2018 Toyota Land Cruiser

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser SUV Review

The 2018 Land Cruiser caters to a well-off few who value off-road adventures with the family.
4 star edmunds overall rating
author
by James Riswick
Edmunds Editor

The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is a vehicle intended to go literally anywhere. Any terrain, any climate, any country — it can handle it. Warning stickers inside are even printed in English, Japanese, Russian and Arabic, driving the point across that it can be used by any adventurous driver.

Its immense capabilities stem from a stout body-on-frame chassis, full-time four-wheel drive, Toyota's bag of off-road tech tricks and a strong V8 engine. All of this is further backed up by a legendary and hard-earned reputation for reliability based on decades of service in every corner of the world.

So whether you're traversing a glacier in Iceland or oven-baked sand in Death Valley, the Land Cruiser will get the job done. It also does this while cosseting you in a leather-lined, fully loaded cabin that makes this Toyota a fully fledged luxury vehicle.

However, if the only terrain you intend to cross is the local interstate and perhaps a Costco parking lot, the Land Cruiser doesn't make any sense. It gets only 15 mpg in combined city and highway driving, which is terrible even by full-size SUV standards. It's big, heavy and has slow steering, reducing its maneuverability and compromising its on-road handling relative to a large crossover.

Then there's the cabin — the second row is mounted a bit too low for comfort and its otherwise hilarious degree of recline is reduced to almost nil when the third-row seats are folded up against the cargo area walls. And, yes, that means the third row doesn't fold into the floor. It, therefore, still takes up cargo space when not in place, and when it is, it's not as if many humans will be able to comfortably fit back there or easily reach it. "Compromised" would be the word to sum it up best.

But, for a select few, the 2018 Land Cruiser is an absolutely perfect tool for their adventurous lifestyles.



what's new

The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is unchanged.

we recommend

The 2018 Land Cruiser comes fully loaded apart from a rear-seat entertainment system. It's likely something you can skip if you use tablets and other devices to keep your family entertained.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is an eight-passenger luxury SUV offered in one fully loaded trim level. Every Land Cruiser also comes with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. It is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a full-time four-wheel-drive system.

Other off-roading components include a locking center differential, Toyota's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS, a decoupling stabilizer bar), Crawl Control (a low-speed off-road cruise control), Multi-Terrain Select (off-road vehicle settings), hill start assist, skid plates and tow hooks.

Standard exterior equipment includes 18-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting, automatic high beams, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, a windshield wiper de-icer, roof rails, running boards, and an integrated towing hitch receiver and wiring harness.

Inside, you get a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory functions, 40/20/40-split second-row seats (folds, reclines and slides), 50/50-split third-row seats, a heated power-adjustable steering wheel, and a cooler box under the front center armrest.

Tech features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, a surround-view parking camera system, wireless smartphone charging, a USB port, a 9-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, a navigation system, voice controls, Toyota's Entune smartphone app suite, and a 14-speaker JBL sound system with a CD player and satellite radio.

The only factory option is a rear-seat entertainment system that includes two display screens mounted to the front seatbacks.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser (5.7L V8 | 8-speed automatic | 4WD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

4.5 / 5.0

Acceleration4.0 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering4.5 / 5.0
Handling5.0 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5.0
Climate control4.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.5 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Driving position4.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility3.5 / 5.0
Quality5.0 / 5.0

Utility

3.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0
Cargo space3.0 / 5.0

Technology

3.0 / 5.0

Audio & navigation3.0 / 5.0
Smartphone integration2.5 / 5.0
Driver aids4.5 / 5.0
Voice control3.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The Land Cruiser is near the top of the class in most performance categories. Power is ample, and braking power is excellent. This SUV is also highly capable off-road, as you'd expect. It's also surprisingly nice to drive around town.

acceleration

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There's plenty of power from the big V8. It propels the Land Cruiser from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 7.4 seconds. Gas pedal inputs are easy to judge, which helps the driver maintain a smooth ride off-road.

braking

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The brakes are powerful, though you have to push the pedal down quite a bit before you get much slowdown. Toyota tuned it this way to help smooth out braking when off-roading or towing, but it does require extra anticipation during normal driving.

steering

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Remarkably precise steering compared to other SUVs of this size. It's generally easy to feel what the front tires are doing, and there's a handy tire direction display that helps in low-speed off-roading situations.

handling

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Body roll is minimal even on tight mountain roads thanks to the Land Cruiser's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS). As big traditional SUVs go, this one feels surprisingly stable and agreeable on asphalt.

drivability

edmunds rating
Overall, the Land Cruiser is an easy SUV to drive. Initial throttle response is touchy, which can make it hard to execute smooth takeoffs. The transmission also wants to upshift into top gear as soon as possible to save fuel, which can be a little annoying.

comfort

edmunds rating
All-day seat comfort and a quiet ride are two of the Land Cruiser's strongest points. Considering its capabilities off-road, this Toyota is surprisingly comfortable on the road. The cabin is subject to jostling by strong crosswinds, though, and bigger bumps can be unsettling.

seat comfort

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Front seat comfort is excellent. The driver's seat is supportive and highly adjustable. Passenger seats are nearly as accommodating, though the second row is a bit low. The third row is too small for comfort.

ride comfort

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The Land Cruiser rolls smoothly over most road imperfections. There is some bounce over larger dips, but nothing dramatic or more than expected. Driving over sharp-edged bumps can shake the cabin, but this is the exception, not the rule. In general, there's little to complain about.

noise & vibration

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Some V8 rumble can be heard during acceleration, but we enjoy the sound. At cruising speeds, engine noise is nearly imperceptible. The cabin is well-isolated from wind noise and road noise.

climate control

edmunds rating
Four-zone climate control is standard, and the air conditioning is powerful. The front seats are cooled and heated; the rear seats are heated. You can control the rear zones from up front, but it is not easy to customize the rear fan speed or temperature from the front. Use the rear controls.

interior

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The large door openings and chunky grab handles help people climb in and out, and they'll find lots of space once they're inside. The controls are easy to understand, but the centrally located touchscreen may require a reach.

ease of use

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The most oft-used levers, switches and knobs are well-placed and clearly labeled. The center stack is nicely laid out, too, but the cabin is so wide that the touchscreen and many nearby centrally located controls require a long arm or a good stretch to reach.

getting in/getting out

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The usual SUV difficulties apply. You'll climb up and in, but there are grab handles and running boards to help with this. The doors open wide, and the openings are big.

driving position

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The Land Cruiser has a tall, commanding driving position, and the highly adjustable seat and tilt wheel should help most settle in nicely. But long-legged drivers may wish for more seat travel and steering-wheel telescopic range.

roominess

edmunds rating
Generous head-, legroom and elbow room in the first two rows of the cabin. Middle-row occupants may have it best with a sliding and reclining split bench and a flat floor that lets them sprawl however they want. The third row is less roomy, especially in the legroom department.

visibility

edmunds rating
The large windshield and side windows give excellent outward views all around. But the Land Cruiser's front corners are far off and can be difficult for shorter drivers to judge. Thankfully, a surround-view camera is standard. The rear window is partially blocked when the third row seat is deployed.

quality

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Interior materials consist of quality leather, soft-touch surfaces and aesthetically pleasing graining throughout. No squeaks, rattles or odd panel gaps. This is an exceedingly well-built automobile.

utility

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The nonremovable, side-folding third row is a big hindrance to capacity, but this is still a decent-size cargo area. It has good towing features and a strong tow rating. The split liftgate is handy for tailgating and loading, but it can make accessing deep cargo difficult. A fair trade-off.

small-item storage

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The door pockets are deep but narrow. Larger insulated bottles will be a tough fit. The front-seat cupholders are shallow; avoid top-heavy insulated mugs. The standard cold box under the front center armrest is deep with a shallow tray integrated into the lid. The glovebox is deep and has a shelf.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Cargo capacity is 16.1 cubic feet with all seats in use. The third row splits 50/50 and hugs the sides; the middle row splits 60/40 and tumbles forward, resulting in a flat, narrow load floor. The small lower tailgate can be used as a cargo fence or a bench, but it can lengthen the reach inside.

child safety seat accomodation

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Anchor points are easy to find, but they're deep underneath leather flaps. Outboard seats have easily accessed top tethers, but the middle-seat tether point is at the bottom of the seat back. A seating position with an installed seat will disable tumble-forward access to the third row on that side.

technology

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Phone integration isn't as smooth as it could be, but the audio system is strong and the optional rear seat entertainment system is impressive. The advanced driver safety aids are useful.

audio & navigation

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The 14-speaker JBL system sounds crisp, with a bias toward the treble range. The touchscreen interface is basically the same as the upgrade unit found in other Toyotas, but with a larger display. The colors do not wash out in direct light, but the graphics are not as crisp as in newer systems.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
Phones can connect via Bluetooth or USB, but full integration requires the installation and use of Toyota's Entune app. There is one USB port, one audio jack and a Qi wireless charger in a small cubby. The wireless charging pad isn't big enough for large-format phones.

driver aids

edmunds rating
Standard gear includes all-speed adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert, blind-spot detection, parking sensors and a 360-degree camera system. Off-road driver aids include multiterrain, four-wheel active traction control and crawl control.

voice control

edmunds rating
Toyota's standard voice recognition system is acceptable as long as you're using the right commands in the correct sequence. Siri Eyes Free is a compromise that lets you interface with Siri without the graphic elements of Apple CarPlay.

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.