You don’t have to be an automotive expert to spot the Land Cruiser 200 genes, though Lexus has gone to great lengths to make this new model look different and there are significant changes under the skin, and inside the cabin. There have to be, to justify a price premium of R209 000.
The Lexus is an imposing machine, with mirror-filling presence. The frontal view is far less agricultural than the Cruiser’s, and it gets reshaped headlights – which look into corners when you turn the wheel – a wider grille with strong Lexus DNA, and a bespoke bumper/valance assembly.
The silhouette is as per the Toyota, apart from a pronounced rear spoiler. Running boards fit closely to the body for an integrated appearance.
At the back, the changes are cosmetic: the tail lights employ high-intensity LED technology for more “bling” when illuminated and there’s chrome detailing around the light clusters and number plate recess.
Still, under it all it is a Cruiser: same wheelbase, width and track. Overall length differs due to the styling changes and the height differs thanks to the use of electronically-controlled, height-adjustable suspension (though still with coil springs all round)
* Read all about it in the August issue of Leisure Wheels