BEHIND THE WHEEL: On or off road, the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser looks and feels right

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By Rita Cook – Riding with Rita: A Woman’s Point of View

Heralding a spirit of the great outdoors the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is all about a cool vibe when on or off-road driving. Trust me, I know because when in Africa on safari this is always the vehicle of choice for taking trips across the wild tundra.

In the city, the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, unchanged in 2018, is still a great choice for getting where you need to go in style and comfort.

The competition for the Land Cruiser includes the Land Rover Discovery, Lexus LS 570 SUV and the Lincoln Navigator SUV, but let’s face it, the Land Cruiser turns heads in any crowd.

After all, full-time four-wheel drive coupled with a V8 engine and you know you have the power and durability to weather just about anything.

Trim level options

Holding eight passengers comfortably since the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is a luxury SUV, there is only one trim and it comes complete with all the bells and whistles. You get 18-inch wheels, LED lighting with automatic high beams and auto dimming, power-folding mirrors as well as automatic wipers. There are running boards and a towing hitch receiver and wiring harness. The sunroof keeps the cool factor going on the inside and the leather upholstery and heated and air-conditioned power-adjustable front seats are all about comfort as is the heated steering wheel and cooler box under the front center armrest. There is also keyless ignition and entry, a 40/20/40-split for the second-row seats and a 50/50-split on the third-row seats.

For the techno-minded you get wireless smartphone charging, nine-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, USB port, navigation and Toyota’s Entune smartphone app with 14 speakers and a CD player.

Off-roading features include a locking center differential, crawl control, Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, a Multi-Terrain selection, tow hooks and hill start assist. You can also opt for a rear-seat entertainment system as an extra.

Under the hood

The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser has a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Safety first

There is a long list of safety features on the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser from adaptive cruise control to forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and a surround-view parking camera system. The Anti-lock brakes modulate brake pressure as needed and there is also stability control and a plethora of airbags from front impact, to side impact, overhead and knee airbags. The head restraints are intended to negate whiplash and there is an excellent security system that includes an ignition disable device meaning the engine won’t start if the proper key is not being used.

Interior and exterior highlight

The controls on the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser are easy to navigate. However, it’s a big front seat area so there is a reach to get to the touchscreen, but when you reach it you have control of everything. There is plenty of head room and legroom in the first and second rows too. For the middle row you get a sliding and reclining split bench. In the third row there is not as much room, but it is still manageable except for the tallest passenger.

The interior is leather and soft to the touch as would be expected in a luxury cabin. For storing items, you have deep pockets in the doors and the cold box under the armrest as well as cupholders and a nice size glovebox.

Standard cargo space is 16.1 cubic feet and with the middle and back rows down you have a flat load floor to use instead.

Along for the ride

When driving the Land Cruiser, you know you own the road. The seat adjusts high and the tilt steering is also easy to maneuver. For road trips you could do much worse since the comfort offered in the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is remarkable. Even with a bumpy road you will feel comfortable while experiencing some bounciness perhaps, but that just serves to remind you the Land Cruiser is built for on and off road and can take all manner of driving conditions in style.

 Should you need to know

It’s a big engine, but even so you will get zero to 60 in a little over seven seconds. Also take a look at the warranty that is 36/36,000 bumper to bumper and 60/60,000 on major components/miles.

Miles

It is a mere 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway, so this could be the one drawback if you are conscious of gas prices.

Cost

The cost of the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser I drove came in at $87,180.

 

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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