You must be certainly one of us to know. “Us” which means “Land Cruiser aficionados.” By way of gross sales, it’s not an enormous group: Toyota sells solely about three,000-Four,000 Cruisers a yr within the states. Nevertheless it’s a faithful one. Anybody who’s ever skilled the consolation, high quality, and go-anywhere prowess of this huge body-on-frame brute is aware of that sitting behind its wheel is a candy, satisfying place to be. A latest few days with a 2019 version solely reaffirmed my fondness for the rig. Few autos have aged so effectively.
Toyota has been promoting the Cruiser within the U.S. for six many years, and the present J200 platform has been round largely unchanged since 2008 (a next-gen version is rumored to be within the works, although). A facelift and an Eight-speed computerized arrived for 2016 to assist shake off among the mud, however the Cruiser’s primary DNA soldiered on unaltered. An Audi Q7 the Land Cruiser will not be.
But in case your plans entail mountain climbing off into the wilds, you need the outdated man as your information—the expertise, the chops, the been-there/seen-everything swagger. Yeah, it might transfer a bit slowly, it might be graying and even creak every now and then, nevertheless it’ll get you there when others gained’t. So it’s with the Land Cruiser. Sure, an Eight-speed auto now dices-up the 5.7-liter V-Eight’s 401 pound-feet of torque, however gas financial system is merely 15 mpg within the metropolis and never a lot better on the open highway. But vary anxiousness isn’t a difficulty: The gas tank holds practically 25 gallons. The engine runs fortunately on common unleaded, too.
The Cruiser could also be greater than ten inches shorter in size than the Sequoia I additionally drove not too long ago, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a monster. Toyota claims you may match eight inside, however the third-row break up bench—which folds up and away onto the perimeters of the rear cabin—is extra fitted to two. Nonetheless, there’s gobs of room inside, particularly for the motive force and front-seat passenger. The motive force’s chair is absolutely splendid, the view from it commanding. There’s nothing refined concerning the sprint (a few of it’s really fairly plasticky), however the Cruiser is agreeably easy in its controls and lacks for nothing. Customary options embrace all the pieces from an Entune Premium system with JBL audio and nav to four-zone computerized local weather management, leather-based seats (heated within the first two rows), a heated leather-based steering wheel, keyless entry with pushbutton begin, and a central cooler field. The one possibility on my $88,280 tester: a rear-seat leisure system ($2,220) with screens behind every entrance seat. The 9.Zero-inch coloration touchscreen is intuitive and snappy. Customary security and comfort tech is plentiful, as effectively, together with entrance and rear park help, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, and a useful multi-terrain monitor with views to the entrance, sides, and rear. Dynamic radar cruise management can be on board however, given the platform’s age, it can’t gradual the car to an entire cease like extra trendy programs.
The Land Cruiser might boast a lofty-sounding Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (primarily, sway bars influenced by hydraulics to maintain roll to a minimal), nevertheless it’s hardly a scalpel. The order of the day is closely boosted steering and many small corrections to maintain the large Toyota rolling alongside your meant path. That’s not as a lot of a criticism because it sounds. Whereas the Cruiser’s responses might not be sporty they’re undeniably comfy, the relaxed coil springs and tall-sidewall tires (in an period of supersize SUV wheels the Cruiser’s are “solely” 18-inchers) delivering a composed and plush journey regardless of the situation of the asphalt—or lack thereof.
Toyota’s personal Sequoia delivers a lot of the identical goodness—up to a degree. The Land Cruiser can tow 1,000 kilos extra (Eight,100 lb), and its off-road programs imply it could possibly actually go away its even greater sibling within the mud. The total-time 4WD drive system gives a selection of excessive and low ranges on the contact of a dial, with a locking, limited-slip Torsen heart diff apportioning torque 40/60 entrance/rear by default however capable of regulate that stability as-needed. To this mechanical foundation Toyota provides Energetic Traction Management (A-TRAC) that makes use of each throttle retardation and braking to reduce wheelspin, plus such digital programs as Multi-Terrain Choose, Hill-Begin Help, Crawl Management, Downhill Help, and extra. Few autos are as well-equipped for the Zombie Apocalypse. I couldn’t discover any terrain that precipitated the Cruiser even to attempt laborious. That mentioned, if I have been going to push it a bit—say, up the slopes of K2—I’d need tires extra aggressive than the usual all-terrain Dunlop Grandtrek AT23s.
Other than its usually old-school character and the lofty value of admission, there’s nothing concerning the Land Cruiser I don’t discover redeeming and even charming. I really feel supremely relaxed and content material each time I drive one, partly because of the bounteous luxuries on board however much more due to the utter confidence this machine conjures up. It’s constructed like a battleship. It’s as sturdy as an anvil. It’s as unstoppable as a bulldozer. Oh, and it has ventilated seats so your bottom stays cool by the worst of Armageddon.
The Land Cruiser might in some methods be laborious to justify however I really like the rattling factor anyway. On this case, “aged” is merely a phrase.
2019 Toyota Land Cruiser Specs
5.7L DOHC 32-valve V-Eight, 381 hp @ 5,600 rpm/401 pound-feet @ three,600 rpm
Four-door, Eight-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV
three/18 mpg (metropolis/hwy)
L x W x H
194.9 x 78.Zero x 74.Zero in
5,900 lb (est)
6.Eight sec (est)
114 mph (restricted)