And so while Toyota’s interior updates have added a reshaped dashboard and a new instrument panel to the Invincible spec model, as well as a new centre console covered in shiny knobs and buttons for the various off-road modes, they haven’t exactly turned the Land Cruiser into a rival for an Audi Q7. Think of this car, instead, as a car of Land Rover Defender-level mud-plugging abilities, with the sort of interior comfort, quality and habitability you’d very happily accept and embrace in your everyday driver. The car’s heated and ventilated leather seats are soft and snug, and give you a great view out. Its fittings look and feel solid, and fairly expensive – but most of all, they’re plainly ready to last.
Further rearwards, the car now has sliding second-row seats and a third row that collapses properly into the boot floor rather than fold away upwards to take up boot space. It’s not a particularly roomy seven-seater by large SUV standards, but then it’s not a desperately large SUV.
Only the base-level, three-door Utility model has the choice between a manual or automatic gearbox; the rest of the range is exclusively served by the automatic. The Active model gains an 8.0in Touchscreen, DAB radio, dual-zone air conditioning, reversing camera and rear parking sensors. Power-adjustable seats, front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and collision detection systems are added with the Icon model. The 5-mode drive select system, adaptive suspension and JBL sound system are reserved for the top-spec Invincible.
Driving the Toyota Land Cruiser
On the road, it’s certainly a smoother and more refined SUV than it used to be. Toyota’s efforts at putting manners on the car’s suspension and creating a calmer, less commercial-feeling ride quality consisted of fitting bigger dampers front and rear, reinforced suspension links and new bushings, as well as delivering longer-stroke wheel travel at the rear in particular. They have been successful. The Land Cruiser now feels fairly supple at low speeds and on the motorway, and while its body takes a long time to settle when the road surface is changing topography, it only moves around in a slow, gentle, low-amplitude, barely noticable sort of a way.
The car’s handling and body control remain of the sort you'd expect of a traditional SUV, rather than what you might of a 21st-century, 21in-wheeled, lowish-rise luxury sports SUV. You probably get twice as much body roll around a typical corner as you would in a road-biased alternative and perhaps two-thirds as much lateral grip – albeit delivered with plenty of stability, through fairly slow-geared, hydraulically assisted steering, and backed up by a decent electronic stability control system. But, of course, you are getting that in a genuine dual-purpose vehicle in which an unplanned excursion into a muddy field wouldn’t be touching the sides of what it’s actually designed to do. You don't find many new cars for which a designer or engineer might celebrate a raised centre of gravity; in this one, if such a change kept any major mechanicals further from harm as a result of grounding or offroading damage, you get the feeling they just might.