2008 Toyota Land Cruiser Reviews

2008 Land Cruiser New Car Test Drive

Introduction

It's unusual to find SUVs in today's marketplace that are still engineered for more than ordinary use. The all-new 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser is one of those few remaining that are capable in more than one venue. 

The Land Cruiser is designed to transport people and gear over any kind of road or primitive trail, in any kind of weather, with speed, comfort and security. It can tow up to 8500 pounds with the right equipment. It offers integrated comfort and convenience features to rival luxury cars in this price range. 

The 2008 Land Cruiser looks pretty much the same as the previous Land Cruiser, but make no mistake: it has been completely re-engineered from the frame up. Refinements include a suite of safety features, state-of-the-art electronics, more power with better mileage, and innovative engineering advancements that permit outstanding performance in contrasting circumstances. 

More than just all-weather, the Land Cruiser offers legitimate all-terrain capability. Among the innovations making this possible is a brilliantly designed suspension that enhances performance on irregular terrain, yet does not compromise cornering or braking on paved roads. 

The Land Cruiser's high-utility, capability-driven design comes at a price. Building multiple-use potential into a single vehicle requires more expensive materials, extensive developmental testing, and more engineering innovation. That makes the Land Cruiser the vehicle of choice for well-heeled customers who have a cabin in the woods, an adventurous vacation routine, or perhaps a whole lot of highway and dirt road between the family home and a camping trip. For their investment, Land Cruiser owners enjoy an exceptionally secure, comfortable SUV that can make extreme use seem routine. 

Then there is the matter of quality. All Land Cruisers are built in small volumes in Japan. Production is shared between the Yoshiwara plant, in Aichi, Japan, (now manufacturing Prius, LX470 and 4Runner) and Toyota's vaunted Tahara plant, which mostly manufactures Lexus vehicles. These are Toyota's flagship manufacturing facilities. Standards at the Tahara plant, in particular, have been described in American newspapers as untouchable, approaching fewer than 10 defects per 1 million parts. 

As a result, the Land Cruiser's brick outhouse reputation for durability and long-term value is likely to be continued. It is normal for four-wheel-drive vehicles to require unscheduled repairs due to greater complexity, and exposure to dust, water, and vibration. However, in the case of the Land Cruiser, we would be surprised to encounter many significant problems beyond long-term maintenance. 

Because of its iconic exterior design, Land Cruisers never seem to look dated or go out of style. Used Land Cruisers are scarce and command high prices. 

Lineup

The 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser ($63,200) is available only as a four-door SUV with rear clamshell-type hatch. Standard equipment is extensive; there are few options. 

Standard interior equipment includes leather upholstery; CFC-free automatic climate control and independent automatic rear climate control system; four-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio, telephone and voice recognition controls; power tilt and telescopic steering wheel with memory; power door locks and windows, including power rear quarter windows; Smart Key keyless entry; HomeLink; variable intermittent front and rear wipers and washers; cruise control, 12 cup holders; combination meter with Optitron electroluminescent instrumentation; JBL 605-watt AM/FM/6CD/MP3 system with auxiliary mini-jack and 14 speakers; tilt/slide power glass moonroof with sunshade and one-touch open/close operation with jam protection; auto-dimming rear view mirror with compass; multi-information display; rear window defogger; digital outside temperature display; Intuitive Park Assist (back-up sonar). Standard seating arrangements include 10-way driver and eight-way front passenger power-adjustable heated leather trimmed seats and adjustable headrests; tumble, foldable and reclining 40/20/40 three-section split second row seat with fore/aft slide and three-point seatbelts; folding 50/50 third row seat with headrest and three-point seatbelts on all three seating positions. 

Safety features include multi-terrain ABS with Electronic Brake Force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist; VSC electronic stability control with cutoff switch; Active Traction Control (A-TRAC); dual-stage advanced airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags and front knee airbags for driver and front passenger; second-row seat-mounted side airbags; three-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags with roll-sensing cutoff switch; tire-pressure monitoring system. 

Optional equipment includes a touch-screen DVD navigation system with eight-inch display, (includes integrated audio system); climate control, back-up camera and monitor and Bluetooth wireless networking. The optional Country Club Package includes simulated wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, pre-collision system, rear seat entertainment, back up camera, cool box, DVD-based GPS navigation with Bluetooth, second-row seat heaters, rear spoiler and headlight cleaners. 

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