Full 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser Review
What's New for 2010
For 2010, the Toyota Land Cruiser receives an advanced telematics system, much like GM's OnStar, for post-crash alerts, emergency assistance and stolen car recovery. The audio and navigation systems add Bluetooth streaming audio, a USB jack for MP3/iPod connectivity and real-time traffic.
Toyota began selling the Land Cruiser here in 1958. Back then, it was the go-anywhere, wilderness-loving off-roader. Over the decades, it has evolved from its rugged past to the luxurious present. The 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser is the pinnacle of this progression, but thankfully, it still manages to cling to its terrain-taming heritage.
Accomplishing this dual role requires quite a lot of engineering and consideration. A 5.7-liter V8 that pumps out 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque ensures the Land Cruiser can surmount a craggy peak or zoom onto the highway with ease. Full-time four-wheel drive with low-range gearing further enhances off-road capabilities, as does the Cruiser's "Crawl Control," which automatically manages the throttle and brakes to maintain a constant speed over hilly terrain -- freeing up the driver to concentrate on steering.
Both on- and off-road abilities are enhanced with Toyota's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which automatically stiffens or loosens the front and rear antiroll bars to adapt to various driving conditions. This allows for less body roll when cornering on pavement and greater wheel articulation (travel) for navigating bumps and ruts after the road ends.
Most of these features are courtesy of a full redesign a couple of years ago. Since then, the Land Cruiser has seen only minor enhancements. This year, Toyota added its Safety Connect system. Much like GM's OnStar telematics system, Safety Connect sends post-crash alerts to local emergency responders, adds an "SOS" button to summon help when needed and includes stolen vehicle tracking.
As a dual-purpose large SUV, the 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser stands as an ideal choice, especially considering your other options. The related Lexus LX 570 benefits from added luxury features and prestige, but it also costs about $10,000 more. The legendary Range Rover is even pricier and is also saddled with Land Rover's poor reputation for reliability. It's only when off-road prowess is not a primary concern -- as is likely the case for most people -- that other models become possibly better choices, such as the roomier Cadillac Escalade or the more luxurious Mercedes-Benz GL450.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser is a full-size luxury SUV that is available in a single well-appointed trim level. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated and power-folding outside mirrors, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, front and rear parking sensors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power heated front seats with driver memory functions, leather upholstery, quad-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and a 14-speaker JBL audio system with a six-CD changer, Bluetooth streaming audio and an auxiliary audio/USB port. The aforementioned KDSS also comes standard.
Most options are bundled into the pricey Upgrade package that includes a rear spoiler, a rear-seat entertainment system, a navigation system with real-time traffic, a back-up camera, interior wood trim, heated second-row seats and a center console cooler box. The navigation system and rear spoiler, however, can be ordered as stand-alone options.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and a full-time four-wheel-drive system with high- and low-range gearing.
EPA fuel mileage ratings stand at 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined. Properly equipped, this SUV can tow 8,500 pounds.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes (with brake assist and multi-terrain programming), stability control, front and second-row side airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags (with rollover detection) and active front head restraints. The 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser also receives Toyota's Safety Connect telematics system. Similar to GM's OnStar, Safety Connect notifies emergency responders if the airbags deploy or if a severe rear-end collision is detected. The system can also be activated via an SOS button and includes a stolen-vehicle locator feature.
The optional advanced seatbelt system (which is included with the Upgrade package) will tighten the front seatbelts when the brakes are suddenly applied or when tire slippage is detected by the stability control system.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2010 Land Cruiser's interior is as refined as Toyotas get, with high-quality materials and tight fit and finish. The cabin can accommodate eight passengers, though the third row is really only suitable for children because of the low seat height and cramped quarters. Access to the back row is eased via the one-touch tumble-forward second-row seats. Middle-row occupants fare better with a bit more space, along with slide and recline adjustments.
With all seats in place, luggage space is 16 cubic feet -- about the same as a midsize car's trunk. The third-row seats do not fold flat, nor are they removable. Instead, they fold up against the sides of the cargo bay, a rather inefficient solution. Consequently, the Cruiser's maximum cargo capacity is limited to 82 cubic feet, a small figure for a large SUV.
As with previous Land Cruisers, the 2010 model possesses impressive off-road capabilities while still delivering a smooth and comfortable ride in city environs. When exploring the untamed wilds, the Land Cruiser's Crawl Control feature takes much of the worry out of the hands (or feet, in this case) of the driver. Uphill or down, you simply dial in the desired speed (as low as 1 mph), keep your feet off the gas and brake pedals and steer in the desired direction. Crawl Control does the rest.
In the maddening wilds of the urban jungle, the 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser behaves like the civilized luxury SUV it's intended to be, soaking up bumps with refined composure. When faced with curvy roads, the Land Cruiser remains relatively flat in corners, feeling surprisingly confident for such a large vehicle -- a lot of credit goes to the KDSS. Performance is also strong, with the 5.7-liter V8 furnishing plenty of thrust for passing, towing or effortless freeway cruising.