Is there a place for a V8-motivated, leather-lined, trail-busting SUV in this day and age? How about one costing more than $80,000? For a handful of discerning customers each year, the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser would answer this question with a resounding "yes." It’s like few other vehicles on the road, and although its Toyota badge might make its sky-high luxury price tag a tough pill for some to swallow, its immense capability and renowned reliability make it an understandable expense for those in the know. There’s a reason Land Cruisers are used from Iceland to Australia for the toughest off-road excursions.
Of course, if Icelandic excursions, Outback adventures or closer-to-home journeys of similar intensity aren’t on your personal docket, the Land Cruiser is probably going to be overkill. All of that capability comes with serious trade-offs in fuel economy, handling and interior space. It’s honestly a bit of a chore to drive on-road, so unless you really intend to go off-road, it’s probably best to be honest with yourself and select a tool better-suited to the job.
What’s New for 2018?
The Land Cruiser is effectively unchanged for 2018. See the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser models for sale near you
What We Like
Go-anywhere off-road capability; beastly-yet-refined V8; strong towing capability; luxuries and technology galore; 8-passenger seating
What We Don’t
Poor fuel economy; cumbersome on-road handling; cramped third-row seat that takes up cargo space and reduces second-row comfort even when folded; so-so second-row space
Every Land Cruiser comes standard with full-time 4-wheel drive, an 8-speed automatic transmission and a 5.7-liter V8 cranking out 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Environmental Protection Agency-rated fuel economy stands at merely 13 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in combined driving. That makes the Land Cruiser one of the least efficient vehicles on the market.
Standard Features & Options
The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is offered in only one fully loaded level. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, skid plates, a surround-view parking camera, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, automatic LED headlights, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, adaptive cruise control, 4-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated 8-way power front seats, driver memory functions, heated second-row seats, a 50/50-split third-row seat, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a 9-in Entune touchscreen interface, a navigation system, Bluetooth, wireless smartphone charging, a rear-seat entertainment system and a 14-speaker JBL sound system with a CD player, HD Radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Land Cruiser comes with standard stability control and 10 airbags, including seat-mounted side airbags for the first two rows and full-length side-curtain airbags. Also standard are forward-collision warning with automatic braking, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert. The standard Safety Connect telematics system offers automatic collision notification to ensure help is on the way in the event of an accident.
The Land Cruiser has not been crash-tested by either the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Behind the Wheel
On the pavement, the Land Cruiser is an endearing brute. The throaty V8 certainly helps; it’s pretty amazing how much get-up-and-go this SUV has. The Cruiser’s enormous dimensions and hefty weight are readily apparent from behind the wheel, though, and you’ll constantly be reminded of them when taking a corner or trying to park. But at least you feel completely invulnerable perched high in the cabin, like you’re on a personal suburban safari. Its off-road performance is excellent thanks to sky-high ground clearance, low-range gearing, a locking center differential and a number of driving aids.
You can choose among numerous terrain modes and five different crawl speeds, while the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System can disengage the front and rear stabilizer bars to allow for maximum wheel articulation.
The Land Cruiser’s front seats are plush and expansive, and they’re mounted high to promote outward visibility. Dashboard materials are mostly upscale, though they don’t have the premium feel of the more expensive Range Rover or the Land Cruiser’s mechanical twin, the Lexus LX 570. The second-row bench reclines to an almost hilarious degree, but only when the third row isn’t folded up (more on that below). The bench is also rather low relative to the front seats, so there’s ample room to stretch your legs.
The third row is also a 3-person bench, making the Land Cruiser a rare 8-passenger vehicle, but the person in the middle is sitting on the "crack," so to speak. None of those in the back will have much in the way of space, however, and access is awkward. Plus, the seats themselves don’t fold away into the floor — they flip sideways, meaning they take up considerable space when not in use.
Other Cars to Consider
2018 Land Rover Range Rover — Still the king of luxury SUVs, the Range Rover costs more, but it features an available supercharged V8 and one of the finest cabins at any price. There’s no third-row seat, however.
2018 Lexus LX 570 — The LX 570 is the Land Cruiser’s mechanical twin. Although you probably already know whether you’d prefer the Toyota or the Lexus based on their styling and image, the LX 570 is still worth mentioning, since it offers almost the same package as the Land Cruiser.
2018 Lincoln Navigator — The Navigator should be considered by those who are just looking for a big, luxurious SUV with ample towing capacity. It isn’t one for going off-road, but its unmatched cabin space, snazzy styling and 450-hp engine help make the new Navigator a standout.
Used Mercedes-Benz G-Class — Perhaps the only luxury SUV that’s more rugged and capable than the Land Cruiser off-road. It’s an absolute beast in more ways than one. It costs much more when new, so a used one should be considered.
Since there are no options, the Land Cruiser makes our job easy. We absolutely recommend this vehicle, especially after the wealth of updates added two years ago. Find a Toyota Land Cruiser for sale