What Changed for 2009:
- Factory privacy glass on side and rear quarter windows added as standard equipment
The Land Cruiser wears the oldest nameplate in the Toyota family, having been part of the automaker's lineup since it started selling cars in the United States in 1957. A 2008 redesign, which represented the seventh generation of this iconic SUV, featured a new engine and transmission, stiffer frame, added safety features, and new luxury amenities. The new Land Cruiser was also longer, wider and taller than the previous version. The 2009 edition is virtually unchanged from last year. Known internally as the 200 Series, the Land Cruiser's body-on-frame construction, 2-speed transfer case, full-time 4WD, skid plates, and a new suspension system make it suitable for off-road use.
One version of the Toyota Land Cruiser is available. It features leather-lined seating for 7 passengers (the front seats are heated and power-adjustable), running boards, fog lights, 14-speaker JBL stereo with a 6-disc CD/DVD changer, tilt/slide power glass sunroof, Smart Key keyless entry, and 12 cupholders. Eighteen-inch wheels and tires are standard. Options include a touch-screen DVD navigation system and an upgrade package with a wood-and-leather steering wheel, rear-seat entertainment, back-up camera, second-row heated seats, and more.
The 5.7-liter V-8 engine, found on all Land Cruiser models, was new for 2008. Technologies include direct fuel injection, 4 valves per cylinder and variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i). Horsepower is measured at 381, up from the 2007 model's 265 hp, and peak torque is listed as 401 lb.-ft., up from 310 lb.-ft. of torque for the 2007 model. The 6-speed automatic transmission in the 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser relies on Artificial Shift Control, which, the manufacturer says, estimates road conditions and projects a driver's intention to apply the right gear ratio based on road conditions and speed. The Land Cruiser's transfer case has a push-button switch for activation, and a rotary dial to select high or low range. Front, center and rear differentials assure proper off-road maneuvering. Maximum trailer weight is 8500 pounds; the Land Cruiser's gross combined weight rating is 15,775 pounds.
As with other Toyota SUVs, the 2009 Land Cruiser includes the automaker's Star Safety System with dual front air bags, front- and second-row seat-mounted side air bags, three rows of side curtain air bags with roll-sensing capability, and two front knee air bags. Anti-lock brakes include electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist, which balance front and rear brakes and apply extra force in a panic stop, respectively. Vehicle stability control (VSC) comes with a cut-off switch; Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) balances engine power and braking during acceleration.
As of this writing, the 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser has not been tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The electro-mechanical CRAWL control system on the 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser monitors engine speed and output as well as braking to move the vehicle forward in one of three low-speed settings. It includes Downhill Assist Control (DAC), which holds the Land Cruiser at a target speed during descents. Ultimately, the CRAWL system allows a driver to concentrate on steering in dicey off-road travels. Also new, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) uses a pair of hydraulic control cylinders that provide a stiff on-road ride as well as a supple off-road drive, the automaker says. Front and rear anti-roll bars are also monitored by the system.