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4 X 4 Australia News 2022 Land Cruiser 300 Series 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series Australia 2022 Toyota LC 300 Australia 45
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Toyota LandCruiser

Fuel efficiency Ancap rating
$62,830–$141,481 7.9–10.7 L/100km 5

The Toyota LandCruiser has become an Australian icon, ever since the 4WD was imported from Japan in the 1950s to be a workhorse on the Snowy Hydro Scheme.

The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series replaced the long-serving 200 Series in 2021, with Toyota Australia dropping the 4.5-litre V8 engine from the spec sheet and offering a 3.3-litre V6 turbo-diesel as the only choice of engine.

Featured Review

2023 Toyota Land Cruiser LC 300 GR Sport Suv 277

Toyota LandCruiser 2023 review: 300 Series GR Sport

Does a luxury four-wheel-drive really need this much off-road capability? Or should that be, does a capable four-wheel drive need this much luxury?

26 Jan 2023

If you want locking differentials front and rear in a new 300 Series LandCruiser, this GR Sport is the only model in the line-up to include them.

There is no other option box to tick. So if you want lockers in a 300 Series, it’s either pony up the money for the second-most expensive 300 Series variant, or pay a visit to your local four-wheel-drive shop to have some aftermarket diff locks installed.

While modern traction control systems are tremendously capable, especially the offerings from Toyota, sometimes there is no substitute for locking differentials for the ultimate in control when navigating technical terrain.

As well as having a centre, front and rear differential lock, the GR Sport LC300 also boasts E-KDSS – or Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System. This system allows for the vehicle’s swaybars to be disconnected when off-road for more articulation and a smoother ride on choppy ground, then reconnect when on-road for better handling.

Clever stuff indeed, making the GR Sport the most capable 4x4 in the LC300 range. But you are also paying for the privilege. We spent a week living with the GR Sport LC300 to get to know it better, see if the hype is real, and find out just how far can you take them off-road.


How much is it, and what do you get?

The LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport has a listed drive-away price starting at $146,654. As tested, with Graphite paint colour, the price increases to $147,364 not including any additional factory accessories.

For your money, you get a five-seat, full-size four-wheel drive wagon (no seven-seat option for the GR Sport), with the widely discussed 3.3L V6 twin-turbo diesel motor bolted to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and a rather special interior that is functional while still feeling luxurious.

The main talking point of the GR Sport variant is the fact it has manually selectable electronic diff locks, making it the only vehicle in the 300 Series range to come with lockers, creating an extremely capable off-roader.

To further enhance its off-road chops, the GR Sport LC300 also boasts E-KDSS (Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System), which allows for the vehicle’s sway bars to disconnect when driving challenging terrain thus allowing more suspension travel, then engaging them when on-road to provide solid cornering ability.

Multi Terrain Select is also included in the GR Sport’s suite of off-road goodies, offering traction control calibrations to suit a wide range of terrain with the twist of a dial mounted on the dash. It's an effective system too, offering high levels of off-road ability that both new players and seasoned four-wheel drive veterans alike can benefit from using.

And if all else fails, don’t forget those front and rear diff locks that engage quickly and easily via push-buttons mounted near the driver’s left knee low on the dash – which in my opinion isn’t the best position for these vital controls; I’d prefer to see them placed near the gear selector.

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How do rivals compare on value?

The main rival to the LandCruiser 300 Series is the Nissan Patrol. Pricing for the top-of-the-line Ti-L Patrol comes in at $103,202 drive-away, while the lower spec Ti is $89,602 drive-away.

Although this makes the GR Sport LC300 considerably more expensive than a Patrol, the big Nissan Wagon is starting to show its age.

Land Rover’s Defender 110 or more likely the Defender 130 is another option in this field, offering eight seats in the 130 and solid off-road ability as well as a luxury interior. Pricing for the 130 starts from $124,150 before on-road costs, so there’s still a fair chunk of change left over compared to the GR Sport LC300.

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Interior comfort, space and storage

The GR Sport gets bespoke seats that have been embroidered with GR Sport logos, and are comfortable and supportive with plenty of adjustment.

Second-row seating is both comfortable and spacious, with my nearly two-metre lanky frame having no space issues when seated in the back with the driver’s seat set to my preferred position.

As you’d expect from a large wagon, especially one with no third-row seating, there’s ample space for touring four-wheel drivers or families with no more than three kids, and it would be an easy affair to accessorise the large cargo area with aftermarket storage drawers to maximise available space.

The dash features a 9.0-inch infotainment system that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible (both still wired rather than wireless), and pumps sound out via nine speakers that provide plenty of volume while remaining clear even when pushed. A sporty vehicle needs a good sound system, and the GR Sport has that in spades.

One peeve with this model compared to the previous 200 Series LandCruiser, is the single-piece tailgate. The split tailgate offered in the 200 Series 'Cruiser provided a handy table space for preparing a meal or a spot to sit and is much missed.

After speaking with a mate who recently purchased a 300 Series, he explained that while he also misses the split tailgate, he can see why Toyota made the change as the single-piece tailgate allows no dust in (from his experience), whereas he couldn’t say the same for the 200 Series.

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What is it like to drive?

The basics

The LC300 GR Sport really is an easy vehicle to drive, no matter if that’s bombing through the desert, towing on the highway or pushing through tough off-road obstacles.

Speaking of towing, while we didn’t hitch up a van for this test, the GR Sport offers a 3500kg towing capacity, and we have towed a large Kedron caravan with the LC300 platform before.

You can tell this vehicle has been designed with those that tow in mind; the brakes and suspension feel ideally suited to this task, as does the performance of the engine and transmission.

On-road, there’s nothing offensive about the way the GR Sport rides, handles and feels. Doing the posted speed limit of 110km/h, the 'Cruiser sits on just 1500rpm, which offers a relaxed experience producing no noticeable wind noise; kind of what you’d expect in a vehicle that costs close to $150,000.

Off-road, the GR Sport is at right home on chopped-out dirt roads where the suspension compliance and levels of traction offered, combined with the plush comforts of the GR Sport’s interior, mean you could cover serious ground without feeling too fatigued at the end of the day.

I really wish this GR Sport came with some more off-road-focused rubber, something that you’d have to assume new owners would be quick to have fitted up.

With the transfer case shifted to low range 4x4, which is simple to operate and engages quick smart (always a good sign), the GR Sport is a weapon. The traction system is effective, especially when you play with its Multi Terrain Select modes.

Engage the front and rear lockers, and the only things that will stop the GR Sport are a lack of ground clearance or the levels of grip and lateral stability offered by the stock highway-terrain tyres in greasy conditions.

I really wish this GR Sport came with some more off-road-focused rubber, something that you’d have to assume new owners would be quick to have fitted up.

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How is it on fuel?

I managed to record a final fuel use figure of 11.15 litres per 100km, which I feel is reasonable for such a large vehicle.

This was recorded at the pump and was tested over a variety of terrain including slow technical off-roading, highway cruising and urban commuting.

For comparison, my recent stint in the similarly sized 2022 Nissan Patrol saw fuel consumption figures of 16 litres per 100km from its big petrol V8.

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How safe is it?

Most of the 300 Series range has been awarded a five-star ANCAP rating.

The new LandCruiser received the second highest score to date for Vulnerable Road User Protection under their 2020-22 protocols receiving a score of 81 per cent and a score of 89 per cent for occupant protection.

In saying that, we can’t verify this for the GR Sport LC300 because it remains untested at this time and as such, has no official safety rating.

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Warranty and running costs

The 300 Series is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty with a conditional seven years offered on the engine and driveline.

Service costs are capped across the 300 Series range, coming in at $400 per service for up to five years or 100,000km (whichever comes first). Service intervals are pretty short at six months or 10,000km.

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In some ways, the GR Sport LC300 doesn’t make sense; I’m pondering why one of the top-tier LC300s is the only offering to come with diff locks as this is an option I would love to see across the range. For example, a base model GX with diff locks would make for a better value proposition as a touring four-wheel drive. One can dream, I suppose.

With that out of the way, the 300 Series LandCruiser GR Sport is a properly capable vehicle that really just needs a mild suspension lift and some bigger, more aggressive tyres to do impressive things off-road.

This is exactly what I’d do if I had $150,000 burning a hole in my pocket and wanted a luxurious vehicle that offers stellar off-road ability.

Sure, it is expensive but you are also getting a fair bit of kit for your money, and make no mistake this is a quality vehicle that will last the test of time in our harsh Australian conditions.

I’m genuinely stoked that Toyota has offered this vehicle to market.

With no option of seven seats for the GR Sport, this could rule the vehicle out for those with larger families requiring three seating rows, although there are other options in the LC300 range, for those needing more seats.

The ride on sub-par roads is impressive, offering enough compliance to soak up bumps while being planted on highway sections.

With both lockers engaged, there isn’t much that will stop the GR Sport LC300 off-road but the stock tyres will let you down first when the going gets rough; they are just too small and not aggressive enough to offer enough grip in sloppy conditions to capitalise on the GR Sports insane off-road ability.

Thankfully, that’s an easy fix, allowing you to select the light truck tyres that suit your needs and driving style.

Considering it only used 11L/100km on test, it’s pretty darn good on the dino-juice for such a large four-wheel drive wagon too.

Just what you want in a capable four-wheel drive that is built to tour our vast sunburnt country in comfort.

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Score breakdown
Safety, value and features
Comfort and space
Engine and gearbox
Ride and handling

Things we like

  • Front and rear diff locks
  • Comfortable and spacious
  • Plenty of grunt from that twin-turbo V6 diesel motor

Not so much

  • Stock tyres aren’t much chop off-road
  • Could do with more ground clearance
  • High price tag

More Reviews

Toyota LandCruiser Prices and Specifications

ModelPriceFuel Economy (city)PowerTransmission
LandCruiser Prado$62,830–$88,9987.9 L/100km150 kW6 SP Automatic
LandCruiser 70$71,000–$82,60010.7 L/100km151 kW5 SP Manual
LandCruiser 300$92,681–$141,4818.9 L/100km227 kW10 SP Automatic
LandCruiser 200$131,8969.5 L/100kmN/A6 SP Automatic

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About the Toyota LandCruiser

The Toyota LandCruiser has become an Australian icon, ever since the 4WD was imported from Japan in the 1950s to be a workhorse on the Snowy Hydro Scheme.

The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series replaced the long-serving 200 Series in 2021, with Toyota Australia dropping the 4.5-litre V8 engine from the spec sheet and offering a 3.3-litre V6 turbo-diesel as the only choice of engine.

Claimed by Toyota to be a ‘V8 beater’, the V6 generates 227kW and 700Nm and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4WD system. No manuals are available in the 300 Series shed.

The six models in the LC300 Series line-up are the GX, GXL, VX, Sahara, GR Sport and Sahara ZX, with all models coming with 110 litres of fuel and a 3500kg towing capacity.

The GX, GR Sport and Sahara ZX contain five seats, while the GXL, VX and Sahara all have a third row and seven seats in total.

With front and rear locking differentials as standard, and the inclusion of the latest-generation Toyota Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, the GR Sport is the most off-road focused of the bunch.