By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
For decades the Land Cruiser name has been on a continually progressing series of extremely capable Toyota vehicles, from the original Jeep-like versions to the current contender for SUV King of the Hill. It seats eight, can tow a trailer of 8,500 pounds and has almost-unbelievable capabilities off the pavement – and is also one of the most thoroughly luxurious and fully equipped SUVs on the planet. But magnificence is not to be found in the bargain basement, and the Land Cruiser's rivals now include Land Rover's Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz's GL. And, since everything is included as standard equipment, there is no "base" version. The only choices are exterior and interior colors. The Cruiser is for healthy bank accounts and strong credit ratings.
Like the guy who just won the Oscar, the 2014 Land Cruiser steps into the room and needs no introduction. If you're considering one of these, and can handle the price, you already know it's terrific.
Toyota's Land Cruiser is not without its (minor) idiosyncrasies: The 2nd- and 3rd-row seat-folding methodologies are awkward, fuel economy is mediocre and it's a lot of money. If you need the interior room and want luxury touches, there are several very nice choices at about half this price.
Nothing has been changed on the Land Cruiser for 2014.
Driving Impressions In the interest of durability and trailer-towing capability, Toyota builds the Land Cruiser with an extremely robust body-on-frame construction. This might seem archaic, but the Cruiser's fully independent suspension, with...control arms in front and a multilink arrangement in the rear, provides exceptional articulation for the most severe off-road situations and compliance for a smooth highway ride. Body roll in extreme conditions is managed with Toyota's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which hydraulically adjusts the resistance of the front and rear anti-roll bars. In off-pavement situations the KDSS allows the wheels on each side to move with a large degree of side-to-side independence, thus keeping the tires on the ground but, during pavement cornering, the anti-roll bars operate conventionally to help reduce body lean. And, even though it weighs over 5,700 pounds empty, the 5.7-liter V8, with 381 horsepower, moves the big Land Cruiser with easy and smooth response and grace.
5.7-LITER V8 ENGINE
A vehicle like the 2014 Land Cruiser needs an engine to match its capabilities, and the big V8 under the hood is as unobtrusive as a good waiter and as dependably competent as a Secret Service bodyguard. Smooth, quiet, powerful – it gets all parts of the Cruiser's jobs done.
KINETIC DRIVING SUSPENSION SYSTEM (KDSS)
During serious off-road driving, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System maximizes suspension travel in order to keep the tires on the ground. On pavement, the KDSS helps alleviate body roll thanks to the system's massive anti-roll bars.
Whether it's eight people sitting comfortably or just the driver and cargo, or any mix thereof, the 2014 Land Cruiser deals with all of it. But there is one glitch: Instead of folding flat into the floor, the two halves of the 3rd-row seat flip up and attach to the sides of the vehicle – it's not only awkward to operate, it wastes cargo space. Otherwise, for the passengers, the Land Cruiser is luxuriously wonderful. The seats are supremely comfortable, the features are user-friendly and comprehensive, the layout/design is pleasing to the eye and the fit-and-finish is impeccable.Exterior
The 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser's exterior is as straightforward and functional as its mission in life: ruggedly dependable capabilities in any weather, over any terrain, and the ultimate in refined luxury. There is ample ground clearance and short front and rear overhangs for the rough stuff, and an upscale look from front to back that would be completely acceptable at a high-end restaurant's valet parking. It's not the most stylish of the luxury SUVs, but there is no doubt of its status in the off-road pecking order.
On the 2014 Land Cruiser, everything is standard equipment: full-time 4-wheel drive, vehicle stability control, 4-wheel traction control and a multi-terrain anti-lock brake system (ABS) designed to produce shorter and more controllable stops off the pavement. A front and rear sonar proximity warning system alerts drivers of hidden objects and structures. The 4-zone climate-control system's 28 outlets should help all passengers stay comfortable. The Land Cruiser's adaptive cruise control system employs radar to detect the speed of and distance to the vehicle ahead of it, alleviating part of the stress associated with extended road trips.
The 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser includes everything as standard equipment. The only choices left to the buyer are exterior and interior color selection.
The 5.7-liter V8 of the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser makes 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque, with 90 percent of that torque available at just 2,200 rpm. It's matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission and, altogether, the powertrain is the definition of smoothness, refinement, quiet and readily available power at an instant's notice. Not only will it easily deal with the Land Cruiser's weight which, with only a couple of passengers, will be over three tons, it will also tow a trailer of 8,500 pounds. The power goes through a sophisticated full-time 4-wheel-drive system that includes a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential and directs power to the wheels with the best grip. The Land Cruiser is one of the most capable vehicles on the planet.
381 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
401 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 mpg
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser is near $80,000, which includes everything as standard equipment – the only choices are for exterior and interior colors. The Land Cruiser's starting price is close to those of the Mercedes-Benz GL550 and Land Rover Range Rover HSE, a couple of its major competitors, and more than that of the Infiniti QX80, which does not include everything as standard and has numerous options. None of these is for the budget-minded. Be sure and check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price before heading for the dealership, to see what others in your area are paying for the 2014 Land Cruiser. On balance, the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser has more standard equipment than its competitors and is expected to hold its resale value well, better than the Mercedes-Benz GL and the Land Rover Range Rover models.
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 18 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