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2009 Toyota Land Cruiser

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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
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 30 Ratings for the 2008 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

My 2008 model runs still like new - luckily!

By on Friday, July 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable"

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

"I own the V8 diesel version since 2009. I had only two minor issues(together €850 to fix)not bad after 200,000 miles! The 2016 model with diesel is not available in the EU - but since my Land Cruiser runs like new I can happily wait for times to change. The Land Cruiser is an excellent, safe,dependable and very comfortable vehicle that pleases my family of 5 on the autobahn, off-road - anywhere. Best worry free car ever. Greetings from Germany"

Best 4WD in the world. Period.

By on Saturday, November 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,600

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
10/10

Pros: "Super durable, reliable, and fun to drive."

Cons: "Costs a lot. You get what you pay for."

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

"I have owned sixteen 4WD vehicles over the years including Land Rover, Range Rover, Jeep, GMC Trucks. I have owned Land Rover Defender, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Range Rover. This is my 7th Land Cruiser and is the best ever. It drives like a limo and at the same time handles like a sports car, has super creature comforts and every whistle and bell you could ask for. I still own an old vintage (1982) Land Cruiser (FJ 40). It has 150,000 miles and runs like a top. This new one is light years ahead of the old one. I know they ain't cheap, but if you want a tough, reliable, capable, and comfortable 4WD get a Land Cruiser. I read that Land Cruiser is the NATO vehicle of choice...no wonder."

16 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Fouth Land Cruiser in 20 years.

By on Monday, October 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Power,Comfort, Control, Family Freindly, Relyabily"

Cons: "5.7 Litre is thirsy, 3rd row windows don't open."

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

Blue 60th Land Cruiser with Rock Warrior Wheels

"From the 100 to the 200 there are a couple features the boys from Toyota missed with the back windows not opening and back door hatch warning system misfiring. Other than that, this is the best LC so far! If you are hitting the road, Trail, Snow, Mud or Sand with your family and or friends this is he vehicle you want. Purchased the 60th Anniversary edition here in Colorado in Blue with Grey, Crawl Control, 4WL, Lockers, Traction ECT.... Oil changes and tire rotations is the game here folks! If you want to spend more time adventuring and less time in the shop this is the one. Funny story, I picked my 2011 LC up on a lease return with 42K miles the same week a buddy bought a 2015 Land Rover. I paid a clean $45K less than the Rover for my beauty and his is in the shop almost every month with electrical, Wheel/Tire, NAV issues. He was hit in a parking garage on the rear panel and had to wait 3months for a certified tech not to void his new car warranty. He was told there are only a couple in the entire state and they were al backed up. He is now looking for a used LC for the ski season. Tried to take a couple sleds behind his Rover over Berthoud Pass and ended up needing more body work from a snow bank. I've pulled many trailer full of wood with my LC on snowpack over the same pass without as much as a hiccup! Great mountain vehicle!"

10 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Blue 60th Land Cruiser with Rock Warrior Wheels

Nothing else quite like it, highly recommended

By on Saturday, October 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Classic looks, bulletproof, ridiculous resale"

Cons: "manual tailgate, awkward 3rd row seating"

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

"I bought this about a year ago as our family car replacing a Sienna minivan. Yes it is pricey but you honestly get what you pay for. No crossover looking swooping curves here. IMO the LC has classic rugged looks that should still look good 15 years from now. It flies under the radar of most which I like. There are so many subtle details that most will never notice. Take a look at the undercarriage on the LC and then compare against Escalade or Denali. No loose hanging hoses or small axles here. This truck is beefy everywhere it counts and is built to last as long as you want it to keep it. Compare the TCO including service cost against those SUV's or a MB GL450 or 550 with depreciation over a 5 year term. The LC has strong value. With Toyota the first 2 years of service are free, and even after 2 years oil changes cost the same as a Corolla. I get a solid 15mpg in mixed driving on regular fuel. Many competitors require premium fuel and get similar mileage. Visibility is excellent sitting up tall with commanding view from the drivers seat. The engine and tranny combo are smooth as silk. Torque everywhere and no turbo hesitation or turbos to worry about breaking in the future. The service dealer mentioned they have folks bringing them in with over 300K+ on the clock. I don't know if I'll have it that long but at least I know the resale value on it is amongst the highest of any vehicle made today. I'm not sure what I would replace it with. It's a keeper. Sounds dramatic but if the end of the world is coming this is the vehicle I want to be heading down the highway in."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Own 2 of these (2015 and 2011).

By on Monday, September 7, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Tough,Reliable,Safe,Capable,Luxury,not Pretentious"

Cons: "More options than I really want/need."

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

"These are the best vehicles I've ever owned. The 2011 has over 100k miles, and is like new. I've never had any mechanical, electronic, or other malfunction from a Land Cruiser. They're extremely reliable, safe, luxurious, and capable on or off road. Liked the LX 570, but Land Cruiser suspension is better, and 20 inch wheels on the Lexus are inferior to the Toyota's 18's off-road. Lexus has better seats, and rear entertainment in Lexus doesn't block rearward view like Toyota. The Toyota has more available accessories (bull bars, etc.). The Toyota is a better fit for me."

17 people out of 25 found this review helpful

LOYAL to Land Cruiser

By on Friday, September 4, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This is my third! I tried other cars in-between but always come back. Sticker shock for a "non-glamorous" vehicle but then I never regret it. Very reliable and trouble free.Always drive them 100 000+ miles. Uses a lot of gas though. Only complaint is hatch back door reach and ease of third row seat placement, especially when I am in a dress.. But each model change has improved those."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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