Road Test: 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser

Understated, bold, purposeful, and capable are just a few of the words used to describe the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser. Priced at the very top of the Toyota portfolio, the Land Cruiser continues to do everything it has always promised and more.

With a brawny 5.7L V8 under the hood, the Land Cruiser’s engine produces 381 HP and 401 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed through a silky 8-speed auto, rocketing the full-time 4WD SUV to highway speeds quickly. And whether carrying a full load of passengers and their luggage, or pulling a trailer, the Land Cruiser can easily handle it all. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 13 mpg city, 18 highway, 15 combined; we averaged 17 mpg across the full week of driving.

Land Cruiser’s full-time 4WD system uses a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential to distribute torque 40:60 front-to-rear. If the wheels slip, the differential can direct more torque to the wheels with the best grip. We had the opportunity to sample the 4WD system during a snow storm and felt nothing but confidence.

Steering feedback is excellent, and braking performance is commendable–the Land Cruiser feels safe and secure with every move it makes.

Toyota says the beefy P285/60 R18 mud-and-snow tires on 18 x 8.0-inch aluminum alloy wheels help give the Land Cruiser exemplary grip in all conditions. A full-size spare is standard too, along with a direct individual tire pressure monitor system that also monitors the spare.

On the outside, incredibly bright LED headlights provide a bright and broad path of illumination. There are nearly no options on Land Cruiser, save for the remote starter on our vehicle and the all-weather floor mats which helped protect the luxurious carpet from snow and salt.

Inside, a massive 9″ high-res Entune infotainment system keeps everything within a finger’s reach. 11-inch LCD displays are mounted to the seatbacks of both front seats, with heated rear seats standard. Heated and cooled front seats with a heated steering wheel ensured the winter didn’t get to the best of us that week.

On the safety front, Toyota Safety Sense with pedestrian detection is standard. The systems include radar cruise, auto high beams, and lane departure alert, but oddly no lane keeping assist. Front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, and a Multi-terrain Monitor (360 degree vehicle view) are all standard.

We found the dynamic radar cruise system to work incredibly well, and we’re glad to see everything is standard as it can be hard to gauge how far other cars are in parking situations.

The multiway adjustable seats are incredibly soft and comfortable. This is definitely the road-trip vehicle of choice for those who crave adventure and comfort.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling 10
Braking 10
Powertrain and Fuel Economy 9
Noise 10
Headlights 10
Interior Fit and Finish 10
Seating 10
Visibility 10
Gauges and Controls 10
Infotainment 9
Crash-Avoidance 10
Total Score  98

Make: Toyota
Model: Land Cruiser
Trim Level: Standard
Engine: 5.7L V8
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic

Base Price: $84,325
As-Tested Price: $87,002

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