October 13, 2021

The 2019 Toyota Land Cruiser sits in the top half of our luxury large SUVs rankings, thanks to its capable off-road ability, ample list of features, and comfortable ride.

The Land Cruiser is a great choice in the luxury large SUV class. This Toyota stands out for its ability to maintain composure both on and off the road. The Land Cruiser also comes with plenty of standard features. It has poor fuel efficiency, however, and its third row folds to the side, which limits cargo space.

The Land Cruiser is worth your consideration, but its steep base price – even among luxury vehicles – doesn’t make it the most practical option in the class. The Mercedes-Benz GLS is a more well-rounded option with its lower starting price, more refined cabin, and composed handling. Although it costs a little more than the Land Cruiser, the Lexus LX is a great alternative if you’re looking for a capable off-roader with a ritzy cabin.

There have been few changes to the Land Cruiser over the years. You could opt for a model from 2016 or later and get a relatively similar vehicle to the 2019 Land Cruiser. Models from 2015 and earlier will save you even more money, but they lack the eight-speed automatic transmission, updated infotainment system, and additional standard safety and technology features that the Land Cruiser gained for 2016.

There’s seating for up to eight people in the Land Cruiser. The first two rows feature spacious, comfortable seats, and second-row occupants can make things roomier by sliding and reclining their seats. The third row is best left for smaller passengers, however.

The second row of the Land Cruiser has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the outboard seats, along with a tether-only anchor on the middle seat.

Most of the Land Cruiser technology features come standard, including a 9-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a 14-speaker JBL premium audio system, navigation, HD Radio, satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free, the Entune app suite, a USB port, Bluetooth, and wireless phone charging. You can add a rear-seat dual-screen DVD entertainment system for an upcharge. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are unavailable.

While the infotainment system is user friendly, some reviewers claim that its graphics aren’t as nice as more updated infotainment systems from its competitors.

There is only one engine available in the Land Cruiser, and it’s a good one. The 381-horsepower V8 engine has plenty of power and accelerates quickly up to high speeds. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission that upshifts quickly, which helps save fuel. Four-wheel drive is standard.

Braking is basically the opposite of accelerating. The 13.9-inch front and 13.6-inch rear discs make the four 285/60R18 Dunlop Grandtrek AT20s stop spinning without undue discomfort, but you’ll want to avoid panic stops—the nose dives considerably thanks to its considerable weight and off-road-spec, hydraulically adjusted Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System.

Expect frequent fill ups with the Land Cruiser. It delivers 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, which are low estimates in the class. On the plus side, it takes regular gasoline instead of premium.

Due to its large size, the Land Cruiser has some body roll around sharp turns. The suspension system is firm and stable, which provides solid handling and a comfortable ride.

The Land Cruiser is one of the best off-roaders in the class. Reviewers praise its ability to maintain a plush ride on the pavement, and that level of comfort doesn’t waiver on unpaved roads. This Toyota also comes standard with a limited-slip differential, low-speed crawl control, and a terrain selection mode to handle nearly anything mother nature or the trails throw at you.

Still, the forces of technology are progressing and the J200 is unlikely to have much life left. Updates made for 2016 give Toyota enough reason to keep it around until around 2020 or so.

As for a “J300,” well, the brand has been releasing plenty of concepts that draw on its off-road heritage as of late, so the outlook is positive. Just don’t be surprised if it comes with a plug for electricity or a pressurized tank for hydrogen. And given its history, it’ll likely come prepared to serve at least until 2030.

Toyota

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