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Toyota Land Cruiser Gets An Overhaul

By raccars Published

With Land Rover conducting some updates and investments within its model line up, one of its main rivals, the Toyota Land Cruiser, has been sharpened up, to help it chase the market leader's share of sales. The same 3.0 litre diesel engine is under the bonnet, but higher quality cabin materials and a revised front end will mark out facelift models from early 2014. The wheelbase remains the same but the front overhang has grown slightly for a minimally increased total length.

Facelift is actually a rather generous term, as Toyota has applied an 'if it ain't broke...' philosophy. The Land Cruiser is a solid seller for the company and has a very loyal fanbase, so changes are subtle.

The boxy off-roader will have a new, very chunky bumper on the front and a bulkier grille. Five chunky grille bars replace the previous six slim uprights, in silver or metallic, according to trim levels. The slanting headlight cluster has been redesigned and the DRLs tick up along the sides of the grille. Tail lights sit behind a clear lens surrounded by a red frame.

Interior adjustments include a smaller CD stereo unit and a reshuffled layout – off road driving controls now sit underneath the air conditioning controls, which functions via a large five setting dial and lateral rocker switches. This system selects the various Multi-Terrain, Crawl, adaptive suspension and all wheel drive options. Driving information both on and off road is displayed upon a central colour screen and the instrument binnacle has refreshed dials and aluminium trim. The 4x4 has also been treated to some higher quality upholstery, as part of its refreshments list.

The Land Cruiser has been given some added practicality by new fold down seats in the second row, which allow better access to the rear seats, while Toyota claims to have improved driving dynamics with retuned suspension – standard and Kinetic Dynamic Suspension systems are available as before, but passengers should find the ride smoother and more comfortable.

Engine revisions have been limited to Euro 5+ compliance levels, which is slightly disappointing as the rugged beast could do with a bit of extra shove and won't help the Land Cruiser to steal the Discovery's crown. However, Land Cruiser lovers know what they're buying and are likely to be satisfied with the same ruggedness and willing attitude that has characterised previous versions.

Prices have yet to be released, but it would be reasonable to expect a small premium, putting an entry level model around £34,000.

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