• Marks 60th anniversary of Land Cruiser
  • All-new standard features
  • Arrives at dealers this month

Toyota's Land Cruiser is arguably one of the best examples today of how a model line can evolve over time. What started off as an extremely bare-bones offroader 60 years ago has now become an upscale, feature-laden luxury SUV, though still quite capable of navigating away from the asphalt. And the best example of that premise is the new Land Cruiser, which will debut at the Chicago Auto Show this week.

Of those three aforementioned adjectives, "feature-laden" is the one that gets the most fulfillment of this latest model. The new Land Cruiser now comes with all features as standard equipment. On the outside, that means true LED low beam headlights, LED daytime running lamps and chrome side moldings. There are also some standard features that used to be offered only as options on old Land Cruisers, like the painted rear spoiler and rain-sensing wipers.

Inside, amenities like a cooled center console, a heated leather-trimmed steering wheel, voice and Bluetooth hands-free controls, and heated second row seats make their way from the options list to standard features. Alongside them are a Multi-terrain Monitor with front, side or rear selectable views, two rear electrical outlets, a Multi-information display, and ventilated rear seats.

To assist with the immediate task at hand while driving the Land Cruiser is a load of features that should make it safer, whether on- or off-road. On-road the Land Cruiser features a dynamic radar-assisted cruise control for keeping a safe distance from the car in front, no matter what speed it's going, and a pre-collision system in case things go awry. For off-road, or especially slick or hazardous on-road conditions, there's a five-speed crawl control to help get over obstacles in its way, Multi-Terrain Select to tune the car to the conditions, and Multi-Terrain ABS to stop in said conditions.

If you're towing a trailer, there's also anti-sway control so you don't end up in a tank-slapper. To get that payload moving, the SUV makes 381 horsepower, and all 401 lb-ft of torque. All of that torque is available at 3600 rpm, with 90 percent of it available as low as 2200 rpm, meaning it won't work too hard while getting things going from a standstill.

The Land Cruiser should be showing up in Toyota dealerships in March.

What it means to you: If you're a fan of the bare-bones off-roader the Land Cruiser used to be, you may have to look elsewhere. But if you want tons of standard features and still be to go off-road, while hauling eight people, stop by your Toyota dealer next month.

author photo

Tom Cassady comes from a family that has been present in the automotive industry for generations, sowing the car enthusiast seed at a young age. When he's not tracking the industry, Tom likes to run, eat buffalo wings, play soccer and partake in the finest of brown spirits.

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