Home » Nobody Knows Where David Tested The Toyota Land Cruiser: COTD

Nobody Knows Where David Tested The Toyota Land Cruiser: COTD

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David recently returned from a press trip where he got to test the new Toyota Land Cruiser. His first drive is outrageously detailed, which is just about what you lovely readers expect from us. We love to know as much as we can about what we test! David also makes me feel good about my long word counts, because that first drive is a nice 3,707 words long.

Anyway, a lot of comments didn’t focus at all on David’s review, but where David said he went to test the Land Cruiser. Now, I have confirmed through other writers that this drive took place on Coronado Island in San Diego, California. However, David made a small gaffe when he said the drive was on Catalina Island. It’s a small mistake and one we’ve all made when focusing hard on the car itself, but one that was enough to catch the eyes of so many readers.

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Shop-Teacher got me with this one:

“I hopped into my girlfriend’s Lexus RX350 and drove to Catalina Island”

Wait just a darn minute here sir! You converted her Lexus into an amphibious vehicle!?! Talk about burying the lede!

My favorite part was David accidentally doubling down:

There’s a bridge!

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For a serious comment, there’s off-roading expert contributor Pat Rich, who seems to sum up most of the comments in the article well:

I don’t know where the 4runner starts in price, but they are slicing this pie way too thin if you ask me. I realize that Land Cruiser people aren’t 4Runner people and vice versa, but seriously. Why buy the cheapest Land Cruiser when you can get a mid range 4runner? It’s the same car in all meaningful ways. Seems to me that Toyota is differentiating the triplets in strange ways.
GX – The only one with the V6, also a 3rd row option, highest towing options
Land Cruiser – Standard full time 4WD and hybrid powertrain
4Runner – Part time 4WD and non-hybrid standard, but can be optioned with full time and hybrid.

The GX and Land Cruiser are so close looks wise that its a coin toss to chose between them. The 4runner has a unique look, but…as is typical…functionally worse sight lines.

Toyota is counting on model name loyalty to do a lot of the heavy lifting here.

Is it a “real” land Cruiser? Yeah, it says “Land Cruiser” on it, it has a “J” chassis code (J250) and hardware wise its every bit a Land Cruiser. The axles are more or less shared with the J300 and while some stuff is sized down (tie rod ends in particular) its going to be plenty strong. When I drove the GX550 overtrail it felt a lot more 80 series than GX470 to me. Great suspension performance and ride quality off-road.

The front needs a 50 mm lift to help with the rake and solve the ground clearance issues, but once you do that, you are basically done. Put better tires and wheels (33’s should fit, and PLEASE better wheels) and a small lift and boom. Land Cruisering time.

What really irks me is that you can’t get all the good stuff in one place. How I would want mine:

Land Cruiser 1958 body and cloth seats, but standard trim interior (bigger screen, soft touch), full time 4wd, standard turbo 4 (No hybrid) so that I can also have the 3rd row. I would want the rear locker (so far as I can tell, there isn’t a way to get a 3rd row AND a locker on any of these yet) and the eKDSS from the GX with the 33 inch tires and adaptive suspension (it’s genuinely transformative how well this works off-road).

THAT is the Land Cruiser I want. Maybe even the 3.4TT and 10 speed for the higher tow capacity. For all their model overlap, they don’t actually make the one I want.

I would settle for the GX550 Overtrail with a 3rd row.

Next, let’s look at Lewin’s article about GM’s rad navigation system of 1992. Now, we’ve sort of made a thing out of explaining GM’s triumphs and misses, so Alexk98’s comment resonates:

Absolutely classic GM move, pioneer a technology and be so far ahead of the competition, just to nearly entirely abandon it and flounder a decade later when all the competition surpasses them, and consumers are clamoring for that thing.

Have a great evening, everyone.

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Dan Bee
Dan Bee
1 month ago

So let me get this straight: if you want a third row (4Runner), you can’t see as easily out of it? Yes, the 4Runner is expected to go off-road just as much as the Land Cruiser?

I don’t know why OEMs don’t push hard on figuring out how to improve outward visibility despite all the safety regs focused on protecting occupants and the expense of anyone else outside the vehicle, let alone the secondary impact of making driving miserable due to the increasingly worse outward visibility.

Also, why don’t any of these have a PHEV option? We currently drive a 2022 AWD Toyota station wagon, and while the AWD does fairly well off-road, the hybrid system stumbles and hiccups like a carbureted car from the Malaise Era. A strong electric motor and 40+ miles of range would be awesome.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dan Bee
Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 month ago

I missed the original story and as a SoCal/Huntington Beach native, I was confused why Catalina was in the header image lol. They’re notoriously strict about vehicles, which is why so many people drive golf carts instead. I suppose it’s possible a manufacturer might try to bring test cars to the island, but it doesn’t seem like it’s worth dealing with the logistics.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 month ago

I used to work out there at a camp. Subaru did a couple press drives out there over the years as the roads outside of Avalon are almost all dirt, but decently well maintained.

Was always fun driving into Avalon in a F350 stakebed and trying to park amongst the golf carts.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 month ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

Would that happen to be Camp Fox? If so, I’ve spent quite a bit of time out there haha.

I’m genuinely surprised a manufacturer went out of their way to test there, but you’re right about the roads.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 month ago

Emerald Bay, furthest out on the west end. Drove through Fox a number of times, all the camps are friendly and help eachother out with supplies.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
29 days ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

That’s awesome. I’ve never been to that particular camp but I’ve stay in Two Harbors a few times. I love it out there.

E A
E A
1 month ago

Sorry to tell you this but, there is NO offroading on Coronado Island. He might have entered the car in Coronado but he did not test it there. Source: I work on Coronado Island and I live in San Diego.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago

The mystery may be solved, but I’m sad that there’s no amphibious Lexus after all.

Kalieaire
Kalieaire
1 month ago
  • NATO Spec with a tire carrier would be great.
  • Then the battery pack can go below the floor.
  • Ventilated synthetic cloth seats
  • cool box
  • no moonroof (it’s covered by a large eezi-awn k9 rack w/ a rooftop tent anyway
  • optional 3rd row
  • front / rear locking diffs
  • round headlights (none of that squinty rectangular BS)
  • Also, if Toyota could only fix the automatic emergency braking dumpster fire of a safety feature. Imagine trying to do an emergency lane change, but as you’re shifting weight, the brakes come on, and the LC250 loses complete control by loading up the wrong tires.
Utherjorge
Utherjorge
1 month ago

Jesus Christ, this Toyota-chassis bullshit is killing me. I believe Scott Brady (maybe?) at Expedition Portal covered this maybe two years ago when the Sequoia came out.

Toyota took the whole chassis code garbage and threw it in a big old blender and mixed it all up so that there are no more meaningful distinctions between the codes. You’re actually seeing everyone grasp this when they comment that the new 4Runner makes the LC somewhat redundant. I don’t think it completely does, but it’s all muddy for sure.

But that older article on ExPo intelligently detailed how the new Seq was really kinda the new LC (on the 300 platform) for America, and how the TNGA platform sharing meant meaningful differences in how you use it…but its the sae platform, so there is no more 250, and so on. Whatever Toyota calls it…isn’t what it is. That 250 is now just a number, and doesn’t stand for anything meaningful now.

BUT THE COMMENTARIAT BLEATS ON AND ITS GOD DAMN MADDENING

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 month ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

Whatever Toyota calls it…isn’t what it is. That 250 is now just a number, and doesn’t stand for anything meaningful now.

They’re just following the Germany’s example in this regard.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
1 month ago

I won’t disagree.

El Jefe de Barbacoa
El Jefe de Barbacoa
1 month ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

You care a whole lot more about Toyota chassis code designations than I do, that’s for sure.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
1 month ago

perhaps

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