The Toyota Land Cruiser is the oldest nameplate in the Toyota line in the United States. It has been on the market in the U.S. since September 1958. When it came to launching cars and trucks in different countries around the world back then, Toyota’s philosophy was that it would introduce tough, rugged models first to prove their reliability. Based on that positive experience, people looked favorably on other Toyota products as well.
The Land Cruiser — which started out here as the FJ40 — was immensely popular worldwide and was the top-selling Toyota in America from 1961 to 1965. Toyota sold one million Land Cruisers worldwide by 1981, and two million by 1990.
From the first FJ until now, the Toyota Land Cruiser lineup has evolved to respond to a changing sport/utility market. While the FJ was originally about the same size as a Jeep, it is now a full-size luxury SUV. The 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser is big and heavy, but it is still fantastic off-road — and its 381-horsepower 5.7L V-8 gets it to speed in a hurry.
Body styles: SUV
Engines: 5.7L V-8
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic
Models: Land Cruiser
The Land Cruiser is a low-volume luxury model, a combination that almost guarantees it doesn’t receive changes all that often. That’s the case here: the Land Cruiser was all-new for the 2008 model year, when it was restyled and given a 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine. The only change for 2011 is that the Land Cruiser gets Toyota’s brake override system.
The Land Cruiser was redesigned a few years ago, making the large body-on-frame SUV look more modern, but no less rugged. It rides on standard 18-inch wheels and comes with foglights, runningboards, and a moonroof standard.
The Land Cruiser luxury off-roader comes in one trim level, with 10-way heated power driver seat and eight-way heated power front passenger seats standard. Fourteen-speaker audio is standard; navigation, rear-seat entertainment system, and backup camera a
The Land Cruiser seems to defy the laws of physics. It’s big, and heavy (the one we tested weighed 5920 pounds), yet it is surprisingly capable off-road. Crawl Control makes things even easier out on the trails, controlling throttle and brake when the going gets rough. The Land Cruiser is just as surprising at the track, where it goes from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 6.5 seconds.
The Land Cruiser features driver and front passenger airbags, two rows of seat-mounted side airbags, three-row side curtain airbags, and dual front passenger knee airbags are standard. It also comes with traction control, stability control, and ABS with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.
Land Cruiser: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway
Poor fuel economy
Navigation not standard