Used 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser SUV Review

The 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser is a luxury SUV that does everything well. But before you buy, make sure you have a need for all of its abilities.




what's new

For 2006, Toyota has fitted the Land Cruiser's V8 with variable valve-timing technology, and the result is a welcome increase of 40 horsepower (to 275) over last year's model. Other changes this year include a standard tire-pressure monitor system, a newly optional automatic height-control and suspension and minor exterior styling revisions, which include a new grille, headlamps and taillamps.

vehicle overview

There's no such thing as too much of a good thing, right? If this is your personal mantra, Toyota has an SUV for you: the Land Cruiser. It's big. It's powerful. It's comfortable. It's got brand cachet. It hauls people and cargo through rough terrain just as easily as it hauls them to the local movie theater. The Toyota Land Cruiser doesn't skimp on anything. Perhaps that's why it costs well over $50,000. For almost half a century, Toyota has been selling Land Cruiser SUVs in America. The first ones arrived Stateside in 1958. From 1961 to 1965, the "FJ" was Toyota's best-selling model. These early versions still have a loyal following both here and worldwide due to their rugged personality and outstanding durability and reliability. The current fifth-generation model was introduced in 1997. It is a far cry from the original. Luxury features are plentiful. It comes in only one version with minimal available factory options (the rest are dealer-added).

The Toyota Land Cruiser offers some of the best on-road performance of any truck in this segment. Its long wheelbase contributes to a supple ride that is well damped at all four corners, and its steering is nicely balanced and weighted for such a heavy vehicle. This Toyota SUV is able to tackle the hardest terrain without breaking a sweat. What's more, this ability doesn't hamper the truck's level of control and ease of operation on the freeway and two-lane roads. The Land Cruiser faces stiff competition from several luxury SUVs. Some may offer better value and more size for the dollar, and others might perform brilliantly on the highway, but only the Land Rover and the VW can take on this capable Toyota where true truck buyers think it matters -- in the brush. Easily able to hold its own in this setting, the 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser is also backed by something its competitors can't simply engineer into their vehicles -- Toyota's legendary reputation for quality and dependability.

trim levels & features

The full-size, eight-passenger Toyota Land Cruiser comes only one way -- loaded up. Highlights include leather seating, power-adjustable and heated front seats, a JBL audio system with an in-dash CD changer, a moonroof and separate automatic climate control systems for front and rear passengers. On the options list, you'll find major items like a DVD-based navigation system with rearview backup camera, a rear-seat DVD-based entertainment system, and a new suspension system that can automatically adjust both ride height and shock damping for improved performance both on- and off-road. You'll also find satellite radio, a tow hitch, a roof rack and running boards on the options list.

performance & mpg

Power comes from a 4.7-liter V8 that generates 275 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. While certainly not the most powerful engine in this class, the Land Cruiser's smooth acceleration satisfies, and passing maneuvers are rarely a problem. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is four-wheel drive with low-range gearing for off-roading. Should you want to tow, the Land Cruiser, properly equipped, can lug up to 6,500 pounds.

safety

The Toyota Land Cruiser comes standard with Toyota's Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and traction control (TRAC), an antilock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and BrakeAssist. On the options list, you'll find an airbag package with regular side airbags for front occupants, along with side curtain airbags and a rollover sensor that offers chest and head protection for first- and second-row outboard passengers.

driving

Unlike many other luxury SUVs, the 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser comes with a locking center differential and a button on the dash that lowers the antenna to clear low-hanging branches. First and foremost, the Land Cruiser is designed to be driven off-road, an attribute made even stronger by this year's optional adjustable suspension system. The magic is in how composed it behaves on pavement, where most buyers travel. While not best in the class in terms of urban driving dynamics, it certainly beats most truck-based competitors when it comes time to run to the grocery store.

interior

Thanks to the multitude of features and comfortable seating in the first and second rows, this is a very enjoyable SUV to spend time in. Total passenger capacity is eight. 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 SUV sports a maximum cargo capacity of 97.5 cubic feet.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.