2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition Review – Utah’s State Route 210 rises about 3,500 feet over a nine-mile, curvy drive from suburban Salt Lake City to Sugarloaf Mountain. It’s a fast climb – about 400 meters per hour. miles, but it’s nothing compared to the uphill battle Toyota’s first U.S. office fought in the late 1950s to convince post-war farmers that they had to bypass All-American jeeps for a close-up copy called the Land Cruiser.
2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition Review
The brave, unrefined open-top 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition that Toyota first disputed to the Americans was far from an immediate success. Of the 288 Toyotas sold in the United States in 1958, just one was a Land Cruiser. A redesign a few years later made the truck more capable, and it developed a reputation for durability unmatched by the relatively archaic jeep CJ. The Flash Forward 60-plus years and the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser are again a blip; its share of automaker sales was higher in 1958 than in 2018, when the Japanese automaker sold 2,100,000 vehicles in the United States. Only 3,200 of them were $ 86,000 luxury SUVs wearing the big Land Cruiser badge.
For a company based on market share, 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition is now the one fighting for its existence in the United States.
Some smaller dealers have not seen a Land Cruiser in stock for years. These showrooms won’t blow the lights out for the Land Cruiser name’s 65th anniversary, as the carmaker reminisces in soft style with the Limited Edition Heritage Edition. And these dealers will miss the love letter Toyota written for its longest running model.
The 2020 Land Cruiser Heritage Edition follows the Porsche model to offer less for more. It stickers for a staggering $ 88,970, including a mandatory destination charge, or about $ 2,300 over the base model. Add $ 425 to Blizzard Pearl white paint unless the standard Midnight Black works for you. Heritage Editions place the race boards, center console, and third-row jump seats in the true Land Cruiser. Reasons for the price increase are 18-inch forged BBS wheels painted an attractive bronze and a Yakima roof basket. Inside, the black leather seats have bronze accent stitching, and Toyota swapped the gray Headliner for a variety that manages to make the roomy interior feel pretty cramped. Only D-pillar badges, modeled after those used on the iconic FJ40, give a homage to the model’s impressive global history.
2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition A gentle, capable giant
A gray Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon roars past the lumbering Black Land Cruiser I pilot up Cottonwood Canyon on this cloudy fall day. Lost in the E63’s Dust, I realize that the Land Cruiser is a riddle, a four-by-four that feels like nothing else in the Toyota lineup and yet couldn’t come from any other automaker. If a Corolla is a commodity, the Land Cruiser is an heirloom. Its 5.7-liter V-8 emits a distant Growl that sends 381 horsepower to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission and rolls out nearly 6,000-pounds-yes, really-Behemoth toward 8,500 feet above sea level post-rush.
Downstairs, the tame Dunlop Grandtrek AT23 Rubber high sidewalls provide a soft, exceptionally comfortable ride. The independent front and coil sprung solid rear axle suspension is classic SUV, albeit with a trick. The kinetic dynamic suspension system is not a new technology — Toyota has been using it for over a decade — but it is remarkable for its simplicity compared to the massively complex air springs found under competitive land Rovers and Mercedes-Benz products. In short, the system uses hydraulic actuators to automatically adjust the Sway bars to keep the body remarkably flat during hard turns or to allow impressive articulation on rocky paths.
On top of the KDSS, a wealth of off-road traction control modes, and a Crawl system that lopes the big ‘Out along at a walking pace, help overcome the unassuming rubber. Like a four-wheeler, the Cruiser cruises up to its pedigree. Like a luxury truck, maybe not so much.
No discussion of Land Cruiser’s comfort would be complete without remembering that it is functionally almost identical to the Lexus LX 570. Lexus finds about 50 percent more new LX owners annually than Toyota does Land Cruiser buyers, something not terribly surprising considering the trucks cost about the same, though the interior of the Lexus is sharper and dressier and its warranty is longer.
Land Cruiser sold to Americans is the most tedious version of a wagon sold in almost every country (don’t look for one in Canada, though), which also offers far more utilitarian forms of the model. In Africa, the Middle East, and Australia, the Earth Cruiser serves as a serious work truck that hustles everyone from diamond mine workers to diplomats in far-flung and dangerous remote locations. In some markets, the global Land Cruiser 200 series, as it is known to Toyota faithful, even comes equipped with a snorkel intake that is useful for dustier and Wetter environments.
It’s no surprise that the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition reveals its sturdy roots in a few places. Its interior is light on dressy materials expected on trucks half the price. The leather is a step above the Toyota norm and the front seats are both heated and cooled, but that’s where the sumptuous bits stop. Hard plastic dominates the lower door panels and center console, and the fake wood on the dash, doors and steering wheel looks pixelated up close. The list of $ 90,000-plus vehicles that lack Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is mostly consolidated into limited production supercars and the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser. Heck, even the Lotus Evora adds a CarPlay-compatible infotainment system to 2020, though the UK sports car doesn’t have a system that grabs the inner front disc brake to tighten its turning radius at low off-road speeds.
2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition For a certain crowd
The Land Cruiser’s appeal is in its relative subtlety. Well, that’s at least as subtle as a 6,000-pound SUV can be. Its positioning suggests quiet wealth, though Toyota isn’t quite sure who buys the big truck. Automaker’s US Marketing arm trusted us that it does not track Land Cruiser buying demographics due to the truck’s low volume, although an average income of six figures is a given. These land cruisers stored in Mega-Mansion vacation home garages near Aspen and Park City were not sold because of a carefully cultivated marketing message. Toyota has not run a Land Cruiser TV ad this year in the United States.
In many ways, the Land Cruiser is not unlike the hopped Mercedes wagon that flew past me on my way to a seven-figure home at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Mercedes E-Class wagon is a staple among the elite, a silent rejection of “expected” luxury sedans. Both the Mercedes wagon and the Land Cruiser are under-the-radar models that are far more popular outside the United States.
For Mercedes, justifying the E-Class wagon in the US is not tough. It has knocked out its Audi and BMW competition (for now). For Toyota, however, the challenge is greater. The Land Cruiser has to contend with swanky Range Rovers and Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUVs. And for a company notorious for its bean counters, Cruiser’s cruel 14-mpg combined rating should have some red pens eager to cross it out of next year’s Roster.
For now, the Land Cruiser is sticking around and Toyota denies that the Heritage Edition is the model’s swan song in the United States. Heritage Edition feels more like a farewell letter than a tribute, though. It would be a sad day for this great Bruiser to disappear completely from our market.