Wherever there is a magnificent landscape, wide-open deserts or rugged terrain, there is sure to be a Toyota Land Cruiser. If any car should enjoy a global reputation as the ultimate go-anywhere vehicle, it is this one. This is no flash-in-the-pan success either, the Land Cruiser has a status built on its formidable performance in the world’s toughest environments for more than 60 years.
This big SUV has developed throughout that time, progressively harnessing new technologies that extend its considerable capabilities, both on-road and off. It is as popular as ever as can be seen here on MHH and continues to increase customer appeal in terms of styling, equipment, comfort and practicality. The model featured in our images is the version introduced in 2014. Of course, it goes without saying that the specification and trim levels can change for various parts of the world but basically this car is the same wherever it is.
Over time, Toyota have introduced a series of improvements that give the Land Cruiser new styling, an improved interior and revised handling, especially for the 2014 model year seen here. The reworked styling preserves the model’s always recognisable identity.
Toyota has introduced a more prominent grille that marks an evolution of the traditional arrangement of five parallel vertical bars, giving them a stronger appearance and sinking them into the upper edge of the new, deeper front bumper. According to model grade, the bars have a metallic or silver finish. Other features have been streamlined to keep the design fresh but, importantly, the approach and ramp-break-over angles remain the same with the wheelbase and rear overhang remaining unchanged.
From this model year onward the Toyota Land Cruiser’s cabin gains new trims and detailing that raise the overall quality. The dashboard has been redesigned with a focus on making the vehicle’s drive systems easier to access and monitor. The centre console gains a new switch panel that brings together the controls for the on and off-road driving technologies. These include a new selector dial for the five-mode Multi-Terrain Select and five-step Crawl Control, flanked by switches for the all-wheel drive and Adaptive Variable Suspension.
The vehicle also gains 4.2” TFT colour screen, set between the main meters in the driver’s instrument binnacle. The choice of function has been extended to include an angle gauge, traction control operation on each wheel and the status of the differential locks. The driver can select the screen functions using steering wheel controls and there are additional new options including tyre pressure warning, headlamp levelling, traction control “off” confirmation and Blind Spot Monitor alerts. The comprehensive safety provisions on Land Cruiser will be extended with the availability of Toyota’s Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems.
In the five-door variant, access to the third row seats has been made easier by increasing the folding angle of the second row seats. Seat upholstery has also been upgraded with double stitching for cloth and contrast colour stitching for leather.
On The Road
The Land Cruiser continues to benefit from the classic body-on-frame construction that helps define its exceptional off-road ability. This ruggedness doesn’t mean a sacrifice in the kind of comfort customers require for day-to-driving and Toyota has gone further, making details adjustments to the suspension to achieve an even better balance of stability and ride quality. Engine specifications can vary but most Land Cruiser buyers will have the option of the proven 188bhp 3.0L turbo-diesel engine matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. In some regions either a 2.8L turbo-diesel or a 4.5L V8 TD are also available.
Whichever variant is selected owners know that this car is designed to be dependable. For a solid off-road performer the car drives reasonably well on road with well controlled body lean but owners understand that there has to be a compromise. That said, anyone looking for a car that does it all, then look no further than the Toyota Land Cruiser.