Seeking to inject new life into its legendary full-size SUV, Toyota has updated the 2016 Land Cruiser with features similar to the recent refresh of the 2016 Lexus LX 570. Beyond a bolder appearance, the 2016 Land Cruiser boasts enhancements to its powertrain, safety and infotainment systems. One thing that hasn't changed: this premium-spec 8-passenger hauler continues to be offered in just a single fully-equipped trim level -- albeit one that now offers additional standard features. 

Key visual tweaks to the 2016 Land Cruiser are found up front where everything from the A-pillars forward is new. The fascia sports a more contemporary grille flanked by new high/low projector-beam headlamps with integrated cleaners and recast running lamps. Dual power bulges dominate the Land Cruiser's hood while the fenders are more prominently contoured. Revised light-tube taillights and LED brake lamps are linked by a chrome accent bar and paired with a restyled rear bumper while the profile is highlighted by "Land Cruiser" embossed brightwork side-moldings and new 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 285/60 M+S tires -- including the Cruiser's full-size spare. 

New 8-speed automatic 

Retaining its rugged body-on-frame construction, on/off-road tuned Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) that hydraulically adjusts the stabilizer bars and a sophisticated full-time 4WD system with a Torsen limited-slip differential and 2-speed transfer case, the 2016 Land Cruiser matches its carryover 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 with a new, manually controllable 8-speed automatic transmission. Although this this new gearbox has no impact on the Land Cruiser's 13/18-mpg city/highway EPA rating compared to the existing 6-speed, Toyota says the wider ratio spread of its first 8-speed will help deliver slightly better acceleration and overall efficiency. 

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While its leather-lined, comprehensively equipped and extremely spacious cabin retains a familiar character, 2016 Land Cruiser benefits from numerous improvements. A new multifunction steering wheel offers better integration of its controls while the JBL/Entune 2.5 Multimedia system with navigation gets a larger 9.0-inch touch display and adds Siri Eyes Free mode. New Qi Wireless phone charging also joins the mix. Rear passengers are treated to upsized 11.6-inch hi-res monitors for the DVD entertainment system.

Playing it safer

Rounding out the changes, the 2016 Land Cruiser will complement its existing Star Safety System elements with Toyota's new Safety Sense-P kit. The first application in a Land Cruiser, this crash prevention/mitigation package includes Frontal Collision Avoidance (with pedestrian protection) and Frontal Collision Mitigation (both effective at speeds below 24 mph) as well as Lane Departure Alert, Auto High Beams and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. It also gains Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems. The 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is set to arrive in showrooms next month and pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

More Full-Size SUVs...

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