Full 2007 Toyota Land Cruiser Review
What's New for 2007
The 2007 Toyota Land Cruiser sees its V8's ratings fall to 265 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, though actual performance is unaffected. Inside, front-seat side airbags and two-row side curtain airbags are now standard.
The longest-surviving nameplate in the Toyota lineup, the Land Cruiser traces its roots to an earlier era when sport-utility vehicles were judged for their off-road credentials above all else. That's not to say that the 2007 Toyota Land Cruiser feels like a relic when you get behind the wheel. A major overhaul in 1998 saw it pick up a smooth V8 engine and a stiffened chassis that gave it exemplary on-road manners while preserving its all-terrain abilities. High-quality leather hides any evidence of its utilitarian personality in the cabin, and if it weren't for the lack of wood inlays, this Toyota would easily pass for a Lexus. This is a good thing, because with its $56K price of admission, the multitalented Land Cruiser is far out of reach for the typical Toyota buyer.
Although today's Toyota Land Cruiser is a bona fide luxury SUV, its ancestor, the FJ40 Land Cruiser, was a pure off-road vehicle and considerably smaller in size. (Toyota has attempted to reclaim some of that heritage with the launch of the FJ Cruiser this year.) As the customer profile shifted over the years, the Land Cruiser grew larger and more luxurious. The current model seats eight, allowing it to function as an upscale carpool vehicle. It's not the ideal vehicle for putting about in suburbia with the kids, though. Compared to the accommodations in newer midsize and large SUVs, its third-row seat is cramped and doesn't fold into the floor when you need more room for cargo.
As you'd imagine, practicality is not first on the list for most Toyota Land Cruiser buyers. They buy it because it's still the best SUV there is when it comes to blending off-road capability with on-road refinement, and because it's backed by Toyota's legendary reputation for quality and durability. For consumers who know they won't scratch the surface of Land Cruiser abilities, though, the Land Rover LR3 or Mercedes-Benz GL450 are better suited for family duty. And if you're willing to part with some luxury trimmings, Toyota's own Sequoia offers a lot more room than the Land Cruiser for a substantially lower price.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A large eight-passenger SUV, the 2007 Toyota Land Cruiser comes only one way -- loaded up. Highlights include 18-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, a 300-watt JBL audio system with an in-dash CD changer, and separate automatic climate control systems for front and rear passengers. On the options list, you'll find major items like a navigation system (with a rearview backup camera and Bluetooth connectivity) and an adaptive suspension system that automatically adjusts both ride height and shock damping for improved performance both on- and off-road. A roof rack and running boards are also available. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available as a port-installed option.
Powertrains and Performance
Power comes from a 4.7-liter V8 that generates 265 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is a full-time four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing for off-roading. Should you want to tow, the Toyota Land Cruiser, properly equipped, can lug up to 6,500 pounds. Fuel economy rates just 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway.
The 2007 Toyota Land Cruiser comes standard with antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), traction control, stability control, a tire-pressure monitoring system, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags for the first and second rows.
Interior Design and Special Features
Thanks to the multitude of features and plush seating in the first and second rows, the Land Cruiser feels like a luxury SUV on the inside. The styling is a little dated, but materials are high in quality and fit and finish is outstanding. Total passenger capacity is eight. Comfort is excellent in the first two rows, but the third row is only suitable for children. When not in use, the third row can be split in half, folded to either side of the cargo bay and stored in an upright position; when it's removed entirely, the Toyota sports a maximum cargo capacity of 97.5 cubic feet. If the Land Cruiser isn't luxurious enough for you, consider its cousin, the Lexus LX 470.
While certainly not the most powerful SUV in this price range, the 2007 Toyota Land Cruiser will satisfy most buyers when it comes to acceleration. The V8 has an ultra-smooth power delivery and passing maneuvers are rarely a problem. Ride quality on pavement is comfortable and refined, especially for a traditional body-on-frame SUV with a solid rear axle. Handling is less impressive, as the Land Cruiser's large size and soft suspension tuning give it a slightly clumsy feel around corners. Ordering the optional adaptive suspension is recommended, as it allows the driver to call up firmer shock damping to keep the vehicle steadier in these situations.
First and foremost, though, the Toyota Land Cruiser is designed to be driven off-road, and not only is it amazingly capable on rutted trails, it retains its smooth, forgiving ride. Some newer SUVs offer more sophisticated off-road hardware, but few, if any, can match the Land Cruiser's easygoing demeanor.