Land Cruiser

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2009 Toyota Land Cruiser Overview

Carried over from a major revamp in 2008, the 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser stays the course. This offroad-ready, full-size luxury SUV gets terrible gas mileage and costs a lot, but offers plenty of passenger room, high-end comfort, and admirable performance around town or off the beaten track.

The Land Cruiser seats up to eight people in three rows, with comfortable head and legroom for all but the third row. This last row suits children better than adults, especially on long trips. Adults have little foot space and might find their knees pressing into their jaws. The front captain's chairs and second-row 40/20/40 bench slide fore and aft and recline. The third row splits 50/50. All passengers get cupholders, with 12 in total. Second-row inhabitants have their own audio and climate controls. The cargo area expands from 16 to 82 cubic feet. The third row stows to the side, requiring a lot of effort to remove the headrests, fold over the seats, and then swing them flush against the side doors. This type of system narrows the cargo space, while the folded seats create additional blind spots to the side.

Available in only one trim, the 2009 Land Cruiser might be a rugged SUV, but it treats its passengers with luxury-like comfort. Some of the standard features include power front seats with memory settings, leather upholstery, wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, power windows, locks, and heated folding mirrors, push-button ignition, and a sunroof. A 6-CD changer plays over a JBL 14-speaker sound system. An MP3 jack is included. Leather and faux wood add an upscale air to the cabin. Plenty of interior storage can be found in overhead and center consoles and a two-tier glovebox. A roof rack adds more storage capacity.

Equipped with full-time automatic four-wheel drive with both high- and low-range gearing and a center locking and limited-slip differential, the 2009 Land Cruiser offers the versatility of offroad performance. It features 9 inches of ground clearance and comes with skid plates. An automatic air suspension raises and lowers the suspension to adjust to ground conditions. Powering the SUV is a 5.7-liter V8 paired with a six-speed automatic with overdrive. They deliver 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 RPM and can tow up to 8,500 pounds. However, as expected, fuel economy rates about 13/18 mpg. Front and rear tow hooks are standard, and the Land Cruiser rides on 18-inch alloy wheels.

Not yet tested for safety, given Toyota's strong reputation, the Land Cruiser should rank well. It comes with a long list of equipment, including four-wheel ABS brakes, hill start assist, and CRAWL control, which features three different speed settings for going downhill. Traction and stability control, active front head restraints, and a total of ten airbags (dual front, front side, and side curtain for all three rows) round out the list. Parking sensors help mitigate the rear blind spots. A rearview camera is available, but only bundled with the optional navigation system.

Reviewers find the 2009 Land Cruiser pricier than expected for a Toyota, with disappointing fuel economy and a need for a bit more horsepower. However, the roomy cabin and luxury feel, along with a smooth and extremely quiet ride, lend an air of high-class comfort to the drive. The Cruiser also exhibits car-like maneuverability, with a tight turning radius and precise handling. Its main problems seem to be the small third row, the awkward folding of the rear seats, and the lack of running boards to help shorter people climb into the full-size SUV.

Updated by Anonymous

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Toyota Land Cruiser Questions

Third Row Seats Removal

I just traded my 2005 Land Cruiser in for a 2009. I took my third row seats out when I bought and put them back when I sold it. I was disappointed to see that the 2009 does not "easily" removable se...

Fuel Guage Read Out

Have a 2009/200 series sahara with sub tank. Gauges and read out show I am running low on fuel after approx. 700ks. No warning light. Attaining between 10 and 12 litres/100ks. Toyota dealer says all e...