2020 Toyota Land Cruiser overview: The outdated guard nonetheless has it

The Heritage Version’s bronze wheels are incredible.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

Toyota’s Land Cruiser has remained principally unchanged within the US for the reason that 200-series was launched again in 2007. That form of longevity within the automotive trade is uncommon and for many automobiles, it could be a loss of life sentence. However for the Land Cruiser, that is simply how the house owners prefer it and the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Version is perhaps the last word expression of that if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it loyalty.

LikeFeels prefer it’ll final foreverUndeniable off-road prowessSmooth on-road mannersHeritage Version styling is epic

Do not LikeHorrendous gas economyNo Apple CarPlay or Android Auto$90,000 price ticket

All the Land Cruiser’s bones are outdated, from its body-on-frame development to its giant, naturally aspirated V8. Whereas Toyota’s 3UR-FB engine is not what anybody would name the image of effectivity, it is bought different qualities that make it the right gasoline engine for the Land Cruiser.

To begin, the 5.7-liter dual-overhead-cam V8 produces cheap quantities of energy and torque — 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet — so the Land Cruiser does not really feel gradual or ponderous on the street. That in and of itself is an achievement when you think about the Cruiser’s roughly 6,000-pound curb weight. It is also a really smooth-operating V8, which provides to the Land Cruiser’s overwhelming feeling of solidity.

2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Version: Going out on a excessive journey word
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Sadly, the engine drinks gas like OPEC sponsors it, regardless of Toyota upgrading the transmission to an eight-speed unit in 2016. Do not count on to do higher than 17 miles per gallon on the freeway and 13 mpg on the town, and even much less if you happen to retain the Heritage Version’s roof rack.

The Land Cruiser’s full-time four-wheel-drive system additionally eats into its gas financial system numbers, however once more, the tradeoff is value it. Not solely does the massive SUV really feel completely nice, that system additionally makes the Land Cruiser virtually godlike within the dust. This Toyota will get you surprisingly far into the wilderness earlier than you even want to contemplate partaking low vary or turning on the differential lock. A part of that has to do with the Cruiser’s off-road geometry. It is bought an strategy angle of 32 levels, which is 2 levels higher than the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The departure angle is 24 levels (the Cruiser has an enormous butt) and the breakover angle is 21 levels. Not dangerous for a full-size SUV, proper?

It is arduous to match the Land Cruiser’s off-road prowess.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

The Land Cruiser’s suspension could be very smooth, which is not stunning contemplating the mannequin’s off-road mandate, however it’s additionally surprisingly good on-road. It has no downside smoothing out even the worst of Los Angeles’ notoriously dangerous roads and it could accomplish that with out feeling wallowy or disconnected. It is nonetheless a really tall and really heavy SUV, so it isn’t precisely what I would name sporty, however even if you happen to by no means take it into the dust (which might be against the law), you will not end up regretting your buy.

The Land Cruiser’s brakes are pretty critical items of package, which is sweet as a result of they work arduous for a dwelling; stopping one thing as heavy because the Land Cruiser is not simple. In addition they play a component in two vital items of off-road tech: Crawl Management and Hill-Descent Management. These each principally act as a form of off-road cruise management, permitting the car to handle itself on steep declines by pulsing the brakes in addition to sustaining velocity on stage floor and on hill ascents. The noise the system makes whereas going downhill is horrific, however the total impact is epic and takes an enormous chunk out of the off-roading studying curve.

The Land Cruiser is snug, too. There’s nothing even remotely approaching the time period “newest and best” contained in the Land Cruiser, but all the things feels proper at dwelling. The seats and steering wheel are wrapped in surprisingly supple leather-based and the entire different finishes that you just contact really feel nice. The gauge cluster is old-school too, however I by no means discovered myself wanting a digital sprint, it could simply really feel bizarre in an SUV like this.

The inside is not precisely trendy, however nonetheless rattling snug.


The seating place is superb and supplies a commanding view down the Land Cruiser’s large hood, although at round 6-feet, 4-inches tall and with lots of that top in my torso, I’d adore it if the driving force’s seat dropped one other inch or two. This is not only a Land Cruiser concern both; I discover that is the case in most Toyotas. My Heritage Version tester lacks working boards, so shorter drivers may want to purchase some or get a working begin to hop inside this factor.

The rear seats are additionally completely good. There’s loads of room, even for full-size adults. Sitting behind the driving force’s seat is completely positive, even with it set to my regular seating place. The rear seats within the Land Cruiser are additionally comparatively simple to fold up, including to the already sizable cargo house within the again. That cargo space is a plus when it comes time to haul issues, however I would like to see extra customary cargo nets or grocery bag hooks to maintain issues from rolling round.

One of many highlights of the Land Cruiser is its break up tailgate. Very like the Land Rover Vary Rover, the Cruiser offers you the choice to open solely the highest half of the rear (which is powered, a semi-recent growth) or fold down the sturdy little tailgate. It is a terrific place to take a seat and hang around and I want extra SUVs had this. The Heritage Version is simply out there with two rows of seating, however the usual Land Cruiser will be had with a pair of side-folding, third-row seats. The cargo dimensions are 82.eight cubic-feet behind the primary row no matter mannequin. When you go for the Heritage Version, there’s 53.5 cubic-feet of house behind the second row, shrinking to 41.Four in the usual mannequin with the folding chairs and simply 16.1 cubic-feet behind stated third row.

The throwback badge is value some bonus fashion factors.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

Relating to infotainment, it is arduous to name Toyota a frontrunner the least bit. The corporate’s techniques typically really feel outdated even in vehicles with a lot newer structure than the Land Cruiser. So, apart from display screen dimension — which is common at 9 inches — and that indisputable fact that it is a touchscreen, issues are fairly dismal. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Nope. However hey, it does have a decent-sounding JBL stereo system and affords Qi wi-fi charging, however these do not precisely bridge the hole with different premium SUVs.

Security tech can also be not exactly bleeding-edge, however there’s loads of it and all of it works properly. Toyota’s Security Sense driver help suite is customary and consists of lane-departure warning, pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, computerized excessive beams and adaptive cruise management. In actual fact, all the things on the Land Cruiser Heritage Version is customary. There are not any choices, which is useful given the hefty price ticket.

Talking of which, the 2020 Land Cruiser Heritage Version — which incorporates bronze wheels, a Yakima roof rack that would not slot in my parking construction and distinctive badging — retails for $89,070 together with $1,325 for vacation spot and that is earlier than you add equipment like rubber ground mats ($215) and the like. When you go for the marginally less-expensive customary Land Cruiser ($86,740), you get the choice of including a rear-seat leisure system for a further $2,220. You additionally get different colour choices past the Heritage Version’s black or white.

We’ll miss the Land Cruiser when it is gone.

Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow

I perceive that spending $90,000 for an SUV that does not even have CarPlay is form of so much to ask, particularly when you think about the posh and comfort options which you can get on the off-road-capable Vary Rover, which begins just below $91,000. However this is the factor: For many consumers, the Land Cruiser is a long-term buy and with the mannequin’s historical past of confirmed reliability, you understand you are not prone to need to pour some huge cash into it (properly, except for gas) all through its life. That does not even start to get into the topic of used automotive values, which skew closely in favor of the Land Cruiser.

Plus, what else on the market really competes with the Land Cruiser? The Mercedes-Benz G550 is not less than as succesful off-road, however it has a beginning worth $40,000 increased than the Cruiser and that is earlier than including choices. The Nissan Armada can also be large, outdated and makes use of body-on-frame structure, however it lacks the Land Cruiser’s off-road chops. There’s even competitors from inside the Toyota household within the type of the Lexus LX 570, which prices roughly the identical and appears twice as ugly. The LX’s customary adaptive air suspension is a pleasant characteristic and cannot be had on the Cruiser, however the off-road geometry is not nearly as good, so it is a wash.

The Land Cruiser is not for everybody and gross sales actually replicate that, which is finally the rationale why Toyota is discontinuing the SUV quickly. However within the meantime, there’s nothing else fairly prefer it and for that motive alone, if you happen to’re contemplating choosing one up, I am unable to think about you may remorse that alternative.

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