Skip to main content

The Toyota Land Cruiser – Not just a car, an emotion in itself

The Toyota Land Cruiser

The Land Cruiser in the UAE

An ideal vehicle to cruise on the land

Its birth brought the advent of not just a car, but a legend. Not just a people carrier, a memory brewer. Not just a road companion, but a machine with such brute force that made the impossible, possible by expanding the horizon of mankind’s expedition and uncovering places unbeknownst to civilizations till then.

It is one car that redefined the laws of physics by bringing refinement, poise, luxury and gait all in one such a tempting package that it was touted even by highly experienced automotive professionals as the ultimate SUV that was to become the choice of many, many intrepid explorers who were all set to experience mojo as they relentlessly clocked in mile after mile inhaling the essence of what a perfect, indestructible automobile is and can do.

In case you haven’t guessed this car by now, chances are you have scant interest in the automotive world or are new to this gusto-filled arena. The car or rather the SUV, which is being referred to in this context, is none other than the mighty Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s been through several eons and while with every successor, the promise of reliable and opulent commuting is instilled, one thing which remains enviably true about this beast is emotional connect.

Owners and aspiring off-road enthusiasts just can’t have enough of this car, no matter how much they explore it and the world placing themselves on the throne-like seats giving them a superfluous feeling of supremacy as it makes several other cars on the road look dwarfed and annihilated.

The Land Cruiser, what a perfect name to describe the car which remains proudly christened in bold on the car’s body. It isn’t without a reason why the brand itself tags the phrase, “Pride of the Land.” It’s certainly got the go to match the show, especially in the latest LC300 avatar where for the first time, relatively smaller but efficient and more vehement turbo-petrol mills provided the calories making it swifter.

Toyota Land Cruiser Generations

Over the years, the Land Cruiser has been through 8 generations, each spawning a greater number of zesty enthusiasts who yearn for everything from a luxury SUV without having to spend a gargantuan amount of money at the service center and one that could withstand all pummelling without expostulating once.

The illustrious pedigree:


It all started with the J20 which was predominantly engineered to proficient levels for the Japanese army to tackle the unruffled surfaces and use it to evade the enemy during World War 2. Ardent car collectors and museums have this series restored and kept in a dignified fashion for people to ogle at the classic beauty.


The second generation or the J40 series of the Land Cruiser registers a special place in the books of history as this car had a production run of a staggering 41 years! Its hey-day commenced in 1960 as a 2-door body-on-frame chassis model with dimensions that leapfrogged a Jeep CJ. It was called by various names such as Bandeirante in Brazil and Macho in Venezuela. The latter remarkably portrayed its character and purpose. Its versatility expanded as during its life-cycle, it was also available as a 2-door pickup and 4-door SUV for a whiff. As its production spanned almost half a century, a wide ambit of powertrain options were available to cater to the diverse needs of its owners.

The Toyota Land Cruiser j40


While the J40 matched the soul of its precursors, it was a tad compact in size and wasn’t the go-to model for a family. However, that shortcoming was eschewed with the introduction of the J50 series which carried a niftier layout of 2 rows of doors on each side and a very Mini Clubman like 2-door opening for the boot-a trend which was dominating in its era. It was available in wagon, van, pick-up truck, hard top and soft top derivatives to personalize the product according to one’s requirements.

It was available in a slew of petrol and oil-burner engines with displacement ranging from 2.4 liters to 4.5 liters. To add to the comfort of driving, a 5-speed manual and 4 speed automatic transmission were also on offer.


The success of the J50 was further resonated by the ‘big daddy’ J60 series which put some burly American SUVs to shame with its corpulent design, humongous wheels, boxy layout, squared headlamps and dual-tone paint scheme which enhanced its charisma on and off the road.

Bearing the moniker ‘Samurai’ in Venezuela, this series of cars was manufactured between 1980 and 1990. It had a seating capacity of 5-8 passengers. It was also one of the more advanced products in its segment as it flanked features such as air conditioning, rear heater, etc.

Where the petrol engines ranged in displacement from 4,000cc to 4,200cc, the diesel blocks ranged between 3,400cc and 4,000cc. As before, the transmission options included a 4-speed automatic and a 5-speed manual.


The fifth generation model or the J80 spec looked far more contemporary than its progenitor with rounded design cues, flared wheel arches, body-colored better integrated wing mirrors, and 5-spoke alloy wheels with huge wheel gaps for a better stance overall, contributing towards a stately design.

This model is significant as its more upscale sibling, the Lexus LX 450 was incepted based on this generation. Enjoying its 7-year tenure between 1990 and 1997, the SUV’s all-wheel drive drivetrain provided great grip on the road and excellent off-road mettle. Its windows in the last row could be manually opened for occupants in the 3rd row to experience natural vista during their countryside excursions.

It featured a locking differential to provide power to those wheels that require it the most, anti-lock braking system, cloth seats, electric driver seat, full-time all-wheel drive and a Blue Marlin edition which sported altimeters, power windows, disk brakes, central locking, power steering, CD and Cassette players and the all-important for its time, bull bar. However, this edition’s production run was restricted to 500 units.

Its engines range from 4.0 and 4.5-liter petrol to 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated and turbocharged diesel engines mated to 4-speed manual and automatic and 5-speed manual trannies.


One of the models one still gets to lay his eyes on in the UAE, the 1998 model was yet another revolution in terms of design and technology. It flaunted a design that could effortlessly trickle down to the greater part of the first decade of the millennium and looked macho wherever it went with its taut proportions. This model also invented the Lexus LX 470 both of which together, became a favourite among film celebrities.

To suffice the expectations of the most fastidious people, an adaptive suspension that raised or lowered its height depending on the needs and a Night View system that provided monochromatic images of the surroundings on the driver monitor were introduced.

This generation also bore witness to using a more powerful V8 engine under the hood for the first time to go shoulder-to-shoulder against other American SUVs in the North-American region. From 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated and turbo-diesel to 4.5-liter V6 and 4.7-liter V8 engines, the Land Cruiser had powerful and reliable engines to serve all markets it intended to serve.


This model more prominently described as the LC200 series immediately moved out of the shelves in huge numbers the moment it was introduced in the UAE in 2008. It was feature-laden with a touchscreen infotainment system, sunroof, leather seats, wood trims for the dash and steering wheel, rear AC vents, climate control and a reverse parking camera.

In the UAE, it came powered by a trio of petrol engines-4.0-liter V6, 4.6-liter V6 and a 5.7-liter V8 for the full-option model. The horsepower figures for each were 271 hp, 304 hp and 362 hp, respectively. For the top-end model, 8-speed automatic transmission was on offer while for the rest of the lineup, a 6-speed automatic ratchet did the duty.

It kept receiving the terrific response every Land Cruiser has always received in the UAE.

The Toyota Land Cruiser 8th Gen


The LC300 is the latest take on the Land Cruiser’s journey on the equally acclaimed, Nissan Patrol. With oodles of chrome, its bulbous styling was further highlighted. In terms of appearance, it became more boxy with portly derriere and wrapped-around girth.

It is bestowed with features such as adaptive suspension, red/black leather seats, terrain modes, lane-keep assist, blind spot warning, head-up display, surround-view computer, remote engine ignition, four-zone climate control, ventilated seats for the 1st and 2nd row and 14-speaker JBL system for class-leading acoustics.

While the 4.0-liter V6 engine continues to be offered for those who want relaxed driving manners, the real hot pick is the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged petrol engine for the ravenous enthusiasts which makes 409 hp and 650 Nm of torque. This generation is also 200 kg lighter than the model it replaces thereby, enhancing its driving mannerisms and better straight line acceleration.

Bottom Line

The Land Cruiser in the UAE has really been the ideal vehicle to cruise on the land which has the ability to smother anything challenging it. Whether you want to rent a car or plan to buy a new SUV, you can go for it, and it won’t disappoint you. Its virtues of reliability, tech, power and amazing practicality for a family at a deserving price and Toyota’s efficient service make it a bargain that has the lessons of its forefathers and one that has the ability to shoulder the responsibility of carrying the legacy forward with same greatness, its previous iterations have managed to pull off, so occultly.