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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
huge ability...in everything it does
Car and Driver
a mountain goat with stitched leather upholstery
precise and confidence-inspiring
Kelley Blue Book
Only one engine is available for the 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser, a brawny 5.7-liter V-8 engine rated at 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The same engine is also found in the Tundra pickup. Here it's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and though the hefty 5,700-pound curb weight doesn't do the Land Cruiser 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. Despite the beefy power output, the 2010 Land Cruiser returns 13 mpg city and 18 mpg.
"Velvety" power delivery is explained by the V-8's application of variable valve timing, a variable-volume air intake, and drive-by-wire throttle, according to Car and Driver. Uncorking the engine evokes a "muted yet mellifluous snarl from the engine bay," they add.
A hydraulic suspension system called Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System offers smooth and stable handling on-road while allowing all that wheel articulation off-road. The system acts to dynamically stiffen the front and rear anti-roll bars through a hydraulic reservoir system on the highway, but can effectively disconnect them on the dirt.
Despite the high-tech suspension setup, the ride in the 2010 Land Cruiser can be quite firm at times, even jolting over larger bumps. The KDSS is better suited to handling the task of helping the tall, heavy Land Cruiser corner well on smooth surfaces. Automobile calls the ride "disheveled" over broken surfaces.
Car and Driver finds even bumpy pavement no trouble for the Land Cruiser's suspension, however, saying drivers can "expect unflappable nonchalance over acned asphalt." Kelley Blue Book agrees, arguing the 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser's "ride comfort comes close to...luxury sedans" with "precise and confidence-inspiring" handling. "Body lean is fairly well controlled," according to ConsumerGuide, and they praise the Land Cruiser's "responsive steering" and "good maneuverability for such a large vehicle." It handles even better when towing, says Automobile: "With a trailer hooked up, the Land Cruiser's driving demeanor radically changed, and it came into its element as a true truck."
Off-road performance is predictably very good, with an approach angle of 30 degrees, standard four-wheel drive with low and high range, a live axle, and a locking Torsen center differential. Crawl Control takes the driver's feet completely out of the equation when off-road, both accelerating and braking as needed to keep the Cruiser crawling at a predetermined speed, either uphill or down. The all-wheel-drive 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 helps its off-road ability, with its body-on-frame construction making it more rugged and tougher than most. The rear suspension offers a full 9.5 inches of travel to help articulate the wheels over the most demanding terrain.
All of these features combine to make the Land Cruiser "a mountain goat with stitched leather upholstery," according to Motor Trend.
The 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser performs incredibly well. It's an off-roading wonder.