Toyota is giving its new Land Cruiser a world debut at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show. Incredibly, Toyota’s big 4x4 is about to enter its sixth decade of tough mud plugging.
Although the cosmetic changes are more subtle, the new 2010 Land Cruiser is designed to be better to drive on and off road with more creature comforts, claims Toyota.
So what’s new on the 2010 Land Cruiser?
It sticks with body on frame construction, and Toyota says it’s 11% stiffer than before. Better for driving – on and off tarmac. The suspension is revised for less bounce and more involvement, although we have yet to test these claims.
Higher-grade models now come with electronically controlled anti-roll bars front and rear, allowing further or lesser movement depending on the surface underfoot. And the top LC5 model comes with adaptive dampers.
Like arch rival the Land Rover Discovery, the new Land Cruiser can be had with three rows of seats. The middle row slides fore and aft by up to 135mm, and some of the pews fold flat (electrically in top-spec models).
So Toyota’s gunning for Land Rover?
The Land Cruiser has a steady following – and with six decades of provenance and Japanese reliability, it’s small wonder many safari parks in Africa use a Land Cruiser not a Land Rover. But you can tell Toyota’s watching Solihull’s moves with interest: the new Multi-Terrain Select sounds suspiciously like Land Rover’s own version, preparing all the mud-plugging systems for whichever surface you encounter.
Confirming its off-road prowess, the Land Cruiser boasts a 22deg ramp angle and can wade through 700mm. The braked towing limit is 3000kg (750 kilos unbraked).
When can I buy the new Toyota 4x4?
The new Land Cruiser arrives in UK dealers in December 2009, in five- or seven-seater guise. Just one engine – the 171bhp 3.0-litre D-4D turbodiesel – will be sold, with a five-speed auto ’box. Although continental buyers can pick the three-door and petrol V6, we’ll be limited to the big five-door bodystyle.
While this is no pious Prius, Toyota says that the big Land Cruiser has 5% better economy and emissions. It’ll average 34.9mpg and 214g/km, the official stats reveal