Here’s Why the Toyota Land Cruiser Dominates Off-Road

In terms of being an off-road SUV, the Toyota Land Cruiser has always excelled. Even as the brand moved the Land Cruiser into luxury territory, it retained legitimate 4×4 chops, giving drivers a vehicle ready to go just about anywhere. And although Toyota has discontinued this SUV here in the States, off-road enthusiasts are still interested in what the Land Cruiser has to offer. 

The 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser has a solid rear axle

Although the solid front axle was phased out after the 80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser, the 2020 Land Cruiser still had a solid rear axle. Because of this, Toyota’s SUV is fairly competent off-road. Despite the old-school setup, the Land Cruiser does still have a comfortable drive on the pavement. And considering the price of this SUV, that makes sense. It’s doubtful many original owners are actually taking the Land Cruiser into rough situations. 

Some models even boast skid plates, which help to protect the undercarriage and vital components. And, when things get wet, the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser can ford up to 27.6 inches of water as an off-road SUV. 

The 2020 Land Cruiser has legit ground clearance

In terms of ground clearance, the Toyota Land Cruiser does pretty well. And as an off-road SUV, that is a good thing. According to Car and Driver, the 2020 Land Cruiser has 8.9 inches of ground clearance. This is complemented by a breakover angle of 21.0 degrees, which is comparable to the Jeep Wrangler. 

Although the ground clearance is similar to that of a Toyota RAV4, the rocker panels are pickup-truck-high. But, if you get a 2020 Land Cruiser equipped with running boards, you will be losing some of the ground clearance. However, down the line, when these become more affordable, serious off-roaders will likely remove those anyways. 

The Land Cruiser offers off-road tech

The modern Land Cruiser might not be as simple as off-road SUVs of the past, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The new Land Cruiser has features like off-road turn assist. This system helps the 2020 Land Cruiser handle tight situations when you are on the trail. 

2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Other off-road features are what you would expect. A two-speed transfer case and locking differentials can be had. Plus, the 5.7-liter V8 has plenty of torque, and functions just fine at low speeds. 

Should you buy a 2020 Land Cruiser?

When new, the Toyota Land Cruiser could be priced well over $90,000. With its subtle design, it is the definition of stealth wealth. But, this Toyota SUV does bring a lot to the table, including legitimate off-road capability mixed with luxury. 

Two Toyota Land Cruiser models show off their ruggedness. But, they aren't available in the States.
Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

At its price point, the idea of actually off-roading a new Land Cruiser isn’t a nice one. After all, who wants to trash an SUV that costs nearly $100,000? That said, as these vehicles age and change owners, the price will likely come down. Even if it never becomes a budget SUV. Toyota’s off-road SUV has been around for some time, so you can always look to previous generations if you really want a Land Cruiser.

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