Both share the same basic architecture and powertrains
The Land Cruiser offers a unique ‘Heritage Edition’ for 2020
If you’ve found yourself in the market for a new full-size luxury SUV, you’re probably aware that the Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX570 are basically identical to one another and sell for just about the same price. Aside from their different styling philosophies, these two SUVs are very similar, cost about the same and offer almost identical feature content, although they do differ in a few key areas. Below, we’ll examine these two hulking SUVs to highlight their key similarities and differences.
Exterior styling is where the Land Cruiser and LX 570 differ the most. While earlier versions of these two legendary SUVs came with similar styling, the Land Cruiser is clearly the more conservative of the two in their current iterations. The LX wears arguably the most in-your-face interpretation of Lexus’ ‘predator’ grille and relies a lot more on steep angles and hard lines for its aesthetic, while the Land Cruiser keeps things simple, with a broad grille inspired by the 80 Series Land Cruiser, which was sold during the 1990s, and with its overall boxier styling elements. See the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser models for sale near you or See the 2020 Lexus LX models for sale near you
While everything aft of their respective front rows is virtually the same, the Land Cruiser and LX 570 come with significantly different front cockpits. As with its exterior styling, the Land Cruiser’s dashboard and center console are a little more utilitarian than those of the LX, which wears a design that’s both sporty and luxurious. The Land Cruiser gets a 9-in touchscreen infotainment system, while the LX gets a non-touchscreen 12.3-in display operated by Lexus’ controversial trackpad. Both vehicles offer a variety of controls for their off-road features laid out on the center console.
The Lexus offers a few items that you can’t get in the Land Cruiser which we’ll outline in further detail in the Features & Technology section below.
These two vehicles utilize identical powertrains. Both come standard with full-time 4-wheel drive with a true selectable low range and an old-school solid rear axle. The same 5.7-liter V8 resides under the hoods of both. It puts out 381 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is pretty weak at 13 miles per gallon in the city, 18 on the highway and 15 combined. Towing capacity differs slightly, with the Land Cruiser rated to tow up to 8,100 pounds and the LX capable of 7,000 — likely due to the limitations of the latter’s standard air suspension.
Features & Technology
While one wears a Toyota badge on its grille and the other wears a Lexus badge, the LX and the Land Cruiser come with virtually the same equipment. Both come standard with navigation, a surround-view camera system (although its admittedly pretty low-resolution by today’s standards), front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights and taillights, a sunroof, Bluetooth, and an array of clever off-road features. The regular Land Cruiser comes standard with a ‘refrigerated’ center console storage box, while the LX makes this feature optional.
Speaking of options, the LX is offered with a few, while the Land Cruiser comes with just one.
Options on the LX include a Luxury Package that nets you a slightly nicer leather interior, heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats and a climate concierge system that monitors four different climate zones within the cabin. Also optional are 21-in wheels, a heated steering wheel and the aforementioned center console refrigerator box. The 3-row LX can be had with a few more items, including a head-up display, a sport package, a Mark Levinson sound system and rear seat entertainment. The Land Cruiser’s lone option is a rear-seat entertainment system. A 5-passenger version that eschews the LX’s third row was introduced for 2019.
The 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser also gains a unique ‘Heritage Edition’ trim level, which comes with a deleted third row seat, a unique front grille, gold wheels, deleted running boards, deleted door trim, a traditional center console storage box, silver interior stitching and vintage-inspired badges on the D-pillars.
The lone area where these vehicles differ mechanically is their suspension. The Land Cruiser comes standard with old-fashioned, dependable mechanical shock absorbers but also includes Toyota’s clever ‘Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System’, better known as KDSS, which will automatically sense when the vehicle is traversing uneven terrain and disconnect the front and rear sway bars to allow for added articulation, enabling a more level, less bumpy ride. The LX trades the Land Cruiser’s mechanical suspension and KDSS for air suspension capable of raising or lowering the vehicle by a few inches at the touch of a button. This is great not only for going off-road but also for leveling loads, as the LX will automatically level itself out when it’s attached to a trailer or simply weighed down by heavy cargo.
The LX570 and Land Cruiser feel almost identical from behind the wheel, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise given that they’re virtually the same vehicle. Their powerful 5.7-liter V8 engines hustle them down the road with urgency, while their respective 6,000-pound curb weights mean they aren’t exactly canyon carvers. Noise, vibration, and overall harshness are kept to a minimum, which is impressive given their boxy designs.
Both vehicles also offer exceptional off-road capability. In fact, it’s probably their main selling point at this stage of the game. You pay the price for this capability in fuel economy though, and a more on-road-oriented competitor will achieve well over the EPA-rated 15 miles per gallon in combined driving out of these two behemoths. Needless to say, outside of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and the Range Rover, there are few other vehicles on the road like the Land Cruiser and the LX.
Neither of these massive SUVs has been crash tested by the government-run National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the third-party Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. With that said, testing by foreign agencies has shown good results, and given the 6,000-pound curb weight of both vehicles, you’re likely to come out the victor in a collision with just about anything else on the road.
As part of the update the Land Cruiser and LX were given for 2016, both gained a number of forward-looking safety features. Both come with your typical side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control and a backup camera. Additionally, these two big SUVs offer forward-collision warning with low-speed automatic braking, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic detection, lane departure warning, radar cruise control and automatic high beams. Front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree camera system are also included.
While they differ somewhat significantly with regard to their interior and exterior designs, these two SUVs are remarkably similar. They share platforms, powertrains, and most of their interior components outside of their dashboards. They’re even priced almost identically, with both vehicles carrying sticker prices just shy of $90,000.
Still, the LX makes a little more sense in the modern automotive landscape, where buyers considering a $90,000 vehicle are expecting to see a luxury badge on the hood. The Land Cruiser, on the other hand, is a bit of a conundrum — an understated, conservative SUV from one of the world’s most ordinary automotive marques with an outlandish luxury car price tag. But that’s in large part what makes it so appealing. Either way, both of these SUVs offer extraordinary capability and world-leading reliability. As far as sales go, most shoppers opt for the Lexus, as its luxury marque is more befitting of its luxury car price tag, but the Land Cruiser offers better resale value and flies under the radar in a way that more conservative buyers will appreciate. Find a Toyota Land Cruiser for sale or Find a Lexus LX for sale