The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By Katrina Ramser
Senior Editor
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

Possessing a Land Cruiser immediately upgrades your off-road status as this vehicle helped birth the whole utility craze, with roots as far back as 1951 when the Cruiser climbed Mt. Fuji. It’s gotten a load more luxurious with today’s models cruising more shopping malls than trails and costly, but that doesn’t make it any less wondrous to drive.

I drove a 2016 Toyota land Cruiser with the Tundra's 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine and a new eight-speed transmission, along with the same full-time four-wheel drive with A-TRAC and a Torsen locking differential, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, Multi-Terrain Select, CRAWL with off-road turn assist. Available in one model, standard equipment on the Land Cruiser includes: perforated leather upholstery; heated and ventilated front seats; ten-way power driver’s seat; four-zone climate control; Entune Premium multi-media system with an App Suite; an upgraded fourteen-speaker JBL audio system; navigation; nine-inch split-screen display; multi-terrain monitor with front, side or rearview camera views; Bluetooth connectivity; rear seat DVD system with two individual screens; moonroof; center console cooler box; power liftgate; roof rack; front and rear-mounted tow hooks; mudguards; skid plates; eighteen-inch alloy wheels; LED exterior lights. Total price as described is $83,825.

For 2016, the Land Cruiser headlines that eight-speed transmission for smoother gear shifting and new safety technology. The Entune system has updates, including the Siri Eyes Free feature. The only other brand that rivals such off-road history is Jeep; and although nowhere near as cool, in terms of luxury you’ll have to compare this car to a, Mercedes, Land Rover or BMW.


Stylish But Comfortable Results: The highlights are endless on the Land Cruiser – you won’t get an SUV pushing more conveniences for eight passengers – with a few standouts being the multi-view camera and the nine-inch screen, Qi wireless charging, and the powerful JBL audio system. Interior materials are of the finest quality, supported by generous leg and headroom for most (you get low bottom cushions for the third row). The DVD screens provide 11.6-inches for viewing. Lay the third area back and the Land Cruiser offers 43 cubic feet of storage space – up to 82 with the second row down.

Reliability & Safety Factor: Loaded with standard safety equipment, the 2016 model now features Blind Spot Monitoring, Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection, Land Departure Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The vehicle has not been rated by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Cost Issues: For $83,825 – and that’s price the Land Cruiser is served at – this purchase can rival the cost of a small home. If it’s a luxurious yet more traditional looking SUV you’re searching for, and not a serious off-road competitor, I recommend also looking at the Infiniti QX80 with a starting price of $63,250.

Activity & Performance Ability: With the Tundra truck’s go-to system under the hood, the Land Cruiser possess confidence during both highway and towing expectations. The more advanced off-road equipment is fun to experience: In low range, the CRAWL Control system takes over speed along with the braking force, performing a funny, back-and-forth jig, to make it over extra rocky terrain. Overall the Land Cruiser is like driving a yacht, able to handle smooth weather or nasty conditions.

The Green Concern: Gas estimation for the 2016 Land Cruiser’s 5.8-liter engine is 13-mpg city and 18-mpg highway for an average 15 miles-per-gallon.

If only a pedigreed true off-road beast with a plush and spacious cabin will do for your family, the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is your chariot. You’ve got nothing less than a road legend both on and off the road, a vehicle equipped with modern technology, comforts, and the confidence to explore the world around it.

©2016 Katrina Ramser

The Most In-Depth Unbiased Independent Toyota Vehicle Shopper's Research - Anywhere!