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2012 Toyota Land Cruiser

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2012 Toyota Land Cruiser Review

Luxury without nameplate

Reviewed by Automotive on

The longest running Toyota model still in existence here in the United States, the Toyota Land Cruiser continues to satisfy those who want a luxurious off-road capable SUV but are unconcerned by luxurious namesakes and pricetags.

The current Toyota Land Cruiser underwent its last major redesign back in 2007 as a 2008 model. The 2012 Land Cruiser offers a plethora of creature comforts, many standard, which are usually found in high-end premium and luxury vehicles. The full-sized SUV, for example, has a total of 28 air vents, all controlled by a four-zone climate control system. Other standard features include rear privacy glass; premium entertainment system that includes a 14 speakers; cruise control; power moonroof; auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors; and power tilt and telescopic steering wheel system. With so much standard equipment, the options list is short and includes things like a refrigeration unit for food and drinks, and heated seats for the second row.

The 2012 Land Cruiser continues to be powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 engine and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is on the low end among full-sized SUVs, but the Land Cruiser is a true off-road capable vehicle. The Land Cruiser's Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) helps keep the SUV stable while scrambling up rough terrain yet minimizes road imperfections for smooth cruising down the highway. The Land Cruiser's Crawl Control, on the other hand, is strictly meant for off-road use, and allows the driver to pilot over very rough terrain without worrying about the throttle or braking system. The 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser can tow up to 8200 pounds when properly equipped.

The Range

Body style: SUV
Engine: 5.7-liter V-8
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Model: Land Cruiser

What's New

Toyota has made no significant changes to the Land Cruiser SUV. For 2011, the automaker enhanced the Land Cruiser's brake system with a new, four-wheel multi-terrain anti-lock braking system (ABS) to provide the most suitable brake force for on- and off-road driving surfaces. The Land Rover received its current 5.7-liter V-8 engine during the 2008 model year.


Toyota has made no significant changes to the Land Cruiser SUV's exterior. The 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser retains its "Advanced and Rugged" theme-design with a thick, rectangular front grille, enlarged front and rear fenders, and boxy headlights. Under the 2012 Land Cruiser, underbody panels protect the engine and transmission while off-road while adding, however minimally, to the SUV's fuel economy while puttering around cities and suburbia.


The 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser is a full-size SUV and can seat a driver and up to seven passengers thanks to its second and third row. The second-row seats tumble forward to make it easy for people to enter and exit the third row and can also slide up to 4.1 inches to improve comfort and expand cargo space. The 2012 Land Cruiser offers more than 81 cubic feet of space when the second row seating is folded down and the third row seats have been removed.

Performance & Handling

Off-road, the 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser matches the competition in snaking up steep grades and thunking through rocks and gravel. The Land Cruiser's Crawl Control especially make things simple, acting almost like cruise control on most vehicle and allowing the driver to concentrate on navigating through the terrain. Yet systems like the Toyota KDSS keep the 2012 Land Cruiser's ride comfortable and smooth on pavement like most of today's SUVs.


The 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser, like all current Toyota vehicles, comes standard with the Toyota STAR safety system that includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), brake assist, Smart Stop (SST), traction control (TRAC), and vehicle stability control (VSC). Toyota equipped the 2012 Land Cruiser with a total of ten airbags, with four for the driver and front passenger, several for the first and second rows, and third row side curtain airbags. Available features include a tire pressuring monitoring system and a sonar system to detect obstacles in front and back of the huge SUV.

EPA Fuel Economy

13 mpg city/18 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Off-road capability
  • Room for eight
  • Plentiful features

You Won't Like

  • Huge Size
  • Fuel economy
  • Dated

Sum Up

Luxury without nameplate

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Land Rover LR4
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

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