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2016 Toyota Land Cruiser First Look Review

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/18/2015 Manufacturer, Jason Udy

Since its U.S. debut in 1957, the Toyota Land Cruiser has gone through countless changes, evolving from a hardcore off-road vehicle to the Toyota brand’s most luxurious SUV—without losing any of its off-roading capability. Now the automaker’s “ultimate-capability, ultimate-luxury SUV” gets refreshed for the 2016 model year. Changes to the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser include a styling refresh as well as significant drivetrain updates.

Up front, the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser gains all new sheetmetal forward of the front clip as well as a new bumper, grille, and standard projector-beam LED low- and high-beam headlights, headlight cleaners, and integrated Land Cruiser logo. The hood features distinctive power bulges. A new chrome body side molding features the Land Cruiser logo, while new 18-inch alloy wheels set off the profile view. Around back, the updated SUV features new taillights with light-tube design and LED brake lights, a new full-width chrome molding, and a new rear bumper.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

Inside, the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser features seating for eight on new semi-aniline perforated leather available in black or Terra (brown) accented by Deep Wood trim. Toyota says the redesigned center console has “a more cohesive appearance and more intuitive controls.” The Land Cruiser comes fully loaded in one trim with options limited to exterior and interior colors.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota’s Entune head unit gains Siri Eyes Free mode that allows the driver to push a steering wheel button to speak with Siri. The Land Cruiser also features a new Qi wireless phone charging for compatible devices. The standard heating steering wheels gains controls for the multi-information display, dynamic radar cruise control, and the Toyota Safety Sense-P system.

The new Toyota Safety Sense-P system features new driver assist technologies including front-collision avoidance and mitigation systems, lane departure warning, auto high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Other active safety features include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as well as a rearview camera.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

While the 5.7-liter, DOHC V-8, rated 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, carries over, a new eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the outgoing model’s six-speed unit. Toyota says the wider gear spread enhances both acceleration and fuel economy. The new gearbox also features manual control. Fuel economy is EPA-rated 13/18/15 mpg. With its standard Trailer Towing package (engine oil cooler, trailer-brake controller connector, and sub-wiring harness) allows the Land Cruiser to tow up to 8,500 pounds. The Trailer Sway Control works with the stability control to counteract trailer sway.

High-strength steel is used in the A-, B-, C- and D-pillars and lower rockers in the body-on-frame SUV. The suspension features a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System that uses hydraulics to adjust the lean resistance of the stabilizer bars for on- and off-road driving. The Land Cruiser features approach and departure angles of 30 degrees and 20 degrees, respectively. Underbody skidplates protect the drivetrain when driving off-road.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

The 2016 Land Cruiser’s full-time four-wheel-drive system uses a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential, which distributes torque 40:60 front-to-rear in normal situations and can redistribute power to the wheels with the most grip when needed. An Active Traction control (A-TRAC) uses brake and throttle interventions to control wheelspin. A two-speed transfer case with low-range works with the Multi-Terrain Select system, which can be adjusted for different terrain. The Multi-Terrain Monitor features a near-360-degree view around the vehicle. Additionally, the Land Cruiser can play back 5 seconds of video of the front undercarriage's projected path.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

With the transfer case switched into low-range, the Crawl Control regulates engine speed and output as well as braking force to control vehicle speed on various terrains. Other off-road systems include downhill assist, hill-start assist and off-road turn assist.

The Land Cruiser rides on 18.0-by-8.0-inch alloy wheels wrapped in P285/60 R18 mud-and-snow tires including a full-size spare that is also monitored by the tire pressure monitoring system.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

Standard luxury features include heated and vented front seats, heated steering wheel, heated 40/20/20 split, sliding and reclining second-row seats, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with memory, Smart Key keyless entry with push-button start, security system with engine immobilizer, power moonroof, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors, and HomeLink universal garage door opener. Other features include a four-zone automatic climate control system that blows air through up to 28 air vents. A micro-dust and pollen filter cleans the air.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

The JBL Synthesis Premium Audio with Entune system features an integrated navigation system, a nine-inch touchscreen, and 14 speakers including a subwoofer. Audio features include an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability; SiriusXM radio, HD radio with iTunes Tagging, USB port with iPod connectivity and control, and Bluetooth audio and phone, and an advanced voice recognition. The Toyota Entune App Suite includes apps for Destination Search, Facebook Places, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable, Pandora, Yelp, and Slacker Radio. A rear passenger DVD system features a pair of 11.6-inch monitors, RCA jack, and separate HDMI inputs.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

Safety features include antilock brakes and brake assist. The Land Cruiser also features 10 total airbags and active headrests.

With the changes for the 2016 model year, the Toyota Land Cruiser adds more visual presence and more technology for the connected world without giving up its off-road capability.

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