EXCLUSIVE: LandCruiser 300-Series to get 5 models, up to 7 seats and bigger payload

The new 300-Series LandCruiser will not be offered with eight seats, but a bigger payload means it can carry lots more gear.

Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series
Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series

Payload and GVM details for the new Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series have been revealed in regulatory filings with the Australian government.

The listings confirm the new LandCruiser is about 200kg lighter than the 200-Series it replaces when it arrives in dealerships late this year.

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Some of those weight savings would have come from downsizing the engine from a V8 to a V6. The 300-Series will get a new 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel mated to a 10-speed automatic. Its peak outputs are boosted from the V8’s 200kW/650Nm to 227kW/700Nm, promising a decent step up in performance.

Payload up for 300-Series

However, the GVM – or gross vehicle mass – of the 300 has been reduced by 70kg to 3280kg. Still, the overall weight savings means the new 300-Series LandCruiser has a higher payload than the 200-Series, so it will carry more.

That answers one of the key issues for 200-Series LandCruiser drivers, which for most models could only carry 610kg. In the new 300-Series the payload is between 735kg and 870kg.

Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series
Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series: 10mm shorter than the 200-Series it replaces but riding on the same 2850mm wheelbase

With a tow capacity of 3500kg and the standard 10 percent (350kg) pushing down on the towball it means the LandCruiser should still be able to carry around half a tonne of people and luggage even if it’s towing a big load.

Of course, that’s dependent on the gross combination mass (GCM, the weight of the fully loaded car and trailer), which hasn’t been released yet. But either way, it appears Toyota has focused on ensuring the new 300-Series can carry a family and a big trailer.

Five 300-Series models

In certifying the new 300-Series for sale with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development Toyota has initially listed five model variants.

One of those could be a base model car with barn doors – as per the current LandCruiser GX 200-Series – that’s predominantly pitched at families, rental fleets and mining companies.

Toyota has indicated some model names may change from the GX, GXL, VX and Sahara available in the 200-Series.

Last year Toyota Australia trademarked the Sahara ZX name, hinting that could be utilised somewhere in the range. Best guesses are it could be the model with 20-inch wheels; it’s also longer at 5015mm, suggesting some styling changes or the standard fitment of a tow kit.

Regulatory documents confirming the new 300-Series LandCruiser is about 200kg lighter and will be offered in five model grades
Regulatory documents confirming the new 300-Series LandCruiser is about 200kg lighter and will be offered in five model grades

One of the confirmed new LandCruiser 300-Series models is the GR Sport, which gets unique bumpers so is slightly longer than the others in the lineup. The five-seat model has a unique 4995mm length and 1990mm width; expect the GR Sport to be the one Toyota pitches as the more serious for off-road work.

Three of the new LandCruisers are slightly shorter than the outgoing car by 10mm, at 4980mm long.

They have the same 1980mm width as the 200-Series and an identical 2850mm wheelbase.

Tyres: Thinning down

All LandCruiser 300s will have skinnier tyres than those in the 200-Series, in part because they have to contend with about 200kg less. Whereas the 200-Series got 285mm-wide rubber, the 300-Series is dropping that back to 265mm wide.

Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series
The new GR Sport will be the off-road hero and will ride on 265/65 18-inch wheels

The Sahara ZX gets 20-inch tyres with 265/55 dimensions while all others – including the GR Sport – come with 265/65 18-inch wheels. The base LandCruiser has also been certified to use 245/75 17-inch tyres, which are clearly designed for more serious off-road work. Think farmers, mining fleets and serious adventurers.

No more 8-seat LandCruisers

The initial batch of five LandCruiser models won’t include an eight-seater, at least according to the initial regulatory filings. If nothing changes between now and when the car goes on sale late in 2021 that will be the first time in decades Toyota hasn’t offered an eight-seat LandCruiser.

Only two of the five models will have three rows of seats with a seven-seat capacity.

Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series
The new LandCruiser 300-Series is about 200kg lighter than the 200-Series it will step in for late in 2021

The GR Sport looks as though it will only have five seats while the two base model cars will also have five seats.

All of which is good news for those wanting to explore in their LandCruisers. Seats not only add weight – therefore reducing the payload – but also take up space that can be used for luggage and camping gear.

Riding higher

Ground clearance for the new LandCruiser 300-Series has been increased to 245mm, up from 225mm. That’s part of the move to make the new model more capable off-road.

In presenting the new model Toyota also confirmed its approach angle would be 32 degrees and departure angle 26.5 degrees (the latter a 2.5-degree improvement).

Toyota LandCruiser 300-Series
The 300-Series sticks with a ladder frame chassis but gets a new KDSS suspension system for better wheel articulation off-road

While it still runs on a ladder frame chassis with independent front suspension and a live rear axle, there’s a new electronic KDSS (Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) to allow the front and rear stablisers to be disconnected, further improving wheel articulation.

The lighter weight should also improve its ability in some situations.

Meet the LandCruiser 300-Series family

LandCruiser entry-level GX

5 seats

265/65 18-inch tyres but with 245/75 17-inch tyres as an option.

2410kg weight

870kg payload

3500kg tow capacity

4980mm long, 1980mm wide, 1950mm high

LandCruiser GR Sport (new off-road-focused model)

5 seats

265/65 18-inch tyres

2545kg weight

735kg payload

3500kg tow capacity

4995mm long, 1990mm wide, 1950mm high

LandCruiser family version (GXL and/or VX replacement)

7 seats

265/65 18-inch tyres

2495kg weight

785kg payload

3500kg tow capacity

4980mm long, 1980mm wide, 1950mm high

LandCruiser Sahara

7 seats

265/65 18-inch tyres

2545kg weight

735kg payload

3500kg tow capacity

4980mm long, 1980mm wide, 1950mm high

LandCruiser Sahara ZX

5 seats

265/55 20-inch tyres

2525kg weight

755kg payload

3500kg tow capacity

5015mm long, 1980mm wide, 1950mm high