The Toyota Land Cruiser name has always been synonymous with go-anywhere capability but only in the 1990’s did it begin to garner some respect as a luxury vehicle as well. Well this trend continues with this mid-model refresh for 2016, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more capable luxury vehicle than this uber-posh off-roader.
For 2016, the front fascia of the Land Cruiser gets a refresh, the most prominent new feature being the quad-projector LED headlights that light up the night like the 4th of July. The revised grill has been accused of being too Highlander-esque but there’s no mistaking this for the Toyota cross-over with much less machismo. From the A-pillars forward, we have all new sheet metal and the taillights get a slightly refreshed look, but overall, there aren’t very many significant changes to the exterior of the Land Cruiser for 2016, unless of course you count the multiple little “Land Cruiser” embellishments on the headlights and bottom of the rear doors.
Inside is where you’ll notice the biggest changes. 2016 brings in a new era of gadgetry with a 9” touch screen shoe-horned into the center console. In keeping with the Land Cruiser tradition, every feature is standard equipment, meaning you get Bluetooth, navigation, heated/cooled seats, 2 rear entertainment screens and a plethora of other luxury bits to keep you and your riders happy. Quality materials are still used everywhere, and the new steering wheel not only looks and feels great, but also heats up for those cold winter days. Legroom and headroom are still ample in both front and rear seats, but you do feel like you are in a bit of a cockpit with this latest generation having all manner of knobs and buttons very close to the driver. Worth noting is that any surface, button or knob that gets used frequently exudes true quality. The aforementioned knobs feel like solid metal, the switches most commonly used are like a well-oiled bolt-action rifle, simply perfection. Additionally, the seats are very comfortable and would serve anyone well on long family expeditions. Overall, a very nice place to be, especially with this author’s favorite, the optional Terra (brown) leather.
Safety is still a Toyota priority and the Land Cruiser is no exception. As standard equipment, you’ll find blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warnings, and radar guided cruise control that can brake the vehicle in case the driver isn’t paying attention. Not only is this vehicle a great cross-country hauler, but these features add a new level of safety that comes standard.
On the road, the Land Cruiser still feels as solid as ever. Speed bumps simply flatten out in fear, potholes and road imperfections are coerced into submission, there is really no better riding full-size SUV on the planet. Road noise is minimal with the huge amount of sound deadening used, and the only drawback to this latest Land Cruiser is the visibility. With the newly designed hood that is about the same size as a soccer field, forward visibility is reduced a bit. The same 5.7L V8 comes back unchanged for 2016 as it still puts out a hefty yet buttery smooth 381hp and 401 lb/ft of torque, but don’t expect this monster to win any drag races as it tips the scales at 5765 lbs, not exactly light. The new 8 speed transmission does its best to help in these cases, but you’d be hard pressed to notice a difference from the last gearbox other than that it seems to shift a bit more frequently and perhaps it does so q bit more quickly and smoothly. Overall it still has great manners on or off the road, but long distance drivers especially will appreciate just how stress-free piloting one of these behemoths has become.
At roughly $85k, there’s no denying that this is not an inexpensive vehicle, but when you crunch the numbers on just how long these legends last with so few repairs required, things start to add up. If you want the ultimate vehicle in luxury, capability, and reliability, look no further than the Toyota Land Cruiser.