2018 Toyota Land Cruiser - Too Much?

Getting in the '18 Land Cruiser was almost deja vu. It wasn't that long ago that I tested a Lexus LX which is an upmarket Land Cruiser. And upmarket is relative. The Cruiser bumps up against the LX in many ways including price.

To add to the confusion Toyota has three - count 'em 3 - large SUVs. The 4Runner, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia. The 4Runner has a wheelbase of 109", the Land Cruiser (and Lexus LX) of 112", and the Sequoia of 122". Overall lengths are respectively 190.7", 194.9", and 205.1".

What I don't get is that the Land Cruiser a long, long time ago (1951) was built as a Jeep-like vehicle. It evolved over the years but always kept a utilitarian feel until about 1980. But it wasn't until this century that it started to go full on luxo-boat.

There's not much to say about the Land Cruiser that I didn't say about the Lexus LX. They both have virtually the same engine - a 5.7-liter DOHC V8. In the LX it is rated at 383 hp while in the Land Cruiser it is 381 hp. Both use an 8-speed automatic transmission, and both are rated at a mediocre 18-mpg on the highway and 13-mpg around town. Regardless they are both rated as ULEV II (Ultra Low Emission Vehicles II). So all the gas you burn is used cleanly?

Price wise they are darn close: The Land Cruiser starts at $84,215 and the LX at $85,380.

As much as I like Toyota vehicles, and trust me I think Toyota/Lexus builds some of the most reliable vehicles on this planet, I cannot honestly recommend either SUV (to be fair I am not a fan of big SUVs of any make). They are too big and too thirsty.


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