2017 Toyota Land Cruiser Review
Edmunds expert review
The Toyota Land Cruiser is an automotive icon — its reputation for all-terrain capability and durability goes back 60 years. More recently, luxury has also figured into the Land Cruiser equation. The 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser continues the tradition, combining strong performance, excellent manners on- and off-road, and high levels of comfort.
Of course, this generation of the Land Cruiser dates back about a decade, and its age is showing. In particular, this sport-utility vehicle lacks some of the more modern features that are now expected of any vehicle that costs more than $80,000. For example, there's no available power liftgate, the third-row jump seats compromise both comfort and cargo capacity, and the V8 engine has a ravenous appetite for fuel. It seems likely, though, that we'll soon see an all-new Land Cruiser.
Thankfully, the strengths of the 2017 Land Cruiser outweigh its weaknesses by a healthy margin, earning it a solid Edmunds "A" rating. The mechanically identical Lexus LX 570 is a ready alternative with a more luxurious interior, although it costs marginally more. The Land Rover LR4 is just as capable off-road and also earns an "A" rating from Edmunds, while the equally iconic Range Rover just misses a top overall grade yet excels in a number of key areas. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is another competitor, but its unflattering "D" rating from Edmunds should give shoppers pause.
Standard safety features for the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, trailer-sway control, hill start assist, and front and rear parking sensors. The complement of airbags includes front airbags, front knee airbags, front- and second-row side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, plus active front head restraints.
Advanced safety features include a surround-view camera, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision alert and mitigation with pedestrian detection, and Toyota's Safety Connect emergency telematics system.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser is an eight-passenger SUV that is offered in one fully loaded trim level with no available options. Standard features include 18-inch cast aluminum wheels, automatic LED headlights, automatic high beams, LED running lights and foglights, power-folding and auto-dimming outside mirrors, automatic wipers, a sunroof, a roof rack, a rear spoiler, rocker-sill passenger steps, underbody skid plates, a tow hitch receiver with wiring harness, adaptive cruise control, and keyless entry and ignition.
Within the cabin, you get four-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage-door opener, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory functions, an eight-way power front-passenger seat, heated 40/20/40-split folding second-row seats, 50/50-split folding third-row seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 120-volt household power outlet.
Standard technology features include a 9-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with Toyota's Entune app suite, a wireless charging pad, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a surround-view camera system (with selectable front, side and rear views of the exterior), a rear-seat DVD entertainment system (with two screens, HDMI input and two wireless headphones), and a 14-speaker JBL audio system with a CD player, satellite and HD radio, Siri Eyes Free control and USB-iPhone input.
Powering the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser is a 5.7-liter V8 that produces 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels, while a two-speed transfer case allows you to configure the drivetrain for cruising the highway at freeway speed or crawling along a slippery road at a walking pace.
Other hardware that enhances off-road performance includes Toyota's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (this decouples the stabilizer bars for greater wheel articulation), Multi-Terrain Select (it adjusts stability and traction control settings to specific road surfaces, as in dirt, mud or snow), a five-speed crawl control, hill start assist and Off-Road Turn Assist (it applies brakes to the inside wheels in a corner to make a tighter turn).
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 15 mpg combined (13 city/18 highway), which is below average for the class. Maximum towing capacity is an impressive 8,100 pounds.
When an SUV has real off-road capability, you typically expect that it comes at the expense of on-road manners. Such is not the case with the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser.
On pavement, the Land Cruiser is always very civilized. The ride quality is smooth, and the cabin is quiet. The 5.7-liter V8 emits a pleasing rumble when prodded, and there's plenty of power whenever you need it. Steering is precise, although effort required by the steering wheel can be somewhat heavy, as you’d expect from a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Because suspension compliance is the secret to good traction, you’ll feel the body of the Land Cruiser roll noticeably in fast corners, yet this big SUV feels reassuringly planted on the pavement in nearly any situation.
Thanks in part to 8.9 inches of ground clearance, the Toyota Land Cruiser can ford streams as much as 27.5 inches deep. Moreover, the Land Cruiser can crawl over steep terrain where only a Jeep Wrangler or a Land Rover would dare to tread, thanks to Toyota high-tech trickery to enhance traction that includes the KDSS suspension system and the Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. With off-road traction optimized to the rapid-fire clicks of solenoids being actuated in the brake system, the driver can concentrate on steering. And when the adventure is over, the driver can drive home again in perfect comfort.
The 2017 Land Cruiser features an interior that is nicer than the average Toyota, with top-quality materials and lots of high-tech items. The overall impression is short of luxury-vehicle standards, but if that's what you're looking for, the similar Lexus LX 570 should satisfy.
With the exception of the rather long reach to the central touchscreen, the Entune system is easy to use and has a wealth of apps to keep you entertained and informed. The rear entertainment system ensures that other passengers have plenty to keep them occupied as well.
Front seats have ample cushioning and support for all-day comfort. Second-row passengers enjoy heated seats that can slide fore and aft to increase legroom. The third-row seats fold out from the sides of the cabin, and the expected lack of legroom makes them suitable for smaller passengers only.
Overall cargo capacity is smaller than you’ll find in other SUVs. Behind the third-row seats, there is only some 16 cubic feet of cargo volume. Behind the second-row seats, you’ll find just 43 cubic feet of space because the third-row seats flip to the side rather than stow beneath the floor. Once the second- and third-row seats are stowed, 82 cubic feet of cargo volume is available.
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.