Toyota recently unveiled the 2024 Toyota Century SUV to be sold alongside the G60 Century, which we’re not sure if they’ll discontinue. The Century SUV falls under Toyota’s idea of inheritance and evolution associated with the Century. And it still carries the embodiment of the Century, referred to as the Japanese Rolls Royce since it unmistakably resembles the Rolls Royce Cullinan.
Like Toyota’s latest releases, for example, the Toyota Crown Sport SUV, the 2024 Toyota Century SUV is human-centered. Its interior is designed to provide a safe and comfortable driving experience for the rear and front seat occupants, including the driver. But that’s not all there is to the 2024 Toyota Century.
In this article, we delve into what makes it special and leave you to decide whether you’d vouch for the Century SUV over the Toyota Century sedan, which has been a JDM favorite for decades. We’ll also touch on the performance specifications of Toyota’s new hybrid system, interior, safety driver assist, and comfort features.
As mentioned, there’s no doubt that the new Toyota Century SUV closely resembles the Rolls Royce Cullinan. Still, you can’t fail to notice the design language used in older Century Generations. It also features Toyota’s new design language, evident in their most recent releases.
At the front, you are met with a front bumper design similar to the Century Sedan, featuring an oblong grille with squared edges. The Gold Phoenix badge remains unchanged, sits at the grille’s center point, and is also seen on the wheels and trunk lid. Speaking of wheels, Toyota will offer 20-inch multi-spoke aluminum wheels as standard, but buyers can opt for the larger 22-inch multi-spoke aluminum wheels.
Split-design LED headlights sit at the grille’s edges, met by body lines flowing straight from the D-pillar, perfectly complementing the Century’s body. There’s nothing much going on at the front end, but it’s subtle enough to demand attention even from an unaware passerby.
The rear end also features split-design headlights, but they have a 3-dimensional touch, making them even better looking than the headlights. Above the Century Gold Phoenix badge sits chrome Century Lettering, which does more than tell the car’s make. No Toyota lettering or badges are used across the vehicle, which should tell you where the Century SUV sits in Toyota’s lineup.
Let’s talk paint options. The Century SUV will be available in seven different color combinations since Toyota will use a two-tone paint job similar to what they use in the Century G60 Sedan. The two-tone paint job was also used in older Century generations, and carrying it onto the Century SUV shows that it’s still in tow with the Century Culture.
A GR-spec Century SUV will have different wheel options and sportier add-ons such as a front lip, red brake calipers, and side skirts. From unveiling photos, the GR-spec Century SUV will also have sliding rear doors. Amazing for an SUV, right?
Powertrain and Drivetrain Specifications
Under the hood sits a transverse-mounted 3.5-liter V6, almost half the size of the highly favored 5.0-liter V12 used in the second-generation Century. The cherry on top is that the Century SUV will be sold as a PHEV (plug-in hybrid vehicle) with an electric motor sitting on the rear axle. With an estimated weight of roughly 5,600 pounds, the electric motor sitting at the rear is an advantage.
The engine and electric motor pump out approximately 400 horsepower, driving all wheels via a CVT transmission. Toyota’s E-Four advanced all-wheel-drive system with rear-wheel steering. In contrast, the Century Sedan’s 5.0-liter V8 and electric motor produce 425 horsepower. How long does the battery take to charge in the Century SUV? Toyota hasn’t provided any official figures yet, but credible sources state three hours and 30 minutes when plugged into a 200V/30A wall socket.
Unlike the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 series, Toyota’s current flagship SUV, the Century SUV has a monocoque design sitting on Toyota’s New Global Architecture-K (TNGA-K) platform. The Century SUV has a MacPherson strut and a rear multi-link suspension with stabilizers. This provides better torsional rigidity, thus contributing to excellent ride comfort.
The Toyota Century SUV measures 5,205 mm long, 1,990 mm wide, and has a height of 1,805 mm. Its wheelbase is 2,950 mm, 140 mm shorter than the Century sedan’s, which has a wheelbase of 3,090 mm. However, the Century sedan is longer at 5,335 mm. Increments in height and width, among other factors, in the Century SUV make it over 400 pounds heavier than the sedan at 5,666 pounds compared to the sedan’s 5,225 pounds.
Since we’ll compare the Toyota Century against other SUVs, especially the Cullinan, how does it rack up? First, the Cullinan has a 6.7-liter V12, churning out 563 horsepower. But the Century SUV is lighter since the Cullinan weighs 5,864 pounds. The Cullinan is also longer at 5,341 mm and wider at 2,000 mm. Once we tell you the price difference, you’ll be rooting for the Century SUV. But first, what interior and comfort features are available in the Century SUV?
Interior and Comfort Features
The Century SUV’s exterior might be pleasing to the eye, but the interior is on another level. It’s layered with wood trims complemented by metallic bits on the door latches and dashboard. But what would you expect? After all, it’s still a Toyota Century.
Like other Century generations, including the current Century sedan, Toyota has prioritized the rear seat passengers in the Century SUV. But not without a twist since it only sits two in the rear compared to three in the current Century sedan. This is understandable since most competitors in its class have a similar sitting configuration.
Open the door, and an aluminum side-step allows you to climb into the Century SUV easily. It’s not hard to access, but small struggles such as lifting your leg to board shouldn’t be a problem when you own such a car. The grab handles on the C-pillars make getting in the Century SUV even easier.
Once you get in and sink into the seats, you’ll forget for a moment that you are in a Toyota. Premium leather seats are offered as standard with electrical reclining, heating, and cooling functionalities. Additionally, a folding table is provided for each seat. Full details haven’t been unveiled yet, but we expect the seats also to have massaging functionalities.
To add to the comfort of the rear seats, the Century SUV has a ‘comfort mode’ that ensures a comfortable ride for the rear passengers. The comfort mode also assists braking control to suppress jolts when the vehicle stops.
Seat controls are positioned on the door to make them easy to reach regardless of the seating position. However, two removable touchpads on the rear center suggest the functions can also be accessed from there. Also, since the front passenger seat can be moved to increase legroom in the rear seat, the rear seat passenger can move it from the controls on the touchpad.
Rear seat entertainment is provided via two 12.3-inch LCD screens mounted behind each front seat and controlled via the rear center console removable touchpads. The rear center console also houses a mini fridge to chill champagne or juice for those long road trips. The front seat passenger and driver aren’t left out. The front seats have reclining functionality, which we assume is limited not to make the rear passengers uncomfortable. But both seats have heating and cooling functions as standard.
After all, Toyota, in their unveiling statement on their website, said the Toyota Century is based on a concept of human-centeredness. They added that the interior is designed to provide an even more safe and comfortable travel experience for rear-seat passengers and the driver. At the front, the driver gets a 7-inch infotainment screen that controls all the car’s features, including the 20-speaker sound system, privacy window curtains, and ambient lighting.
Is the Century SUV practical? Being an SUV, we’d like to think it is, or what would have been the point of Toyota making one? According to multiple sources, it has a trunk capacity of 340 liters, 220 liters smaller than the Cullinan’s 560-liter trunk.
Nonetheless, it’s large enough for some bags and practical enough for a grocery run. Laminated glass separates the trunk from the car’s cabin for noise insulation. Other storage spaces in the Toyota Century SUV include a front glove compartment, armrest hatches, and front and rear cupholders. Although full features haven’t been unveiled yet, we expect more than the listed interior features in the Toyota Century SUV. Perhaps even electronically closing doors like in the Rolls Royce Cullinan.
Safety and Driver Assist Features
According to Toyota, the first generation Toyota Century was built with Japan’s best technology. Preceding generations offered the same level of technology, featuring the latest technological advancements available.
Toyota didn’t outline any safety and driver assist features in the Century SUV, but it’s expected to have similar, if not better, features to the current Century sedan. However, driver, front passenger, and rear passenger airbags are standard, in addition to three-point seatbelts for each seat.
Various sources indicate that the number of airbags in the Century SUV could be between six and nine. This might be true assuming that the front seats will have front, curtain, and knee airbags and the rear seats will have one or two curtain airbags.
On the steering wheel, the driver gets a multifunction 3-spoke steering wheel with electronic tilt for adjustability. The driver’s seat is also electronically adjustable and might have a memory function when the Century SUV goes into production.
Safety and driver assist features expected in the Toyota Century include:
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Pre-Collision System
- Lane Tracing Assist
- Lane Departure Assist
- Road Sign Assist
- Proactive Driving Assist
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Emergency Driving Stop System
- Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking
- Adaptive High Beam System
- 360-degree viewing System
All these are available in Toyota’s Latest edition of the Toyota Safety Sense Package, which also has the following basic safety and driver assist features:
- Traction Control
- Vehicle Stability Control
- Anti-lock Braking System
- Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Toyota Safety Sense offers extra features under Safety Connect, which they state offers peace of mind for when the unexpected occurs. Options offered under the Safety Connect Package Include:
- Emergency Assistance Button
- Roadside Assistance
- Stolen Vehicle Locator
- Automatic Collison Notification
Toyota also teased a photo insinuating that the Century SUV could have their Remote Connect feature. Remote Connect enables you to have the vehicle’s features within reach and know your vehicle’s status. With Remote Connect, you can start the car, lock/unlock the doors, and use compatible mobile devices. Toyota recently unveiled that Remote Connect has Google Assistant capabilities and smartwatch integration.
Other tech features we might see in the Toyota Century SUV include Drive Connect, Service Connect, and Wi-Fi Connect. Drive Connect gives drivers access to cloud-based features on the go. These cloud services include real-time traffic elements, 24/7 live agents, and new voice commands. Service Connect lets car owners receive personalized maintenance updates and vehicle health reports. Lastly, Wi-Fi Connect provides mobile hotspot and integrated streaming. It allows occupants to connect up to five devices at 4G LTE speeds.
Toyota hasn’t unveiled the full details on the Century SUV’s driver and assist features. However, all the above-listed features are available for new 2022 and later models, so we assume they will be available in the Century SUV. Also, from vehicles with these features, some will be standard, others opted for when speccing the car, while others are paid for on a subscription basis.
Price and Expected Availability
Like most JDM cars, the 2024 Century SUV will be exclusively made for the Japanese market, with no export model being offered. The starting Price is expected to be around $170,000 (25,000,000 Yen), which is quite a bargain for a limited production Luxury SUV. Also, compared to cars it’s meant to compete against, such as the Rolls Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga, the Toyota Century SUV offers better value for money. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2024, and Toyota has begun accepting pre-orders.
Is the Toyota Century SUV worth buying? Absolutely yes. The only downside is that you can’t get it outside Japan. However, if you fancy owning a Toyota Century, you can get an older first or second-generation model that offers old-school JDM luxury like no other car. Prices start at around 20,000, making the Toyota Century one of the best JDM cars for under $20,000.