The Toyota Land Cruiser is the most expensive model in Toyota’s lineup, probably due to its jack-of-all-trades nature. It doubles as a luxury SUV and one of the most capable off-roaders in its class. However, for several thousand dollars cheaper, there’s another Toyota SUV that’s just as tough.
The Toyota 4Runner is definitely built for adventuring, but lacks the refinement of the Land Cruiser. Still, is the 2021 Land Cruiser really worth that extra $50,000?
Is the Toyota Land Cruiser a good car?
Under the hood, Toyota’s website tells us the Land Cruiser has a 5.7-liter V8 capable of 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and comes equipped with standard 4WD. It has no problems during daily driving, but off-roading is truly where the Toyota Land Cruiser shines.
The Land Cruiser feels very constricted on civilized roads because of its wide dimensions and laborious handling. Out in the wilderness, you can truly enjoy the 4WD system and see more exciting surroundings. The suspension feels a tad stiff on smooth roads, but that allows it to easily absorb the bumps in all-natural terrain.
Riders can enjoy the great outdoors in the lap of luxury thanks to the Land Cruiser’s upscale interior. Heated and ventilated leather seats are standard for the first two rows. The third row is a little too cramped for adult riders, and the seats fold upwards instead of flat.
Another minor gripe against the Toyota Land Cruiser pertains to its outdated infotainment system. Smartphone integration isn’t available and the graphics on the screen looks too grainy for an $80,000+ SUV. Still, it gets points for being one of the few new cars on the market to still include a CD player.
A closer look at the Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner comes with a 270-hp V6 paired with a five-speed automatic transmission, and 4WD costs extra. The gearbox is predictably slower than the Land Cruiser’s, but the powertrain still provides the 4Runner with adequate strength. However, it can only tow up to 5,000 pounds, whereas the Land Cruiser can tow 8,100 pounds.
Both the Toyota 4Runner and Land Cruiser are equally capable in terms of off-roading. The 4Runner even has some equipment unavailable for the Land Cruiser, like Fox shocks for more travel. While most off-roading equipment is only available for the TRD trims, a fully-loaded one is still cheaper than a Land Cruiser.
The Toyota 4Runner’s interior definitely has a more rugged feel compared to the Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s clad in plastic with minimal upgrades to be found, even in the pricier trims. However, it’s just as roomy as the Land Cruiser and has more available cargo space.
The 4Runner also has an updated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and even Amazon Alexa. The graphics are also updated, and critics report that the interface is easy to read and highly responsive. Sure, it’s not equipped with as many features, but it’s a better value at around $36,340.
Is the Toyota Land Cruiser worth the money?
The Land Cruiser’s price point is its biggest detriment, retailing for $85,415. It might excel off-road, but are you really willing to risk damaging a car with a near triple-digit price tag? If you just want some off-roading kicks, the Toyota 4Runner is a better buy.
However, if you truly want a luxurious Toyota Land Cruiser, a good deal may be on the horizon. This is the Toyota Land Cruiser’s final model year. Since discontinued models are known to rapidly depreciate, it’s better to wait until that price tag drops before buying one.