Full 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Review
What's New for 2014
The Land Cruiser is unchanged for 2014.
If you want to understand the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser's special place in Toyota's lineup, simply navigate to the company's website, where all of its crossovers and SUVs are on display. The prices start in the mid-$20,000s for a new RAV4, then ramp up past $40,000 for a new Sequoia. The next tier, though, is almost double that. Yep, close to 80 grand is Toyota's MSRP for a 2014 Land Cruiser. But it's also not surprising that such a legendary truck would have a price tag to match.
"Truck," of course, doesn't really do the current Land Cruiser justice, as it's more of a leather-lined family hauler with a cornucopia of standard features. The Cruiser has come a long way indeed from its origins as a two-door off-roader, adding layers of luxury through the years that have progressively obscured those rough-and-tumble roots. To be clear, the 2014 Land Cruiser remains a seriously capable vehicle, boasting a beefy 8,500-pound tow capacity and a bevy of advanced features like power-disconnecting stabilizer bars, selectable terrain settings and crawl control that can practically conquer tough terrain by themselves. But more than any Cruiser before it, this one was designed with suburban pavement in mind. It is, for better or worse, the most domesticated Land Cruiser yet.
When you consider that few SUVs can match the Cruiser's combined on- and off-road prowess, its lofty price tag starts to make more sense. And for alternatives, actually, you'll have to look at luxury SUVs. The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is less skilled off the beaten path, though for daily use, it's a more comfortable, fuel efficient and useful vehicle. The Land Rover LR4 is an intriguing three-row option at a lower price. Another possible rival is the Infiniti QX80, a three-row 'ute that's the best on-road handling model here, though, again, it can't match the Land Cruiser's off-road cred.
So, is a 2014 Land Cruiser the right one for you? The answer's going to lie with what your priorities are for a three-row SUV. But the Land Cruiser legend lives on in the current model's do-it-all character, and that alone will make it worth the stretch for some.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser is an eight-passenger SUV available in a single, fully loaded trim level.
Standard features include 18-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlamps with LED running lights, fog lights, auto-dimming and power-folding heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, automatic wipers, privacy glass, a roof rack, a rear spoiler, running boards, a sunroof and keyless ignition/entry.
Interior features include four-zone automatic climate control with separate second-row controls, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with leather and wood trim, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power front seats (10-way driver, eight-way passenger), heated 40/20/40-split second row seats (sliding and reclining), 50/50-split third row seats that fold up to either side of the cargo area and a center console cooler box.
Standard technology features include adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera, a navigation system, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, voice control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rear-seat entertainment system and Toyota's Entune suite of smartphone app-based services. The 14-speaker JBL sound system includes a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 that cranks out 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive are standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg combined (13 mpg city/18 mpg highway).
The Land Cruiser also features a locking center differential, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (which electronically modulates the stabilizer bars for improved on-road handling and off-road capability), Multi-Terrain Select (which tailors the stability and traction control settings to different surfaces), a five-speed crawl control (essentially a low-speed off-road cruise control), hill-start assist and Off-Road Turn Assist (which applies brakes to the inside wheels in a corner to improve turning response).
In Edmunds performance testing, the similar Lexus LX 570 went from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, an adequate but unremarkable performance for this segment. Towing capacity, when properly equipped, is a hefty 8,500 pounds.
Standard Land Cruiser safety features include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front- and second-row side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. A standard frontal collision system can mitigate impacts by priming the seatbelts and brakes for action.
Also standard is Toyota's Safety Connect system, which includes automatic collision notification, an emergency assistance button with on-demand roadside assistance and a stolen vehicle locator.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2014 Land Cruiser's interior is as refined as Toyota gets, with quality materials and what appears to be careful construction. It doesn't quite match its Lexus LX570 twin, however, nor is it up to Mercedes or Land Rover standards. Although the cabin can accommodate eight passengers, the third row is best for kids due to its flat seat bottom and high floor. Adults can try it, but they'll likely be resting their chins on their knees. Second-row occupants get significantly more space and heated seats that slide and recline.
With the third row in place, the remaining cargo area measures 16.1 cubic feet. That's about the same capacity as a midsize car's trunk, but it's actually less useful, because half of those 16 cubes are between the rear seatbacks and the ceiling. Unusually for a modern SUV, the third-row seats neither fold flat nor come out; instead, they must be folded up against the sides of the cargo bay, where they needlessly consume space. This explains why maximum capacity with both rear rows folded is a modest 82 cubic feet, whereas the QX80, for example, can hold 95 cubic feet.
The 2014 Land Cruiser rides placidly on paved roads, obediently soaking up bumps like the luxury liner it is. Cabin noise is minimal, and the only time the powertrain becomes audible is at full acceleration, when the 5.7-liter V8 becomes a civilized rumble. But we wouldn't mind a little more thrust -- although this engine is plenty powerful on its own merits, the latest turbocharged GL-Class models have raised the bar substantially, making the Toyota's 15-mpg efficiency harder to swallow.
We've put the Land Cruiser through its paces in the dirt, and we can confirm that it's still got skills. Much of this comes from the high-tech driving aids -- you just pick your terrain type, dial in the desired speed (as low as 1 mph) and focus solely on steering, letting the Cruiser's crawl control mode do everything else.