Review and Test Drive: 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser

The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser

By Paul Riegler on 5 February 2018
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Toyota’s resident behemoth, the Land Cruiser, is the Japanese automaker’s longest running model, dating back to 1951. Since then, it has been produced in a variety of forms including a convertible, hard top, and station wagon. It’s one of the most popular vehicles sold in Australia (Toyota tests it in the harsh Australian outback), it’s great for dune bashing in Qatar (something I can attest to personally), and its mammoth proportions make it versatile enough to literally be sold in markets from A (Austria) to Z (Zimbabwe).

The current Land Cruiser was introduced in late 2007 and has been face-lifted twice, most recently in 2015, when it saw updates to the front fascia, grille, headlamps (adding daytime running lights), and rear end as well as the introduction of a new eight-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission paired to the 5.7-liter V8.

Our Blizzard Pearl Land Cruiser arrived at the FBT offices on a sunny cold winter day and made quite an impact. Given its heft (5,815 pounds or 2,637 kilograms), a few staffers not on the automotive side of the house could be forgiven for mistakenly calling it the Toyota Land Yacht.

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INSIDE THE 2018 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER

Toyota calls the Land Cruiser “the timeless icon” in its marketing material and it’s a rather accurate designation. While time does appear to have stood still, at first glance, in terms of both interior and exterior design, unlike many decades-old nameplates where carmakers rush to refresh them to achieve a semblance of relevancy, frequent updates are unnecessary in the case of the Land Cruiser. What other vehicle comfortably seats eight in the lap of luxury while remaining athletic enough to climb rocks?

While Land Yacht might sound derogatory, the term yacht does connote luxurious appointments and it’s here that the Land Cruiser truly excels. Driver and passenger doors close with affirmation, the flat floor that allows for ground clearance makes it clear exactly how high the seating position is (which, incidentally results in an extraordinary commanding view), the second row seats three with extreme comfort, the third perhaps slightly less so, although we did pause to admire how the third-row seats fold to the side when not in use.

The Land Cruiser comes well equipped, with standard LED projector low and high beams, LED daytime running lights and fog lights, heated side-view mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, four-zone climate control, Toyota’s 14-speaker Entune JBL sound system with a 9” high-resolution display, a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad (although sadly, no Apple CarPlay option), leather seating for eight, and a host of driver assistance technologies including radar cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams. Indeed the only option was the $2,200 rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 218 Toyota Land Cruiser

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