The Toyota Land Cruiser Utility Is The Basic Stripped-Out Diesel Manual SUV Of Your Dreams

Photo: Toyota

If I have one single complaint about the Lexus GX (and there is ONLY ONE), it’s that it’s too... Lexus-y. Toyota, amazingly, seems to agree with my dumb opinions. That’s why the world now has this thing, the Toyota Land Cruiser Utility Commercial, complete with a diesel engine, a six-speed manual and not much else.


Despite have the words “Land Cruiser” right there in the name, this thing isn’t really the same Land Cruiser that we get in the U.S. Instead, it’s based on a slightly smaller SUV, the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which Toyota then swaddles in a bunch of leather, chrome bits, and wheels, and sells over here as the Lexus GX460. But despite the fact that essentially the same car is already sold over here, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever get this thing.

Probably because it’s too good. Did I mention it comes in two-door short-wheelbase form?

Photo: Toyota


And while you can plainly see that Toyota has vastly upgraded the style by vastly downgrading the “style,” what with its new steel wheels and all the chrome bits being blacked out, the best part is what goes on inside.


Its 2.8-liter inline-four-cylinder diesel engine puts out 175 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which is a proper amount with which to do Work. Inside the cabin there are still plenty of airbags and Bluetooths, but the back seats have been taken out and replaced with a cavernous abyss, with which you can also do Work:

Photo: Toyota

Just look at all that dang space.

But my favorite part isn’t the diesel, or the six-speed manual, or the room enough in the back to build your own McDonald’s playplace. It’s this from the press release:

The Land Cruiser LWB has a minimum ground clearance of 215mm; for the SWB model the figure is 205mm. The approach angle, which determines the maximum gradient the vehicle can approach without the underside of the front bumper hitting the ground, is 31°. Its maximum wading depth is 700mm.

Even with its generous ground clearance, there can be a risk of the underside of the vehicle hitting the ground when driving over very rough terrain. For this reason, both the front and rear bumpers and the ladder frame cross-member have been designed to slide easily over any obstacles. Many other SUVs have box-shaped cross-members, which means they can easily become caught on obstacles, bringing the vehicle to a halt and potentially causing damage; Land Cruiser’s slanted cross-member is shaped so that it can slide up and over such hazards.

The vehicle is engineered to excel over sand, rocks or any other demanding conditions it might encounter; giving maximum traction at all times to deliver the level of off-road performance for which the model is world-renowned. Its proven permanent four-wheel drive system uses a Torsen limited slip differential in the centre differential and a shift actuator which makes for easier shifting between the high and low ranges in the six-speed manual transmission.


Yes, it can crawl over rocks. With a playplace in the back.

Toyota. Give it to us.

Share This Story

About the author

Michael Ballaban

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

PGP Fingerprint: 0D03 F37B 4C96 021E 4292 7B12 E080 0D0B 5968 F14EPGP Key