The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Somehow Lost to the 2021 Lexus GX 460 on Consumer Reports

2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is no joke. The Land Cruiser has been around forever in a nearly infinite number of iterations. It has become synonymous with rugged dependability, strong off-road chops, and adventure. However, this iconic SUV got beat on Consumer Reports by its corporate cousin, the 2021 Lexus GX 460. 

The Toyota Land Cruiser climbing over rocks
Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Vs 2021 Lexus GX 460 on Consumer Reports

These two SUVs are really close in many ways. Of course, they are corporate cousins, but aside from their mutual lineage, they are just very similar in construction and performance. 

2021 Lexus GX 460 in silver with a white background from Consumer Reports
2021 Lexus GX 460 | Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser a 74/100, surprising for a big 4×4. However, the 2021 Lexus GX 460 eeked out the win with a 79/100.

This is doubly surprising because Consumer Reports usually doesn’t favor luxury brands and definitely tends to dislike serious off-roaders. Although these two have some key differences, they are both luxury and serious off-roaders. 

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is alive and well

The Land Cruiser is a big ol’ V8 dinosaur, but it’s made well and tough as hell. Consumer Reports loved nearly everything about the experience of driving the Land Cruiser.

The ride is smooth and comfortable, which is nearly unheard of for anything that’s good off-road. Compared to a Jeep Wrangler, the Land Cruiser might as well be an actual house. However, the 2021 Land Cruiser does start at $85,665, and for that money, it better be comfortable. 

A black 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser four-wheel-drive full-size SUV travels on a dusty, rocky path up a hill
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Price aside, the 2021 Land Cruiser got glowing reviews from Consumer Reports. What held it back from a better score was the efficiency of the monster off-roader.

It has the same old dinosaur 5.3-liter V8 that Toyota has been using for nearly two decades. Even though the Lexus GX 460 also uses a V8, this one is particularly dated. The result is something that is far from polar bear-friendly. It’s also hard on the owner’s wallet with an average of 14 mpg. 

The other troublesome aspect of the Land Cruiser is its emergency handling, emergency braking tests, and overall lack of agility. I use the word “troubling” here with a grain of salt, but CR was displeased by the Land Cruiser’s clumsy nature in the corners. This is a big ol’ heavy truck, and it drives accordingly.

Is the 2021 Lexus GX 460 really worth buying? 

Well, if you ask Consumer Reports, they would likely give a resounding “hell yeah!” Again, this is surprising coming from CR. Even though this is a Lexus, the GX 460 is still an old-school V8 off-roader. So, what did CR like about it so much?

Like the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Lexus is a pillar of reliability. Its 4.6-liter V8 has stellar marks across the board from owners. The smaller Lexus V8 is a little more efficient than the Land Cruisers. The Lexus GX 460 isn’t much better, but it gets 17 mpg combined.  


The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Killed the 2021 Land Rover Defender On Consumer Reports

The 2021 Lexus GX 460 and the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser are really so close in every metric that it is hard to really pin down where the Lexus takes the lead.

Since the Lexus GX model has been around for less time than the Land Cruiser, it technically has a slightly better reliability rating, but the main thing is the handling. 

Consumer Reports gave the Lexus GX better marks in this department. For one, it is a bit smaller and lighter than the mondo LC. That probably has a lot to do with the better performance in braking and swerving.

Lastly, the Lexus GX460 is a good deal cheaper than the Toyota, if you can believe it. The 2021 Lexus GX range is $53,450 – $64,715. 

So how do you pick one?

This would be the hard part. The Lexus is cheaper, smaller, and has the fancy name recognition (if that matters to you), but the Toyota Land Cruiser is an icon. Yes, it’s more money, and technically it didn’t do as well on the CR tests, but it’s a Land Cruiser. This is one of the most rugged off-roaders of all time. It’s a tough call that only you can make. Good luck.