Considering its cult-like following, the Toyota Land Cruiser has reached almost mythical levels of popularity with both off-road enthusiasts and the general public alike. So when I received the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition as a press car for a week, I was curiously enthusiastic about it. And while I know I needed to do my due diligence and take the giant SUV to nearest off road path, I instead used it to help a friend move some stuff.
The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser is well-suited for moving
Judging by its looks alone, you can tell that the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition is meant to do some serious work both on and off the beaten path. It is a tried-and-true Land Cruiser underneath it all, but what makes this one special is that it commemorates the Land Cruiser’s existence in Toyota’s U.S. lineup since 1958. In order to celebrate the milestone, Toyota put together this Heritage Edition of its massive SUV complete with old-school “Land Cruiser” badges on the C-pillars and 18-inch bronze BBS wheels.
It’s ruggedly beautiful and I can see why so many people have a soft spot in their hearts for it, so I wanted to see what it can do. However, before I could put it through its paces on a dirt road, I needed to help a friend move a few things. Fortunately, the Land Cruiser Heritage only comes in a five-seat configuration (a third-row model is due out this year), so it was easy to fold down the second-row seats and tumble them forward to access all 82.8 cubic feet of cargo space available.
The move went well
My friend needed to move a sectional couch and a few other pieces of furniture, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how well everything would fit. Fortunately, the couch he had was pretty small, and deceptively light, so playing “furniture Tetris” to fit it into the Land Cruiser wasn’t too hard. In fact, we were able to fit even more than we thought behind the front seats of the Land Cruiser, which meant it only took two trips to get everything done.
When it came to driving the Land Cruiser while hauling an awkward load of stuff, I found out the hard way that you’re supposed to slow down for the turns more than usual and make sure not to turn too abruptly. Apparently, having 8.9 inches of ground clearance and super-high ride height is better for traversing a rocky landscape as opposed to taking Daytona-like turns at speed. Otherwise, moving the stuff went really well and I appreciated how easy it was to load the Land Cruiser due to its elevated stature and clamshell tailgate.
The Land Cruiser will go off road soon
So I know that the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser can move things big and small with ease and relative haste, but I’m curious to see what it can do when going off-road. With a giant 5.7-liter V8 under the hood and enough gadgetry and wizardry to get even the most novice off-roader (like myself) out of sticky situations, I’m sure it will shine. But for now, I’ll just marvel at the amount of cargo room it has.