The Toyota Land Cruiser doesn’t change much, instead, it has evolved very slowly over time since it first arrived back in 1951 as Toyota’s version of a Jeep. The Land Cruiser has been produced in convertible, hardtop, and station wagon styles and is Toyota’s longest-running series of models and the second longest-running SUV in production behind the Chevrolet Suburban. Its reliability and longevity are legendary and have led to huge popularity, in fact, almost cult-like status.
So, the old adage of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” applies here more than any other car I’ve driven. First impressions though are not Wow-inducing, it’s a large boxy unassuming SUV on some pretty old bones. But don’t let that fool you, the Land Cruiser is extremely competent off-road and super comfortable and spacious on road.
PROS: Superb Off-Road, Impeccable Build Quality
My 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser tester arrived with Magnetic Gray Metallic paint a complementary beige leather interior and a $2,220 Rear Seat Entertainment System as the only option. This takes the as-tested price to $90,141 which seems a lot but if you break it down to how long this car will last you, it starts to make sense. Consider that the average car lasts 12 years and Toyota builds the Land Cruiser to last 25 years, then the asking price makes more sense.
Toyota offers only one engine option a 5.7-liter V-8 making 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty to get the 5,800-pound Land Cruiser both on and off-road. The engine is mated to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission which will propel the vehicle from zero to sixty in 7.0 seconds.
On-road you notice the Land Cruiser’s suspension is soft and compliant, and it makes for a very pleasant ride. You can waft along sitting on your high perch as it soaks up the worst pavement that Southern California can throw at you. Yes, there is a lot of body roll but it’s well-controlled and does its best to disguise the tallness and overall mass.
CONS: Older Tech, Quite Pricey
The Land Cruiser’s brakes are very good with a good pedal feel and provide reassuring stops time after time. They need to be since they provide support for the Crawl Control and Hill-Descent Control. The Land Cruiser was specifically designed to be an off-roader hence it has a ground clearance and short overhangs.