0-100: Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series Sahara
Toyota's new LandCruiser 300 Series feels every bit the king of Aussie roads.
In the states it's Jeep, in the UK it’s Land Rover, but here in Australia the undisputed king off-the-road is Toyota’s LandCruiser. The latest iteration of the off-road wagon, the 300 Series, launched late last year, some 14 years after its predecessor, the 200 Series.
Over the course of its model life the 200 built a reputation as a highly capable off-roader, all-terrain tourer and tow rig, with the 300 adding more features, luxury, performance, and greater off-road ability.
There’s familiarity to the look of the 300, including virtually identical dimensions to the 200 Series, although Toyota claims every nut, bolt and panel is new. Prices are up by an average of $9000 over the 200 Series depending on the model.
The Sahara tested here sits in the middle of the range, its $131,190 RRP bringing with it a rich level of standard equipment that includes a driver’s head-up display, heated and cooled second-row seats, and more.
Behind the grille is a newly developed 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel, which gives away a pair of cylinders and 2.2-litres in cubic capacity to its V8 predecessor yet summons a more muscular 227kW/700Nm.
The twin turbo system ensures smooth, instant power delivery with drive channeled via a responsive 10-speed automatic. The combination delivers combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.9L/100km, a modest 0.6L/100km improvement over the V8, but with its 110-litre fuel tanks the 300 Series will still take you far from the madding crowd.
Under the skin is a new body-on-frame structure that ensures a stoic 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity, while independent front and four-link rear suspension provide both a pleasant ride and impressive off-road wheel articulation.
As before, the ’Cruiser features fulltime all-wheel-drive with a transfer case and a lockable center-differential, and there are six terrain modes to ensure optimal traction whatever the off-road conditions.
The new V6 pulls effortlessly, with peak torque available from just 1600rpm, the second turbo kicking in at around 2600rpm to ensure strong acceleration despite the wagon’s 2560kg heft.
The gearing range of the new 10-speed auto means the engine always feels to be sitting comfortably within its peak torque zone. Quieter, more powerful, and more capable than its predecessor, the 300 Series is an impressive evolution.
Retail price: $139,624 (driveaway)
Body Style: Full-size 4x4 wagon
Fuel consumption: (Combined): 8.9L/100km
ANCAP Safety Rating: 5 Star (2022)
Engine: 3.3-litre twin turbocharged V6 diesel, 24-valve DOHC, chain drive
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Drive type: Permanent AWD with low-range transfer case and centre-differential lock
Max. power: 227kW @ 4000rpm
Max. torque: 700Nm @1600-2600rpm
For more visit: toyota.com.au