2015 Toyota Land Cruiser Review

Land Cruiser

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2015 Toyota Land Cruiser Overview

When folks are talking about luxurious off-road adventures—meaning rock-climbing, gully-traversing, sand-shushing, ultra-backwoods bushwhacking, all that—Toyota’s Land Cruiser usually enters the conversation. For 2015, this 8-passenger full-size body-on-frame sport ute sports no significant changes. Thus, for the upcoming model year, this hefty hauler still comes in a single trim, still boasts V8 power, again sports standard part-time 4-wheel drive (4WD) and can be loaded with up to 81.7 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded.

Alas, also returning in the 2015 Land Cruiser is a super-hefty MSRP, not to mention abysmal gas mileage and a choppy ride on asphalt that isn’t helped by loose steering and top-heavy handling. This heavy hauler’s main rivals, meanwhile, include Toyota’s own (and much cheaper) Sequoia, Lexus’s LX 570 and, of course, Land Rover’s legendary Range Rover.

As mentioned, the 2015 Land Cruiser returns powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine that combines with the traditional 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission for 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Towing remains maxed out at 8,200 pounds with the delivered trailer-towing equipment, while EPA-estimated mileage returns at a wallet-whacking 13 mpg city/18 highway.

In any case, regarding the 4WD system, the 2015 Land Cruiser packs a traditional 2-speed transfer case, locking limited-slip center differential and auto-locking hubs. It then adds to the usual setup with an off-road-tuned hydraulic suspension, VGRS optimized steering response, Multi-Terrain Monitoring and Multi-Terrain Select, whereby the driver can select from one of 4 terrain-taming traction modes: Rock, Rock & Dirt, Loose Rock and Mud & Sand. Yeah, that’s why this trail-blazing Toyota gets the nod when the going gets tough.

But all is not rock climbing and river-bed roaming with this tough-guy Toyota. Returning standard appearance goodies include 18-inch alloy wheels, side steps, a power moonroof, skid plates, a trailer hitch and wiring, a rear spoiler and a roof rack. Inside, things get truly decadent with stuff like leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, reclining second-row seats, memory for driver’s settings and full power accessories. Adaptive cruise control with front-collision mitigation braking also returns, as do telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a remote garage door opener, front-, rear- and side-view cameras, front and rear parking sensors and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. All of this, meantime, is complemented by leather, simulated wood and simulated alloy cabin accents.

Techno-wise, expect hard-drive-based navigation and Bluetooth-integrated Entune infotainment (now with Smartphone apps) to return in 2015, with said upgraded Entune interfaced with a 605-watt JBL audio system boasting 14 speakers, a single-CD player, video monitor, satellite radio and multiple USB ports.

As mentioned, a bunch of options had, as of 2014, been incorporated into this big ute’s standard equipment, leaving only such notable accessories as remote engine start and a glass-breakage sensor to be added-on at extra cost.

Standard safety equipment aboard the 2015 Land Cruiser, finally, includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, 3-row head airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights also return, as do Entune emergency assistance telematics. Additionally, pre- and post- collision safety systems also remain standard, as does 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.

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