2017 Toyota Land Cruiser
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.