Toyota's costliest full-size sport utility vehicle has smaller dimensions than the company's newer Sequoia. The Land Cruiser has a heritage that dates back to the 1950s and Toyota's early days in the U.S. market. In recent years, the Land Cruiser has been the slowest-selling member of the company's five-model SUV group.
For 2005, 18-inch wheels replace the prior 17-inchers. Toyota's Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control, traction control, and an antilock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
The Land Cruiser and the costlier Lexus LX 470 share the same basic design and major components, but the Lexus model has more standard features and additional luxurious furnishings. A third-row seat, automatic rear climate control and a HomeLink transmitter are standard in the Land Cruiser. Among the few options are a JBL sound system and a DVD-based touchscreen navigation system with integrated Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free cellular communication. A backup video camera and monitor system are available on Land Cruisers equipped with the navigation system.
Built with a separate body and frame, the Land Cruiser stretches to 192.5 inches long overall, which makes it nearly a foot shorter than the Sequoia. Mounted on a 112.2-inch wheelbase, the Land Cruiser measures 76.4 inches wide and 73.2 inches tall. Access to the cargo area may be achieved through a flip-up window and a drop-down tailgate. Steel skid plates protect the front suspension, transfer case and fuel tank. Running boards and a roof rack are optional.
Ground clearance is 9.8 inches, and a full-size spare tire is standard. The Land Cruiser's separate chassis uses nine cross-members set into box-section side rails.
Standard seating for eight people includes two front bucket seats and three-place second- and third-row benches that split and fold to hold more cargo. Children will fit better than adults in the 50/50-split removable third-row seat.
Cargo volume totals nearly 91 cubic feet when the center-row seat is folded down and the rear seat is removed. When all of the seats are in place and upright, cargo space behind the third row totals 20.8 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes leather-trimmed upholstery, a JBL 300-watt sound system with a cassette player and in-dash six-CD changer, a powered glass moonroof, remote keyless entry and automatic climate control, which includes a rear-seat system. Land Cruisers also have a power tilt/telescoping steering column, power front seats, heated power mirrors and power rear quarter windows.
Under the Hood
Toyota's 235-horsepower, 4.7-liter V-8 produces 320 pounds-feet of torque and teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission. Permanently engaged four-wheel drive is installed. The Lexus LX 470 uses the same powertrain. All Land Cruisers have traction control. Pushing a console button can lock the limited-slip center differential.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes and daytime running lights. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags and two-row side curtain-type airbags with rollover sensors are optional. Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control stability system applies the brakes to individual wheels when necessary.