2019 Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota first came out with the Land Cruiser way back in 1951 to compete against the Jeep. These days, the Land Cruiser is much more luxurious but can still do some serious off-roading and towing with its body-on-frame design, V8 engine and full-time four-wheel-drive.


For 2019 there are no big changes. The Land Cruiser still delivers a smooth ride, off-road prowess and lots of features and can seat up to eight passengers. But fuel efficiency is bad, even for a large SUV, and the Land Cruiser has a high price tag upwards of 80-grand.


The 2019 Land Cruiser is only available in one trim with a starting price of $84,765. As you’d expect at this price, standard features are many including lots of driver assistance technologies.


The Land Cruiser is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine that makes 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque paired with an automatic eight-speed transmission. There’s plenty of power and the Land Cruiser feels very quick and agile, especially considering its heft. There’s a little body roll around tight corners as you’d expect with a large SUV. Steering is responsive and the brakes are strong, although you have to push the pedal fairly hard.


The Land Cruiser has some of the best off-roading chops around. It boasts full-time 4WD, excellent ground clearance, crawl control, hill descent control and locking, limited-slip differential. Multi-Terrain Select lets you adjust traction for different settings including mud/sand, rock and mogul. And a 360-degree camera provides a view around the vehicle so you can see the conditions.


Whether you’re driving in the city, on the freeway or getting away from it all in the remote wilderness, the Land Cruiser is reliable and delivers a smooth ride.


The Land Cruiser can tow up to 8,100 pounds when properly equipped.


Fuel efficiency is below average for a large SUV. EPA ratings are 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway for a combined rating of 15 mpg. I got 15.5 during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. At least it takes regular gasoline.


The cabin is spacious, attractive, and very quiet. The Land Rover doesn’t have the most luxurious interior in the class but it does have nice materials and comfortable, supportive seating in the first two rows. The second row even reclines. As you’d expect, the third row is cramped and best suited for small kids. The third row also eats up cargo space as it doesn’t fold flat; rather, the seats fold to the sides.


Standard features include keyless entry, keyless start, rear view camera, leather upholstery, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, four-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, 14-speaker JBL premium audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, nine-inch touch-screen infotainment system, navigation, Toyota’s Entune app suite, Bluetooth, USB port, wireless phone charging and Siri Eyes Free.


One of the only available options is a second-row dual-screen DVD entertainment system.


The center stack is logically laid out; however the cabin is so large that some controls can be tough to reach. The infotainment system is user-friendly but looks a bit dated and there’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay connectivity.


The Land Rover also comes with more driver assistance features than many rivals. Standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, multi-view parking camera, and automatic high beams.


As mentioned above, cargo space is eaten up because the third row moves to the sides instead of folding flat. Still, total space is okay for the class. There are 16.1 cubic feet behind the third row. That expands to 43 cubes behind the second row and 81.7 cubes with both rows folded. A power liftgate is standard. The liftgate is split which is nice to have when tailgating.


The good:

Major off-road prowess

Smooth and comfortable ride

Easy to drive in many scenarios

Tons of standard features

Roomy, comfortable and quiet cabin



The not-so-good:

Poor fuel efficiency, even for a large SUV

The third row doesn’t fold flat and eats up cargo space

Infotainment system feels a bit dated

No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay


Pricing info:

My tester starts at $84,765. The rear seat entertainment system adds $2,220. Delivery fee is $1,295 bringing the grand total to $88,280.


Bottom line:

The Toyota Land Cruiser is a capable old-school SUV with its power, body-on-frame construction and full-time four-wheel-drive. At the same time, it delivers a smooth ride and boasts lots of amenities. It’s worth checking out if you’re shopping for a large and luxurious SUV that can do serious off-roading. Still, there are other options in the class that deliver better fuel efficiency and more cargo space so you’ll want to shop around.

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