Home » Should All Luxury SUVs Have Tailgates And Is The New Land Cruiser Like The Jeep XJ?: The Autopian Podcast

Should All Luxury SUVs Have Tailgates And Is The New Land Cruiser Like The Jeep XJ?: The Autopian Podcast

Xj Landie
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Jason Torchinsky, Beau Boeckmann and me, David Tracy, are back at it on The Autopian Podcast, presented by our friends at Marble, endlessly chatting about cars because our hearts know nothing else. On this week’s episode, we talk about the new Land Cruiser and how it parallels the Jeep Cherokee XJ; plans to drive a one-of-80 coach-door Lincoln Continental; dealing with kittens born in a Jeep; and an EV project.

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The episode begins with discussion of The Autopian’s seemingly-endless RV hunt. In an effort to bring The Autopian to The People, we want to have an RV that allows us to work and travel (to you, dear readers, so we can organize car shows!), simultaneously. We also want to save money on hotel costs. The issue is, we haven’t found the right RV for us, because we’re looking for something reasonably priced and also deeply, deeply weird. We considered this Ultravan:

The problem is, the Ultravan is a bit small, and I don’t think the bathroom is quite set up in this one, which is for sale for $40,000.

 

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In the episode above, though, we talk about a big Volvo that allegedly once belonged to the DuPont family. You can read more about that here. Beau shut that one down due to the dirty stables in the back; what a waste of space! He’s right.

The episode goes on to discuss an EV build that Galpin is trying out, though one that’s proving to be rather challenging. It involves a “Fox Body” Ford Mustang, a Ford Mustang Mach-E’s front motor (sold as a crate motor from Ford), a change from a solid axle to an independent rear suspension, and lots and lots of packaging and electrical complications. It’s a work-in-progress. There are some more details here.

Also in the episode is discussion about the importance of a tailgate; to me, it’s a requirement on a top-dollar luxury SUV. Rolls Royce Cullinan, outgoing Toyota Land Cruiser, Range Rover, vintage Jeep Grand Wagoneer — these all feature tailgates. It’s now a requisite part of the SUV formula, which is why I think the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer should have one and why Land Cruiser owners are so pissed about the new 2024 model not coming with one.

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I make a parallel between the new Land Cruiser and the Jeep Cherokee XJ, which was smaller and lighter than its predecessor, probably a bit cheaper, and definitely less “heavy duty.” Hell, like the new Land Cruiser, it didn’t even offer a V8! Diehard Jeep fans probably weren’t thrilled back then when the 1984 XJ showed its tiny, boxy face, but in time, the XJ won them all over. I’m curious if the new Land Cruise will do the same to skeptical Land Cruiser fans used to the old, bigger, beefier formula.

Lincon Drive Topshot

Continue listening to the podcast for the story about how a possum got into my Jeep and started eating cat food right next to a mother-cat that was looking out for the final kitten still in the Jeep (the other three in the litter, which were all born in that Jeep, had left). We also spin a yarn about the vehicle we planned to take six hours from LA to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance — a one-of-80 Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition.

Remember, to listen to the podcast episodes you can go to Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or you can use the RSS feed and point your favorite Podcast player at it. Below are some more recent episodes. Please like/listen/subscribe and review/rate our podcast!

Also, as a reminder, we have a sponsor! If you want to support the podcast please sign up for Marble, which is a useful tool that allows you to track your insurance policies and rewards you for doing so. It’s free and helps us keep doing this. You can read more about Marble here.

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JDE
JDE
10 months ago

I am kind of surprised the new land cruiser does not at least have the Tundra Turbo six motor as an option. The hybrid only drivetrain and IFS seems like a step down from the ruggedness of Land Cruisers past.

86TVan
86TVan
10 months ago
Reply to  JDE

LC hasn’t had solid front axles since 80 series back in the mid 90’s…

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
10 months ago

One thing I’m not clear on with the 250 series is component strength. I don’t think it’s the same axles, differentials, steering gear, CC etc as the bigger 300. That does make a difference given that they are going to be similar weight and size. I’m hoping to get a good close look on the 8th, we’ll see.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
10 months ago

Split gate is best gate. That being said, it’s an engineering challenge that adds weight and noise, increases sealing problems and adds cost. And it’s still the right thing to do.

86TVan
86TVan
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

Agreed, split gate or bust. And that’s the rub…the Land Cruiser is supposed to be the apex…spared no expense as Hammond would say. If one didn’t need it (and arguably, most people in the US don’t) you get the LC Prado.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
10 months ago

The headline for the podcast doesn’t match the content of the podcast. Well at least when I clicked on the video and the other just audio. They talked about the Volvo RV, EV swap a Fox body and David’s kittens

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
10 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Yep, I refreshed the page to, just to make sure.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
10 months ago

I commend you for reaching out to your readers and striving to come to them to host car meetups at various locations across the country.

That said, if my employer made me poop in a bucket while on business trips, I’d be sending out my résumé to anyone who would take it.

N54don't
N54don't
10 months ago

Does the Discovery 5’s drop-down shelf count as a tailgate? It holds cargo in when the hatch opens and provides a nice seating surface. They even sold “tailgate event seating” for it. It’s not as “tailgate-y” as the LR3/4 but seems to do everything I’d want a tailgate to do, other than top-gear styling filming. It also lacks the complexity of two separate moving body parts. Either way, I do find it useful and enjoy sitting on it when it isn’t mega hot out and agree any SUV should probably have something like the D5 at a minimum.

As someone with an XJ, the comparison made isn’t that far off for the new Land Cruiser. Toyota listened to what I wanted a couple of years ago – which was essentially the Lexus GXOR concept with a modern powertrain. I could care less about how much they overbuild the full LC, I’d be happy with a Prado which is why I’m intrigued by the new one. Especially if they hit the rumored 27mpg combined. I even like the styling and interior design, which is a first for me other than the Zupra.

Looking through the press releases on ground clearance and relevant offroad stats, it’s still somehow worse than the D5 with air suspension. I know the Toyota will have better articulation and will be much more reliable. Then, I get into my Rover with the nearly silent interior, insanely comfy seats, charming SCV6, and it’s hard to justify the price for the LC.

I’ll still probably test drive one, but it has to be insanely good for me to even consider giving up the money pit that is Rover ownership.

MrLM002
MrLM002
10 months ago

All cars should have tailgates where applicable.

For example would a Toyota Corolla be better or worse with a tailgate and a trunk “lid” instead of it’s standard trunk?

One of the things Smart did right with their cars is giving them Tailgates.

That being said a tailgate that cannot support the weight of as many average Americans who can fit on it is pointless.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
10 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

my old ’93 Civic had a tailgate and top hatch. Besssssst thing ever.

AssMatt
AssMatt
10 months ago

I don’t know how this stuff works, but it sure seems like half the material DT writes is referring to other stuff DT wrote. Maybe the timing between writing/recording and publishing gets stretched to maximize or evenly distribute content or something…It would be less weird if some random internetter just happened across a single post, but I would think that the vast majority of readers are faithful regulars who are caught up. I get the “previously on” at the start of a monthly Cactus installment, but Pebble Beach was last weekend, and the possum post maybe a week old.

Maybe it’s just me. Ah well, better to have slightly redundant content than no content at all! Thanks all for an engaging site!

AssMatt
AssMatt
10 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Thank you sir, I don’t mean to criticize or even complain; please take it as a compliment that many of us feel like it’s acceptable–nay, encouraged–to interact and share our thoughts in this nice place you’ve built!

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