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Attention LC200 panic buyers: Are you ready to admit you should have waited for the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series? | Opinion

The new-gen Toyota LandCrusier 300 Series outshines its predecessor in almost every regard.

We now know just about everything there is to know about the new Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, and it’s all bad news for all those people who paid well over the odds for the remaining examples of the LC200.

To recap: a kind of madness washed over Australia’s LandCruiser fans this year, so much so that the LC200 has proved twice as popular in the first five months of 2021 as it was in its first full year on sale, way back in 2008. More than 10,400 found homes in so far in 2021, compared to just 5275 in 2008. What the?

And you have to wonder how all those people are feeling about it now, because the short version is that there’s not a single area in which the new 300 Series doesn’t at least match the LC200, and there are dozens of areas in which the new model comprehensively outshines its ageing predecessor.

I know, I know. The LC200 was the last of its breed, the final time you’d be able to secure a V8 diesel, the new model was unknown, untested. But when has that not been the case when a model is replaced?

We trust Porsche to make improvements with each new 911, don’t we? The new Toyota 86 will outperform the old one, won’t it? Hell, even the LC200 replaced an LC100, so what makes this so different?

Where do you want to start here? Power? The 4.5-litre V8 diesel of the LC200 produces some 200kW and 650Nm, but those numbers are significantly bested by the new 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo-diesel of the LC300, which will produce a mammoth 227kW and 700Nm.

Fuel economy? Sorry again, but Toyota says the new engine is not only more powerful, but around 10 per cent more efficient than the V8, too, requiring around 8.5L/100km on the combined cycle.

Capability? The new LC300 rides on a ladder version of Toyota's TNGA platform, which makes it lighter and more rigid than the model it replaces. Towing capacity is a LC200-matching 3.5 tonne, and wading depth, approach and departure angles are all identical or almost identical, too. But the LC300 gets more ground clearance (235mm vs 230mm), and Toyota says there’s more articulation in the rear tyres, too.

You also get Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which allows for "outstanding off-road performance through a larger suspension stroke achieved by effectively disabling the front and rear stabiliser bars”, as well as a new Multi-Terrain Monitor that shows the driver what's happening outside, and beneath, the vehicle, and a Multi-Terrain Select function that automatically reads the road surface and responds accordingly, too.

So, you’d have to argue the LC300 takes the chocolates on the capability front, matching or exceeding the LC200 everywhere that matters.

Safety? No contest. The new Toyota Safety Sense includes day/night AEB with pedestrian and cyclist protection, as well crossing detection, crash-avoidance tech and lane keeping assist.

Technology? Please. The LC300 family now gets a massive 12.3-inch touchscreen equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six USB points, keyless entry, push-button start, and more.

Price? Well, this could be the one sticking point, with the LC300 expected to be more expensive than an equivalent LC200. But then, given the soaring prices of the outgoing model over the past 12 months, it’s entirely possible that some of you paid more for your decades-old LC200 than others will pay for this all-new model.

If you ask Toyota, they'll tell you that this happens like clockwork with each new LandCruiser. When the LC200 was coming, people insisted it would never outshine the LC100. And no doubt when the LC400 is on its way, people will be clinging to their LC300 like a life preserver next to a sinking ship.

I'd only ask that, when that time does come, we take a deep breath and wait to see what the new model offers before paying astronomical sums for the old one.

Otherwise, we're only going to find ourselves here again.