Toyota's flagship SUV, a no-show in 2012, returns for the 2013 model year; receiving mid-cycle updates to both the interior and exterior. With roots to the legendary FJ40, the Land Cruiser has retained its original off-road utility while adding passenger comfort as a priority in recent decades.
Even with an upscale interior, this full-time four-wheel drive SUV will never shy away from an unpaved road. This is because with a 5.7L V8 and six-speed automatic transmission, the 2013 Land Cruiser has the power, and with an automatic, self-adjusting suspension, it puts power to the ground. Other off-road equipment includes Toyota’s Crawl Control, which holds a fixed, slow-paced velocity allowing the drivetrain’s full potential to be unleashed over difficult terrain.
As previously mentioned, the 2013 Land Cruiser has design updates inside and out yet the new model’s most significant change could be in the available trims. Doing away with the sometimes-confusing ladder of trim levels, Toyota has opted for a single, although highly equipped, base Land Cruiser option. This way, Land Cruiser buyers can focus on choosing among available accessories like the 17” off-road wheels or wireless headphones. For customers looking to streamline the process, Toyota has grouped together their most popular accessories in a “Preferred Accessory Package”. Including the first aid kit, carpeted floor mats/cargo mat and cargo net, this package adds $313 to the total MSRP as well.
Besides being off-road capable and luxuriously comfortable, the Land Cruiser is surprisingly tame when on pavement, a rarity for off-road SUVs. Yet, the third-row is sized for children and Cruisers have a small cargo area relative to competitors like the Cadillac Escalade. While still seating eight, the Escalade can hold more cargo and asks a lower base price. Both Toyota and Cadillac equip their large SUVs with drivetrains well suited for moving them from A to B. Another SUV that blends legendary off-road capability with on-road performance is the Land Rover Range Rover. Though it fits three less passengers than the Land Cruiser, its fits more cargo as well. The Mercedes-Benz GL-class can’t match the Toyota on the trail but makes up for it with exceptional interior quality.
Having a high MSRP but only one available trim should not be much of a problem for those with the means to purchase the Toyota Land Cruiser. When it comes to luxury large SUVs, it leaves little to be desired.