes 261bhp of maximum power which arrives at just 3400rpm. And then there is that 650Nm of peak torque that arrives as low as in the range of 1600 to 2600rpm. This is enough to pull this massive 2.7 ton SUV up to really scary speeds sooner than you would expect. However, this is no corner carver and you would be fine as long as you are pushing that throttle down in a straight line. Being a proper four-wheel drive off-road happy SUV, the suspension, high centre of gravity and sheer size, all translate into a body roll enough to give you nightmares if you enter a corner at speeds that shouldn’t be legal. That said, the 6-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and handles whatever you ask of it gently with ease.
An absolute icon of having arrived on the stage. Ship of the Dessert. Nothing fazes this beast. Epitome Toyota’s of engineering and build quality prowess. Highly capable off-roader. Loves the dessert, the dessert loves it back and so does all the sheikhs.
Very Very Expensive. Land Rover’s offer more style, and similar credentials.