Is your family planning a road trip?
It seems that we always have a road trip on the calendar so we jumped at the opportunity to experience the Toyota Land Cruiser and see where the road would take us.
We love road trips but often the travel time can cause lots of anguish as the kids transform. They start out as little angels and within hours become something out of a horror movie. Each kid has a bag of must haves, blankets and neck pillows but we just hope it will keep them entertained during the 10 hour trip.
Road Trip mapping starts 24 hours before we leave when only the driver is allowed to sleep early. Everyone has tasks that will keep them up late so that a crack of dawn departure will not prohibit further sleeping.
The Toyota brand has been in my family for years. We've had two Camrys, two Siennas, the Four Runner, and the Highlander. In fact, my father insisted that we all buy Toyotas as our first cars. The gas mileage and reliability are one of the main reasons that we keep going back. My mom is still driving her early 2000 Camry and it drives like she just purchased it.
Is the Toyota Land Cruiser a Good SUV?
The Toyota Land Cruiser is meant for a family on the go and it has so many features that everyone will fall in love with it. The V8 engine packs a punch but it doesn't make the SUV feel like a heavy truck. It's reliable and a car that I would feel safe driving no matter the conditions. This SUV is tailored to your style of adventure.
Here are my top five features of the Toyota Land Cruiser that make it the perfect SUV for family road trips and keeping complaints to a minimum.
Seating- While we are only a family of four, my husband and son are both over six feet tall so we need all the space we can get. The Toyota Land Cruiser has lots of leg room and the 40/20/40 split seats on the second row allow for various combinations. The rear seats (third row) are 50/50 split and can either fold flat or against the inside of the cargo space. We used a few variations during our travel to make the most space available.
Rear Entertainment System– The two 11.6 inch screens behind the driver and front passenger seats allowed for playing video games or watching movies but we loved being able to cover them when screen time was over. The kids quickly grabbed the remote and two wireless headphones before we left the drive way.
Center Console Cooling– I try very hard to avoid unnecessary stops while traveling. We stock up on snacks prior to leaving home and normally I limit them to items that don't need to be kept cool. A portable cooler takes up needed space so we left it at home. The kids loved that we could break this rule by using the console cooler. It kept drinks and our organic valley yogurt tubes chilled and within arms reach.
Moonroof– Allowing the breeze to blow through your fingers are one of reasons that I loved the moonroof. The Land Cruiser offered a power tilt/slide moonroof with sunshade. Using the one touch open/close button we were quickly able to name clouds. This is a great scientific exercises for the family while driving.
Cooling and Heating– The weather in the Philadelphia area has been so unpredictable so the four-zone climate control was a godsend. There was no need for anyone to complain about being too hot or cold. The Toyota Land Cruiser has leather trimmed seats and includes individual temperature settings for the driver, front passenger and rear-seat passengers. Automatic seat warmers are often taken for granted but very much appreciated when getting in the car as the temperatures drop.
JBL Sound System– Don't tell anyone but we had a dance party inside the car with the 14 JBL synthesis speakers, amplifier and subwoofer. I had no clue that my kids had preferences for speakers and the JBL system gave the Land Cruiser extra cool points. The hard part was deciding which song to choose on SiriusXM radio. The clear sound did make it easier to follow the GPS even with all the talking and noise happening inside.
Infotainment Panel– This panel is almost as important and where I will place my phone, purse and extra pair of shoes. It has to be functional and easy to navigate. I was surprised at the lack of Apple Car Play but I could still plug in and go. The display allows you to choose what you see in a variety of formats. The split screens are my favorite because I could check gas mileage and quickly make sure that the next song's artist was appropriate for my passengers. The panel also allows you to see the safety features and obtain diagnostics.
Wireless Charging– I hate to admit how many phone chargers have been lost or damaged in my home. I keep a wireless charging pad next to my work area and have already deemed that this is a requirement for my next car purchase. Some of those damaged chargers are because I quickly grab my phone when exiting the car and forget it is still connected. The Toyota Land Cruiser not only has wireless charging but the phone is kept in a closed area. This is step in the right direction for the driver who wants to escape the temptation of texting while driving. I would love to see more cars do this especially as my teen is learning to drive.
Safety: Toyotas are historically safe and constantly win safety awards. The Land Cruiser is equipped with the Star Safety System. This system includes vehicle detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and pre-collision alert.
How Much Does the Toyota Land Cruiser Cost?
The Toyota Land Cruiser starts at $85,315. There are only two trims and few notable packages and options, so you won't see much variation in price.
Think about these benefits when selecting your next family SUV. What's your next family road trip destination?