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2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Review

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser ranks in the lower third of the luxury large SUV class. It has roomy first- and second-row seats, strong engine performance, and a good predicted reliability rating, but also a cramped third row, a dated infotainment system, and poor fuel economy.

Pros & Cons

  • Brawny V8 engine
  • Great off-road ability
  • Tons of standard features
  • Good predicted reliability
  • Bad fuel economy ratings
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • Snug third-row seats

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser's #6 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Large SUVs category. Currently the Toyota Land Cruiser has a score of 7.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 62 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.7
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 6.9
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Toyota Land Cruiser?

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 Is the Toyota Land Cruiser a Good SUV?

 The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is a decent luxury large SUV. It boasts a powerful V8 engine, composed handling on- and off-road, and a sterling reputation for reliability. Its first- and second-row seats are comfy and spacious, and there are lots of standard convenience and safety features. The Land Cruiser also offers hefty towing ability and a sizable cargo area.

 On the other hand, the Land Cruiser’s third row is cramped and suitable for kids only, its infotainment system is outdated, and its gas mileage is among the worst of any SUV on the market. These drawbacks may not be enough to spoil the Land Cruiser’s recipe, but they are worth noting.

Why You Can Trust Us: 62 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 62 Toyota Land Cruiser reviews, as well as data points like reliability ratings and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible. This 2021 Land Cruiser review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2008.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Toyota Land Cruiser?

You should consider a few other SUVs first before deciding on the 2021 Land Cruiser. This Toyota hasn’t been redesigned in over a decade, and it struggles to compete against fresher-faced rivals like the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS, which offer better fuel economy, comfier third-row seats, and more-advanced tech features.

The Land Cruiser also struggles to find its niche in Toyota’s own SUV lineup. It’s outclassed by the Toyota 4Runner in terms of off-road ability, and it’s not as practical as the Toyota Sequoia for shuttling around passengers and cargo. Both are far less expensive as well.

Compare the Land Cruiser, 4Runner, and Sequoia »

2020 vs. 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser: What's the Difference?

There aren’t any major differences between the 2020 and 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser. In fact, Toyota has made almost no changes to the Land Cruiser since 2016.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Land Cruiser »

Here are the key changes for the Toyota Land Cruiser over the last few years:

  • 2016: refreshed exterior styling and updated infotainment system; eight-speed automatic transmission replaced six-speed; gained standard blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights
  • 2017: no notable changes
  • 2018: no notable changes
  • 2019: no notable changes
  • 2020: Heritage Edition debuted
  • 2021: no notable changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Land Cruiser, 2019 Land Cruiser, and 2020 Land Cruiser reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Toyota Land Cruiser Cost?

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser has an $85,415 starting price. That’s higher than the starting prices of most rivals. On the other hand, the Land Cruiser’s top $87,745 trim is considerably less expensive than the top trims of every competitor.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota Land Cruiser Versus the Competition

Toyota Land Cruiser vs. Lexus LX 570

The Lexus LX 570 is the corporate cousin of the Land Cruiser. It shares the same engine and transmission as the Toyota, as well as the same four-wheel-drive system, overall dimensions, and many of the same convenience and safety features. The LX’s differences are what make it less appealing. It costs a few thousand dollars more than the Land Cruiser, though it doesn't come standard with third-row seating (it’s optional), and the Lexus infotainment system is frustrating to use. The LX also has a lower towing capacity by about 1,100 pounds. We think the Land Cruiser is the better pick for most shoppers.

Compare the Land Cruiser and LX 570 »

Toyota Land Cruiser vs. Land Rover Range Rover

The Land Cruiser and the Land Rover Range Rover offer a similar appeal in the luxury large SUV segment. Both of these posh SUVs are well-equipped with standard features and are comfortable to drive day to day, but they also have what it takes to venture far off road. The Range Rover is a bit more civilized and high-tech. It has a line of fuel-efficient hybrid and diesel powertrains, and it’s offered exclusively in four- and five-seat layouts. The Land Cruiser is more of a workhorse. It can seat up to eight, it has a larger cargo area, and a much higher predicted reliability rating. It’s also far less expensive than the Range Rover, which can easily exceed $100,000. Pick the SUV that best matches your needs.

Compare the Land Cruiser and Range Rover »

Compare the Land Cruiser, LX 570, and Range Rover »

Land Cruiser Interior: Room for Improvement

Land Cruiser Cargo Space

The Land Cruiser has 16.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third-row seats, 41.4 cubic feet with these seats folded, and 82.8 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. That’s about average for a luxury large SUV. The cargo area isn’t very wide though, because the third-row seats flip up to the side instead of folding down. This can make it harder to transport bulkier items. Better cargo-haulers in this segment include the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade.

How Many People Does the Land Cruiser Seat?

Toyota offers the Land Cruiser in two configurations. The standard three-row model has eight seats, while the two-row Heritage Edition has five seats. Regardless of layout, the front seats are comfortable and spacious enough for taller occupants, and they provide a commanding view of the road ahead. Visibility to the sides and rear is just OK. The second row is similarly spacious, and it offers plenty of room for adults. The third row, however, is short on legroom, and its knees-up seating position is uncomfortable for longer outings. This back row is best reserved for occasional use or for kids.

Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel are standard.

Land Cruiser and Child Car Seats

The Land Cruiser has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the second-row outboard seats and a tether anchor for the middle seat. There are no LATCH connectors for the third row.

Land Cruiser Interior Quality

This Toyota's interior design is a bit dated and plain compared to rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW X7, but its build quality is excellent, and most of the cabin surfaces are finished with high-end materials. The interior does a fine job of muffling road and wind noise, even at higher speeds.

Land Cruiser Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Land Cruiser’s infotainment system is somewhat of a mixed bag. On the plus side, the 9-inch touch screen has large on-screen buttons, and it’s complemented by physical knobs and buttons, which make it easy to adjust audio and climate controls on the go. The downside is that the graphics look murky and outdated, and the system doesn’t support popular technology like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 9-inch touch screen, a navigation system, Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, satellite radio, 14 speakers, and a smartphone charging pad
  • Available infotainment features: a rear-seat entertainment system with two 11.6-inch displays, a DVD player, and two headphones
  • Additional standard features: four-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, a power liftgate, a moonroof, and a 120-volt outlet

Read more about interior »

Land Cruiser Performance: Freedom to Roam

Land Cruiser Engine

The Toyota Land Cruiser is equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive are standard. This big V8 has no problem hustling the Land Cruiser around town and up to highway speeds. Acceleration is brisk, the throttle feels responsive, and there’s plenty of passing power on tap when you need it. The transmission shifts smoothly and promptly for the most part, but it tends to default to higher gears too often in order to save fuel. This can lead to frantic downshifting and upshifting, especially on hills.

Land Cruiser Gas Mileage

The 2021 Land Cruiser gets an EPA-rated 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway, which is bad even by luxury large SUV standards.

Land Cruiser Ride and Handling

This Toyota has decent on-road driving dynamics. It sails comfortably and confidently down the highway, the steering is lightly weighted and surprisingly responsive, and the brakes provide strong stopping power. You get a feel for how big this SUV is at lower speeds though. The Land Cruiser tends to sway around turns, and it’s awkward to park and maneuver on city streets. The suspension doesn’t cope well with low-speed potholes and bumps either; it can get a little jittery.

Land Cruiser Off-Road Performance

The Land Cruiser has matured into more of a luxury vehicle than a true off-roader, but it can still hold its own on the trails. Its suspension articulates nicely over rocks and through ditches, and its rugged four-wheel-drive system does a fine job of maintaining grip on loose surfaces.

All models are equipped with all-terrain tires, tow hooks, multiple skid plates, low-speed crawl control, a two-speed transfer case with high- and low-range gearing, a locking center differential, and Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which can electronically disconnect the sway bars for more wheel travel. This off-road hardware helps mitigate the Land Cruiser’s relatively small 8.9 inches of ground clearance.

Land Cruiser Towing Capacity

The 2021 Land Cruiser can tow up to 8,100 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about performance »

Land Cruiser Reliability

Is the Toyota Land Cruiser Reliable?

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Toyota Land Cruiser Warranty

Toyota covers the Land Cruiser with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Land Cruiser Safety

Land Cruiser Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Land Cruiser. This is typical for high-end luxury vehicles.

Land Cruiser Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Surround-view camera system
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Rearview camera

Read more about safety »

Land Cruiser Dimensions and Weight

The Land Cruiser is 16.2 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 5,715 to 5,815 pounds, depending on configuration.

Where Is the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Built?

Toyota builds the 2021 Land Cruiser in Japan.

Which Toyota Land Cruiser Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser comes in two trims: a base model and a Heritage Edition. The base model is the best option for most shoppers. It is packed with standard features and comes with the same engine and four-wheel-drive system as the Heritage Edition. But unlike the two-row, five-seat Heritage Edition, the base model sports a more-practical three row, eight-seat layout and a lower starting price by about $2,300.

Toyota Land Cruiser

The base model Land Cruiser starts at $85,415, and it’s outfitted with a 381-horsepower V8 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive. Standard features include a 9-inch touch screen, a navigation system, HD Radio, satellite radio, 14 speakers, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 120-volt outlet, a smartphone charging pad, keyless entry, a power liftgate, a moonroof, four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated second-row bench seat, a third-row bench seat, and a heated steering wheel.

Additional standard equipment includes a two-speed transfer case, a locking center differential, crawl control, electronic sway bar disconnect, tow hooks, multiple skid plates, 18-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, a rearview camera, a surround-view camera system, parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and the Toyota Safety Sense P package, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and LED headlights with automatic high beams.

The only option is a $2,220 rear-seat entertainment system with two 11.6-inch screens, a DVD player, and a pair of headphones.

Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition

The Land Cruiser Heritage Edition starts at $87,745. It adds vintage "TOYOTA Land Cruiser" badges, a Yakima MegaWarrior roof rack, black exterior accents, bronze BBS wheels, and bronze interior stitching, but it also removes the third-row bench seat. Toyota has said a third row will be optional for this special edition trim, but it was not available at the time of writing.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser isn’t for everyone. It’s rather expensive at around $85,000, it guzzles gasoline with an insatiable thirst, and it lacks many of the tech features that buyers demand, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also feels rather dated by modern standards. However, if you want a large luxury SUV that can go practically anywhere, the Land Cruiser is among the best.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2021 Land Cruiser lacks the prestige of equally expensive metal, but it's a lot more capable than most of them out in the boondocks—something to think about for those few buyers who will actually venture there." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Land Cruiser is probably overkill for most buyers in the market for a large SUV, and its nearly-$90,000 price tag is almost definitely outside the budget of most consumers. On top of that, when it comes to family-efficient features like interior storage cubbies, easy-folding seats and reasonable fuel economy, the Land Cruiser comes up pretty short, and other high-end SUVs … all offer more mainstream appeal." -- Autotrader (2020)
  • "Overall, we think a lot of shoppers will be happier with one of the Land Cruiser's similarly priced rivals, such as Land Rover's Range Rover or Discovery or Lincoln's Navigator. But if adventurously cruising this fine land with an abundance of luxury and creature comforts is your main priority, the … Land Cruiser won't disappoint." -- Edmunds (2019)   

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 22, 2020

Low Sales: The Toyota Land Cruiser is the slowest selling luxury large SUV in 2020. The Land Cruiser’s cousin, the Lexus LX, is outselling it by 63 percent. To add to its woes, Land Cruiser sales have decreased by 26.2 percent this year compared with the same period in 2019.

Research more buying advice »
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