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2009 Toyota Land Cruiser

Overview
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2009 Toyota Land Cruiser Review

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The 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser takes the best attributes from several different types of vehicles – luxury sedan, minivan, serious off-roader, full-sized pickup – and combines them to produce a comfortable, roomy and capable SUV. The flagship of Toyota's six-SUV fleet offers seating for eight, a 381-horsepower V8, full-time four-wheel drive, 8,500-pound towing capacity and new technology that gives it impressive ability off-road. However, its price and size have both ballooned. Competitors include the Mercedes-Benz GL550 SUV, Land Rover Range Rover HSE, Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, though none exactly match the Land Cruiser's combination of power, seating capacity, towing capability and back-country performance.

You'll Like This Car If...

Land Cruiser loyalists whose fortunes, desires and lifestyles have kept in step with the vehicle's increasing size, luxury and price will be attracted to this latest version. It will also appeal to those who demand opulent surroundings while carrying eight people, towing a heavy trailer or hauling a mound of gear.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who battle tight urban traffic or must cram into undersized suburban parking places may find the Land Cruiser a bit unwieldy. Also, its styling does not project the rugged image some seek in an SUV.

What's New for 2009

For 2009, privacy glass is added to the Land Cruiser's side and rear quarter windows.

Driving the Land Cruiser

Driving Impressions Thanks partially to its stiffened ladder frame, the Toyota Land Cruiser's ride comfort comes close to equaling that of many luxury sedans. Steering feel is precise and confidence-inspiring. Body roll...

is much less than most other vehicles with similar off-road aptitude. It accelerates impressively from a stop despite its 5,690-pound curb weight. Its 381-horsepower V8 makes passing on two-lane roads easy. Still, it's a big vehicle and it feels like it. On two-lane highways, it seemed as if there was little space left between the outside mirrors and the centerline on the left and the edge of the road on the right. Parking and maneuvering in tight quarters was a challenge even with the sonar proximity warning system and rearview camera. The Land Cruiser shined in severe off-road exercises, which included climbing rock piles, traversing deep dirt moguls and descending a hill that in winter is a steep and difficult ski run.

Rear Seating
The three-place center row seats offer fore/aft adjustment and are split 40/20/40. When combined with the 50/50-divided third row, they allow passengers to maximize legroom depending upon the number and size of those aboard.

Kinetic Driving Suspension System
During serious off-road driving, the new Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System maximizes suspension travel in order to keep the tires on the ground. Without it, a tire would hang uselessly over the valley between deep moguls when the suspension reached its limit of travel.

2009 Toyota Land Cruiser Details
2009 Toyota Land Cruiser photo Interior

The 2009 Land Cruiser offers an expansive interior that can be configured to accommodate up to eight passengers, two people and a pile of gear or several combinations in between. Cargo space is somewhat lessened by the third-row seats that flip up and stow along the cargo bay's sides, rather then folding flush into the floor. Unlike many three-row SUVs, however, the rear-most seats can accommodate most adults, while the adjustable second row provides expansive legroom when the third row is vacant. The instrument panel, dash and console are awash with switches, gauges and displays; it will take owners some time to figure out what they all do. At least the speedometer is large and easy to read.

Exterior

While many SUVs employ fender flares, aggressive grilles and various bulges to project a go-anywhere, tough-guy look, Toyota chose less-cluttered bodywork; when you're confident of your ability, you don't have to pretend. Besides, the Land Cruiser's already wide body leaves little space for fender flares. Though 2.4 inches longer than the previous generation, the Land Cruiser offers roughly the same ground clearance, both over level surfaces and when approaching, negotiating and clearing off-road obstacles.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Highlights of the Toyota Land Cruiser's standard features are full-length side-curtain airbags, which deploy in side impacts or rollovers. They account for two of its 10 airbags. To help prevent the need for airbags, the Land Cruiser has full-time four-wheel drive, vehicle stability control, four-wheel traction control and a new anti-lock brake system designed to produce shorter stops in snow, on sanded roads and off the pavement. A sonar system warns drivers of obstacles hidden close to the vehicle. The four-zone climate control system's 28 outlets should help all passengers stay comfortable. The Land Cruiser is available in one trim level.

Optional Equipment

A satellite navigation system and a rear-view camera top the list of options available for the 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser. The camera's image is projected on the navigation system's screen when reverse is selected. It's possible to get these separately or as part of the Upgrade Package, which bundles almost all of the Land Cruiser's optional equipment. Passengers on long road trips will appreciate the package's rear-seat entertainment system, which includes a nine-inch display, six-disc CD/DVD changer and jacks for audio and games, heated second-row seats and a refrigerated "cool box" in the center console.

Under the Hood

The 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser's 5.7-liter double-overhead cam V8 produces 381 horsepower, up 116 from the previous 4.7-liter V8. Its 401 pound-feet of torque helps Land Cruiser tow trailers of up to 8,500-pounds, an increase of one ton. The new six-speed automatic transmission employs a very low first gear for strong acceleration away from stoplights and two overdrive gears for better fuel economy. The Land Cruiser's revised full-time four-wheel-drive system has a Torsen torque-sensing center differential that sends engine torque to the axle with the most traction.

5.7-liter V8
381 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
401 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18

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2009 Toyota Land Cruiser Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 24 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.2/10

Not like the old one..

By on Wednesday, February 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, safety features, great capability"

Cons: "Little Storage, Plastic scratches easy, gas milage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I own a 2000 Land Cruiser with 280,000, which I purchased new in '99 and still have, and the 2011 Toyota has downgraded the interior with a steeper price tag. Interior has plastic pieces that scratch very easily, door handles especially. The third row is no longer removable causing there to be less cargo space. My LC is very gently handled and never used armor all on the interior and almost every seat has a crack. Interior has very little storage space due to the cool box. It is a great feature, just lacks storage space. I love the Toyota Land Cruiser for its off-road capabilities, handling, safety features and looks. I would like to see the interior upgraded again and not skimping on what I can only assume to be leatherette. If I was not so in love with the Toyota LC and my 2000 then I would wait until they bring back some of the nicer features before purchasing again."

13 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle!

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Love the hefty and secure feel on the road."

Cons: "Rear jump seats not convenient or comfortable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great ride and drive.Gets good gas mileage as long as you do not put your foot on the floor. Only complaint is about the convenience of the rear two jump seats. They are not comfortable or convenient. Also, not easy to remove. I feel very secure and safe when driving. It has been superbly dependable for our family."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Overall Best SUV out there, its a Legend !!!

By on Thursday, November 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good space for 7-8 people, fun to drive"

Cons: "City driving 13-14 miles/gal"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Superb power and gives you a good sense of safety and confidence it'll take you anywhere you want to go…. Average 13-14 city and was able to average 19-20 miles/gallon driving from NY to Chicago and NY to Toronto. Awesome power will not leave you hanging , great passing power an smooth ride. Very quiet , low maintenance cost. Will keep this car forever"

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Quiet, awesome acceleration for an SUV!

By on Thursday, June 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Get there in style - and likely the only one there"

Cons: "It doesn't "look" like an $85k vehicle LOL"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the second Landcruiser I've ever owned, and likely won't be the last. It's heavy, but the power of the engine and the perfectly tuned suspension make it handle like a smaller and lighter vehicle. The ONLY thing I don't like about it is... Not enough upholders!!!!! My Toyota Tundra has them all over the place!! But, only 2 1/2 in here!! Also, the associated cargo bin is small, and no tray for easy access. I guess soccer mom's just don't need any clutter!"

16 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Good long distance traveler. Excellent off road.

By on Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "See Above"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have owned and really used 4wd all of my adult life.Toyota reliability tops all that I have owned and is confirmed by hundreds of thousands of CONSUMER REPORT mag customer reports. If you need non functional trashy bling get ESCALADE and wake up when you find no low range gearing installed, or buy RANGE ROVER products and learn what CONSUMER REPORT low reliability rating is all about. This goes for JEEP also. It is expensive to buy and fuel. You get what you pay for. As Harry Truman once said: IF YOU CANT STAND THE HEAT, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!"

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

The most solid production vehicle on the planet.

By on Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Build quality, power, comfort"

Cons: "The wheelbase is a little short for towing heavy."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I believe this is the best engineered, best built car you can get. For example, the UN buys 1,000 of these a month for use in the most inhospitable environments on earth. Highway driving is virtually flawless, and off-road they are the stuff of legend. If you want to go anywhere--really, anywhere!--with confidence, safety and luxury, pick a Land Cruiser."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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