Toyota's Land Cruiser Gets A Fresh Face For 2014

With a reputation for unrelenting and belligerent reliability, the Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the world's best-loved go-anywhere people movers. The most fittingly enduring badge in Toyota's line-up is getting a makeover for 2014 however, and we're looking at the highlights for the new car.

While the shape remains familiar, there's an extensive external facelift. Along with the updated grille, the Land Cruiser has gained integrated headlight/DRL units which are set higher to better avoid damage when driving offroad.

The front bumper has been changed to a stepped design that also protects the headlights and, while increasing the overhang slightly, features a sharply tapering bottom edge so the Land Cruiser retains the same turning circle and approach angle for topological obstacles.

At the back, the rear light clusters have been updated too, but the rear overhang remains the same so the Land Cruiser can pitch as far as it could before.

Moving inside, the dash has seen substantial reorganisation to improve both quality and functionality. The centre console gains an on/off-road technologies panel, including a new selector dial for the terrain selector and crawl controls and switches for the all-wheel drive and adaptive suspension.

There's also a 4.2" colour screen in the binnacle between the main dials which provides the driver with status information, including an angle gauge, traction control operation on each wheel, diff lock status, tyre pressure warning and blind spot monitor. The screen's functions can be selected on the steering wheel to keep the driver constantly informed.

The dials themselves have been subtlely enhanced with thinner needles and blue illumination and there's a choice of brushed metal, piano black, woord grain and aluminium finishes available to lend a premium feel to the cabin.

Those who habitually use the third row of seats will be pleased to learn that, on the five-door Land Cruiser, the tilt angle of the second row of seats has been increased to provide better access.

For now the powertrain remains as Toyota's 188 bhp 3.0-litre turbodiesel with a five-speed automatic transmission. This is essentially the same D4-D unit as in the current car, offering 306 lb-ft of torque, though it has been revised slightly in the face of new emissions regulations. CO2 ratings have reduced marginally to 209 g/km for the three door and 214 g/km five door models, while acceleration to 60mph is now 10.2s and 11.0s respectively.

Priced from: TBA
Available from: Early 2014

Verdict

If you liked the old Land Cruiser, you'll like the new one even more - it's just that little bit better in most departments and should still drive round, over and through the worst the UK can throw at you.

If you didn't - and the motoring press didn't, as evidenced by that middling buzzScore - chances are you still won't. While Toyota have also tweaked the dampers, anti roll bars and dynamic suspension electronics to enhance its on-road manners, it's telling that not a single one of the press shots features the car actually on a road.

The worst points of the Land Cruiser remain in evidence and if prices remain about the same as the outgoing model you're looking at 33k for a car that truly excels at taking seven people over terrible terrain. In the face of the Land Rover Discovery 4 which does almost the same job off the road but a considerably better job on it for similar prices, it doesn't seem like much of a decision.

For more information check out our full summary of the Toyota Land Cruiser alongside reviews, stats, photos and videos.

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