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2008 Toyota Land Cruiser First Drive



  • Wow! Ugly AND un crash worthy! Ironic that you'd mention this as it jogged my memory of something that happened this past spring. I had driven up to Monterey for an event and thought it would be (and it was) a super drive in the Porsche. I pulled in to the check in area and happened to notice a lot of BMWs there. Just as I was getting out of my car, a couple of guys approached me and one was commenting on my car to the other. Where upon he gave me his card and introduced himself--# 001 from Autospies. We talked a bit and he said that he was there to participate in the testing of the new sport version of the 5 series. I figured what the heck, so I asked him if I could tag along the next day and do a drive. He said sure. Pretty nice actually, but that Bangle design, ugh.

    But the point to all my rambling here is that the day after the ride I saw him again and he told me that earlier they were driving around the Monterey area and one test driver hit a corner way too hot and the car spun and flipped a few times and was in serious condition and the passenger had been killed. I intended to verify this, but never got to it--your comment here reminded me about it though.

    I took off early AM of Saturday for Redwood City and just as I did a bunch of Porsche guys were arriving for races at Laguna Seca. They were wondering if I was going to be in the race! I chuckled sheepishly and admitted that I didn't even know about the them.

    Wow, I sure drifted off topic. :D
  • i dont care how much the land cruiser costs or looks like, you are getting an amazing deal. You get one of the most competent 4x4 vehicles in the world, one of the most reliable cars in the world, an 8 seat suv, fairly high performance (probably the fastest 8 seater) and superb on road comfort and handling. what else could you ask for. well maybe more luxury, o wait, then you could get the lx 570. both the vehicles are in their own class, their is no other vehicle that can get even close to matching them in every aspect
  • This review is right on. I drove the 08 LC yesterday and liked it but not $72K worth of like. I have a 06 Lexus LX and like it but feel it is cramped and underpowered. I'm 6'1" (not exactly Shaq like) and my knees are at a 45 degree angle when driving. I gave it to my wife and now drive a 07 Denali XL which a really like although it's a beast. When you tour and drive the new LC you just don't get the feeling that it's a $72K SUV. The dealer was ready to push a deal too (so much for the big waiting list, huh). The drive is much better than the prior generation LC/LX but the egonomics, blind spots, PRICE, and lack of interior space are problems. I'm looking foward to reading the rest of the boards here to see what others said. I also agree that these first posts might have originated in Torrance, CA if you get my drift.
  • Bonus time is in Jan, but I am gonna stay with my 2000 TLC for another year... or 3! Instead I am thinking of getting a 911 (03 or 04) as a play toy and letting Toyota rework this version... kinda sad though, as I have been postponing gettng a new LC for the last few years based upon the redesign being the holy grail... what a bummer! To those of you that are buying now, Congrats to you!

  • luckylouluckylou Posts: 308
    Just arrived from Toyota of Melbourne dealership where they have one Land Cruiser , Salsa Red with the Grey interior the MSRP is appx. $69000.00
    It was a nice drive it felt very strong, the doors close with a short thump with a masculine feel . The thickness of the steering wheel has increase , great acceleration , I did not find the driver's seat comfortable in spite of the added inches it did not felt bigger. The exterior looks better up close, just a bit.
    The body side molding is an $300.00 option.
    Definitively I would like to test drive the 2008 Sequoia.
    The same for the LX570, I need hands on.
  • rst1rst1 Posts: 1
  • luckylouluckylou Posts: 308
    Congratulations rst1

    Twin Turbos Diesels fantastic !!
    I am sure that you know that here in the States at this time, we can not get the LC with diesel engines. It has to do with the EPA.
    Nevertheless, I wish we had the diesel choice.
    Congratulations again.
    Please keep post posted.

  • Bullet-

    That's pretty much what I've been doing for years now. The Porsche/LC combo is hard to beat. I've got an '02 LC (my 5th LC) and an '06 Carrera S. I'm hanging on to the LC for now until something breaks, er I mean changes with the new LC. I may end up getting another 40 series LC--and if I do, I'll just put that new LC money into a new Porsche.

    BTW, congrats to those with the new model LCs. Looking forward to more reviews of them
  • Hey S-C:

    Any words of wisdom about the 911 options? (yeah I know I am off topic)... I have friend that says get the targa top, but I have always admired the ragtop....
  • At the risk of irritating the mods, I'll offer the following suggestions for you. As the 997 series has been out since '05, we are essentially in the 4th model year. While I'm not aware of any real issues with the '05MY, I personally usually wait for at least one full MY for any obvious bugs/issues to be worked out. So, having said that, I'd suggest you consider an '06 or newer and see if you can find one within your price range that you like. As you may know, ordering a Porsche can get pricey fast as just about everything is ala cart. So it's hard to really recommend options. The basics:

    Carrera=325 HP
    Carrera S =355 HP

    Most will have Bose High end stereo, Bi-Xenon headlights, but the option list grows from there. Why not visit the Edmunds Porsche boards and pricing guide as well as KBB etc to get an idea of what these cars are selling for. Unless you really want the 996 series, try for a 997. It's a nice improvement over the 996.

    I'm not a fan of either the Targa or Cab, as I prefer the uncluttered, clean lines of the coupe. FWIW, I think a Cab is probably more desirable than a Targa, but as I said that's my opinion.

    Oh, be prepared to buy tires. These things eat them at the rate of about 10K--at least in the rear. You'll probably go thru 2 sets of rears before you need to change all four tires.

    HTH and post any other ??s you have and I'll try to answer them or steer you in the right direction. Oh, I can tell you that oil changes are MUCH easier on Porsches than on LCs :shades:
  • My current Land Cruiser is now 4 years old, and I am contemplating the purchase of a new one. I drove the 2008 LC yesterday. The car drives and feels much like the old one--but is much more powerful. It is beautifully made, the interior is well designed and finished, and the controls feel smoother than before. The front passenger seat has been made much shorter and less comfortable than before, and no longer has an adjustable lumbar support. In addition, the head rests are not of the pivoting type and one cannot rest ones head on them on a long trip. There seems to be no way to use and control an iPod properly, as can be done in a MB C-class. XM is available but the dealer said I couldn't get an integrated Sirius radio. The looks of the exterior is adequate, but I don't buy a car for looks. The interior luggage space with the 3rd row of seats is noticeably smaller than the previous model. It also seems to be a problem if you wish to remove the 3rd row of seats to open up more space. Why would you want a larger 2008 LC that offers less carrying room than before? The ride, handling, smoothness, and silence are marginally better than before, but on balance, I didn't find any reason to trade in my 4 year old LC for a new one. The power and pickup is greater, but I was never bothered by lack of power in my current LC. On balance, it was disappointing!
  • luckylouluckylou Posts: 308
    You are absolutely correct , I also found the front seat very uncomfortable.
    A few days ago I test drove it and was not satisfied at all except the strong engine that was music to my ears.
    I have been reading about the new Sequoia, I feel this could very well be my next SUV. With just about all the options this vehicle is a quite a few G's under the LC/LX.
    I haven't set eyes on it yet , as soon as they arrive at my dealer I would like to give it a good test drive and hopefully this could be my Christmas present.
  • My wife and I looked at an '08 LC and Sequoia to replace an '03 GX that we sold back to the dealer a few months back. We also have an '06 LR3. It is nice to read that other folks are struck by the paradox of a truck having less room than the "smaller" model it replaced.

    I did not have quite enough leg room in the GX, but a lot of extra head room. On the LC and Sequoia, my head was brushing the headliner. I also had that claustraphobic feeling in the LC. Without adjusting the front I tried the back, to find that I had to splay my knees. The manager of the store came by at this point, and watched me have to semi-stand-up and turn my legs sideways and back out of the door; as my shoes were too big to turn toward the door to get out. He stated "pretty hideous for a $71K truck-eh?". It is disappointing. The second-row of the Sequoia is massive in comparison, but the third-row "seems" to have less room than our LR3. I did not play with the adjustable second row, but it was set about in the middle.

    I do like the new look of the LC and LX, and my wife is absolutely ga-ga over the latter. I was hoping that the LX would have more headroom than the LC, but that does not look like the case.

    If you are wondering, I've been stealing the LR3 so much from my wife, combined with putting AT tires on it, she has decreed that she needs her own truck.
  • luckylouluckylou Posts: 308
    I'm hoping that tomorrow I could swing by Toyota of Melbourne and give the Sequoia a good test drive. I am really looking forward to sit down and see if I can feel comfortable, last week I drove the LC and agree with bgsntth the front seating did not feel comfy.
    I am still looking forward to test drive the LX570 maybe in a couple of weeks, will arrive at the dealer.
  • The fact that the new Toyota Land Cruiser and the new Lexus LX570 are very close in appearance to the new Sequoia is undeniable.
    I have recently, 1,000 miles ago, purchased a new Sequoia Platinum after much research which included the Land Cruiser, Lexus LX570, Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes GL.
    If value per $ spent were my only concern I would have purchased the Sequoia sr5.
    But taking into consideration all my priorities for purchase the Sequoia Platinum came out above all the others by quite a margin.
    If Status were my only concern than the Mercedes would have been the clear winner. But certainly not if I were to actor in such things as reliability. Toyota still leads in this category even if it has slid a little recently.
    I certainly understand what everyone is saying about the styling of the new Land Cruiser and totally agree with that aspect of it. The Land Cruiser, by past standards , has always shown it's self to be a very rugged and capable individual while at the same time exhibiting some of the most luxurious accomodations available in a true off road vehicle. While it is still rugged and and capable as a true off road er with a luxurious interior, it no longer has the identity appeal as before.
    If the identity appeal is your main priority, than the new Land cruiser is probably no longer for you and you should probably go the MB route.
    As far as the Lexus, well we al know that it is tailored more to the females and will never see off road use.
    Now, I can say without any hesitation that I love my new Seqoia and while it may not compete with the Land Cruiser as the best off road performer, it does what it was designed to do in the highest degree of perfection. It handles like a dream, has room for four large adults in the front and second row seats and can accomodate adults in real comfort in the third row seats without compromise. As far as luxury, in the Platinum trim it out performs the Land Cruiser in roomyness and ventelated front seats.
    If there were/are plans, as I've also heard rumer, to eventually eliminate the Land Cruiser than the Platinum would not be sucha bad replacement given the Land Cruisres loss of idetity.
    The addition of the larger 5.7 V-8 and six speed transmission have to be experienced to be appreciated.
    I would suggest that before any serious judgments are drawn on this new body style Land Cruiser one should give it's capabilities for practical useage a fair trial first.
  • I'll try to be brief - in one day I drove the 2008 TLC,(Sticker $73k), the LX570 ($84k), the Sequoia Plat. ($58k), the short body Escalade ($71) and the LR RR HSE ($84k)

    2008 TLC - Pro: as an owner of a 2000 TLC, I was impressed by the performance of the beast - the usual quality and understated theme, complex, high quality 4x4 system and perf on the road - I think my current TLC drives just great and this one was a big improvement over that. Con: No adjust. susp, no power 3rd row seats, no Xen lights, arm rest on the front seats are gone.... kinda under whelming... guess as I have aged, my expectations, for this kinda $, have moved a little upscale

    2008 LX570 - Pro: all the best points of the TLC, had the elusive arm rests, albeit as part of the center consul - had all the goodies that the TLC lacked, but more refined (if that is what you are looking for)... Con: $10k more in cost

    2008 Sequoia - Pro: price / value equation, size (this could be a +/-), power 3rd row seats... Con: kinda ugly IMHO of course, Interior - sitting in the driver seat, the interior (although upscale for a pickup), made me think back to my old F150 4x4 that I had in college, 1 piece rear gate (albeit with power window), 2nd row captain chairs (no good for me as I have 3 kids in baby seats and two large dogs - maybe they can be switched out so that you can get the 2nd row bench like the base model), size - this thing is huge....

    2008 Escalade: Pro: bling - bells and whistles, Cons: Shifter on the steering column seems "old hat", 2nd row captains chairs here also (what is it with these things?) looks and quality - hard to justify the upcharge from the Yukon Denali, although my neighbor "the know it all' Dr, just raves about his - go figure huh?

    2008 RR HSE - my wife loved this one - deep blue exterior, with off white leather seats with blue piping and blond-wood interior accents. Didn't drive the supercharged version but this one was fast enuff...Pro: exclusivity, interior driving quality, Cons: lack-of-quality reputation (although I have friend that have the 2007 and 2006 models and they have had no issues - then again, their wifes drive them, so the things never get abused), overall size / quality / performance to cost ratio kinda sucks...

    The more I think about it, the more I may just sit on the sidelines and wait for the 2008 LX570s to come off those 24 month leases...
  • I would wait for the 570 lease returns. Avoid anything by Land Cruiser - nothing but endless trouble and abysmal resale.
  • :confuse: toyota makes both vehicles.
  • It's me! I meant to say "avoid anything from the Land Rover/Range Rover group."
  • Phew! I feel MUCH better now and you are right about avoiding any RR product!
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