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Vehicles are designed to do all sorts of things, but it can be hard to find a vehicle that seems like it can do it all. The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is one of those standout vehicles, and it's a unique model for a few reasons. It has great capability, a sophisticated and spacious cabin, and plenty of high-tech features. This makes it just as ideal for regular commutes to the office as it is for taking passengers on rugged expeditions far off the beaten path.
There are two available trims, the first of which is simply called the Land Cruiser. The more premium trim is called the Heritage Edition, and it has several upgrades on the exterior and inside the cabin.
What's New for 2021?
For the most part, the 2021 Land Cruiser is the same as its predecessor. The technology and safety packages remain unchanged, as do the interior and exterior features. The most notable change is seen in the Heritage Edition. In the past, it was only offered as a two-row SUV, but now it has an available third row of seating. This can really broaden its appeal. In addition, there are two new exterior paint choices (Classic Silver and Magnetic Gray) for the Heritage Trim.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser – The Pros
1. A Powerful SUV
The Land Cruiser is powered by a V8 engine with a displacement of 5.7 liters. Having such a large engine means that the Toyota is very capable. With 381 horsepower, the SUV offers up an exciting drive. It comes with 401 pound-feet of torque, so a driver can definitely feel the power every time he/she steps on the gas pedal. The eight-speed transmission is a nice match for the engine, and driving is smooth and responsive at various speeds.
2. Ready to Leave the Pavement Behind
Standard on the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is a four-wheel drive system that is always working. This allows handling to be improved, especially when the SUV is turning around corners. The main reason why there's a full-time 4WD system is to improve traction in slippery conditions. When the rear wheels, for example, are having a tough time gripping the surface of the road or trail, the front wheels can do their part to move the vehicle forward. Toyota has put in a high-quality drivetrain into its Land Cruisers, choosing to incorporate a system with a Torsen limited-slip center differential that can be locked when necessary.
3. Towing Isn't a Problem
Some people interested in full-size SUVs are planning on using their vehicles to tow cargo. The Land Cruiser can certainly handle this responsibility, as it comes standard with a towing hitch receiver, wiring harness, and connectors. Its powerful engine gives it a towing capacity of 8,100. This is close to or greater than the towing capacity of many trucks and most SUVs. Motorbikes, ATVs, work equipment, and more can be hauled around town or taken on longer trips.
4. Load Up the Cabin
As mentioned, the Toyota Land Cruiser can be configured with three rows of seats. Being able to drive around more than five people is really important for a large segment of consumers, so having eight seats helps the Land Cruiser stand out.
Behind all of those seats is a cargo area with a volume of 16.1 cubic feet. Lowering the third row expands cargo volume to over 41 cubic feet, and there's nearly 83 cubic feet of space when all of the rear seats are folded down. Providing a simple way to access the back of the vehicle is a power-operated liftgate. If people have larger items, like skis or bikes, they can take advantage of the Toyota's roof rails.
5. An Advanced Infotainment System
These days, all of the vehicle manufacturers are trying to appeal to consumers with their infotainment packages. The Land Cruiser comes with a premium system that includes a nine-inch touchscreen. People can enjoy listening to crisp and clear sounds, thanks to a 14-speaker system using JBL components. The multimedia system comes with SiriusXM Satellite Radio to provide more listening options, and wireless charging can be really convenient to use. The integrated navigation program can give people turn-by-turn directions and save them from having to look down at the maps on their phones.
6. Safety Is a Priority
Toyota is known for installing comprehensive safety systems into its vehicles, and with the Land Cruiser, it has been no different. The Land Cruiser comes with a suite of components that can take an active role in protecting people. Not only does the SUV monitor the situation and warn people about potential problems, but it can also take preventative measures. For instance, it can hit the brakes on its own to try to prevent a frontal collision.
7. LEDs in So Many Places
The Daytime Running Lights on the Land Cruiser use LED technology, as do the front fog lights and projector-beam headlights. LEDs are also at the rear of the vehicle in the stop lights and taillights. In general, LEDs shine bright and add to the futuristic feel of the SUV, so they're seen as desirable elements on vehicles. On the inside of the Toyota, LEDs are used in the accent lighting and map lights for the rear passengers.
8. Premium Materials
Both trims of the Land Cruiser can give passengers a treat, thanks to perforated leather seats. Customers can choose from leather that is a sleek, modern black or a more earthy Terra color. In the Heritage Edition, the seats are more sophisticated with a bronze stitching, and they're complemented by a black headliner. In both trims, the steering wheel is also wrapped in leather, and it includes a heating element to help combat those cold winter mornings. Front seats are heated in addition to being ventilated.
9. Get a Bird's Eye View
One fun feature in the Land Cruiser is a bird's eye view camera. It gives people a top-down perspective of how the SUV is doing in comparison to objects around it. Having the ability to see all around the vehicle can be make it much easier to park in tight spots. It can also be useful when people are parallel parking and trying to get close, but not too close, to the curb.
10. Rear-Seat Entertainment
If anyone is planning on taking the Land Cruiser on long road trips with a full cabin, it may be a good idea to opt for the available rear-seat entertainment package. It comes with two display screens that each measure 11.6 inches. The video feed can come through RCA jacks, HDMI inputs, or a DVD using the included DVD player. A remote and wireless headphones are also included.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser – The Cons
1. Very Expensive
The reality of the situation is that the Land Cruiser costs much more than most people can afford. Its starting price is almost $85,500, which is far beyond what the average consumer would consider a reasonable cost of a new car. The Heritage Edition has more benefits, along with a starting price of nearly $88,000. The adage of "You get what you pay for" holds true, but there are many attractive and capable SUVs in the market that are much more affordable than the Land Cruiser.
2. Guzzles Gas
The Land Cruiser's V8 engine may make driving fun, but at the same time, it needs a lot of gasoline to keep running. Estimated mileage is only 13/17 (city/highway) miles per gallon. It will be quite expensive to keep up with gasoline needs.
3. Smaller Third Row
One of the Land Cruiser's defining features is its third row. Some may be disappointed to learn that the third row only has 28.3 inches of leg room. It's probably best to have children sit in the back; in fact, many adults simply won't fit there.
4. Some High-Tech Features are Lacking
While the Land Cruiser has many impressive components, it doesn't have everything that some of its competitors have. For example, some vehicles have parking systems that can actually take over the steering, and others have automatic reverse braking that prevents drivers from hitting objects behind them. Unfortunately, these aren't found in the Toyota.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser vs 2021 Lexus LX
The Lexus LX is a little more expensive than the Land Cruiser, as the three-row version of the Lexus costs more than $91,000. If the fuel efficiency is a little disappointing, the LX does even worse in this regard. Many people who like the ruggedness of these vehicles may choose to go with Toyota, a more practical brand with slightly different exterior stylings than its luxury counterpart.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser vs 2021 Land Rover Range Rover
As a classic example of a durable, adventurous SUV, the Range Rover is well known in the industry. While it feels upscale and has a lot of capability, the Range Rover doesn't have the three rows of seats that the Land Cruiser has. Also, the Land Cruiser edges out the Range Rover in terms of towing capacity and cost.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is built for people who love adventure and have the money to fund their pursuits. Its price tag of over $85,000 puts it in the same category as the elites in the industry, and this cost is an indicator of how many features are included in the vehicle. If someone loves to be surrounded by luxury and needs a full-size SUV to handle what they have planned, the Land Cruiser would be a great choice.
• Why buy a 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser? w/ pros vs cons