Land Cruiser goes all commercial

Toyota has released details on its first UK light commercial version of its legendary Land Cruiser SUV, with first deliveries starting in July.

Short- and long-wheelbase versions will be available with three and five doors respectively, sharing the same body styling as the recently updated Land Cruiser family 4×4. Overall length is 4.4m for the SWB and 4.8m for the LWB; both vehicles are just under 1.9m wide, with the three-door measuring 1.83m high and the five-door an extra 15mm high.

The Land Cruiser LWB has a minimum ground clearance of 21.5cm; for the SWB model the figure is 20.5cm. The approach angle, which determines the maximum gradient the vehicle can approach without the underside of the front bumper hitting the ground, is 31°. Its maximum wading depth is 70cm.

Toyota Land Cruiser Utility Commercial

A global legend

While the UK has always been obsessed with the idiosyncratic Land Rover Defender and its predecessors, the rest of the world has long appreciated the sheer indestructibility of the Toyota Land Cruiser.

Internationally, it first earned its stripes in Australia working on a massive post-war hydro-electric development. Fed up with Land Rovers that kept breaking down in the unforgiving Australian conditions, a dozen of the then-new Japanese 4x4s were trialled to see if they were any better. Within months, most Land Rovers had been replaced with Toyotas and similar projects around the world began to take notice.

Across Africa, you will see every generation of Land Cruiser still hard at work after decades of abuse. And, somewhat less happily, the Land Cruiser and Hilux have become the vehicle of choice for terrorist groups and dissidents across the Middle East. Even jihadists know that these trucks are the most reliable and indestructible vehicles on the planet…

Performance and economy figures, permanent four-wheel drive

Power comes from a 2.8-litre diesel engine that develops 175bhp at 3,400rpm. It is matched to a six-speed manual gearbox, and produces 420Nm in the SWB model and 450Nm in the LWB. It will accelerate either vehicle from rest to 62mph in 12.1 seconds, and on to a 108mph top speed. Official combined cycle fuel consumption (LWB) is 38.1mpg with 194g/km CO2 emissions.

Off-road traction is provided by a proven permanent four-wheel drive system that uses a Torsen limited slip differential in the centre differential and a shift actuator, which makes for easier shifting between the high and low ranges.

Inside, the rear seats have been removed to create a load area, extending to 1,574 litres in the SWB and 2,216 litres in the LWB; respective payloads are up to 593 and 756kg respectively (according to vehicle kerb weight). Both vehicles can tow braked trailers with loads of up to three tonnes.

The load space is designed to be practical and hard-wearing with an edge-to-edge non-slip flat floor tray. The division between the front cabin and rear cargo area is a full height metal bulkhead with a mesh top section fitted with a hatch for easy access. Loading is via the wide-opening side-hinged tailgate, or (on five-door models) through either of the rear side doors. The rear windows are blanked out with panels that match the Land Cruiser’s body colour.

The two front seats have cloth upholstery and adjustable head restraints. Standard features include air conditioning, cruise control, six-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and (on the LWB model) auxiliary and USB connections. Automatic headlights, front fog lights and roof rails are also included in the standard specification.

Final pricing and specification will be announced closer to launch this summer.

Toyota Land Cruiser utility LCV load space

Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttp://www.thecarexpert.co.uk
Stuart is the Editorial Director of The Van Expert, which came about after the success of sister site The Car Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help vehicle buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

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