On the road, the Land Cruiser's hefty 5,700-pound curb weight doesn't do it any favors in acceleration, the engine still feels strong in freeway merges and hauling or towing duty. The six-speed auto makes easy work of the necessary gear changes, operating quickly and smoothly. The only thing lacking from the equation is steering feel; it's a bit numb, and the ratio feels too long for tight highway esses.
With an approach angle of 30 degrees, standard four-wheel drive with low and high range, and a locking Torsen center differential, off-road performance is predictably very good. The system can send anywhere between 50 to 70 percent of the engine's power to the rear wheels depending on conditions, and a range of electronic stability and dynamics controls help to maintain grip on- and off-road. Hill Descent Control makes it easy to cruise slowly down tricky inclines, and Hill Start Assist helps keep you from rolling backward on uphill starts. The Land Cruiser's construction also aids its off-road ability, with its body-on-frame construction making it more rugged and tough than most. The rear suspension offers a full 9.5 inches of travel to help articulate the wheels over the most demanding terrain.
The Land Cruiser's off-road capabilities are prodigious, thanks in part to its rugged body-on-frame construction and in part to its wide range of assistive technologies, including Hill Assist Control, Active-TRAC, and Downhill Assist Control. All of these can be activated and adjusted by controls in the center console.
The Land Cruiser manages to handle reasonably well—and reasonably flat, without a lot of body lean, on the road—thanks to a hydraulic suspension system called Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System. It dynamically stiffens the front and rear anti-roll bars through a hydraulic reservoir system on the highway, but can effectively disconnect them in the dirt, allowing smooth and stable handling on-road while allowing all that wheel articulation off-road.