However, after skipping the 2012 model year Toyota has sweetened its big SUV for 2013, changing up the styling just a bit and adding more standard features.
Thankfully, Toyota hasn’t mucked around with the Land Cruiser’s core off-road capabilities and eight-passenger seating.
On the outside the 2013 Land Cruiser sports a revised front grille and new headlamps with HID low-beams. There are also LED daytime running lights, redesigned side mirrors and tail lamps, and new chrome side molding to add a touch of luxury.
Special foam-filled A-pillars and a “bifacial” molding between the windshield and the body both help reduce wind noise, while underneath new panels behind the front bumper and extending under the engine, and behind the rear wheels, help protect the mechanicals when going over rocky terrain.
Finally, Toyota has added Pearl White to the 2013 Land Cruiser’s color palette.
Moving inside, among several features that were formerly available as options but are now standard include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system to keep the kids (and some older folks) occupied on long-haul drives, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a center-console cooler box, headlamp cleaners, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, a multi-information display with voice activation and Bluetooth connectivity, heated second-row seats, a JBL speaker system, and finally, Toyota’s hard-drive based navigation system with Entune.
Some of the interior elements have also been redesigned as part of the 2013 upgrade, such as the perforated leather trim used on the new ventilated front seats and the higher gloss wood grain finish, brighter silver instrument panel ornamentation, and chrome-plated air conditioner controls.
Other new interior features include a multi-terrain monitor with front, side or rear selectable views, a new multi-information display, an eco driving indicator light and zone display, a heated steering wheel, and more power outlets for both DC 12V and AC 120V products.
Power still comes from Toyota’s venerable 5.7-liter V-8 found in other models like the Tundra workhorse. In the Land Cruiser it produces 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, with 90 percent of that torque making itself available from just 2,200 rpm. Drive is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift mode allowing the driver to select gears manually.
A lightweight, compact transfer case provides full-time four-wheel drive with a low-range 2.618:1 ratio for traversing challenging driving surfaces, such as steep inclines. The system uses a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential to distribute power 40:60 front-to-rear, directing more power to the wheels with the best grip should slippage occur.
The wheels measure 18-inches all ‘round and house a brake system that employs 13.4-inch ventilated discs with four-piston calipers up front and 13.6-inch ventilated discs at the rear.
Safety features include 10 airbags as standard, a multitude of electronic nannies minding the braking, stability and traction systems, as well as a tire pressure monitor system, sonar parking sensors, and Toyota’s new Pre-Collision System designed to detect other vehicles and obstacles and help optimize the restraining performance of the front passenger seatbelts if a collision is imminent.
The starting price on the 2013 Land Cruiser is $77,955, plus $810 in destination charges.