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3 Reasons We're Not Sold on the Toyota 300 Series LandCruiser. RIP V8.

2 White 300 Series 4WDs
Will the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series live up to the hype? Time will tell

The Toyota LandCruiser has long been a staple in the 4WD community, known for its ruggedness, reliability, and downright badassery. So, when the all-new 300 Series LandCruiser was announced, we were naturally hyped (and hoping it would be a V8). But after getting our hands on one and putting it through its paces, we're not entirely convinced it’s the upgrade from the 200 Series that everyone’s hoping for. Here are three reasons why we're not sold on the 300 Series LandCruiser.

1. Toyota Killed the Iconic Split Tailgate

One of the standout features of the LandCruiser has always been its split tailgate. It’s not just a functional design; it’s part of the vehicle’s identity and a solid spot to park your arse. The ability to drop the tailgate and use it as a seat or a workbench has been a beloved feature among LandCruiser enthusiasts for years. Sadly, Toyota decided to ditch the split tailgate in the 300 Series. Instead, you get a single-piece tailgate that, while modern-looking, just doesn’t offer the same versatility or nostalgic charm. It’s a small change, but for many of us, it’s a significant loss.

2. No Longer a V8, It’s a Twin Turbo V6

The 200 Series was known for its beastly V8 engine, which provided ample power and a satisfying roar under the hood. In the 300 Series, Toyota has opted for a twin-turbo V6 instead. Sure, on paper, the V6 might offer similar power and performance specs, but it just doesn’t have the same soul as the V8. The V8’s deep growl is replaced by a somewhat less impressive hum, and we’ve heard mixed reviews about the twin-turbo setup's long-term reliability. For many off-road enthusiasts, this change feels like a step backward.

Front of a 4wd
Under the bonnet has undergone many changes. Not all of them we agree with.

3. The Cabin Space is Smaller

Another area where the 300 Series falls short is interior space. The 200 Series offered a roomy, comfortable cabin that made long trips and off-road adventures a joy. The 300 Series, however, feels a bit more cramped. While the design is sleek and modern, the reduced space can make the vehicle feel claustrophobic, especially for taller drivers and passengers. This is a surprising change considering the trend towards larger, more spacious vehicles in the 4WD market.

Final Thoughts

We have to give credit where it’s due – the 300 Series does have some impressive design choices and features. The vented seats, for example, are a nice touch that adds a level of comfort we can definitely get behind. But when it comes to the core aspects that make a LandCruiser a LandCruiser, the 300 Series seems to fall short. From the loss of the split tailgate to the replacement of the V8 engine and the reduced cabin space, these changes make us question whether the 300 Series is truly an upgrade.

Is the 300 Series a new off-road champion, or is it destined to be just another Prado "Mum bus"? We’re leaning towards the latter, but we’d love to hear your thoughts. Check out our latest episode where we dive deeper into these issues.

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