While many SUVs on our highways look like they can go off-road, few of them actually can. The Toyota Land Cruiser loves the rough stuff.
The Land Cruiser is a real throwback. It’s a truck-based, body-on-frame vehicle with tall truck tires instead of high style, low-profile rubber. There’s enough ground clearance and serious off-road equipment to go most anywhere.
It’s also loaded with luxury. You sit high above traffic on comfortable, overstuffed leather seats. While the Land Cruiser may be a dinosaur, it has been updated with the latest Entune interface system that includes newest apps. You can cool your drinks in a box under the armrest. Off-road controls on the console – including rock crawl mode – hint at what the Land Cruiser can do.
Row two is stretch out roomy, and the excellent video entertainment system is standard. Surprisingly, a power rear hatch is not available. Cargo space falls short because of the unusual row three seating; the seats fold to the sides. Deploying them is easy enough, but it’s arm power all the way.
The Land Cruiser is big, but it has big power to move it around. A 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower gets the job done. Despite its off-road prowess, the ride is smooth and controlled. You’ll be visiting the gas station often. I averaged about 14 miles per gallon.
So, for the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser, I say thumbs up to the luxury, off-road ability, and quality construction; thumbs down to the small cargo space and poor gas mileage.
The as-tested sticker price is $85,520.