Although the Toyota Land Cruiser is a well-known off-roader with a long history, the new model feels more luxurious than adventurous. This large SUV, which can seat two or three people, is still sturdy and extremely capable. The Land Cruiser is not as luxurious as the Lexus LX but it has a lot of high-end features to make up for its steep sticker price. Although we aren’t impressed with the Toyota’s interior, we like that it has serious, trail-ready equipment, such as a locking center differential and a two-speed transmission. The standard 381-hp V-8 engine, which is standard in the Toyota, isn’t very special and certainly not efficient when it comes to fuel consumption, but it drives the truck with authority. Although the 2021 Land Cruiser isn’t as prestigious as similarly expensive metal, it’s still capable of moving the rig with authority. This should be something to consider for the few buyers who might actually go there.
What’s new for 2021?
The Land Cruiser will continue to be available in 2021 largely unchanged. Only the Heritage Edition now has a third row of seating options. The most expensive model now comes in Classic Silver or Magnetic Gray metallic paint colors. The Land Cruiser won’t be returning for the 2022 model-year, but it could return in the future with a modern design, updated technology and a more luxurious cabin.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
Although the Land Cruiser is extremely capable, it’s also very expensive when compared to other large SUVs. We would still choose the Heritage Edition, Toyota’s most luxurious three-row SUV. The Land Cruiser comes standard with a multitude of desirable features, including a 14-speaker JBL stereo system and a multi-view camera system for navigating through obstacles. All Land Cruisers come standard with four-zone climate control and heated and ventilated front seats. They also have leather-trimmed upholstery and a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment screen. The Heritage Edition features a unique grille design, roof rack, bronze 18-inch BBS tires, and dark exterior accents. We’d recommend the 2021 model with a third row to maximize the number people we can take along when exploring new areas.
Performance, Transmission and Engine
The Land Cruiser’s V-8 engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This combination produces 381 horsepower and 401 pounds of torque. Standard is full-time four-wheel drive. The Land Cruiser offers comfortable driving dynamics and a smooth, well-planned ride. The steering feel is soft and there’s some body roll. The handling is more satisfying than that of the SUVs at this price. Despite its bulky exterior, the Land Cruiser handles well. The Land Cruiser can tow up to 8100lbs, which is a substantial towing capacity, but it’s still a little lower than rivals like the Ford Expedition and Chevy Tahoe.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The Toyota’s massive dimensions have a negative impact on the Toyota’s fuel economy. The Land Cruiser’s highway gas mileage is just 17 mpg and 13 mpg in cities, according to the EPA. Compare the Land Cruiser to rivals like the Lincoln Navigator (16/22 mpg City/Highway) or Mercedes-Benz GLS-class (19/23 MPG City/Highway). On our 200-mile highway test, the Land Cruiser earned 17 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The Land Cruiser’s cabin is all about execution. There’s a remarkable attention to detail. Although the cabin isn’t as luxurious as some rivals like the Mercedes GLS-class, the materials used are top-quality. The build quality is superb, and the knobs and switches feel heavy with quality. Comfortable accommodations are provided in the front row, which also offers commanding views. The second row has plenty of space, but it is better suited for children. The standard eight-person Land Cruiser seating arrangement provides 16 cubic feet cargo space behind each row, and 41 cubic feet behind the first. Comparable models, such as the Lincoln Navigator, offer more cargo space. It has about 20 cubic feet behind its third row and approximately 20 cubic feet for your belongings.
Connectivity and Infotainment
The Land Cruiser is fully equipped with an array of tech features. Bluetooth connectivity standard allows for hands-free phone conversations while behind the wheel. All models include wireless device charging as well as an integrated navigation system that features a 9.0-inch touchscreen. Satellite radio and a 14-speaker JBL audio system are standard features. There are two options: a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a pair wireless headphones and two display screens measuring 11.6 inches.