By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 6.7
Although it looks and feels nothing like the original Land Cruiser that debuted so many years ago, Toyota’s 2016 Land Cruiser SUV remains dedicated to its original purpose. With one well-equipped model carrying up to eight people and capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds, the Land Cruiser is a slightly less expensive alternative to such long-established luxury SUVs as the Mercedes-Benz GL and Land Rover Range Rover. Unlike many crossover SUVs, the Land Cruiser is equipped with a sophisticated Multi-Terrain 4-wheel-drive system complete with a low-range transfer case, permitting the Land Cruiser to go places most SUVs only manage in Madison Avenue photo shoots.
While the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser doesn’t sell in mass numbers, it is well regarded for its craftsmanship, ability and creature comforts. It’s also one of the few luxury SUVs that can actually tackle tough off-road obstacles.
The Land Cruiser design is far from traditional, so if you’re looking for great gas mileage, an easy-to-operate and roomy 3rd-row seat or a price tag starting in the mid $40K range, you’re better off looking toward a more traditional full-size SUV like the Chevy Tahoe or Nissan Armada.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2016, Toyota sweetens the Land Cruiser with revised styling and a new 8-speed automatic transmission. New features include the Safety Sense-P system (forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, auto high beams and dynamic radar cruise control), an enhanced Entune head unit and Qi wireless phone charging.
Peel back the luxurious façade and you’ll find Toyota’s 2016 Land Cruiser remains one very capable SUV. Although many SUVs have moved to lightweight unit bodies, the Land Cruiser clings...
... to its body-on-frame construction. This design permits impressive articulation from the fully independent suspension, not to mention the rigidity required for the type of undulation produced by hard-core off-roading. This architecture also enables the 5,700-pound Land Cruiser to tow up to 8,500 pounds. However, as most Land Cruisers will never see off-road activity, Toyota ensures its big SUV’s on-road manners are equally appealing. The Land Cruiser’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDDS) hydraulically adjusts the resistance of the front and rear anti-roll bars, permitting all four wheels more independence off road while preventing body lean in on-road cornering. Inside, the Land Cruiser coddles its occupants in luxury and quiet most will find more Lexus-like than Toyota.
5.7-LITER V8 ENGINE
Given its weight and expected tasks, Toyota equips the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser with a robust 5.7-liter V8 engine producing 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. While it does nothing to improve the V8’s dismal fuel economy, the new 8-speed automatic improves drivability and smoothness.
KINETIC DRIVING SUSPENSION SYSTEM
Toyota’s 2016 Land Cruiser’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System delivers maximum off-road capability while simultaneously ensuring travel over paved surfaces returns a comfortable and controlled ride.
The 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser offers seating for eight passengers, with acceptable cargo space behind the third row. From behind the wheel, you'll enjoy plenty of power, a comfortable ride, exquisite seats and quiet running, thanks to the Land Cruiser's luxury levels of sound deadening. However, the Land Cruiser's not the best cargo-hauler, thanks to 3rd-row seats that fold up against the sides of the cargo area, reducing how much you can carry inside. At least the interior is awash in luxury touches, like soft leather and Toyota's Entune audio system.
Toyota adds a bit more flare to the 2016 Land Cruiser’s exterior, with a dynamic front-end refresh, power bulge hood, revised taillights and rear bumper plus new 18-inch wheels. The exterior reflects the Land Cruiser's purpose in life, that is, to be ruggedly dependable in any weather, over any terrain, while offering the ultimate in refined luxury. The look emphasizes the capabilities of this luxury SUV with ample ground clearance and short front and rear overhangs for the rough stuff, while adding enough chrome and flourishes to get the front spot at a high-end restaurant's valet parking.
The standard equipment list for the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is surprisingly long, as there's no optional equipment. Standard, full-time 4-wheel drive with a low-range, traction and stability control – both optimized for off-road capability – plus the multi-terrain select system. Then there's the luxury, like a 4-zone climate-control system, standard leather upholstery, and an adaptive cruise-control system that 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 Safety Sense-P system, Qi wireless phone charging and Siri Eyes-Free are also included.
None. Seriously, we weren't kidding about everything being standard on the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser. Your options are limited to the color of paint on the outside and the tone of leather inside.
The only engine available for the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is a 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Toyota says that 90 percent of that torque is available at just 2,200 rpm, meaning you don't have to rev this engine to get moving. It's matched to a new 8-speed automatic transmission and standard 4-wheel drive. When you put it all together, you have a drivetrain that's worthy of a
luxury car...literally, as the exact same drivetrain is in the Lexus version of the Land Cruiser, the LX 570. Not only does it deal with the Land Cruiser's weight with aplomb, but it can also tow 8,500 pounds. The Land Cruiser SUV 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
Bring plenty of money to your Toyota dealership. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2016 Land Cruiser starts just shy of $85,000 including the $995 destination charge. That's not cheap, but then again, just about everything is standard equipment. The exception might be paint color, as Toyota charges about $400 for a couple of its different color options. When you consider that the Land Cruiser competes against SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GL550, Land Rover Range Rover HSE and Infiniti QX80 – all of which have extensive lists of options driving up the price – it's not bad. Still, check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2016 Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser is expected to hold its resale value better than its Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover rivals, and far better than the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator.