U.S. News Says to Avoid the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser But Should You?

When it comes to off-road prowess, few vehicles can match the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser. Take the 2020 Land Cruiser, for example, which is loaded with just about everything standard, including a 14-speaker JBL audio system, a 9-inch touchscreen, wireless charging, and a host of driver aids. Power is provided by a 5.7-liter V8 and eight-speed transmission, which not only gives it impressive off-road chops but makes it good for towing.  

Drawbacks center on the Land Cruiser’s size, on-road handling, and poor gas mileage. For these reasons, U.S. News thinks the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser should be avoided. But should you avoid it? 

The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the longest-lasting vehicles on the road

Research conducted by iSeeCars indicates that the Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the longest-lasting vehicles on the road and is more than capable of going 200,000 miles or more. It ranks at the top of the study, with 18.2% of Land Cruisers going that distance. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see Land Cruisers with more than 300,000 miles on them still going strong. 

iSeeCars summed up the SUV’s durability by saying, “the iconic and indestructible Toyota Land Cruiser is engineered to last at least 25 years, even under the harshest of driving conditions, as it is relied upon in many developing countries where off-road driving is the norm.” So while U.S. News thinks the Land Cruiser a thirsty lumbering beast on the road, it’s an ideal SUV when you’re out among thirsty, lumbering beasts like elephants and rhinoceroses.   

Should you avoid the 2020 Land Cruiser? 

Front view of a 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser
2020 Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

The problem with the 2020 Land Cruiser has less to do with the vehicle itself than with people’s expectations of what a large SUV should be. For the majority of shoppers, a large SUV should transport people and cargo like a minivan and drive like a minivan while not looking like a minivan. 

But the Land Cruiser was never meant to be a minivan or compete with large SUVs that occupy people’s driveways who hate minivans. It’s a vehicle designed to go anywhere, including some of the most remote places on earth. It’s meant to haul supplies into the Himalayan mountains, track animals across the Serengeti, or lead relief efforts to remote villages.  

The Toyota Land Cruiser is an excellent off-roading companion

Car and Driver reviewed the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser and summed up its impressions calling it “a worthy choice if you regularly venture off-road.” The magazine acknowledged the poor fuel economy and also mentioned the on-road performance wasn’t great but felt the biggest issue was a lack of brand cachet of competing luxury SUVs for the price. On paper, the Lexus LX offers more prestige at a similar price while being basically the same vehicle. 

If you need a minivan but want something that doesn’t look like a minivan, a Chevrolet Traverse or Honda Pilot may suffice. If you want to impress your neighbors, then there are vehicles like a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz crossover. But if you regularly head into the wild, or your weekday commute includes washed-out gullies, a Toyota Land Cruiser can work.