2011 Toyota Land Cruiser Review
The 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the best off-roaders money can buy, and has the on-road manners to make it a capable family-hauler as well.
In 2011, Toyota celebrates the Land Cruiser’s 60th birthday. Since 1951, the Land Cruiser has been one of the most capable off-road vehicles in the world. Without abandoning its backcountry roots, Toyota has refined the Land Cruiser’s on-road manners in recent years. "At a time when every manufacturer is trying to create a light-duty carlike crossover, the Land Cruiser continues to stay true to its 53-year history in America as a tough, all-terrain sport-utility vehicle,” recalls Edmunds. “But to blend into the dance of stylish crossovers in the marketplace, the Land Cruiser has packaged its go-anywhere capability within a well-appointed shell."
Today, the 2011 Land Cruiser stands as Toyota’s most expensive offering, starting out at $68,020. Despite the high price tag, Four Wheeler says “We have every indication the Land Cruiser exemplifies Toyota’s highest build- quality standards.”
Reviewers say that its cargo space is subpar for the class and the third row seats are only tolerable for children, but they love nearly everything else about the 2011 Land Cruiser. It gets 13 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway, average within its class. With gas prices predicted to hit five dollars by 2012, this alone might be enough to scare off consumers. However, if you can stomach the $68,020 starting price and dismal fuel economy, reviewers say you will be delighted with the Land Cruiser. Its 5.7-liter V8 engine gives it more hustle than reviewers expect. Reviewers like the 2011 Land Cruiser’s composed on-road performance, saying it drives well for such a large, tall SUV. Finally, no one can forget the Land Cruiser’s off-roading prowess, augmented by hill start assist, dynamic suspension, an 8,200-pound towing capacity, and Crawl Control (sort of like cruise control for boulder-crawling).
The Toyota Land Cruiser includes seven seats and has up to 81.7 cubic feet of cargo space, a low number within the class of luxury large SUVs. In most cases, the Land Cruiser will be an ideal family vehicle, as long as consumers don’t need the third row for frequently transporting adults.
The Land Cruiser’s off-road capability, seating capacity, and price pit it against Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz, and even against these nameplates, the Land Cruiser comes out on top. However, with consumers moving away from full-size SUVs, reviewers wonder if the Land Cruiser is worth its price – especially since most shoppers won’t use its capable four-wheel drive for much more than a trip to the grocery store during a snowstorm.
Other SUVs to Consider
Although the Land Cruiser is indeed a Toyota, a brand known for being more affordable, its price is even higher than legendary off-road brands like Land Rover LR4. The LR4 starts at $48,500 – $19,520 less than the Land Cruiser. For this price, you could upgrade to the $57,665 LR4 Lux, and still pay about $10,400 less compared to the base Land Cruiser. Plus, you’ll get a more luxurious cabin, better tech features, and the same seating capacity. The Land Rover LR4 has similar off-road capabilities and is a more exclusive brand that will attract buyer who want to get noticed.
If you prefer interior luxury over off-road muscle, you should take a look at the Lexus LX and the Cadillac Escalade. The Lexus LX is based on the Land Cruiser, and starts at $78,555. The LX includes many of the Land Cruiser’s off-road-enhancing tech, with an interior reviewers say upholds Lexus’s reputation for quality refined interiors. However, paying nearly $80,000 for an off-road SUV that likely won’t be taken into the thick of the backcountry can rub some luxury shoppers the wrong way. Instead, those shopping for a luxury large SUV should consider the $63,160 Cadillac Escalade. The Escalade starts about $5,000 less than the Land Cruiser, and comes standard with all-wheel drive and a 6.0-liter V8 engine that reviewers love. Its interior is also luxurious and offers a no-cost upgrade to seat eight instead of seven.
Details: Toyota Land Cruiser
The Land Cruiser is not one of the vehicles affected by the recent Toyota recall for unintended acceleration. However, some 2010 and 2011 Land Cruiser models have been recalled for a faulty tire pressure monitoring system that fails to alert the driver when tire pressure is below the allowable minimum. The recall covers about 10,200 vehicles total.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is offered in one well-appointed trim that starts at $68,020. Its 5.7-liter V8 engine makes 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates that the Land Cruiser gets 13/18 mpg city/highway.
The 2011 Land Cruiser carries over basically unchanged from 2010, adding only a few safety features. The most notable addition of features is Toyota’s Smart Stop technology, which cuts power to the engine when the brake and the accelerator are depressed at the same time. Other new features include standard front seatbelt pre-tensioners, which automatically tighten the front seatbelts if a crash may occur.
The 2011 Land Cruiser is Toyota’s most luxurious offering, as one would expect from such a high price tag. It comes standard with features like four-zone automatic climate control, USB port with iPod connectivity, audio and telephone Bluetooth capability, and leather seats.
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- "As with previous Toyota Land Cruisers, the 2011 model has excellent off-road capability while still delivering a thoroughly comfortable ride on urban streets." -- Edmunds
- "Back in our February Four Wheeler of the Year test, we had the new V-8 Land Cruiser sized up as an extremely versatile, all-purpose, large SUV with exceptional all-terrain capability. What we’ve learned in the interim allows us to add the terms well built and extremely reliable to that mix." -- Four Wheeler
- "The fuel-guzzling Land Cruiser is the most luxurious machine in Toyota’s U.S. lineup. It’s among the most capable, too, as the standard equipment includes advanced off-road tech like Crawl Control, a sort of cruise control for boulder bashing. Still, most of these patrol the suburbs." -- Car and Driver
- "Land Cruiser blends legendary off-road capability with impressive on-road manners and luxurious accommodations. Inconvenient passenger-to-cargo conversion and steep pricing make it a good value only to high-rolling off-roaders and Land Cruiser loyalists." -- Consumer Guide
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