Last week, Toyota Europe unveiled its new version of the Land Cruiser, due to hit the Irish market towards the middle of 2024. This new Land Cruiser, which focuses on its traditional strengths of quality, durability and reliability to tackle the toughest conditions, has a retro look that emphasises its strength.

The Land Cruiser brand claims a 72-year history, with sales across 170 countries since first produced in 1952. The Land Cruiser has been a sector best-seller in Ireland too; it has been ranked second in light commercial vehicle sales in Ireland this year, with more than 1,524 units sold, an increase of 27% compared with 2022. It is expected that around 3,000 units will be built for Europe, so Irish Land Cruiser buyers may have to wait, given that 2023 Irish sales are half that figure.

The look

Toyota is sticking with the body-on-frame chassis structure, based on a new platform that claims to give significant increases in body and frame rigidity, while improving response, ride and handling. Toyota claims that the new frame is 50% more rigid and the combined body and frame rigidity is greater by 30%. These increases claim to contribute to improved responsiveness, handling and ride comfort. Basic suspension performance has also been enhanced, notably to help secure increased wheel articulation, which is important in off-road driving capability.

This is the first Land Cruiser to use an electric power steering (EPS) system. This reduces the amount of kickback that can occur when driving over rough surfaces and claims to provide smoother, more direct steering, and easier manoeuvrability at all speeds.

The EPS system will also allow the new Land Cruiser to feature Lane Tracing Assist as part of its Toyota Safety Sense active safety and driver assistance package. This new Land Cruiser gains further off-road capability, with a new, disconnecting, front anti-roll bar.

The technology, called SDM (Stabiliser with Disconnection Mechanism), is a Toyota first and enables the driver to change the status of the anti-roll bar (stabiliser) using a switch on the dashboard. This flexibility claims to allow for better driveability on rough roads, greater comfort and easier handling in on-road driving.

The package

Upgrades to the Toyota’s existing multi-terrain monitor and multi-terrain select provide further support when driving off-road. Using high resolution cameras and display, the multi-terrain monitor gives the driver a clear view of the area immediately around and beneath the vehicle. The multi-terrain select system automatically adapts vehicle performance to suit the demands of different off-road driving conditions.

For the western Europe market, this new Land Cruiser will be introduced with a 2.8-litre turbodiesel unit, engineered for a strong balance of fuel efficiency and performance.

It produces a maximum 204bhp and is matched to a new eight-speed direct shift automatic transmission. This gives it the strength to tow loads of up to 3,500kg. In early 2025, an electrified powertrain, combining this diesel engine with 48-volt mild hybrid technology, will be available.