2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Review

April 26, 2024 by

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The Toyota Land Cruiser is a fantastic off-roader if that’s what you’re after, but SUVs such as the BMW X5 are more comfortable and refined on the road

What’s good

  • Incredible off road
  • Great visibility
  • Toyota reliability and extended warranty

What’s not so good

  • Noisier than alternatives
  • Feels a bit cheap inside
  • A touch tight in the back seats

Wowscore: 7/10

Is the Toyota Land Cruiser a good car?

If you want a 4×4 that’s a proper off-roader, the Toyota Land Cruiser should be right at the top of your shopping list. It’s popular with people who live in the harshest conditions on Earth, which should tell you everything you need to know about its off-road ability and unrivalled reliability.

It’s a bit like a Quentin Tarantino movie. New ones don’t come around very often, but they usually become instant classics.

There are other imperious off-roaders, of course – the Land Rover Defender, Mercedes G-Class, Jeep Wrangler and INEOS Grenadier should also be on your list, budget allowing. The likes of the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 are worth a look if you don’t plan to venture from paved paths.

Like its off-road-focused equivalents, the Toyota Land Cruiser looks suitably rugged. It has a retro-inspired boxy design, with chunky bumpers, rugged running boards and a big, flat bonnet. The slim LED headlights are the key giveaway that this is a modern car, though.

Inside the old school, utilitarian approach continues – but in a good way. Sure, you have the requisite infotainment display atop the dashboard, but you also get lots of dials and switches that are easy to use on the move. They’re chunky so you can use them with gloves on.

The trade off for this ruggedness is the fact that there are plenty of cheap materials to be found, particularly lower down in the cabin. You do get some squidgy plastics on stuff you touch regularly, but the Land Rover Defender and Mercedes G-Class are posher inside while still being tough.

Space and storage are pretty good for those in the front, but considering this is a big SUV, it’s a bit more cramped in the back than you might expect. Go for the seven-seat version and kneeroom is okay in the third row, but the lack of under-thigh support isn’t great for long drive. The boot capacity is 408 litres, which means it’s quite a bit smaller than all of its alternatives, but the practical square shape makes it look much bigger than the numbers suggest.

Out on the road the Land Cruiser’s boxy shape and big windows mean visibility is excellent, and the steering is light so town driving is pretty easy. However, rough roads can cause the car to shimmy and shake because of its off-road-focused construction, so it’s not the most comfortable car over bumps, and it’s a bit noisier at motorway speeds than the Defender and G-Class.

However, when you head off the beaten track, the Land Cruiser is up there with the very best of them. You can bomb along dirt tracks with little worry for ruts in the path ahead, and there’s loads of clever tech that drags you through the worst the countryside can throw at you. Boggy pits, river crossings and steep inclines are no match for this big Toyota. The Land Rover Defender feels more sophisticated here, but not more capable.

The Land Cruiser is helped by a tried and tested recipe, with a powerful diesel engine under the bonnet and permanent all-wheel drive, while 4×4 veterans will appreciate that you get locking differentials, a low range gearbox and a new disconnecting sway bar for better off-road articulation.

All of which is to say that the latest Toyota Land Cruiser continues its reputation for being near enough unbeatable off road. If that’s what you’re after it’s a brilliant option, but if you’re looking for a family SUV there are more comfortable and refined alternatives.

Want one? The latest generation hasn’t gone on sale yet, but you can get a great price on the outgoing model by browsing the latest used Toyota Land Cruiser deals from our network of trusted dealers. You can also check out other used Toyotas.

How much is the Toyota Land Cruiser?

The new Toyota Land Cruiser will be available to order from July, with first deliveries starting in September, although actually getting hold of one could be tricky thanks to a limited supply. Toyota expects the initial allocation of UK Land Cruisers to be immediately accounted for.

Prices start from a pretty hefty £74,995. That makes it over £10,000 more than a Land Rover Defender 110, and you can just about get a Porsche Cayenne for similar money. It’s still considerably cheaper than a Mercedes G-Class though.

That £74,995 buys you the Invincible model, which comes fully loaded with kit as standard. All cars get leather seats, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a 14-speaker JBL sound system and a panoramic sunroof. You also get 20-inch alloy wheels.

For a limited time in 2024 you’ll also be able to get the First Edition, and this comes with some retro styling touches to help you stand out. It has round headlights and two-tone paint as a throwback to the 60s Land Cruiser, as well as unique 18-inch alloy wheels. You do pay a premium for this special edition though, with prices starting from £79,995.

Performance and drive comfort

Fantastic off road and great visibility for driving in town, but not very comfortable on rough roads and noisier than alternatives

In town

The Toyota Land Cruiser might be a big 4×4, but it’s actually not very difficult to drive around town because its tall, boxy shape and large windows mean visibility is excellent. You also get massive wing mirrors, and there are cameras all around the car – their primary use is helping you navigate tight country lanes, but they’re also useful for threading your way through inner-city width restrictors or dodging kerbs.

However, the Toyota’s ‘ladder frame’ construction, which helps make it so good off-road, does mean that it’s not quite as refined as the likes of the Land Rover Defender on potholed streets. When the road is rough the Land Cruiser has a tendency to shimmy and shake, which gives it a sort of agricultural feeling.

On the motorway

As speeds increase you really start to notice it’s not quite as quiet and refined as the Defender, or more road-focused SUVs such as the BMW X5. The engine is powerful enough to get you up to 70mph without fuss, but the suspension continues to jiggle a bit over bumps and there’s a noticeable whistle from the chunky door mirrors. The seats are at least very comfortable for long stints behind the wheel.

On a twisty road

Out on a country road the Toyota Land Cruiser performs admirably. The engine is a bit more grumbly than those you get in the Defender and X5, but that’s about where the complaints end. The body doesn’t lean too much in corners and the gearbox is swift to respond when you need a new gear.

However, when you get off road the Land Cruiser is in its element. Dirt tracks pass by like paved Tarmac, and when the going gets tough it’s easy to switch to the different modes to improve traction. You can switch to low ratio gears and activate the locking differentials, and coupled with the all-wheel drive, pull yourself through some seriously boggy terrain. With all this technology and the clever cameras that can show you what’s beneath the car, it feels like nothing is unsurpassable. It’s just as capable as a Land Rover Defender or Jeep Wrangler out in the wild.

Space and practicality

Space and practicality is pretty good for those in the front, but the rear seats are more cramped than you might expect

You sit tall in the Toyota Land Cruiser, and thanks to the low dashboard and window lines, you have a great view of the road ahead. The driving position is comfortable and there’s a good range of adjustment from the electrically operated seats and steering wheel.

The door bins offer useful storage and are split into compartments for added usefulness, while the space beneath the armrest can be cooled at the press of a button so your chocolate won’t melt in the sun. There are two cup holders and wireless phone charging ahead of the gear shifter, as well as three USB-C slots and even a space to plug in an HDMI cable.

Space in the back seats

Rear seat space is less impressive considering the size of the car, but there’s enough kneeroom and headroom for a six-footer to not feel too cramped. The low window line gives you a great view out and makes the back feel bright and airy. It’s not great for the third person in the middle seat though, because they will be perched quite high, the cushion isn’t very comfortable, and there’s a wide transmission tunnel to perch their feet either side of.

Go for the seven-seat version and the third row isn’t too bad for knee or headroom, but the seat is very low to the floor so your feet are up high and you don’t get any under-thigh support from the cushion. Being able to recline the seat is a nice touch, though.

Storage is pretty good, with pockets in the back of the front seats, reasonably sized door bins, and cup holders in the centre armrest. Fitting a child seat is easy because the ISOFIX points are just beneath a leather cover, though the doors don’t open too wide which could make it tricky to get the seat in in the first place.

Boot space

With a capacity of 408 litres, the Toyota Land Cruiser has a smaller capacity boot than any of the other off-roaders you might consider. The Land Rover Defender 110 has 786 litres in five-seat mode, the Mercedes G-Class has 667 litres, and the five-door Jeep Wrangler gets 533 litres.

However, the space itself is big and square and seems roomier than the numbers suggest, and you can open the rear window on its own, which is a useful way to quickly pop items in the boot. It’s a bit annoying that the bumper juts out, so it’s easy to get your jeans muddy, and there’s not much underfloor storage either. Folding the middle seats is a bit of a faff, because there’s no handy lever in the boot. You have to reach in and fold the seats or walk around to the back doors.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The infotainment system works well and there are plush materials to hand, but there are lots of scratchy plastics lower in the cabin

There’s a real mix of materials in the Toyota Land Cruiser’s cabin. You get a cool, chunky design with some soft leathers on top of the dashboard and the window ledges that feel suitably premium, but below this there are plenty of scratchy plastics. They are there because this car is built to last in tough conditions, but if you’re sticking to inner-city school runs and motorway commutes, the likes of the BMW X5 and other road-friendly SUVs feel much posher.

Regardless, you get a 9.0- or 12.3-inch touchscreen display, depending on the trim level, and this works really well. You also get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, and these give you access to an app that’s essentially an off-road sat nav for finding your way around the countryside. There’s also a digital driver’s display with a few different screens depending on the driving situation, and it can show you relevant off-road information such as the angle of the car so you don’t topple over.

MPG, emissions and tax

There’s just the one engine option available on the Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s a 2.8-litre diesel engine making 204hp and 500Nm of torque. It’s mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and permanent four-wheel drive.

Toyota hasn’t confirmed official fuel economy figures, but you can expect it to be fairly thirsty – around 30mpg is likely. A second engine will join the line-up in 2025 using mild hybrid technology, and should be a bit more economical as a result.

Vehicle Excise Duty and company car tax will be confirmed at a later date, but you can expect high CO2 emissions, and therefore expensive rates for both. If you want to keep costs low here, consider plug-in hybrid or electric alternatives.

Safety and security

The Toyota Land Cruiser has not gone through Euro NCAP safety testing yet, but it’s reassuring that four of the five Toyota models tested since 2021 have scored full marks. The only exception is the tiny Aygo X city car.

The Land Cruiser comes with the latest version of Toyota Safety Sense, which includes various driver assistance features such as a system to help avoid hazards at low speeds, and another that helps avoid collisions at intersections. The Emergency Driving Stop System can detect when the driver has stopped all inputs, such as in the case of a medical emergency, and can bring the car to a safe stop automatically.

Reliability and problems

With this being a new generation of Land Cruiser, it’s not possible to know for sure whether things are likely to go wrong. However, Toyota has just about the best reputation in the business for building cars that last, and previous versions of the Land Cruiser are particularly famed for keeping going when others have long given up.

It’s perhaps unsurprising then, that Toyota offers the best new car warranty of any manufacturer in the UK. As standard you get three years of cover, but this can be extended with annual servicing up to 10 years/100,000 miles (whichever comes first).