Toyota released details on its seventh-generation Land Cruiser sport-utility vehicle, promising that the new SUV will be more sophisticated, comfortable, and dependable than ever before.

Underpinning the new Land Cruiser is a body-on-frame structure, rather than the unibody chasses becoming more common in large sport-utes. The frame and suspension have been better isolated from the cabin, for a more refined ride while maintaining towing and off-road capability, Toyota says.

Up front, the Land Cruiser's suspension uses control arms, while in back, a set of four links locates a live rear axle. Shocks and stabilizer bars should improve the driving experience, Toyota promises, and its KDSS adaptable suspension (also found on the Lexus GX470) allows the Land Cruiser to adjust its suspension resilience depending on conditions.

Large 13.4-inch front disc and 13.6-inch rear disc brakes - all ventilated - provide better stopping power than before, Toyota said in a press release. Standard wheel and tire combinations include 60-series, 18-inchers, and a full-size spare. So outfitted, the Land Cruiser can tow 8500 pounds, and sports an approach angle of 30 degrees and a departure angle of 20 degrees.

Under the hood the new Land Cruiser gets its motive force from a 5.7-liter V-8 shared with the Tundra pickup. It puts out 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque in this application, and gets teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive with an integral locking differential. Fuel economy should range from 13 mpg city to 18 mpg highway according to the new EPA testing cycle for 2008.

Safety gear includes standard anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control; tire pressure monitors; active headrests; and ten airbags - the most in any Toyota vehicle - including knee bags up front and three-row curtain airbags.

Inside the seven-passenger Land Cruiser will find four-zone climate control; folding second-row seats; an in-dash CD changer; power fronts seats; and a sunroof. Options will include Bluetooth; a backup camera; navigation system; and a towing package.

Stay tuned for a full review of the new Land Cruiser at TheCarConnection.com.

 

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Marty Padgett

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