U.S.-Market 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser Gets Eight-Speed Auto, Cosmetic Tweaks
Flagship SUV Significantly Updated
Saw it coming.
The American arm of Toyota announced updates to the 2016 Land Cruiser today, with cosmetics that mirror those of the Japan-market Land Cruiser 200 and a powertrain not unlike the recently updated Lexus LX570.
Most obvious among the changes is a wholly updated front end, featuring a prominent chrome grille bar that bisects all-new LED headlamps, new front fenders, a newly sculpted hood with twin power bulges, and a new front bumper. Toyota says the styling from the A-pillar forward is all new. Around back, new taillights and a new rear door update the look, while a full-width chrome bar across the back echoes the grille treatment. New wheels and chrome bodyside molding complete the 2016 Land Cruiser’s exterior updates.
Inside, the Land Cruiser enjoys a nice refresh, although not one as extensive as that of the Lexus LX570. While it eschews its upscale twin’s 12.3-inch infotainment display, the Land Cruiser nevertheless gets some added lux in the form of new, standard semi-aniline leather trim, an upgraded Entune head unit (with Siri Eyes Free capability), Qi wireless charging, and an updated center stack design. Upgraded materials make the switch as well, and a new gauge cluster comes packed with very classy dials. A new steering wheel mercifully replaces the old one, which looked like it belonged in a 2005 Camry, not a world-beating off-roader.
As with its immediate predecessor, everything comes standard on the Land Cruiser. New for 2016 is the nameplate’s first-ever collision mitigation system, integrated in the company’s Toyota Sense-P safety suite. Collision avoidance and collision mitigation both work at speeds less than 24 mph to reduce the severity of or prevent collisions with other vehicles, obstacles, and pedestrians. Also included in Sense-P is lane departure monitoring and automatic high-beam assistance, mirroring the equipment of the Japanese-spec Land Cruiser we reported on yesterday. Radar-based adaptive cruise control completes the list of active safety technology.
Toyota’s first-ever eight-speed automatic replaces the outgoing six-speed unit, while the standard (and only) engine remains a 5.7L V-8 producing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. A standard trailering package that includes an engine-oil cooler and all hauling-related hardware enables towing of up to 8,500 pounds, and trailer sway control helps combat unwanted oscillations by selectively activating the vehicle’s brakes through its stability control system. The EPA has rated the powertrain combination at 13/18/15 mpg city/highway/combined.
As always, expect amazing off-road performance from the Land Cruiser. Hydraulic stabilizer bars can be adjusted to allow for more wheel travel, while a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a selectable low range optimizes grip in slippery situations. Toyota’s low-speed CRAWL control, which we’ve sampled on the 4Runner TRD Pro, helps keep the Cruiser going over difficult obstacles.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect it to rise slightly over the current Land Cruiser’s $80,155 starting MSRP. That’s a lot of coin for a Toyota, but the company is keen to point out that Land Cruiser owners are fiercely loyal to the nameplate’s blend of understated design, extreme luxury, and exceptional capability. This new Land Cruiser will do nothing to change their minds, and it may even attract a few Lexus and Range Rover buyers looking to save a few bucks.