2017 toyota land cruiser denver colorado

2017 Toyota Land Cruiser

Published On January 17, 2017 | By Isaac Bouchard | Auto Reviews, Second Drive Review, Second Drives

The presidential election was in full fight mode while I was testing the Land Cruiser, and as the hyperbole approached escape velocity, with both sides claiming it would be the end of our Republic if the other candidate won, I began to ponder what the perfect vehicle to ride out the next four years might be.

Perhaps this Toyota was it. For starters, it is “old money” and expensive enough that if Trump won, it would be seen as sign of success, and its big, gas-guzzling V8 would be socially acceptable. But the ‘Cruiser is so much more discreet than any newer Range Rover or Porsche Cayenne that it wouldn’t offend liberals if Hillary clinched it. Inside the interior was now back to the level of quality that a vehicle in this price range should command, and its seating position, which could be described with the same word, means I can see over most of the proletariat I’m stuck in traffic with, due in part to our thriving local economy.

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And if I got distracted checking my portfolio on my phone, the new emergency braking, lane departure alert and other systems that are part of Toyota Safety Sense might prevent me from flattening other motorists or bikers with the Land Cruiser. Its new eight-speed automatic transmission is smoother, and allows better exploitation of the 5.7-liters 381hp and 401lb-ft, so I can escape the hustle and bustle—or just plain escape if it comes to that, more quickly.

Ride and handling are somewhat archaic, as this is a true utility vehicle, meaning a short wheelbase, high center of gravity and dull responses. But the Toyota smothers bumps well, so if we don’t get our promised infrastructure improvements it will iron out the kind of broken pavement that causes shudders through the structure of any number of other big crossovers of similar price.

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And if it does indeed go all pear-shaped on us, I can certainly make it to any conceivable “bug out” shelter I might just have hidden up there in the high country, no matter how far off the beaten path. And the Land Cruiser, being one of the most reliable, toughest vehicles ever made, could probably survive without the kind of maintenance that many luxury SUVs require. Case closed. Now, if repairing the partisan divide was so easy…

EPA ratings: 13/18mpg; 15mpg combined

0-60mph: 6.8sec

Price as tested: $86,722

Here is what Toyota has to say about it.

(4 / 5)

Contact Isaac Bouchard for help saving time, money and hassle when buying or leasing one at isaac@bespokeautos.com.

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About The Author

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Isaac Bouchard’s combined experience in automotive retailing and writing is unrivaled. Since 1991 he has been an auto broker, selling and leasing new and used vehicles at all price points, as well as arranging financing and handling trade-in vehicles. Over the decades, he has helped his thousand-plus clients save over $1 million dollars on their cars, trucks and SUVs. Isaac has also been a professional automotive journalist for over 12 years, writing for newspapers, magazines (both in the US and abroad) and producing and hosting videos on car reviews and car buying for a multitude of sites. Isaac has worked on or with cars his entire life, including mechanical work, detailing and body work, car racing and instruction, including stints with the renowned Skip Barber and MasterDrive schools, the Porsche and BMW car clubs and the SCCA. He has also personally owned over 65 vehicles. Isaac lives in Denver, Colorado.

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