Overview

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Overview (Final Score: C)

The Toyota Land Cruiser is the vehicle that will go anywhere without showing any sign of struggle. Whether it is going through a difficult trail or crossing through a difficult mud hole, the Land Cruiser will get you through it. But more and more, buyers of SUVs are keeping them on the payment and automakers in kind are tuning the vehicles to be more friendly on these surfaces. Toyota hasn't done that yet with the Land Cruiser, preferring to keep it true to its off-road roots. But does make sense anymore in this age where more and more people are deciding to get a utility vehicle?

What We Love About the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser


  • Well-Equipped for the Price

  • Off-Road Heritage

  • Easy-to-use Infotainment System


What We Didn't Love About the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser


  • Uncomfortable Third-Row

  • Small Cargo Area

  • Body Motions Could Be Better Controlled


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Exterior View (8/10)

There is nothing quite like the Toyota Land Cruiser in terms of looks. The square shape screams toughness with a protruding grille, door rails, and a set of large off-road tires. Touches such as large glass area and split opening tailgate are key trademarks to the Land Cruiser. Some will feel the model is a bit plain when compared to its sister model, the Lexus LX 570. But others will appreciate the tone-down approach Toyota went for.

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Interior Comfort, Quality and Ease of Use (7/10)

For an SUV with an $85k price tag, the Land Cruiser's interior is disappointing. When compared to other SUVs for similar money, the Land Cruiser lacks the style and luxury touches you might expect such as stitching on the dash. Material quality is okay with an abundance of soft-touch plastics, wood trim, and faux metal used throughout. We would have like to seen some leather used on certain parts such as the door panels and dash. There is one positive to Toyota's utilitarian approach as it is easy to find the controls for the various functions.

The front seats come wrapped in supple leather upholstery and provide excellent support for long trips thanks to thick padding. Heat and ventilation for the front seats are standard. Second-row passengers will find plenty of head and legroom, along with their own set of climate controls and heated seats. The seat can be slid forward and back, either provide more legroom for those in the second-row, or provide more space for passengers in the third-row or cargo. The third-row is best reserved for small kids as legroom is non-existent for adults.

Cargo space in the Land Cruiser trails many competitors. With all three-rows up, the Land Cruiser boasts 16.1 cubic feet. This is bested by the Lincoln Navigator which offers 20.9 cubic feet. Oddly, the third-row in the Land Cruiser doesn't fold into the floor. Instead, Toyota has designed them to fold against the sides of the cargo wall. This eats into cargo space as the Land Cruiser only has 43 cubic feet, 6 cubic feet smaller than what you'll find in the Mercedes-Benz GLS. Fold the second-row to expand cargo space to 81.7 cubic feet, over 12 cubic feet smaller than the GLS.

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Technology (7/10)

All Land Cruisers come with a 9-inch touchscreen with Toyota's Entune infotainment system. We like that Toyota decided to use a touchscreen and not some sort of controller that you'll find in many of its competitors, allowing for an easier learning curve. A row of shortcut buttons underneath the screen provide an easy way to move to different functions. The interface of Entune is beginning to show its age with stale graphics. This isn't helped by the screen which makes the text somewhat blurred. Performance is about average, taking a few milliseconds to move from one function to another. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is not available.

Fuel Economy (6/10)

The EPA rates the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser at 13 City/18 Highway/15 Combined, putting it at the bottom of the pack. Our average for the week landed around 14.9 mpg in a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving.

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Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (8/10)

Consumer Reports and J.D. Power rate the Land Cruiser very highly in predicted reliability. At the time of this review, there is no initial quality rating for the Land Cruiser.

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Safety (8/10)

Toyota has equipped the Land Cruiser with a large amount of active safety equipment including adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams. Other standard safety features include traction and stability control, brake assist, backup camera, and a complete set of airbags.

No crash tests have been done on the Toyota Land Cruiser.

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Performance (7/10)

The Land Cruiser is powered by a 5.7L V8 engine with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This is mated to an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system. We were a bit worried that the Land Cruiser would exhibit the same pause and stumbling when accelerating from a stop that we experienced in a 2018 Lexus LX 570. This did not happen as the V8 smoothly and forcefully moved the Land Cruiser with no issue. The eight-speed automatic delivers smooth and crisp upshifts, but stumbles somewhat when it comes to upshifts. It makes the vehicle feel slightly sluggish when your passing.

The Land Cruiser craves off-road driving and that is clearly evident by the number of switches, buttons, and knobs that control various off-road systems. There's a two-speed transfer case, locking center differential, adjustable suspension, crawl-control system, and terrain selection system that adjust various systems to keep the SUV moving in different conditions. We didn't get the chance to try its off-road chops, but we've heard from some that have taken off-road that it is quite impressive.

Being off-road oriented, the Land Cruiser's suspension is quite soft to allow for better articulation when traversing uneven terrain. This also allows the Land Cruiser to smooth over most bumps and road imperfections with no issues. The downside to this soft suspension is an abundance of body roll when cornering. Steering feels very slow and numb, making it difficult in determining how much input you need when turning. We also found that we needed to make numerous small corrections to the steering to keep Land Cruiser going in a straight line, making for a very tiring experience.

Pricing and Value (9/10)

The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser begins at $83,665. Our test vehicle came with an optional carpet mat set for $225.00, which brought the as-tested price to $85,185 after a $1,295.00 destination charge. For most people, our particular configuration is the one to go for as it offers everything that you'll need to tackle the trail.

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Total Score and Competitive Comparison (60/80, 75%)

The closet competitor to the Toyota Land Cruiser is its sister model, the Lexus LX 570. For 2018, Lexus has introduced a two-row version which is only a couple grand more expensive than the Land Cruiser. The loss of the third-row allows for slightly more cargo space. It comes with a more expensive looking and feeling interior. But as we found out in a recent review, the LX 570 has some glaring issues. One is that engine doesn't seem to respond immediately when leaving a stop. There is a noticeable pause between stepping on the accelerator and the engine deciding to wake up and get moving. Braking is another weak point as it is difficult to modulate pressure. You either feel like you're not slowing down or being thrown through the windshield.

If you're planning to stay on the payment, then the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is worth a look. The GLS offers a more luxurious interior with high-quality materials and more cargo space. The three engines on offer have more the enough for any driving situation. Ride quality is similar to the Land Cruiser, but the GLS feels slightly more agile on a winding road. Where the GLS falter is a limited amount of standard equipment. If you want such features as adaptive cruise control or blind spot monitoring, be prepared to spend a fair amount of cash.

The Land Cruiser appeals to an audience that wants an SUV with true off-road capability and a large number of luxury appointments. A long history of providing excellent reliability also helps. But this mindset puts the Land Cruiser behind the pack as other automakers transition their SUVs from offering off-road capability for better on-road performance as more buyers pick one up. It shows in the on-road performance as the Land Cruiser doesn't handle as well as its competitors. The Land Cruiser also lacks the luxury touches you might expect for its high price tag. Unless you're planning on traversing the Rocky Mountains or delve into the desert, it would be wise to skip the Land Cruiser.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - 4WD
4WD (Natl) 8 Cylinder 4WD 84565

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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