2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

Starting MSRP: $83,825 - $83,825

Estimated MPG: 13 city / 18 hwy

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser Review

The Toyota Land Cruiser is a storied nameplate among off-road vehicles, but one that rarely comes up in conversation among high-dollar luxury SUVs. For 2016, the Land Cruiser continues to offer plenty of capability, as well as an improved list of standard features.

By Zac Estrada
Last Updated 10/18/2016

The 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser was updated with a few exterior changes and a new eight-speed automatic transmission for improved performance and fuel economy. Standard safety equipment now includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection, forward collision warning and pedestrian detection. Toyota’s Entune infotainment system was added for radio and navigation functions and a Qi wireless charging station for mobile devices is also included.

Exterior

Exterior
7

The Land Cruiser recalls the way SUVs used to look: upright and intimidating. A blunt front end and a boxy profile proclaim the Land Cruiser isn’t for show, but rather a useful package. Those who find rivals like the Cadillac Escalade and Range Rover too ostentatious will be attracted to this Toyota. On the other hand, new LED graphics in the lights attempt to keep the design up to date.

Despite its reputation and rugged looks, the Land Cruiser fails to stand out as a flagship SUV, or the flagship of even the Toyota lineup. The importance of that is debatable, though.

Interior

Interior
8

As its exterior dimensions would suggest, the Land Cruiser has a cavernous interior. You sit up high in the driver’s seat atop a large throne, above most other traffic. It’s a bit of a climb up, even with the standard running boards.

Once inside, the Land Cruiser is impeccably put together. The design isn’t adventurous, which means it’s fairly easy to find the controls you’re looking for. It looks bland, however, and it’s not a significant enough upgrade over what a Toyota Avalon offers, especially considering that Toyota’s full-size sedan costs half as much.

All Land Cruisers seat eight, but while the first two rows of seats are accommodating for adults, the third row 50/50 split bench is a kid-only zone, as the seats basically sit on the floor. They fold up easily enough, which is good because that’s the only way to get a meaningful amount of cargo space.
 

Performance

Performance
8

A 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower is the only engine offered with the 2016 Land Cruiser. It’s mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The V8 moves this SUV with authority, despite the Land Cruiser’s houselike aerodynamic properties. It’s so quiet, too, that it’s easy to get the speedometer to rise above the 80 mph-mark without noticing, even on uphill grades.

But the Land Cruiser is out of its depths on the pavement. While much improved over old-school SUVs, it never lets you forget this is basically a truck, complete with a bouncy ride and mushy handling. At city speeds and in tight spaces, the Land Cruiser is ponderous.

Off the pavement, however, the Land Cruiser redeems itself. A raft of switches and buttons operate pre-programmed settings for crawling down steep hills or tackling rocky or sandy surfaces. It’s so in its element off road that it would inspire confidence in even the harshest conditions.

Fuel economy, however, is rated at a poor 13 mpg city and18 mpg highway, according to the EPA.

Technology

Technology
8

The Land Cruiser’s updated Entune infotainment system is a cinch to use, which is a welcome change over some of the infotainment arrangements in similarly priced luxury vehicles. Graphics on the touch screen will be familiar to anyone who’s been in a modern Toyota product, but the screen is larger and quick to respond to inputs. The voice activation system works well, too.

A Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system is comprised of two 11.6-inch screens mounted on the backs of the front seats, which offer brilliant resolution but look oversized for the space provided. Kids, however, are unlikely to complain.

Safety

Safety
8

Commendable additions for 2016 include a suite of safety technology such as the useful blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic detection. Adaptive cruise control is also on board and slick to operate.

The surround-view cameras make parking this large box as easy as possible, too. Off road, they also offer a view of every wheel and corner of the Land Cruiser, so you don’t go off the trail.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
6

The Land Cruiser seems like a nice package, but the $85,000 price tag gives us pause. While it comes fully loaded, it lacks the same prestige of other large luxury SUVs. And the fuel bills will be high, even for a vehicle of this size.

However, Land Cruisers do hold their value well, thanks to a record of dependability and their relative scarcity.

Overall

Overall
8

Lacking the sense of occasion of luxury brand rivals, the Toyota Land Cruiser comes across as overpriced. And it needs better on-road manners to do battle with the likes of the popular Escalade. But you can’t help but appreciate this iconic Toyota, especially when you consider that so few vehicles are so accomplished off road.

And besides, everyone has a Range Rover these days.