THE 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport breaks new ground, with a complete redesign, that ironically keeps the legend alive. You see, the things that have always been this vehicle’s strong points, have simply been further enhanced.
A striking, well-known shape retains the “traditional” heritage that has made the LandCruiser famous, with this particular variant adding a real sporty feel, that puts it feet first into the high-end off-roader market.
Under the bonnet is a shiny new 3.3-litre V6 twin turbo diesel that replaces the now departed V8, with the updated powerplant pumping out an impressive 227kW at 4,000rpm, along with 700Nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,600rpm.
That broad torque range is why the GR Sport is such a great workhorse and off-road machine, and more than enough to tow the caravan or horse trailer. It’s sportiness just adds to the character.
A beautiful 10-speed automatic transmission provides connection to a multitude of drive modes and configurations. Power is delivered through 18-inch black alloys that are specific to this variant.
The 265/65/18 Dunlop Grandtrek tyres offer sensitive on road handling with minimal noise, as well as providing a very capable off-road package. We put the wheel and tyre combination to the test, in mud so slippery the camera crew could not stand comfortably.
But the 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport simply launched out of the mire. Locking the diff with the touch of a button meant we could leave all the muck behind us. The turning circle is surprisingly good for a car of this size too.
The hydraulically operated active sway bar disconnection, e-KDSS really enhances the off-road suspension travel as well. Toyota have stayed with the main ladder bar chassis and to save weight, manufactured the doors, roof, tailgate and bonnet from aluminium.
Sitting in the driver’s seat, the large bonnet is emphasised by twin bulges, with a flatter centre section so you can see the road ahead. It’s a good looking thing, but we did find that it vibrated at speed on our test vehicle.
The LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport sits very high too, and getting in and out requires the use of the side steps and grab handles. On the outside, the six individual LED headlights are superb, and blend into the black trim treatment found all over the car.
On most occasions, the high beam sensing system picks up oncoming vehicles quickly and makes night driving a pleasure. Keyless entry too offers convenience when busy. If you have parcels, the auto-tailgate function is a god send.
Once inside the luxury of the LandCruiser GR Sport, the leather seats envelope you and the well laid out dash and screens makes for a comfortable office. The 12.3-inch colour touchscreen stands proudly in the centre of the room.
It features satellite navigation, a 360-degree camera, AM/FM/DAB+ tuner, smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), and there’s a booming 14-speaker JBL premium audio system.
The convenient aluminium polished switches allow hassle free changes to the displayed information. A head-up display offers current speed and cruise control settings, as well as speed limits thanks to to the road sign assist function.
An auto sunroof features in the GR Sport variant, and with it fully open, there’s a little resonance in the cabin, as you might expect from a large SUV. The front seats bare the GR emblem, are generous in size, and include electric movement with three position memory.
Heating and cooling is included and can be set to automatic if required. The heated steering wheel is also a pleasant addition. We couldn’t fault the seating position for providing a good overall view of the terrain to the front and sides.
The exterior surround camera is very useful to fill the “blackspot” to the rear. Rear seat passengers are truly spoilt with heated and cooled outer seats too, with separate air-conditioning controls and USB charging points.
Our test vehicle featured subtle carbon-fibre styled inserts on the door panels, steering wheel and console. The latter hides a cool box. Two full size cup holders with removal bottom for long bottles are included, along with wireless phone charging.
Behind a spring door are USB charging ports and above that is surprisingly a CD/DVD player.
The 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport does not however, come in a 7-seat option, which could be an issue for some. The rear seats roll forward very easily, should you need to load up the boot space though.
Cargo space is exceptionally generous, with handy tie down points and a 200V 100-amp power outlet to suit laptops. A full size spare hides under the rear floor. Payload is just 650kg, with the LandCruiser 300 Series tipping the scales at 3,280kg.
The integrated tow bar is a convenient feature for the large SUV, with a 3,500kg braked towing capacity, with all the gear stashed in a hard plastic case. A Redarc electric controller came pre-installed (an optional extra) and is controlled by a dial neatly positioned on the dash.
Considered one of the two flagship models, it comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense package that includes a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, active cruise control (all-speed), and adaptive high beam.
Lane departure alert with brake to steer is also included and could be best described as enthusiastic. The movement back to the centre of the lane is abrupt to say the least, and could probably do with a revision to make a smoother and more comfortable experience.
There are six driving modes in all, including Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+ and Custom, and you can choose each one with the turn of a convenient dial. Moving between the modes is seamless and the changes to the automatic shift points are noticeable.
In addition, multi-terrain select can be chosen, which handles various surfaces from dirt to snow. The management of the drivetrain is equally simple. Locking the diffs and transfer case is again a rocker switch, and there’s zero turn for serious downhill manoeuvrings.
Toyota claims fuel consumption of 8.9-litres/100km, and on our test, which included some off road work and some highway cruising saw 11.2-litres/100km. The combined fuel capacity is 110-litres, made up of an 80-litre main tank and 30-litre reserve.
Our 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport came in beautiful Merlot Red, but you can choose Glacier White, Ebony, Crystal Pearl, Arctic White, Graphite, and Eclipse Black. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
The GR Sport starts at $147,459 drive away, and also comes with 3-years of Toyota Connected Services, which includes stolen vehicle tracking, automatic collision notification and SOS call. Servicing is capped at $375 per service for up to 5-years.
You can build and price a new LandCruiser 300 Series on the Toyota Australia website.
Our test vehicle was provided by Toyota Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport, contact your local Toyota dealer. Images courtesy of Mitch Zeinert Photography.