As lovers of nostalgic cars, a common gripe is that modern machines have too many bells and whistles, too many electronic nannies that stand between you and the driving experience. As it turns out, Toyota has heard your sad cries and just released a vehicle that has plenty of heritage, no-frills, is purpose-built, has two doors, and comes in a six-speed manual. No, it’s not a new sports car; it’s the Land Cruiser Utility Commercial.
The LCUC (too soon for a abbreviation?) is based on what the rest of the world knows as the Land Cruiser Prado. Here in the US, it’s sold with leather, wood on the dash, and a chrome-laden grille as the Lexus GX 470. The Prado, smaller than the 200-series Land Cruiser (and its fancier Lexus LX cousin), is widely sold in most countries Toyota operates in.
The new model comes with a diesel option, a 2.8-liter turbo oil burner that makes 175 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. The “commercial” aspect of it comes in the form of a flat metal loading floor with a steel cage bulkhead in lieu of rear seats. It’s offered in both two- and four-door configurations.
The rest of the vehicle is spec’ed out in a way many new models should offer. Convenience features include air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, and not much else. For safety, there’s front, side and driver’s knee airbags. The interior is cloth. Steelies are the only wheel option. It’s like the Toyota 86 RC of SUVs.
With the Land Cruiser’s proven off-road prowess, this sounds like the perfect vehicle to escape the ills of the world and go off-grid with. You can even build your own #vanlife style living quarters in the long-wheelbase version. Sadly, the Land Cruiser Utility Commercial is not for sale in the US, but you can read more about it a the Toyota UK Blog.