By KBB.com Editors
In the world of full-size SUVs, the 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser commands great respect. Combining the best attributes of a luxury car, a minivan, a serious off-road 4x4 and perhaps even a full-size pickup, the Land Cruiser is a single vehicle that can satisfy many needs. With seating for eight, Toyota's flagship SUV is a capable family mover. Its 381-horsepower V8 engine and battery of high-tech off-road-capable equipment make the Land Cruiser ideal for families whose idea of a relaxing holiday is to venture far from civilization. For those who prefer a more pampered vacation, the Land Cruiser's 8,200-pound tow rating will prove more than sufficient when pulling a boat or loaded horse trailer. Unfortunately, unlike the original Land Cruiser, the 2011 model has grown not only in size and complexity, it has also grown expensive, placing it out of reach for all but the well-to-do.
The Land Cruiser's safari-venturing roots serve it well. Those looking for a large SUV that can tackle the most inhospitable terrain will find much to like in the 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser.
If your primary need is transporting kids and cargo with minimal fuss, the Land Cruiser's old-fashioned flip-up third-row seats are not as convenient as the flush-folding type, plus they take up valuable cargo space.
There are no major changes for the 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser.
Driving Impressions The 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser's stiffened ladder frame helps eliminate squeaks and rattles, as well as serves as the foundation for its hefty suspension setup. The Land Cruiser's ride quality...is impressively smooth, even over broken pavement. Body roll and lean seem to be kept in check, and the steering response is precise and confident. Despite its nearly 5,700-pound weight, the Land Cruiser can accelerate and pass with confidence. We took our Land Cruiser over several severe off-road exercises, including climbing rock piles, traversing deep dirt moguls and descending a steep, snow-covered hill. In every situation, the Land Cruiser defeated its opponent and left us feeling supremely confident in its ability to handle more. In the urban jungle, however, the Land Cruiser is not so easy to tame, and we found that parking and maneuvering in tight quarters was a challenge, even with the sonar proximity-warning system and rearview camera.
A nice feature to have for anyone living in a place where the word "minus" regularly precedes the outside temperature is the Land Cruiser's positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heater. In extreme cold, the PTC can nearly-instantly heat the passenger cabin by passing air over a heated ceramic element.
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.
The 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser's large interior can seat up to eight passengers, or as few as one person and a mountain of gear (or any number of combinations in between.) Oddly, where most of the Land Cruiser's competitors offer a flush or flat-folding third-row seat, Toyota has chosen to stick with an outdated split-bench design in which the two halves flip up and stow at the cargo bay's sides. The design isn't just awkward; it actually eats up quite a bit of cargo space. When the third row is not in use, adjustable second-row seating can be pushed rearward to create additional legroom. Although the instrument panel is well designed and easy to see, it is awash in numerous switches, gauges and displays, requiring the driver to first spend some time with the owner's manual to figure out what they all do.Exterior
The 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser shuns the use of gimmicky plastic add-ons and bulging fender flares to impart its place as an off-road dynamo. Instead, the Land Cruiser relies on the same simple and clean design that made the original such a timeless classic. Although this is the longest Land Cruiser to date, its excellent ground clearance and short front and rear overhangs allow it easy access over boulder-strewn paths or on steep approach angles. We especially like the Land Cruiser's slim A-pillars, which allow for excellent visibility when traversing narrow trails.
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 an anti-lock brake system (ABS) designed to produce shorter and more controllable 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.
A satellite navigation system and a rear-view camera top the list of options available for the 2011 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.
The 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser's 5.7-liter double-overhead cam V8 produces 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, helping it tow trailers of up to 8,200-pounds. The capable 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.
381 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
401 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18
By gman (MO) on Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Go anywhere, with 8 people, in comfort and style."
Cons: "Fill up often along the way."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned this truck for 3 years now and almost 80,000 care free miles. I call it a truck, not an SUV. Trucks are tough. Trucks can tow heavy loads safely. Trucks can be lifted (mine is, lifted 3") and run 33" tires and have 13" of clearance under the rear axel casing. Trucks have real four wheel drive systems. Trucks can have winches (mine does, thanks to the Austrian Outback). My point is, there are not many vehicles left in the world that can go from the highway to some of the roughest jeep trails in Colorado, hauling 8 people and doing it with comfort and quite. The Land Cruiser is truly remarkable because of it's versatility, on road and off. It looks big, but it's really not. Only 1.5" wider than a Jeep. Only 12" longer than the 4 Runner. With a lift kit and replacement bumpers from ARB, the LC can out do Jeeps in rocks and shelfs. It has a unique articulation sway bar that allows the LC to reach down and keep contact with the ground at low speeds, but prevents excessive sway on the road. There are also many modification kits available. Not as many as Jeep or the FJ, but the ones that are available make taking long haul trips across America and explore it's back country roads more enjoyable and safe. It's just too bad Toyota does not sell the Diesel version in the US. The gas milage is terrible."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By A_E (AZ) on Monday, March 19, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, offroad capabilities, creature comforts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"If you're obsessed with brands and bling then the Land Cruiser isn't for you. Spending $70K on a Toyota will make some people wince but you get what you pay for with the latest Land Cruiser. Living in Arizona this vehicle provides great flexibility, towing capacity, ability to transport 7 people and lots of creature comforts (Nav, DVD, keyless entry, Bluetooth, EXCEPTIONAL air conditioning and climate control, refrigerator built into the center console, etc.). But the real treat for those who like to go places that other vehicles won't take them is the Land Cruiser's ability to navigate rough terrain, ascend hills and provide great suspension. Again, if you want to showoff then go with a Mercedes, BMW, Porsche or other SUV that will get stuck in the mud. If you want a killer SUV and you're adventurous, then look into the Toyota Land Cruiser and start planning your camping, skiing, and other outdoor adventures!"
17 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Ray (FL) on Monday, January 16, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "One ogf the best cars I ever owned in my 54 yrs"
Cons: "Price and gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The ride is superb, very dependable, towing capacity is amazing, the inside is vey roomy. Is not very good in gas mileage but not bad compared to other big SUVs."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By TO on Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Was carried away with this when I test drove. Ride is excellent and power is fantastic. Very quiet and has performed exceptionally well in snow and light 4 wheeling. I feel the family is very safe. Has a few quirks, tranny is a bit jerky coming out of 1st, interior refinement could be better. Gas mileage is offensive. OVerall though we are pleased."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By EGC Review (Quezon City, Manila, Philippines) on Saturday, March 12, 2011
overall rating 7 of 10rating details
"Good seating capacity, decent towing capacity, and has three great features; its towing capacity, off road performance and the Crawl Control."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Trekker.1970 (Miami, Florida) on Tuesday, November 23, 2010
overall rating 8 of 10rating details
"Just got my third LC in 19 years. drove one '91 for 8 years (still running great, now it's my kid's car), a '99 (sold by itself, did not even need to offer it to anyone) and a 2011. I looked around, did research on other brands and each and every one has had its major flaws, from the low profile rims on the Range Rover to the puny suspension on the Q7. This car is worth every cent, great engine, comfy, stylish, excellent torque, with the addition of some really handy gadgets and more spacious seating - having 2 sons over 6'4" tall was another concern, not with the Land Cruiser. I'm up to my third and full of excitement."
14 people out of 14 found this review helpful