in 2009 Luxury Large SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $40,607 - $40,607
Original MSRP: $64,755 - $64,755
MPG: 13 City / 18 Hwy
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2009 Toyota Land Cruiser Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Impressive technology allows the 2009 Land Cruiser to offer a powerful and capable on- and off-road driving experience.

  • "As expected, the 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser boasts considerable off-road capability, yet it doesn't come at the expense of on-road refinement and handling." -- Edmunds
  • "Thanks partially to its stiffened ladder frame, the Toyota Land Cruiser's ride comfort comes close to equaling that of many luxury sedans." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "So what does a Land Cruiser buyer get for all that dosh? Off-road, they get a vehicle that strides through the wilderness as ably Mother Nature herself." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine that makes 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. The Land Cruiser's Environmental Protection Agency-estimated fuel economy gets some negative reviews. It has a fuel efficiency rating of 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18miles per gallon on the highway. Standard on the Land Cruiser is a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission - which most critics agree is well mated to its V8 engine.

  • "It accelerates impressively from a stop despite its 5,690-pound curb weight. Its 381-horsepower V8 makes passing on two-lane roads easy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The powertrain results in strong off-the-line punch and good passing power, helped by the transmission's quick kickdowns and smooth shifts." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The six-speed adaptive transmission is quick to downshift, after which the truck simply picks up and goes.  It's a bit like sitting on the back of an elephant and wondering, "How fast could this behemoth possibly go?" Then when it takes off, running faster than you ever could, you think "Oh. Well. That's not bad."" -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

The  Land Cruiser's engine speed-sensing power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering gets good reviews. Reviews were also positive about the Land Cruiser's suspension, which adapts to on and off-road situations.

  • "Body lean is fairly well controlled, though the high seating position amplifies what tipping there is in fast corners. The variable-ratio steering has good feel and "quickens" the farther you get off-center, and that, combined with a fairly tight turning radius, results in good maneuverability for such a large vehicle." -- Consumer Guide
  • "On winding blacktop, the Cruiser is relatively flat in the corners and feels surprisingly confident for such a large vehicle." -- Edmunds
  • "Steering feel is precise and confidence-inspiring. Body roll is much less than most other vehicles with similar off-road aptitude." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There isn't much in the way of feel while driving, but again, Land Cruiser buyers aren't in the hunt for feeling. When they want to change lanes, they really only care about turning that round thing in front of them and then turning it slightly the other way when the task is accomplished." -- Autoblog
  • "The ride on-road, where 99 percent of U.S.-bound Cruisers will spend 99 percent of their time, feels as close to perfection as can be expected from such a big body-on-frame beast, barely gliding over the pavement." -- AutoWeek
  • "So there's confident roll-motion control on the highway and compliant articulation off-road - precisely what you want in a luxury SUV that will spend most of its time hauling suburbanites to work and play." -- Car and Driver


For off-road purposes, the full-time four-wheel-drive Land Cruiser features Toyota's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which uses a hydraulic link between its front and rear anti-roll bars to effectively respond to rough terrain. In addition to KDSS, the 2009 Land Cruiser also comes equipped with Crawl Control. Also assisting in the Land Cruiser's off-road abilities are Active Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control systems.

  • "In low range, switching on Crawl Control will allow the vehicle to control the engine and brakes automatically, based on one of three speed settings. For the rockiest surfaces, the vehicle will maintain a speed less than 1 mph; the highest setting will keep pace at just more than 3 mph." -- AutoWeek
  • "Crawl Control works so well that it took a big chunk of the fun out of tackling rocks and moguls during our time negotiating the barren summertime ski slopes (black diamond, no less) of the Big Sky Resort in Montana." -- Edmunds
  • "At one time, we were left to descend a steep slope of loose boulders, with the rain starting to fall. We wondered at one time if we'd gotten ourselves in too precarious of a situation, but as we took shallow breaths the Crawl Control system didn't flinch, operating the stability control system and anti-lock brakes - its sound oddly percussive - getting us securely through." -- BusinessWeek

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