Toyota Land Cruiser Origins
The model for the Land Cruiser was first introduced in the 1950s as a four-wheel-drive vehicle somewhat similar to the U.S. military jeep. Over time, this vehicle turned into what we known as the Land Cruiser. The FJ20 vehicle was the first introduced in the U.S. in 1958. The FJ40 is a classic of SUV design and the basis for Toyota’s new FJ Cruiser model. About the Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser is known for its off road prowess as well as its ability to provide a comfortable ride when on the road. The Land Cruiser has an amazing amount of features for the most finicky buyers, as well as a massive cabin area. Three rows of seats are available for up to eight passengers, although the third row in some vehicles is only suitable for kids.
The Land Cruiser also has a lot of power under the hood, so don’t be surprised to hear it growl when you press on the gas pedal. However, be prepared to pay a pretty penny for the newest models, though you can get a used vehicle for much less. Toyota Land Cruiser Evolution
Land Cruisers date back to the 1950s, but you’ll likely want to find something from the 1990s or later, since the safety features have greatly improved on these models. The third generation models that ran between 1990 and 1997 were tough offroad vehicles with a powerful engine. A 4.0-liter 155-horsepower producing engine was capable of some mean acceleration and turns. Full-time four-wheel drive was introduced during this generation, as well as enhanced safety features in 1995.
The fourth generation models ran from 1998 to 2007. This is a great used vehicle, if slightly lacking in engine power compared to the big V-8 engines used in the current Land Cruiser models. A 4.7-liter V-8 produced 275 horsepower and was controlled by a five-speed automatic transmission. The suspension made riding even in rocky terrain buttery-smooth. Stability control was introduced during this generation as well as even better safety features.
The fifth generation was introduced in 2008 and was still produced in 2012. It is a bigger Land Cruiser, measuring an extra 2.4 inches in length but this added size is swallowed up by the impressive engine.
The 2011 model of the Land Cruiser comes in one trim. It has a 5.7-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC), 32-valve V-8 engine that produces a scathing 381 horsepower at 5600 rpm with 401 lb-ft of torque. The engine is controlled by a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission. The double-wishbone suspension keeps the drive level even in the mountains. Toyota Land Cruiser Features
Inside the vehicle are a plethora of accessories. The exterior has halogen lamps with integrated fog lamps. Headlamp cleaners are also available as an option. The 18-inch, five-spoke high-gloss wheels come standard. A roof rack comes standard on the Land Cruiser for extra storage capabilities.
Inside you get a four-zone automatic front and rear climate control system. A JBL Synthesis system comes standard as well with a six-CD changer and iPod integration with a voice-activated touch-screen navigation system is attached to the dashboard.
The seats are leather trimmed. The driver’s seat has a 10-way adjustment system, and the passenger’s seat has an eight-way adjustment. The back seats are 50/50 split for easy folding and extra cabin space.
A Smart Key system is installed that tells the car to start and unlock when your special keyset is within proximity of the vehicle. You also get a push button start system.
All these features do come at a staggering price. The 2011 Land Cruiser starts at a whopping $68,920, but it’s possible to get an earlier version much cheaper. Add the miserable fuel economy of 13/18 mpg city/highway, and you’re looking at a big dent in the bank account.
The 2012 version got a facelift, providing a change to the body styling including a new bumper, new headlights with LEDs, new grille, and some headlight molding.