Toyota has made quite an effort to offer an off-road oriented mid-size SUV for each corner of the globe. In the US role is played by 4Runner, in Asia by Fortuner, in Europe by Land Cruiser. With the robust body on frame underpinnings, solid rear axles, low range gearboxes, these Japanese nature roamers maybe fight the losing battle against pesky crossovers, but they are still here. And now be careful not to be confused by the denomination used on the old continent. There, the mid-size model is named Land Cruiser, the same one in Australia has Prado supplement, while in the US that name counts for full-size specimen which in Europe has added V8 appendix (in Australia 200) to the name for distinction purposes. Confused? Anyway, for the joy of European and Australian buyers, recent Frankfurt Motor Show housed updated 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, and let’s see what it has brought to us.
2018 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER SPECS
So, Land Cruiser has some miles under its belt, current generation debuted in 2009, but this refresh hasn’t dealt with the mechanical side of it at all. You still have to settle with 2.8-liter turbodiesel L4 rated at 174 hp in Europe or in Australia you can go for 4.0-liter naturally aspirated petrol V6 boosting 282 hp as an additional choice. Both engines could be paired with a manual shifter or 6-speed automatic and in any case, you won’t arrive especially fast wherever you intended to go (0-60 last 9.2 seconds for V6 and whole 11 seconds for L4). Still, dated and unstressed engines are commonplace with true off-road SUVs, so we wouldn’t rush to criticize Toyota too much, as their indestructible and relax nature comes more handy in the wild than some other attributes.
|2018 Toyota Land Cruiser
|Dimensions And Weight
|Engine And Transmission
|381 hp/401 lb-ft
|manual shifter or 6-speed automatic
Fortunately, Toyota dealt with some other stuff with this update. Maybe the “facelift” is a better term here, as Japanese mainly dealt only with fascia as far as the exterior goes. Funky looking teardrop shape headlights are gone, which do makes us said, but more menacing and thicker grille slats, angrier front bumper, and highly undulated hood remedy that at least partially.
This is a second major refresh for this vehicle and this time Japanese brand also failed to mess with the rear, resorting again only to tail lights interior layout change. Still, they paid significant attention to the cabin. On the inside pretty much everything is new, encompassing each button and knob, 8-inch infotainment screen, instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch display, steering wheel, even the shape of the dash around the center console. The whole deal is more contemporary, yet not too much as rugged charm is the card that’s supposed to be played on these premises.
WOULD THAT BE ENOUGH?
For Europe certainly yes, and there are several reasons. 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is rivaled on the old continent only by Wrangler because you don’t get to compare it to mid-size crossovers. They don’t just play in the different league, rather they are involved in the different sport. So even, not so modest price tag of €45k ($53k USD) is not a big deterrent as you don’t much else to turn to.
But, in more nature-oriented Australia, despite being a more reasonably priced (but still expensive at $59k AUD or $47k USD) things are a bit different as we have as extra players Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, and even Toyota’s own Fortuner sharing the same segment with our guy. Still, given that Land Cruiser Prado last year pushed best sales figures among all mid-size SUVs in Ozzie land, including crossovers, one could argue that it could soldier on, as it intends to, for some time more without brand new generation.
Written by Djordje (George) Mijatov ([email protected])