It’s a family face-off. The 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300 needs no introduction, but the 2022 Lexus LX is an all-new model for the luxury brand with some important differences and considerations. And now that the LandCruiser has climbed up in both pricing and specification, the fight between these two has never been closer.
The Toyota LandCruiser holds a special place on the Australian automotive landscape. Although it’s not necessarily an outright luxury option, it is undeniably aspirational in this country. And while competition exists in the form of traditional combatants like a Nissan Patrol and Land Rover Defender/Discovery, many buyers of the LandCruiser famously consider nothing else.
However, there is now another option that is even closer to home: a luxury LandCruiser. Using the same new ‘GA-F’ ladder chassis platform – which was 14 years in the making – the new Lexus LX does similar things, but through a different and more premium lens.
To better understand the differences between these two four-wheel drives, we’re facing them up against each other on paper.
2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300
It’s arguably the most talked-about four-wheel drive in the last decade, and one of the most sought after in Australia. Waiting lists have grown to beyond 12 months, as supply shortages struggle against a high level of demand.
It took 14 years, and the 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is all-new. However, it’s also quite a familiar overall experience. It’s still a four-wheel drive built atop of a ladder chassis with a live rear axle and independent front suspension.
This isn’t because of the 300 Series LandCruiser being a development of the 200; Toyota engineers told us that they ‘started from zero’ with the new LandCruiser. And while they could have chosen any kind of platform, they stuck with a ladder chassis.
The new platform has shed some weight and improved the centre of gravity. There are also new-technology driving aids, but the talk of the town has no doubt been about the powertrain.
With the twin-turbocharged V8 diesel – and its six-speed automatic transmission – put out to pasture, the new set-up is a 3.3-litre V6 diesel. It’s also twin-turbocharged, but through a more sophisticated hot-vee sequential arrangement. The transmission is also new with 10 ratios available.
Under that framework of a new LandCruiser, the Lexus LX has also gained a long-awaited update. Using the same new platform, this 2022 Lexus LX replaces a similarly old model of around 14 years.
Gone is the 5.7-litre naturally aspirated V8, along with the 4.5-litre diesel V8 that joined it in later years. Instead, the new Lexus four-wheel drive gets access to the next-generation powertrains that are also used in the LandCruiser globally.
Along with the same 3.3-litre diesel V6, there is also a 3.4-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine available. Both of these run through a 10-speed automatic transmission, and make more power and torque than the outgoing powerplants.
Key updates for the 2022 Lexus LX also come through new technologies. There are updated infotainment screens and operating systems inside, along with higher levels of appointment and convenience.
While the Lexus LX is also available in both seven-seat and five-seat variants, the most expensive model comes in a luxurious four-seat Ultra Luxury variant with a captain’s chair-style second row.
Key mechanical differences for the Lexus LX – in comparison to the LandCruiser – come through the suspension and steering, along with a different range of driving modes available.
Suspension is height-adjustable thanks to the shock absorbers controlled by hydraulic oil. Raising and lowering the ride height also changes the spring rate and damping rate, making the suspension of the Lexus LX active and variable.
Electric steering is also different in comparison to the electro-hydraulic steering system on the LandCruiser.
|Key details||2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300||2022 Lexus LX|
before on-road costs
|LandCruiser GX – $89,990
LandCruiser GXL – $101,790
LandCruiser VX – $113,990
LandCruiser Sahara – $131,190
LandCruiser GR Sport – $137,790
LandCruiser Sahara ZX – $138,790
|LX500d seven-seater – $148,800
LX600 seven-seater – $152,300
LX500d Sports Luxury five-seater – $165,800
LX600 Sports Luxury five-seater – $169,300
LX500d F Sport five-seater – $171,800
LX600 F Sport five-seater – $175,300
LX600 Ultra Luxury four-seater – $210,800
2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300
Whereas the GX-specification grade of the 200 Series LandCruiser used to be a real blast from the past, the same thing can’t be said for the current 300 Series LandCruiser. It feels like every grade has jumped up one rung on the ladder, with the current GX feeling like what a GXL used to be.
And for those that don’t necessarily want every bell and whistle, the LandCruiser GX could be something of a sweet spot in the range. It gets a good suite of safety equipment, dual-zone climate control, 9.0-inch infotainment, and a 220V power outlet in the boot.
GXL is the first grade to pick up Toyota’s excellent Multi-Terrain Select off-road driving modes, and 18-inch alloy wheels with a wider 265/65 Dunlop tyre – GX has 17-inch steel wheels and 245/75 tyres.
GXL also gets a third row for seven seats overall, and additional power outlets (including a wireless charging pad), along with bi-LED headlights and aluminium side steps.
Another important move up the grade for GXL is the inclusion of extra safety equipment, like blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors, along with curtain airbags in the back for the third row.
Going up to VX, this is where the LandCruiser starts to get a bit fancy. Seating material goes from cloth to a synthetic leather, and a more premium interior treatment overall. There’s also four-zone climate control, electric seat adjustment up front with heating and ventilation, moon roof and rain-sensing wipers.
Infotainment upsizes to a bigger 12.3-inch display, and there is a 10-speaker Pioneer-branded system.
And then, there is the Sahara. What was previously the top of the range still packs a punch in terms of specification. It gets a 14-speaker sound system, head-up display, rear entertainment screens and a refrigerated centre console. There’s also a heated steering wheel, powered tailgate, and heating and ventilation for rear outboard seats.
Above Sahara sit two choices of top-tier LandCruiser. On one hand, the GR Sport aims towards off-road capability with improved clearances, locking front and rear differentials, active damping, and the ‘e-KDSS’ hydraulically controlled swaybars.
This grade is only a five-seater, but has a lot of the luxury inclusions inside, except for rear entertainment screens.
On the other hand, Sahara ZX takes more of a focus on blacktop performance with a limited-slip rear differential, adaptive suspension, and 20-inch wheels wrapped in highway-oriented Bridgestone tyres. And like the GR Sport (and GX), the Sahara ZX is only a five-seat variant.
With pricing that starts roughly $10,000 higher than the most expensive LandCruiser, the Lexus needs to hit the ground running in order to justify the asking price. And thankfully, it does.
Base-specification LX500d (diesel) and LX600 (petrol) are the only two variants that are equipped with a third row, allowing room for seven on-board. It’s also the only Lexus LX to get 20-inch wheels, although these can be upgraded to 22-inch wheels with the $5500 ‘enhancement pack’. This also includes a moon roof and hands-free, kick-to-open tailgate.
Standard fare in this specification includes a 12.3-inch infotainment display, 7.0-inch secondary display, head-up display and 8.0-inch multifunction display. There’s also Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, digital radio, native navigation, and a 25-speaker Mark Levinson sound system standard across the range.
Continuing the standard inclusions are four-zone climate control, heated front seats, 10-way driver and eight-way passenger front seat adjustment, power-folding third row, Bladescan adaptive LED headlights, and a leather-accented interior.
Going up to F Sport loses the third row of seats, but also gains a 30L sub tank for the diesel variant for 110L of overall capacity. And with a sporty bent, this model also gains a Torsen limited-slip rear differential and ‘performance’ dampers front and rear. Wheels go up to a 22-inch size, and the interior gets a unique F-Sport treatment.
Front seats are heated and ventilated in this specification, and the rear outboard seats pick up heating as well. There’s a digital rear-view mirror, chilled centre console, easy-closing doors, kick-sensing tailgate, and a fingerprint-sensing push-button start.
Sports Luxury grade does gain the same sporting upgrades and interior treatment, but instead picks up dual rear entertainment screens for the second row.
And finally, Ultra Luxury goes all-out with two individual seats – separated by an opulent centre console – which recline up to 48 degrees, and offer massage and memory functions. The passenger-side seat is particularly special, with an ottoman fitted to the rear of the front passenger seat, and the ability to gain over one metre of legroom. There are exclusive seat materials in this grade, and a 240-amp alternator to help power everything.
|2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300||2022 Lexus LX|
|Seats||Five or seven||Four, five or seven|
|Cargo area (four-seat)||N/A||767L|
|Cargo area (five-seat)||1131L
2nd row down: 2052L
2nd row down: 1960L
|Cargo area (seven-seat)||175L
3rd row down: 1004L
2nd & 3rd rows down: 1967L
3rd row down: 982L
2nd & 3rd rows down: 1871L
Infotainment and Connectivity
2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300
There are two different infotainment systems available on the LandCruiser depending on what specification you go for. For GX and GXL grades, you’ve got a 9.0-inch system in the central stack. This has things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with digital radio. The hardware and software are similar to what you’d find in other Toyota vehicles, with buttons and dials around the display for navigation.
Higher-specification models – VX and upwards – get a larger 12.3-inch infotainment display. This has the same features but also gets built-in navigation. This has buttons and dials as well, but they are located further down the stack in a piano-style arrangement. However, the volume dial has been deleted with this larger infotainment display.
In front of the driver is a more traditional multifunction display measuring in between 4.2 inches and 7.0 inches depending on specification, and surrounded by a speedometer and tachometer. And in classic LandCruiser style, you’ve got a voltmeter and oil pressure gauge, along with an idle-up button located further down.
The Lexus infotainment display is a healthy 12.3 inches right across the range, which is the same as high-spec LandCruisers. However, it’s a different operating system sitting effectively one generation ahead of Toyota systems. This system also has the inclusion of all of the important features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, digital radio and native navigation.
Below that big display is a 7.0-inch unit, which handles things like climate controls, driving aids, driving modes and additional drivetrain readouts.
In front of the driver is an 8.0-inch multifunction display that has a typical array of readouts and information. Perhaps more important for daily driving functions is the colour head-up display, which helps with driving aids, navigation and a speed readout.
Whereas the LandCruiser only gets a four-camera surround-view camera from spec level VX and above, the Lexus LX gets it across the range. This has the additional benefit of some off-road functionality, including underneath the vehicle.
2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300
Safety inclusions get a big move forward with this generation LandCruiser, with autonomous emergency braking working for pedestrians (day/night) and cyclists (day). This system includes intersection turn assistance, but emergency steering assistance is only available on VX and above.
The LandCruiser’s combined hydraulic/electric steering system allows the use of lane tracing, and the adaptive cruise control works in stop-start traffic.
Other good stuff includes parking sensors, reversing camera, surround-view camera on VX and above, 10 airbags (including third-row airbags where applicable), lane-departure alert, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitor, and automatic high beam.
VX specification and above also get ‘Parking Support Brake’, which is a kind of low-speed autonomous braking in forward and reverse when the vehicle detects a potential collision.
And if there is a prang, the LandCruiser is able to connect to emergency services via the Toyota Connected Services. It can also operate via an SOS button and track the location of the vehicle if it is stolen.
And after being crash-tested in 2022 by local authority ANCAP, the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series got the full five-star result. This included scores of 89 per cent for adult occupants and 88 per cent for child occupants. However, this rating doesn’t extend to the GR Sport specification.
One area where the Lexus currently can’t match the LandCruiser is for this important crash-testing result. That’s not to say it’s any less safe, it’s just the fact that the Lexus hasn’t been crash-tested yet.
There’s plenty of other gear on offer, however. Using cameras and radars, Lexus has put its Lexus Safety System right across the range. There’s autonomous emergency braking, which includes intersection detection, and for pedestrians and vehicles.
The system also has steering assistance for emergency manouevres through the electric steering system.
There’s also blind-spot monitoring – which also works for people alighting the vehicle – tyre pressure monitoring, low-speed autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-trace assistance (otherwise known as lane centring), traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.
2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300
For the value-for-money quotient of this comparison, it is hard to argue against the LandCruiser. While it’s not necessarily a vehicle that is regarded as being a high-value pick, it’s a better value proposition than the Lexus.
However, one would argue that one does not simply buy the LandCruiser for its specifications and inclusions. Toyota will be looking to recoup the development costs of this vehicle, which spanned seven years and took in literally millions of kilometres.
Drilling closer into the value of the LandCruiser range, buyers should be considering grades like GX and GXL. Options like Sahara and VX certainly throw in a lot of extra equipment and niceties, but none of the range could be called uncomfortable. And if value for money is at the heart of your buying decision, then GXL would likely be the sweet spot for many.
Whereas the cheapest Lexus variant costs around $10,000 more than the most expensive LandCruiser, it’s a tit-for-tat argument in terms of value for money. The Lexus LX gets much more acreage in terms of infotainment displays, and a unique set-up of height-adjustable suspension and electric steering.
Although, the lower-spec Lexus misses out on things like a cooled centre console and rear entertainment screens, which only come into play in more expensive grades.
However, a car like the Lexus is less about raw value for money. It’s also about luxury, build quality, presentation and technology. Looking through this frame, the Lexus LX starts to make a bit more sense as an option. Typical of Lexus vehicles, the LX four-wheel drive will carry high-quality materials inside with technology and equipment that stretches into the second row.
There are also things that you might not notice on first inspection: thicker carpeting, better noise insulation and smaller ergonomic touches. Part of the value for money will also come from the driving experience, and how different that is from the LandCruiser. We can’t tell you about that just yet.
|At a glance||2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300||2022 Lexus LX|
|Warranty||Five years, unlimited km||Five years, unlimited km|
|Service intervals||6 months or 10,000km||6 months or 10,000km|
|Servicing costs||$2250 (3 years), $3750 (5 years)||$3570 (3 years)|
|Fuel type||Diesel||Diesel or 95-octane premium unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||110L (80L main tank/30L sub-tank)||80L
110L (Sports Luxury, F Sport)
|Approach angle||32 degrees
24 degrees (Sahara ZX)
|Departure angle||25 degrees||22.8 degrees|
|Rampover angle||21 degrees||22.7 degrees|
|Ground clearance||235mm||200mm (20-inch wheels)
205mm (22-inch wheels)
2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300
In Australia, you have only one choice of power plant for the LandCruiser 300 Series. It’s called F33A-FTV, with 3.3 litres of capacity across six cylinders. And being a V6, another big change with this engine is the move to a ‘hot-vee’ configuration, which means the turbochargers are nestled between the cylinder banks. This allows the engine to use one smaller turbo (for better bottom-end responsiveness) and one larger (for better power at high revs).
The end result of 227kW and 700Nm – both of which best the V8 – are plenty enough for the application, and performance is helped by a couple of other considerations. This new LandCruiser is slightly lighter than the previous-generation model, and the engine is running through a 10-speed automatic gearbox. Four extra ratios mean much smaller gaps in between, allowing the engine to stay at its happy place more often.
Claimed fuel economy for the LandCruiser 300 sits at 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.
Beyond the gearbox, you’ve got a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a locking centre differential and low-range transfer case. Only the top-spec GR Sport gains locking differentials, but all have a variety of off-road driving modes and traction aids.
In terms of diesel power, the Lexus LX offers the exact same 3.3-litre turbo diesel engine as the LandCruiser, with the same 227kW/700Nm and 10-speed automatic transmission.
Whereas the LandCruiser weighs between 2495kg and 2630kg, the diesel-powered Lexus is a bit heavier at 2685–2690kg. So with a little bit of extra weight to contend with, performance would be slightly blunted.
However, the offering of the 3.4-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine sets the Lexus LX apart. Using 95-octane premium unleaded fuel, the petrol engine makes 305kW and 650Nm. That is enough to trim the 0–100km/h sprint time from 8.0 seconds to 7.0 seconds, but fuel consumption increases.
Whereas the diesel-powered Lexus LX500d mimics the LandCruiser with a claimed combined figure of 8.9L/100km, the petrol-powered LX600 uses 12.1L/100km over the same cycle.
|Key details||2022 Toyota LandCruiser 300||2022 Lexus LX500d||2022 Lexus LX600|
|Engine||3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel||3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel||3.4-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol|
|Power||227kW @ 4000rpm||227kW @ 4000rpm||305kW @ 5200rpm|
|Torque||700Nm @ 1600–2600rpm||700Nm @ 1600–2600rpm||650Nm @ 2000–3600rpm|
|Drive type||Full-time four-wheel drive||Full-time four-wheel drive||Full-time four-wheel drive|
low-range transfer case
low-range transfer case
low-range transfer case
|Tow rating||3500kg braked, 750kg unbraked||3500kg braked, 750kg unbraked||3500kg braked, 750kg unbraked|
While there is a ‘different strokes for different folks’ argument to be had here, the Toyota LandCruiser is undoubtedly a whole lot of car – more than enough for most tastes and budgets.
Even in its most basic GX trim level, the LandCruiser 300 Series can’t be accused of being a low-cost option. Most other specification levels are firmly in six-figure territory, with the range-topping options being over $130,000 before on-road costs are included.
While top-spec GR Sport will undoubtedly appeal to keen off-road enthusiasts with its unique look and e-KDSS suspension, the more urban-focussed Sahara ZX seems to fly close to the Lexus offering.
There is no doubt that the Lexus LX ups the ante in a variety of respects. There is more technology, more luxurious appointments, and some key mechanical changes that help it fight a different kind of battle.
Among all of this, the Lexus LX promises to be a capable off-roader through its shared bones. However, 20-inch and 22-inch wheels blight this discipline somewhat.
Nevertheless, the question still needs to be answered: which of these seem to be the best on paper? While driving impressions of the Lexus LX still need to be forthcoming, there is room for improvement on the levels of refinement and ride quality that the LandCruiser offers.
And while the Lexus LX has the potential of offering an experience similar to a Range Rover for a fraction of the cost, there is no doubting that the LandCruiser 300 Series will offer enough technology, capability, practicality and family-friendliness for Australian buyers.