Toyota hasn’t changed its Land Cruiser much over the years. It’s still an off-road warrior that feels just as comfortable in the valet line at the Four Seasons as it does on a rutted, muddy road to the deer camp.
The 2018 Land Cruiser celebrated its 60th birthday last year, and the 2019 model returns with a high-class cabin with room for up to eight. And the Land Cruiser keeps its off-road chops, with nine inches of ground clearance and a full-time 4WD system with a crawl control feature and multi-terrain selections for most any conditions drivers throw at it.
The 2019 Land Cruiser can get you to the woods in style, then slog through some of the toughest terrain once you’re there.
This body-on-frame SUV is powered by a tough 5.7-liter V8 that develops 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. This big V8 has enough to move this 5,800-pound SUV with gusto, even when it is towing as much as 8,100 pounds. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic.
And what’s more, the Land Cruiser is rated to run on regular unleaded fuel. Good thing, too, because the Land Cruiser is not exactly green when it comes to fuel consumption.
The Land Cruiser will get you anywhere, but if you’ve only got a gallon of fuel in the tank “anywhere” will have to be within 18 miles. If you’re driving in the city with that same gallon of gas, the Four Seasons needs to be less than 13 miles away. However, with its 24.6-gallon fuel tank the Land Cruiser will take you 442 miles down the highway before needing to stop for gas.
The Land Cruiser is offered in just one trim – loaded. The rear seat DVD system is the only option offered. The heated and cooled seats are leather, the climate control system has four zones with a total of 28 vents, Entune Premium features JBL Audio with navigation that has split-screen capability, and Qi wireless phone charging is standard. Infotainment is via a big 9-inch screen, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not supported.
Toyota’s Optitron instrument gauges are bright and clear, while the driver information display provides information on all the usual systems, plus extras like parking assist, steering wheel angle, terrain control selection, dynamic cruise control, pre-collision warning alarm adjustment and Lane Departure Alert. You just have to learn a little alphabet soup to get all the abbreviations straight.
If you need a cold beverage or two on your drive, the center console has a cooler box in addition to the usual USB ports and cup holders.
If you’re an adult, you’ll like the comfort of the Land Cruiser cabin. It’s luxurious and spacious in the front two rows. You’ll like the third row better if you’re a kid. Headroom in front is 38.3 inches and in the second row it’s actually higher at 38.9 inches. In Row 3 it’s 35.8 inches.
Cargo volume behind the third row is 16.1 cubic feet, but that increases to 43 cubic feet with the third row folded (it does not fold flat into the floor). If you fold the second row down and remove the third-row seats, there’s 81.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
The back of the Land Cruiser opens via a double liftgate – the top rises with the push of a button while the bottom half folds down to create a tailgate. I like this setup because it makes loading and unloading easier, and it’s a handy place for sitting or tailgating supplies.
On the road, the Land Cruiser has a comfortable ride that is surprisingly flat in hard cornering. Most big SUVs lean and sway in corners because of their size, but Toyota adds a special suspension system to help keep this big vehicle stable and under control.
I didn’t get a change to take the Land Cruiser off the beaten path, but it certainly has the capability to handle must conditions, with driver-selectable modes for any kind of terrain. There’s also a crawl feature that acts sort of like cruise control for slow speed off-road conditions and a downhill assist control and a hill-start assist feature. On narrow trails, the Land Cruiser has a feature that uses slight braking on the inside rear wheel to tighten the turning radius.
Most drivers will likely never use all the features available in the 2019 Land Cruiser, but they’ll tell you they’re glad those features are there…just in case
2019 Toyota Land Cruiser
Engine: 5.7-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque: 381/401 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 8-speed automatic (full-time 4WD)
Price: $84,765 (plus freight & options)
EPA mileage estimates: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway/15 mpg combined
EstimateD Highway Range: 442 miles