The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Is No Surprise on This U.S. News List

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser finds itself in good company in U.S. News’ “The 14 Best Boxy Cars for 2021” roundup. This true body-on-frame SUV, a rarity in today’s crossover-heavy market, doesn’t waste an inch when giving occupants space. Hauling everything and everyone from luggage and families to music equipment and bands, the Toyota Land Cruiser offers something for everyone. 

The case for space in the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser has been on the market for decades. But it may not have had a better run than its current incarnation, U.S. News notes. Seating eight passengers across three rows, this SUV doesn’t force riders to elbow each other for space. Toyota designed the 2021 model to give the drivers and passengers every bit of space they desire and then some. 

The SUV’s cargo area holds only 16 cubic feet of space behind the third row. But for solo drivers more concerned with belongings than passengers, cargo capacity expands five times to 82.6 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down.

Add to that a roster of excellent features under the hood and at the driver’s fingertips, and the Land Cruiser stands out among Toyota SUVs and rivals as well. However, that doesn’t mean this model is for everyone. 

Overview of the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser 

Car and Driver has some excellent things to say about the $87,030-plus 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser. But it’s far from a perfect driving experience. C/D’s reviewers lauds the SUV for its power, off-road capability that many luxury vehicles ignore, and breadth of features. Such a powerful vehicle can be intimidating at such a steep price, but Toyota has given competitors a run for their money. 

The Land Cruiser has enough to keep drivers and the passengers equally happy. With a 9.0-inch touchscreen and wireless charging, drivers never have to sacrifice safety for phone calls, music, or temperature adjustment. Furthermore, the heated seats, leather upholstery, and camera system provide as much comfort as they do safety for all occupants. 

But with a 381-hp V8 engine, the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser earns low marks for fuel economy. With hybrid vehicles boasting similar price tags to go with similar features, this could be a turnoff to potential buyers. The Land Cruiser gets only 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. This is a far cry from the gas mileage of the Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, and other luxury competitors. 

However, despite these setbacks, shoppers willing to spend the extra money on fuel can rest easy knowing the Land Cruiser can conquer the harshest conditions while towing over 8,000 pounds. Indeed, there’s plenty to love about this SUV, but it won’t tickle everyone’s fancy. In a world where automakers strive to lower tailpipe emissions, the Land Cruiser’s dated engine could turn consumers away. 

Still, for those who want a powerful luxury vehicle that can drive as well off-road as on it, the Toyota Land Cruiser might be the perfect vehicle. 

Who should get this full-size SUV? 

The SUV market may be the hardest to guide. With small cars powered like big cars and big cars feeling like small cars, the classic Toyota Land Cruiser is arguably a relic of the past. Those who embrace the changes may want to look elsewhere. However, consumers looking for a rugged, classic car with no concern for the cost of running it have plenty of reason to look at the Land Cruiser if the price tag isn’t too hefty. 

Still, despite its setbacks, the Land Cruiser offers space, power, and reliability, making it one of the best boxy SUVs on the market. With its future in limbo, fans of the famous model should have a blast with its latest incarnation. 

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