I’ve said in numerous posts and videos that I am a sucker for a new car/truck. I love that new car smell, and whenever I can get behind the wheel of a new car I try to take full advantage of the experience. The experience is heightened when it’s a car that I’ve admired for years.
Last week, I was granted the opportunity to drive the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser. This wasn’t a simple test drive either. It was for a whole week.
When I think of the Land Cruiser, I instantly think luxury. Although the Toyota brand in itself didn’t scream luxury to me, this was the one model in their line that did. I think because it boasted such a huge body style, and the fact that the standard features of the truck were bells and whistles you’d pay for on other cars in their line up. This truck also boasts several model versions since their inception in the 1950s, borrowing similar body styles from a lot of their competitors.
Even though I have a large family (6 of us), I never toyed with the idea of shopping for the Land Cruiser for 2 reasons. One, I never thought I could afford one, and Two, I didn’t know they were still being made.
Yep, I thought they stopped making the truck when they introduced the Sequoia. I thought that was the replacement. I didn’t see too many on the road, at least not as many as I did in the late 90s – early 2000s. But apparently they never stopped making them. *oops!*
Ok, Ok, Ok, so they still made/make the Land Cruiser. And it’s still a bad ass truck. Then what was the point of the Sequoia, that on the surface offered similar body style and features?
I jotted down a few differences between the two trucks;
After doing a little digging, I still couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason for creating the Sequoia. My assumption is that Toyota was looking to fill the large SUV market with a more affordable truck. While the Toyota 4Runner and Highlander were nice sized trucks, they didn’t boast the same spacious interior space that the Sequoia offered. And interior space is HUGE to me, as a mom of 4. I’m constantly making sure everyone is comfortable, because if they’re not I’ll hear about it the WHOLE trip. It appears the Sequoia still falls short in interior design, aesthetically. I mean it’s been about 10 years since the inside of the Sequoia has had a facelift. This is where you decide if you are going to pay a pretty penny for the Platinum trim, or if you are willing to shell out a few (read: a lot) coins for the Land Cruiser.
With me, I am going with the Land Cruiser. And sure, I understand that for just a few thousand more I can upgrade to a Lexus LX 570, but then there comes that pesky Lexus maintenance cost, etc.
For the week, I drove around town to see how I liked the truck. I loved the interior and the kids had plenty of legroom. They were even more pleased with the large rear DVD screens in the back. The screens are 11.6″ large! They look like mini laptops. I kinda wish I was the one being driven around.
The infotainment center was huge as well. It took a while for me to get acclimated to all of the buttons and features. There were numerous times I whipped out the owner’s manual. I got a bit flustered with the proximity of all of the buttons in relation to each other. As well as where they were positioned behind the steering wheel or hidden by the gear shift. You really had to understand what you were looking for, and know up front where it was. Fumbling for your steering wheel heat wouldn’t go too smoothly as you’re barreling down the highway in this heavy truck. And yes, it feels like you’re driving a tank…but in a good way. I hope that makes sense.
The Terra colored perforated leather seats were a treat as they offered both heating and ventilated capabilities. It was nice to know that depending on the weather outside, I could program the seats to ventilate or heat when using autostart. The fold away third row also made it easy to get large items like the stroller or a mini fridge in the back.
Unfortunately, when it comes to sitting in the third row don’t expect much.
I’m 5’9″ and my knees began to ache in the short time it took to take this picture. There is no way that I would be comfortable taking a car ride in the back. I could only realistically see my toddler being comfortable back there. This was a bit surprising considering the price tag on this vehicle.
I was also baffled that the 2017 model didn’t come with a power lift gate. [insert jaw drop] I thought this was a basic feature for most SUVs in this day and age. Alas, it was not so.
With all that said, I appreciated the truck for what it offered, a luxury driving experience. The kids didn’t want to give it back. I got a kick out of showing the car off to strangers in the grocery parking lot. And I’m convinced my neighbors are starting to think I am in some kind of auto theft ring with all of the different, new cars I’ve had in my driveway over the last few months.
For more information on the Land Cruiser, or any Toyota product visit: