Toyota Land Cruisers have a reputation for being utterly reliable in any terrain
You might have seen many manufacturers market their products as ‘go anywhere’ SUVs. But a Toyota Land Cruiser is one of those SUVs that comes closest to that claim. We know that monster trucks are a thing in America. But they don’t come straight out of the factory, like a Land Cruiser does.
Toyota Land Cruiser LC300 is the latest of the lineup and has been under immense demand worldwide. For a good reason too. Unlike other manufacturers that build their 4X4s only to be par for the course. But Toyota over-engineers crucial components on most of their 4X4s like 4Runner, Tacoma, Tundra, Land Cruiser Prado and Land Cruiser. Hence, despite being lackluster unlike their competition, they command a premium price and sell like hot cakes.
Toyota is set to bring this popular SUV to India. Before the launch, a Land Cruiser Sahara ZX variant with RHD (right-hand drive) layout has been spotted on Indian roads. It looks like the Sahara ZX variant. It was spotted on the streets of Coimbatore without a number plate. So, it isn’t a test mule. Land Cruiser bookings were open in India which were soon closed due to high demand.
Toyota Land Cruiser Sahara ZX
It is likely that Toyota might have imported one for the sake of advertisement shooting before the launch in India. Or this might be a private import from an RHD market, unlike LHD Land Cruisers imported from Middle-Eastern countries through Carnet.
When we look at this SUV, its size radiates immense road presence. It is not an illogically large SUV like a Cadillac Escalade or a Chevy Tahoe, but it comes off as XL size for India. Unlike Land Rovers which are now monocoque, Land Cruiser is still old-school. It gets a ladder-frame chassis like the Mercedes G-Class and a 4X4 system with every possible off-road feature you might think of.
The design comes off as a little boxy. But Toyota did that on purpose because that is its charm. It has a ‘Get out of my way’ front fascia with large Chrome slats that you wouldn’t wanna see in your rear-view mirror. On the inside, it might be simple and old-school but it offers the most fool-proof features. It also embraces slightly with a large horizontal 12.3” touchscreen system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 14 speakers JBL audio system, ventilated front seats and a single-pane sunroof, level-2 ADAS systems and more.
Specs & launch
Toyota Land Cruiser Sahara ZX gets unique 20” alloy wheels and Sahara variant only gets 18” 6-spoke alloy wheels. Sahara ZX also gets a rear torque-sensing limited-slip differential and five drive modes. Under the bonnet, it is powered by a 3.3L V6 Turbo-diesel engine making 304 bhp and 700 Nm of torque coupled with a 10-speed gearbox. This engine replaces the old gas-guzzling 5L V8 turbo-diesel unit while yielding more power, torque and fuel efficiency while being 200 kg lighter. See America? Smaller can be better too.
Toyota Land Cruiser LC300 will be launched in India soon along with its luxurious cousin Lexus GX 460. When launched, it will cost over Rs. 2 crores and competes with Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Mercedes G-Class, Mercedes GLS, BMW X7, Audi Q8 and Volvo XC90.