The Toyota Land Cruiser, the luxury SUV Toyota has been making for decades, is getting a facelift. The automaker has given the venerable off-road workhorse a refresh in hopes of boosting its dismal sales for the 2013 model.
Few peers among SUV crowd
Toyota has been making the Land Cruiser for more than half a century, according to USA Today. It was built to compete with Jeeps and Land Rovers, which it is easily capable of doing.
Over the years, it has evolved from being a rugged, utilitarian beast into a refined, luxurious SUV without losing any of its ability off the beaten path. In order to further enhance the status of the Land Cruiser, the company has given it a facelift.
Rugged and refined
The 2013 Land Cruiser has a new grill and new HID headlights, LED daytime running lights and new tail lights. The front end is being fitted with more chrome and new side mirrors. According to Automobile magazine, it’s also getting 18-inch wheels.
The interior is updated to include leather upholstery, a new wood trim, a heated steering wheel and chrome outlines for the air vents. It also has additional power outlets, which is good because the SUV is designed to seat eight. A DVD player and monitors in the headrests are standard, as are heated rear seats and a redesigned instrument panel.
Additional panels have been added to the underside of the body, according to USA Today, to better protect the engine and other sensitive parts. The car is also getting Toyota’s Entune “connectivity suite” and the Multi-Terrain Monitor, a video display using feed from cameras on the front, rear and side. The new Land Cruiser also comes with a multi-surface traction control system. It comes standard with a 5.7-liter, 381 horsepower V-8, a six-speed automatic transmission and, naturally, four-wheel drive.
You pay for what you get
The price hasn’t been announced yet, but it will be steep. The currently available base 2012 Land Cruiser, according to Toyota’s website, starts at $68,920. That is considerably cheaper than its immediate competition, which is Land Rover’s Range Rover, which starts at $80,275 and the Mercedes G550, which starts at a staggering $109,000. The Range Rover Sport starts at $60,895.
The update may not do too much for the SUV, however. It landed on AutoBlog’s Top 10 Worst Selling Cars for a reason, since only 1,662 of them were sold in 2011.
Land Rover: http://www.landrover.com/us/en/rr/