2021 Toyota Land Cruiser
Not everyone knows that Toyota’s largest and most elite vehicle got its start as a Japanese military vehicle, where it was called the Jeep BJ. It’s more common knowledge that the word Jeep is derived from the term “general purpose,” but it was already being used by U.S. manufacturer Willys, which made the predecessor of the Jeep Wranglers we know today. Needing a new name, Toyota settled on Land Cruiser – a title as iconic and authentic as the king-sized SUV itself.
Since it was introduced to American drivers in 1958, the boxy and beloved Toyota Land Cruiser has built an intense following, with well-maintained older models bringing in a pretty penny – that is, when their owners are willing to sell. The Land Cruiser has always been built to take on everything from rocky trails to snowdrifts, and its fans certainly appreciate its style and those traits. But time may be running out to get yourself a brand-new one, as Toyota says this current run will be the Land Cruiser’s final one.
Trims and Mechanical Specs
The legendary Land Cruiser comes in two trims for this 2021 model year: the Base and the Heritage Edition. The Base gets three rows of seating as a standard configuration, but the Heritage Edition harkens back to the original with the classic two-row setup (although the third row is an option). The powerplant is a strong and capable 5.7-liter V8 that puts out 381 horsepower and 401 pounds-feet of torque; an 8-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain. The ’21 Land Cruiser’s maximum towing capacity is 8,100 pounds.
Standard and Optional Features
Don’t let the trim name fool you, because the Base has plenty of coveted equipment. It gets four-zone automatic climate control, perforated leather seats (heated in the first two rows and ventilated in front), wireless device charging, a power liftgate, rain-sensing windshield wipers with de-icer, auto on/off LED headlights, fog lights, and auto-dimming side mirrors with frost-melting heat. A rear-seat entertainment system with two 11.6-inch screens and two sets of wireless headphones is a stand-alone option. This trim’s standard exterior accessories include a roof rack, running boards, skid plates, mud guards, tow hooks (front and back), and a trailer hitch with four-pin and seven-pin connections. It also gets Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), a multi-terrain monitor, and Multi-Terrain Select with crawl control and off-road turn assist.
Although the rear-seat entertainment system isn’t offered for the Heritage Edition, it’s upgraded in other ways, getting a Yakima roof rack, a unique grille and badging, all-weather floor and cargo mats, and black interior trim with contrasting bronze stitching. The exterior is dressed up with dark chrome exterior accents and 18-inch BBS-forged bronze wheels.
Safety and Technology
Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), an excellent grouping of advanced driver-assist features, comes standard on every 2021 Land Cruiser. Its technologies include dynamic radar cruise control, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and lane departure alert. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard as well. To keep everyone entertained and connected, both trims have wireless device charging and an infotainment system with a 9-inch touchscreen, advanced voice recognition, navigation, Siri Eyes Free, a 14-speaker JBL sound system, and SiriusXM satellite radio.