When the all-new 2008 Land Cruiser creaked up onto our weight scales, it instantly earned itself an ignominious new name: the Land Crusher. At 5920 pounds, it's a three-ton rolling road dent. But crack the throttle, and the Land Cruiser goes from lead sled to rocket sled in the time it takes to awaken its 381--5.7-liter Tundra V-8-based--horsepower.
In just 6.5 seconds, it can spin to 60 mph, a full two seconds faster than its predecessor. Add in its slick-shifting, six-speed automatic transmission (swapped for last year's five-cogger), and you've got a solid combination. On the dark side, it sucks an estimated 13 mpg city/18 highway.
Additionally, this thing is a mountain goat with stitched leather upholstery, made even more facile in treacherous situations with Crawl Control, a feature that allows the Land Cruiser to pick over moonscapes at an electronically modulated controlled speed.
Back in terra suburbia, you'd be forgiven for confusing its driving experience for that of a silky Lexus, but outside, it's unmistakably "Land Cruiser." Inside, Toyota may have stuck to the script a bit too assiduously, retaining its iconoclastic side-folding third-row seats. Although the 2008 Land Cruiser is undoubtedly the pinnacle combination of sport and 'ute of this year's SUV crop, it's not a daring leap in Land Cruiser-dom, merely a good extrapolation.
| 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser |
| Base price range || $63,885 |
| Price as tested || $66,000 (est) |
| Vehicle layout || Front engine, 4WD, 8-pass, 4-door SUV |
| Engine || 5.7L/381-hp/401-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8 |
| Transmission || 6-speed automatic |
| Curb weight (f/r dist) || 5920 lb (52/48%) |
| Wheelbase || 112.2 in |
| Length x width x height || 194.9 x 77.6 x 74.0 in |
| 0-60 mph || 6.5 sec |
| Quarter mile || 14.9 sec @ 93.3 mph |
| Braking, 60-0 mph || 127 ft |
| Lateral acceleration || 0.72 g (avg) |
| MT Figure Eight || 28.9 sec @ 0.58 g (avg) |
| EPA city/hwy fuel econ || 13/18 mpg (est) |
| CO2 emissions || 1.31 lb/mile (est) |
| Ratings |
| Engineering || **** |
| Design || *** |
| Interior/Functionality || ** |
| Performance || *** |
| On-Road Refinement || **** |
| Off-Road Ability || ***** |
| Value || *** |
| Bottom Line || One of the world's ultimate all-terrainers, now infused with a whompingly powerful engine. |