I’ve been doing this a long time. If you had told me I would ever be reviewing an $80,000 Toyota, I might have questioned what you were smoking. I didn’t understand the Land Cruiser before now, and I suspect there are many like me.
If you start looking at the history of this SUV, it has changed dramatically since the first one rolled off the assembly line in 1951. Yes, it’s been 63 years, and the Land Cruiser is the longest running Toyota in history.
There is much to love about the 2014 Land Cruiser. It went through a mild re-do in 2013, so the 2014 is virtually unchanged. We have a 5.7-liter V8 under the hood, and it is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Together they produce 381-horses. Acceleration is smooth and determined, and the engine is incredibly quiet at all times.
Ride and drive of the Land Cruiser is terrific. The body-on-frame configuration is old school, but gives this SUV a lot of stability, especially when you jump off paved roads to experience the full-time four-wheel drive. It handles well, it has a quiet interior, and braking is super.
The interior is spectacular and when you open the door, you think Lexus. The seats are large and very comfortable. There is a lot of headroom for all passengers. The second row seating is for three people, as is the 3rd row seat, which will fit 3 adults with comfort. It is interesting that Toyota has chosen to keep the 3rd row seat split, and you stow them away to the sides of the vehicles, not forward or down like most. They have stuck with the split tailgate too, which I like.
There are no longer any packages with the Land Cruiser, just about everything is standard. My tester has the carpeted floor mats and cargo area mat, which is $225. You can get remote start, glass break sensor, and there is a charge for certain colors, but not for the Sandstone that comes on this one. As you can imagine, an SUV in this price range comes fully loaded, and this one is no exception.
Standard equipment includes stability control, pre-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and more airbags than I can even count. You also get HID headlight, power moonroof, navigation system, Bluetooth, and steering wheel controls.
You also get the terrific Entune system,which is operated from a high resolution color monitor that controls everything, and includes a suite of apps that give you real-time info on everything from fuel prices and weather, to stock prices and sports scores. Also as standard, you get leather interior, dual power front seats, four-zone climate controlled air conditioning, heated front and second row seats, air conditioned front seats, and a 9” DVD entertainment system.
So let’s go over the things I did not care for. First, although physically heavy, 13 MPG in town is rough, although it does call for regular fuel, which helps some. The non-descript exterior looks are a bit boring. For all the good things Toyota does, the wheels they put on most of their models are just awful, including the 18” wheel on my review Cruiser. Then there is the price. You are only $3875 from getting a comparable Lexus LX570, which will more than likely lease better, and have better resale value.
The Land Cruiser is a luxury off-road SUV, but for me it does not stack up with Range Rover HSE, and if off-roading is not your deal, the Cadillac Escalade for me is a better buy. With that said, the quality of the Land Cruiser is legendary, and that has to play into your decision making too. Only 3000 were sold in 2013 in the United States, and at their peak a little over 6000 were sold, so this is not a volume vehicle for Toyota.
- What I liked most: The interior, 4-wheel system, and overall quality.
- What I would change: The wheels, the exterior looks, and a lower price.
- MSRP: Base price $78,755-as equipped $79,840.
- Fuel Economy: 13 City/18 highway/15 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 4215 miles.
- Weight: 5765 Pounds.
- Length-Width-Height: 112.2” long/77.6” wide/74” High
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 24.6 gallons.
- Towing Capacity: 8200 pounds.
- 2014 Land Cruiser in a few words: A capable, great quality large SUV.
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 6-year/60,000 mile powertrain coverage with roadside assistance and complimentary maintenance for 2 years.
- Manufacturers website: http://www.toyota.com/landcruiser/
- Dealers: We have great Toyota dealers in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, Modesto, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Francisco.