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2016 Toyota Land Cruiser - Seamlessly Merging Opulence and Utility
Featured

10 September 2016  

The Land Cruiser packed with technology. It’s luxurious. It conquers almost every terrain imaginable. It’s pricey.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

Personality: A utility truck traversing the Sahara meets the Starbucks drive-thru

Best Gizmo: The ability to drive over almost any terrain, with a heated steering wheel…

Most Annoying Feature: A three-way toss up between the price tag, the cost, and the sticker shock. Did I mention this thing is expensive?

MPG (as tested): If you care, you shouldn’t even consider buying it.

Performance: More than adequate for a five door, 6,000 lb vehicle.

Cars we smoked at stoplights: Not very many, but we looked good in their rear view mirror.

0-60: 7.6 seconds (as tested)

How Fast Is That? Decent… especially for a car this heavy.

How Much? Base price is $82,930 but options can take you north of $90k quickly

What option should I splurge on? Intuitive Park Assist with Wide-view Front and Side Monitor. For $1,000 it will help you park at the mall with ease.

Serious Contenders? Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe, Chevy Equinox

Relaxed professionalism…a phrase used to describe those occupying important jobs who seem to exude calm and ease. A politician who smiles while greeting donors and answering tough questions; a doctor composedly prepping for a major surgery; an airline pilot welcoming children into the flight deck while weather stirs outside. Always ready to show up and perform well…competent and confident. This is the attitude embodied in the venerable Land Cruiser – a four-wheel drive, eight-cylinder, borderline luxury SUV – all with the Toyota badge of reliability.

The Toyota Land Cruiser stands tall as a technology-packed, terrain-conquering, wood-trimmed behemoth of opulence. Equipped with exterior cameras to easily guide you through the harrowing rocky passes of rugged earth, the Land Cruiser cocoons it’s inhabitants in quiet serenity and, well, a ridiculous amount of leather.

With a heritage dating back to the days of Land Rover and early Jeeps, the folks at Toyota responded to market demands with the Land Cruiser in 1951. Fast forward to the present day and here in the good ole’ US of A, the target customer for a well-equipped off-road capable vehicle of this sort must have deep pockets. With big budgets come big expectations, so it should come as no surprise that the 2016 Land Cruiser packs almost every option imaginable at a mind blowing $85,000.

From the outside, the bodylines and significant height make the Land Cruiser seem like the more capable and more rugged cousin of the Toyota Sequoia. With a mid-cycle style refresh and a redesigned grill, the 2016 model is a dialed down version of the ultra-bold Lexus LX570 refresh.

Sitting in the captain’s seat, all controls are within easy reach – no small feat of engineering for a vehicle of this size. With too many terrain modes and settings to list, the Land Cruiser has an extra host of buttons and knobs to learn. Amenities and infotainment work well with few complaints or complications from drivers and passengers alike.

The light steering and excellent engine response make guiding this almost 6,000-pound vehicle through tight spaces easier than one would think.

With gasoline costing almost $10,000 extra over the course of 5 years compared to a typical sedan, the Land Cruiser burns petrol like a 1970’s Trans Am. Why does it matter? Consider this… if you are willing to spend almost six figures on a four-wheel, five-door transport device, by the law of common sense, you couldn’t care less about the cost to fill up the tank.

If you are as comfortable in the corner office as on the mud and rocks of the wilderness, if your budget can handle the pain of the sticker, and if you want to join the elite club and cult-like following of fellow Land Cruiser owners, the 2016 just might be the year for you.

© 2016 John Dickerson and John Kehlenbeck, Horsepower Auto Reviews

 
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John Kehlenbeck

Each month John Kehlenbeck tests a worthy car. From the mundane stats of zero-to-60 time all the way to the incredibly important aspects of a vehicle, like cup holder location and bluetooth integration, Kehlenbeck dissects the details to give you the information you actually care about.