Any car that tells me the date when I step into it every morning automatically gets itself in my good books. I'm talking about the 60th Anniversary edition of the legendary Land Cruiser that I received for review from Toyota a few weeks back. The Land Cruiser is known for its reliability and handling but in this article, we measure this 4x4 on how well it is technology-wise.
From the outside, the Land Cruiser 60th Anniversary Edition looks very much like the usual Land Cruiser except for a few additions such as a 60th Anniversary emblem on the floor-mats and key case. Toyota also adds a blue mica metallic exterior with colored roof rails and heat reducing power shades. These are all subtle touches that won’t necessarily create any extra-ordinary feelings- if you like how the Land Cruiser looks, it’ll add to that. And if you don’t, then that won't change.
We received the VXR-I model offers that has a 5.7 litre V8 petrol engine with dual VVT-i technology delivering 362 horsepower at 5,600 rpm. A beast, it is. Coupled with the aggressive looks, I doubt you’ll find many cars that would like to be seen ahead of the Land Cruiser- or in other words, see the mammoth box approaching in their rear-view mirror.
Stepping in the Land Cruiser is a bit like stepping in the old and new at the same time- it doesn’t have the modern, integrated designs that we’ve seen in cars like BMW GT
or even the Ford Edge
, yet you do have some decent technology. On the center console, you have a big sized touch sensitive screen that displays maps and information. The big size of this screen along with the simple input system makes the Land Cruiser fun driving around. While this screen looks good, just above it is another small LED screen that displays time and temperatures which looks like something out of the 80s.
On the center console, you also have climate controls that are easy to operate along with the CD changer with controls that might not look very cool but are extremely easy to get to and operate. In fact, this “function over form” theme is present throughout Land Cruiser- it tends to skip good looks for convenience.
For the driver, the Land Cruiser is set up in a way that makes the most used options very accessible. You have the Start/Stop button on the right of the steering wheel while the left has mirror adjustments as well as a parking sensor button. On the steering wheel itself, you have audio controls on the left and telephone and voice command controls on the right.
The dashboard on the Land Cruiser looks like someone from the Tron team helped design. The blue lights on the tachometer and speedometer certainly look cool, however the monochrome display that sits between them looks like something from the past. It conveys information such as your fuel range and your total mileage but a little color and a higher res LCD could have made the info a lot more presentable.
Connecting my iPhone through Bluetooth was a fairly easy process on the Land Cruiser and in no time, I was talking hands free. Sadly the A2DP profile is not supported meaning you won’t be able to wirelessly transmit your songs from your phone to the audio system on the Land Cruiser. We’ve only seen this option on a couple of cars that we have tested but its always good to have.
Speaking of the sound system, the Land Cruiser scores high in this area. The JBL powered audio system has fourteen speakers and can certainly make some noise. Everything from Norah Jones to Kings of Leon sound really good on the Land Cruiser. The six CD changer allows you to store plenty of your media, however, a USB port is also present for quick access.
The passengers on the back seat also get to enjoy the ride with their independent entertainment systems with USB inputs and wired audio headsets which work well although we would have liked to see a wireless solution. Controlling the media is through buttons located below the screen- again, a wireless remote would have been a nicer option. Separate climate controls on the back seat are a definite plus though.
Priced at AED 296,000 the Land Cruiser is certainly quite a bit on the expensive side. But then again, you are getting a "Limited Edition" 60th Anniversary model so the inflated pricing is expected. Technology wise, the Land Cruiser is a bit lacking- especially when you compare it to the Infiniti QX56
. Where the Land Cruiser makes up is the robust handling and the build quality which won’t let you down.