Can the latest Land Cruiser take on the Discovery?
Whereas Land Rover unveiled the Discovery SVX as an outlandish off-roader previewing a future production model, Toyota has chosen to unveil the new 2018 Land Cruiser at the Frankfurt Auto Show, which has received a raft of technological updates, an overhauled exterior, and a more luxurious interior to compete with the Discovery. Toyota still uses body-on-frame construction, to isolate the cabin from suspension impacts, making the Land Cruiser one of the most robust off-roaders in the segment.
The tops of the wings have also been raised to make it easier to pinpoint the Land Cruiser's extremities. Inside, the cabin has had a substantial upgrade featuring a redesigned dashboard, and a repositioned center console to improve forward visibility. A new eight-inch infotainment touchscreen takes pride of place in the center console. The new Land Cruiser is also equipped with a range of autonomous driver assists depending on the market, including collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and a blind spot monitor.
This is more than just your typical facelift, too. For the 2018 model, the reputable Land Cruiser has received some thoughtful exterior design tweaks. A redesigned grille and headlights not only give the off-roader a more modern look, but are positioned higher to improve the functionality, while the headlamp main beams have been positioned further inboard to avoid damage when driving off-road. Elsewhere, the hood has been reshaped to improve downward visibility at the center and is sandwiched by the sides of the bumper to protect the engine bay. The corners of the lower bumper have internal fog lamps and kick upwards, while the center section is shaped like a skid plate for easier manoeuvring off-road.
In Europe, the range-topping 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser will arrive with a 4.0-liter mated to a six-speed automatic delivering 249-hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. There's no mention of US availability yet, but hopefully the new Land Cruiser will retain its excellent 5.7-liter V8 when it arrives stateside.