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2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Overview
The traditional terrain-taming, safari-leading, mountain-molding vehicle of choice remains Toyota’s eminently capable Land Cruiser. For 2014 this bruiser of a cruiser returns with the usual load of posh creature comforts and appearance features, head-turning off-road abilities and an astronomical price tag. MSRP aside, though, look for 8-passenger seating (in 3 rows) with this 5-door full-size SUV, along with the ability to climb (almost) every mountain, ford quasi-wide streams, hump up to 81.7 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded and tow up to 8,500 pounds of trailer. Don’t, however, expect to use this up-sized gas-guzzling behemoth as your daily commuter during perfect weather or for spontaneous trips to the mall on pleasant summer evenings unless you live deep in the Maine woods or at the top of the Rocky Mountains.
Anyhow, this sizable sport ute, available in only the well-equipped 4-wheel-drive-toting (4WD) Base trim, returns essentially unchanged from 2013, while its reintroduction after taking the 2012 model year off saw all the various options available to this hefty Toyota delivered as standard equipment.
Again packing a variable-valve-timed 5.7-liter V8 powerplant, the 2014 Land Cruiser returns under the management of a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission that allows an impressive 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Mileage is not so impressive, however, at 13 mpg city/18 highway. The full-time 4WD system, meanwhile, boasts a locking rear differential and electronic hi-lo gear selection, as well as a 5-speed crawl control feature for some serious rock-climbing ability, not to mention a bit more on-road agility.
Standard appearance bling remains 18-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, step running boards, a trailer hitch and wiring, and a roof rack, not to mention heated power-adjustable and reverse-tilt mirrors. Inside, look for leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, reclining rear seats, cooled storage, memory for driver's settings, and simulated wood and simulated alloy interior accents.
Convenience doodads again include adaptive cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, an omni-directional camera, remote garage door opener and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, not to mention front and rear parking sensors.
Four-zone automatic climate control, meanwhile, is complemented by Toyota’s Bluetooth-integrated Entune infotainment system, boasting a dashboard-mounted LCD screen. Finally, the 2014 Land Cruiser also flaunts a touchscreen-interfaced hard-drive-based navigation suite that melds well with the 605-watt JBL premium audio system sporting 14 speakers, a video monitor and satellite radio.
Dealer-installed accessories, meantime, include remote engine start, alloy wheel locks, paint protection film and a few cargo management items.
As with its 2013 version, this year’s Land Cruiser boasts such noteworthy standard safety features as 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, 3-row head airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Lesser safety stuff includes turn-signal-integrated mirrors, front fog/driving lights, daytime running lights and high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, not to mention pre- and post-collision safety systems, and Entune-generated emergency alerts and communications, as well as a remote antitheft alarm.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.