The Toyota Land Cruiser reached a historic milestone in 2018 when it celebrated its 60th anniversary in the U.S. market. From its early days as a utility vehicle focused on work over comfort, Land Cruiser has evolved into a flagship SUV that eloquently demonstrates some things really do improve with age.
In 2019 Land Cruiser returns with a posh, feature-laden cabin with space for eight. The body-on-frame SUV retains the off-road DNA for which it is known the world over thanks to its full-time 4WD system and features like CRAWL Control and Multi-Terrain Select, and yet its on-road manners are smooth as ever thanks to its Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS).
Land Cruiser also comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P). TSS-P includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function that uses millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera sensor to detect a preceding pedestrian or a preceding vehicle, and can automatically apply braking if necessary to help mitigate or avoid collisions in certain conditions. TSS-P also includes Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams.
Plenty of Space for the Family
Whether carrying a full load of passengers and their luggage or pulling a trailer, the body-on-frame Land Cruiser can easily handle the task with its 381-horsepower 5.7-liter DOHC V8 engine. Equipped with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), the aluminum V8 produces 401 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm. Its 8-speed Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) features manual control when needed, such as when descending steep inclines.
The 5.7-liter V8 produces 90 percent of its peak torque at a low 2,200 rpm, making it an outstanding towing machine. The standard Trailer Towing Package equips it to pull a trailer up to 8,100 pounds. All the hardware needed for towing is standard, including an engine oil cooler, as well as a connector and sub-wiring harness for a trailer-brake controller. Trailer Sway Control uses Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help counteract trailer sway for a more relaxed towing experience.
Refinement Never Felt So Capable
The Land Cruiser's rugged body-on-frame construction makes extensive use of high-strength steel - especially in the A-, B-, C-, and D-pillars, and rocker area - and provides a solid on-road driving feel. Offering the comfort of a luxury sedan, the Land Cruiser is always ready and able to tackle off-pavement exploring and trail driving in out-of-the-way places.
A key to the Land Cruiser's off-pavement competence is suspension articulation, facilitated by long wheel travel. It's aided by the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which hydraulically adjusts the lean resistance provided by the stabilizer bars, reducing it for off-road driving to help minimize any tendency for wheel lift.
On pavement, where stabilizer bar function is beneficial for agility and safe control, KDSS enables the bars' ability to work conventionally to help reduce body lean by as much as 50 percent. The system operates hydraulically, without the need for complex electronics. Skid plates help to protect the front suspension, radiator, fuel tank, and transfer case.
Always Ready for Off-Pavement Adventures
The Land Cruiser's full-time 4WD system uses a TORSEN limited-slip locking center differential to distribute torque 40:60 front-to-rear. Should wheel slippage occur, the differential can direct more torque to the wheels with the best grip. Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) employs both brake and throttle intervention to help control wheel spin. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) helps maintain directional control during cornering.
Land Cruiser's 2-speed transfer case with low-range doesn't work alone to handle steep inclines and difficult trails, as the Land Cruiser's Multi-terrain Select system allows the driver to match wheel slip control to the surface and driving conditions. In loose terrain, such as mud and sand, Multi-terrain Select allows more-than-normal wheel slip to help the Land Cruiser keep moving without digging itself in.
A Mogul setting is effective for traversing extremely uneven terrain, such as V-ditches, slopes, and ridges; wheel slip is minimized and the system acts more like a limited slip differential. The driver can even see potential hazards with the Multi-Terrain Monitor with selectable front side or rear views. The system provides near 360-degree visibility and 5-second front undercarriage projected path video playback.
With the transfer case shifted into low range, the Land Cruiser's CRAWL Control regulates engine speed and output, along with braking force, to propel the vehicle forward or reverse at one of five driver-selectable low-speed settings. CRAWL Control, when engaged, allows the driver to focus on steering without also having to modulate the throttle or brake pedals.
Two more systems provide additional assistance on the trails. Downhill Assist Control (DAC) can augment the low-range ratio's low-speed descending ability by helping to hold the vehicle to a target speed with minimal driver intervention. Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) helps prevent nerve-wracking roll-back when stopping and then starting again on steeper inclines. On narrow trails, the Land Cruiser can even make itself "smaller" with Off-Road Turn Assist, which tightens the turning radius by applying slight brake pressure to the inside rear wheel, creating a pivot effect.
Big P285/60R18 mud-and-snow tires on 18 x 8.0-inch aluminum alloy wheels help give the Land Cruiser exemplary grip in all conditions. A full-size spare comes standard, and you'll always know it's ready for use because the direct individual tire pressure monitor system also monitors the spare. Of course, all of the Land Cruiser's impressive 4WD hardware and chassis control technology also help take the slip out of slippery weather in everyday driving.
No Shortage of Amenities
Land Cruiser is only offered in one trim level - fully equipped. The sole option is a DVD Rear Seat Entertainment system. The exceedingly long list of standard amenities includes perforated leather trim, heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping with memory. The list goes on and on to also include Smart Key keyless entry with push-button start; anti-theft security system with engine immobilizer; power moonroof; auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors; HomeLink universal garage-door/gate opening system, and much more.
Semi-aniline perforated leather trim is available in the customer's choice of black or Terra (brown). Black interior and Terra interiors are accented by Deep Wood trim. Four-zone automatic climate control system uses a seven-level blower control to circulate heated or cooled air via 28 air vents located throughout the cabin, all sent through a micro-dust and pollen filter. In cold weather, the Land Cruiser's auxiliary Positive Temperature Coefficient heater warms the cabin quickly using an electrically heated ceramic element.
Bright Optitron instrument gauges give a high-tech luxury feel to the cabin, while a Multi-Information Display shows gear selection, odometer, tripmeter, fuel consumption, individual tire pressures and cruising range. The Multi-Information Display also monitors parking assist, steering wheel angle, Multi-terrain Select including Crawl Control, Dynamic Cruise Control adjustment information, TSS-P pre-collision warning alarm adjustment and Lane Departure Alert and sway warning. The center console integrates a cooler box, USB port, and cup holders.
Luxury permeates all three rows. The middle row seats are also trimmed in perforated leather and feature multi-stage heating and abrasion-resistant seatback material. The 40/20/20 split seat reclines, and a one-touch tumble mechanism makes it easy for passengers to enter and exit the third row. To maximize room for either passengers or cargo, the middle row seats also slide forward and aft 4.1 inches. Even the 50/50 split fold-down third row seats are leather trimmed with folding headrests and abrasion-resistant seatback materials. With the middle and third rows folded, the Land Cruiser provides 81.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
Premium Sounds Abound
As Toyota's flagship sport-utility, Land Cruiser comes standard with Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation system. Its 14 JBL speakers, amplifier and subwoofer bathe the cabin in clear, powerful sound, playing music from an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability; SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 3-month All Access trial; HD Radio with iTunes Tagging; USB port with iPod connectivity and control; and audio streaming via Bluetooth. The latter also provides hands-free phone capability and phone book access.
Split screen capability allows navigation and audio screens to be displayed simultaneously. With advanced voice recognition, the driver can speak simple commands to control the unit. Apple iPhone users can also use standard Siri Eyes Free mode. The optional Rear Seat Entertainment system features a DVD player and two individual 11.6-inch display monitors, plus RCA jacks and separate HDMI input for individual playback.
The Toyota Entune App Suite is a collection of mobile applications and data services. Once a smartphone is paired to the vehicle using Bluetooth or a USB cable, Entune apps are operated using the vehicle's controls or, for some services, by voice recognition. Standard Qi wireless phone charging (for compatible devices) means one less cable to tote.
Standard Safety in Many Forms
In addition, the 2019 Land Cruiser can help the driver avoid hazards with its Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The backup camera offers added visibility and can also be useful to aid trailer hitching and maneuvering.
Using onboard cellular technology, independent of the driver's phone, Toyota's Safety Connect offers Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and enhanced Roadside Assistance, which adds GPS data to the already-included Toyota roadside service. Three years of Safety Connect service is included, and subscription packages are available after that.
Safety, too, comes from an array of technologies that make up the STAR Safety System that's standard on all Toyotas. The Land Cruiser multi-terrain anti-lock braking system (ABS) automatically selects the optimal ABS profile to provide the most suitable brake force for on- and off-road driving surfaces. Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) balances braking forces between the front and rear brakes, and Brake Assist (BA) provides auxiliary force to assist the driver during emergency braking.
All 8 seating positions have 3-point seatbelts, and Land Cruiser features 10 airbags: driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System; driver and front passenger knee airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, second-row outboard seat-mounted side airbags and three-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags.
Active headrests on the driver and front passenger seats move up and forward almost instantly in the event of certain rear-end collisions to help reduce the distance between the occupants' head and the headrest. The advanced seatbelt system is designed to retract the front seatbelts when the brakes are suddenly applied or when the VSC system detects tire slippage.
Limited Warranty and ToyotaCare
The 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Local Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty.
The Land Cruiser also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.