If ever there was a car that said, “Take me to Sedona for the weekend” it’s the this one.
The versatile 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser would fit in (and let’s face it, straight-up rock) in lots of different locations. After cruising through the mountains in this rugged beauty, I’m convinced Sedona and the Toyota Land Cruiser are made for one another. Like peanut butter and jelly or peas and carrots. Like Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Okay, I’m done with the analogies for now but you get the idea.
Zipping through Sedona in the Toyota Land Cruiser
Sedona is one of my favorite places in the world. When my husband suggested we spend a few days here late last year, I wasn’t about to turn him down. We flew into Phoenix and picked up the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser and headed to Sedona, 115 miles north. Driving from Phoenix to Sedona takes about two hours. It’s always a very scenic ride. Being in the new Land Cruiser was just the cherry on top of awesome.
Of course, the Toyota Land Cruiser isn’t just for Arizona driving and I’m 100 percent sure I’d love driving in any place. There was just something about the red rocks and the sky and getting outside the city that just made this drive so perfect.
Built for Serious Adventure
To fully appreciate the Land Cruiser (and to want to pay the price), there has to be some type of adventure lifestyle in place or anticipated. If you’re using it as just a “get around” vehicle, you’re not making full use of what you’re buying.
If someone handed me the keys to a brand-new Land Cruiser and told me “this is your car now” I’d be perfectly happy. It’s a great car to use to take your kids to soccer practice. It’s a great car for a Costco run. But, if you’re not planning to take it off-road, it might not be the wisest choice.
Who Else Would Love the Toyota Land Cruiser?
- Medium-sized families or larger families with younger kids. We thought the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser makes a great family car and we loved the captain’s style seating in the second row for our two kids. Although there is a third row, it’s not very roomy. If you’re transporting people in the third row regularly, they’d better have short legs.
- Anyone who wants great off-road capability with room to haul all the off-road toys. This car drives great on the paved roads but that’s not really what the Land Cruiser is designed for. There’s plenty of room in the rear and on top of the hood to carry what you need for some serious adventure.
- Die-hard Toyota lovers who want strong off-road capabilities and comfort all in one package. Although the Toyota Sequoia offers a little more room, the Land Cruiser is better built for off-road. Although the Sequoia is designed for more comfort, I didn’t find the Land Cruiser’s comfort level to be lacking one bit.
What You Need to Know about the Land Cruiser
- Fuel economy: An average of 14 MPG (13 city and 17 highway.) No, that’s not great and probably not the numbers you want to see when car shopping. That said, this car didn’t feel in the least clunky or cumbersome, as some large SUVs do. It was super easy to maneuver in heavy traffic and it was surprisingly easy to park. I’m not the world’s most adept car parker, so that’s really saying something!
- Premium JBL speakers and sound, a 9-inch touch-screen with Integrated Navigation, advanced voice recognition and more. Fully integrated and compatible with Siri Eyes Free and fully smartphone compatible. The navigation was top-notch, which has been my experience with Toyota across the board.
- Lots of solid safety features, as you’d expect from a Toyota, to include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. The Land Cruiser has 10 airbags, driver and front-seat passenger active headrests, which can help prevent (or lessen) neck injuries in the event of an impact. If you’ve got little ones who sit in child safety seats, this model offers the LATCH system (lower anchors and tethers for children) and child protector rear door locks. It’s all standard Toyota safety stuff, which is one good reason to consider buying a Toyota in general, even if it isn’t the Land Cruiser.
- Cost: The 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser will run you between $85,000 and $87,000.
Here’s What I Loved About the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser
- Comfort. This car looks (and is) rugged. If you use it for Costco runs and carpools, it doesn’t feel like an off-road vehicle.
- I really like that this is an all-terrain vehicle. We don’t do much off-roading right now but we’re an active family and as my kids get older, we’ll gravitate toward more adventure sports.
- We all know Toyotas hold their value, so this is a car that works for us now that we can grow into, too.
- The luxury feel of the interior. I loved the softness and color of the leather seats and the trim. Those little touches really matter a lot – they’re not always something I look for when I’m car shopping but when they’re present, I definitely notice and appreciate.
- The Land Cruiser definitely gets fun points. I loved being high off the ground and it reminded me of the first wave of SUVs that became popular around 2004. Ahem. I’m dating myself, aren’t I?
- There’s an incredible amount of legroom. I’m 5’10 and I sat in both the front seat and the second row and there was legroom for days. The third row, if used, is another story, but that’s a challenge most third-row seating SUVs face.
- Overall, the Toyota Land Cruiser just worked for my family.
And… a Couple of Things I Didn’t Love
Driving the Land Cruiser for four days was a thoroughly fun experience. However, there are some things that I would seriously consider before purchasing this one.
- The price. I love the room the Land Cruiser offers but it has a luxury-level price starting at $85,000. For that amount of money you could bump up to the Lexus GX460 SUV. For a smaller investment you might consider the 4Runner or the Sequoia
- Gas mileage. The Land Cruiser gets 13 MPG in the city and 17 on the highway. This kind of fuel economy goes with the large SUV territory but there are other models out there that get better gas mileage.
That said, I’ve driven several large SUVs over the past two years and this was the hands-down most funnest to drive. Yes, I said most funnest!
Hold My Purse, Would You?
There’s a good amount of room in the deep front center console. Our editor in chief, Scotty, always talks about where to store her purse in a car, and although a car salesman might roll his eyes this, it’s a definite need for female car consumers. I’m happy to report the Land Cruiser’s center console had room for my purse.
Gone? Rumor has it that 2022 will be the final year Toyota rolls out new Land Cruisers. The other SUVs in the Toyota lineup have become more popular with buyers who use their utility vehicles predominantly in town and on the paved roads. If you’re interested in buying a new Land Cruiser, your time may be limited. Although, one of the big bennies of owning a Toyota is how well they hold their value, so buying a used Land Cruiser might be an option you’ll want to consider. Playing Devil’s Advocate, Toyota owners tend to hang on to their babies. No guarantees that a used Land Cruiser will be easy to find.
Bottom line: if this one piques your interest, it might be time to get serious about your purchase.
Songs for a Perfect Desert Drive
There’s definitely a vintage element to this playlist. If you haven’t listened to some of these, or if it’s been a while, give them a try. They’re all verified A+ driving songs.