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2010 Toyota Land Cruiser

Jeff Glucker August 26, 2010 Road Test Reviews, Toyota Reviews 23 Comments

There are some great, classic car names out there. The people who crafted those names did so to invoke images in your head. The Mustang makes me think of a wild, bucking rear axle horse that needs to be tamed. The Skyline hammers home an image of twisting Japanese roads climbing through the clouds. When I read the name Land Cruiser, the idea of a person being able to spin a globe, stop it with their finger, and have a vehicle in their driveway that can take them there, is conjured up crisp and clear.

A sense of what is possible is important to me when looking at at a vehicle. I may never cross a large desert to rescue a kidnapped loved one, but if I had a Land Cruiser in the driveway I would know it would be possible should this situation arise. There is a low probability that I will need to ford a flooded stream in Vietnam to bring much needed supplies to local villagers, but I would feel comfortable with the knowledge that my Land Cruiser would be up to the task. The Toyota Land Cruiser has been in production since 1954 and entered into its 10th generation (the 200 Series) with a total redesign  for the 2008 model year. Like most aging automaker staples it is bigger, heavier, and fitted with items to please a customer base looking more to please their neighbors than themselves. Is the intrepid explorer still hiding underneath the Sequoia-esque skin or has the 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser hung up its pith helmet?

The 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser is a full-size luxury SUV. It can seat eight passengers, has a four-zone climate control system, a 14-speaker audio system, and features a rear-seat DVD entertainment system which displays on a nine-inch ceiling mounted display. It’s also the most powerful Land Cruiser ever built. Under the hood sits a 5.7L V8 engine which produces 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Peak torque occurs at 3,600 rpm with 90% of it available at just 2,200 rpm. The power is routed through a six-speed automatic transmission which utilizes a two-speed transfer case and  full-time 4WD system with a Torsen locking center differential. This might just be a case of a beauty (interior comfort) who is also a 5,688 lb beast (capability).

Have you ever driven a boat? Then you have experienced the sensation of piloting a Land Cruiser. There is plenty of power on tap, but I have to stay alert so I know when to use it and when to get on the brakes. It doesn’t wallow as much as I thought it would and the overall ride is quite comfortable but there is no masking the size and weight. Regardless, acceleration feels surprisingly quick. So quick in fact, that the Land Cruiser can go from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. A practically shocking figure since it is almost two seconds faster than the previous generation Land Cruiser.

The exterior styling may be straying from the straight-forward looks of generations prior but the running gear is there. Is it more important to drop a few visual pounds from the exterior curves or feel confident that this SUV isn’t afraid to play in the sand? The Land Cruiser is built on a global platform and it needs to perform in a wide range of climates. However, it is also a popular pick for the upper class set which uses it to traverse the Whole Foods parking lot and return safely home with a few cases of South African Pinotage. Like their taste in wine, their decision to handcuff a capable giant and relegate it to Point-A-Point-B servitude is disheartening. In short, it needs to be appealing to a wide audience and this is not an easy task.

The Land Cruiser’s adept mechanical features help mitigate hard terrain. However, the interior environment transforms a harsh journey into a pleasure cruise. From the power-adjustable and heated front seats back through the 2nd and third row, comfort is providing a course in Economics 101 – supply exceeds demand. If you removed the wheels and parked it in downtown Manhattan, you could rent it out as the Toyota Luxury Studio Cruiser. It’s roomy, comfortable, and has up to date technology in the form of bluetooth connectivity, voice-activated navigation, and a crisp, JBL Synthesis audio system.

In a world where products change to suit the needs of the buying public, some beloved automotive icons stray from their original paths. The 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser has bloated and bland exterior styling and can easily be mistaken for the less interesting Sequoia. However, it’s merely wearing an ill-fitting jogging suit while hiding the capable body just underneath. All that ability does come at a price though. The 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser starts at $65,970 and the one you see here will cost you $74,099. That is tons of money for what people will think is a standard grocery/kid hauler. It seems high but it makes sense to me. Stop looking at it like a run of the mill luxo-behemoth and peer into its soul. It can stare down Land Rovers and make them shake till something (inevitably) breaks. It can look at Jeeps and laugh at their minivan engines. This vehicle has heritage and though it is hard to see that in the current lines hiding the goods, it’s still there. Hopefully the 200-series Land Cruiser owner will understand what they have…a vehicle which can not only stir emotions with a name, but actually go out and traverse the planet.

  • Even with the minivan engine, you could still buy two new and have extra left to buy a third used one as a beater. Holy crap is that a lot of money for a Toyota.

    • It's TONS of money…and the only way it makes sense is to compare it to a Land Rover.

      • So it's the top of the line luxury for a Toyota without being their luxury brand.. I agree, the only thing you can compare it to is a Land Rover, but it's just SO HUGE. By proportion and price it's pushed into the realm of the former glory H2 or the Excursion…

      • FTGDHoonEdition

        They should have stuck a Lexus snob badge on it instead, or have they already? Isn't the GX basically the same as the LC? Or are there any substantial changes?

        • The GX is actually more closely related to the Sequoia.
          The LX is the Lexus Land Cruiser

    • Møbius

      Expensive alright. I mean, who does Toyota think they are to be selling a 70 grand vehicle without a new badge? Volkswagen?

      But both 70 grands will get you an insane, crazy, completely inappropriately badged monster in sheep's clothing.

  • huesos350

    become an overstuffed pig is all i can say..

  • It doesn't matter how up to date the Toyota, you'll still find a vacuum-flourescent display in there somewhere. I've always had a soft spot for the Landcruiser, I'd have a 2 door FJ70 with a modern diesel and those crazy windows you wind yourself.

  • That cost is simply absurd. It's neither lux enough nor rugged/capable enough to justify $75k.

    Want utility? Buy a G-Wagen
    (or a fleet of modified used Jeeps)

    Want luxury performance? Buy a Range Rover Supercharged
    (or a proper sports sedan/wagon)

    This thing still seems to ascribe to the mid-90s SUV mindset of "here's a truck with 1000% more capability than you'll ever use, leather and inappropriate wheels/tires, sold as a luxury vehicle". No thank you.

    • SSurfer321

      Alex, I'll take AMG G-Wagon for the win.

      • Møbius

        So the choice is basically soccer mom or soccer star?

  • SSurfer321
    • SSurfer321

      I know that my previous post appears blank. My mother taught me that if I didn't have anything nice to say…

  • Maymar

    I shouldn't like this, but I'm charmed by something so absurdly expensive and capable that it only really makes sense in a few Arab nations.

  • gearhead

    That's not Whole foods, it's the parking lot at Auto Club Speedway… an equally ironic place to shoot an "off-roader."

  • Møbius

    A Land Cruiser review isn't complete until you've been to Whole Foods, then driven into the centre of the Sahara to drink a bottle of "organic" water, then driven to the middle of the Amazon for a "wholemeal" "free-range" egg sandwich, and ramming a few trees in Birmingham on the way there.

    But, of course, I may have been hallucinating an imaginary Toyota ad after watching Mad Men.

    Oh, and take up two spaces on the Whole Foods parking lot. Asshat.

  • omg_grip

    Am I the only one who didnt realize that this was still being made?

    All I ever see any more are 4 runners and Sequoias. I dont think I have ever seen one of these. I do see a lot of the Lexus clone though.

    • Mr_Biggles

      I would have said the same thing. However if I look at the picture long enough and close my eyes, I think I've been seeing them but not connecting with the Land Cruiser name/legend.

      6.5 seconds is pretty impressive, but not so much $74K. Do you think they are going on the assumption that the original Land Cruiser demographic has grown up, matured, and now works a higher paying job?

  • Super D

    The ruined the vehicle with that new exterior.

  • Great thinking! That really braeks the mold!

    • I feel sisatfied after reading that one.

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