Driving impressions with the Toyota Land Cruiser: Love at every glance


Today, it is no longer a single model, but an entire model range distinguished by a numerical designation. Its flagship is the luxury Land Cruiser 300, which is not sold in Europe, and for heavy work there is the 70 model, which dates back to 1984.

The main stream of European demand was satisfied by a model called Prado, in the last generation with the numerical designation 150, replacing the retired 120 series. The new product you are looking at now bears the name 250. That is because it is radically different from its predecessor.

Purposeful retro

The car thus stands on the new frame of the GA-F platform, i.e. on the shortened base of the larger tricycle. The new frame is supposed to be 50% stronger, making the whole car 30% stiffer. The electric power steering, which was used for the first time in a European land cruiser, also comes from the larger model.

But above all, the new base allowed the stylists to really show off. “Lanďák” has now received a successful retro-futuristic coat, which is not only decent, but also functional. For example, the front part of the car now consists of seven units, so in case of minor damage, the entire bumper does not have to be written off. The molding of the window line behind the rear side windows is not self-serving either, as it was required by the lower window line lowered by 30 mm. Together with the more steeply inclined windshield, this is a measure that improves visibility, especially in the field.

The approach angle is now 31 degrees, the departure angle is 22 and the overpass angle is 25 degrees, and despite the wheelbase of 2850 mm (+60 mm), the car has thus retained its off-road capabilities. The total length is then 4925 mm with a width of 1980 mm and a height of 1935 mm. The novelty is 100 mm longer – or 70 mm shorter, if we include the reserve in the length. In the new generation, it has moved under the trunk and is accessible from below. This brings us elegantly to a ground clearance of 221 mm at the lowest point, i.e. below the rear differential.

Everything good remained

You could say that everything is new on the Land Cruiser except the engine. So Toyota left us everything we really like – that is, above all, a 2.8-liter four-cylinder with a torque of 500 Nm and the ability to clean the particulate filter at the driver’s command with the fifth diesel injector. In addition, nothing has changed about regeneration, so its large physical button can be found to the left of the steering wheel as before. The same is true of the message on the instrument panel, which is now fully digital. The AdBlue tank now has a volume of 17 liters.

New, however, is Aisin’s eight-speed Direct Shift transmission with redesigned shifting, which works very smoothly. The box did not even lose the ability to hold the powerful engine in a lower gear, but Toyota improved the response and further adjusted the control of the paddles under the steering wheel. On the right hand side we would find the Crawl Control system control and the drive mode dial. There are two differential locks: rear and central.


We tested all the promises from the presentation with gusto in the Scottish countryside. If the reader has no idea what such a Scottish countryside looks like, we will be happy to clarify: bare hills alternate with rhododendrons and mud, which subtly reveals only the recently disappeared snow. Not even a live animal anywhere, unless we mean sheep constantly whipped by strong winds. Life here is not easy, so it is not surprising that we only meet hiluxes, rangers and original defenders on the road.

This is exactly the environment for a “countryman”. It carries itself gracefully on stone paths and the much better noise reduction makes a similarly solid impression. Even the work of the Crawl Control system, which in the last generation was accompanied by a strong jerk from the ABS module, is now much quieter. The inertia of the hydraulic power steering is also gone. What the Land Cruiser lost in steering feel, it makes up for with more precise power modulation.

Video: Martin Vaculík and Toyota Land Cruiser again. This time in proper terrain!

If the going gets really tough, another novelty of the current generation will come in handy. The existing KDSS system has given way to a modern solution with a detachable stabilizer, not unlike the one in the current Ford Bronco. The system has the designation SDM and is located on the front axle, because according to the chief designer of the series Keita Moritz, the application at the rear would not bring a better result. As much of an off-roader as a Land Cruiser can be, we’ve always loved its quiet on-road handling. They are now much better thanks to the SDM system. The possibility of disconnecting the stabilizer allows you to use a stiffer material, perhaps more suitable in all off-road situations.

The proverbial “ripple” of the frame structure has been further reduced by increasing the stiffness of the frame, the resulting ride is noticeably more confident without losing its famous ability to transfer itself over small bumps. But larger wounds still reveal the color of the car. We can expect fuel consumption to be similar to the current model. However, how much it will differ, and how much the more angular shape of the body will reflect on it, we will shed light on this in the classic weekly test.


  • Great off-road ability
  • Pleasant handling even on the road
  • Nice look
  • Good comfort


  • Worse aerodynamics
  • Only one engine so far
Toyota Land Cruiser: Basic technical data
Engine 2.8 D-4D, diesel, R4
Stroke volume (cm3) 2755
Power (kW at min-1) 150/3000-3400
Torque (Nm at min-1) 500/1600-2800
Transmission 8° planetary with hydraulic converter
External dimensions, wheelbase (mm) 4925 x 1980 x 1935, 2850
Volume of the luggage compartment (l) 1063
Maximum speed (km/h) 170
Basic price from (CZK) 2,190,000

The article is in Czech

Tags: Driving impressions Toyota Land Cruiser Love glance


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