- 1 Land Cruiser – The War Vet
- 2 Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 – The Bigger The Better?
- 3 A Beast In The City
- 4 Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 – Triumph Of The Successor
- 5 Heads-On Collision – Cost
- 6 Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 – Interior Wars
- 7 Technological Advancements
- 8 Powertain
- 9 Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 – The Conclusion
Welcome back, guys! This is my second installment in the “SUV Battle” series (check out the first one – Toyota RAV4 2015 vs Toyota 4Runner 2015), and this time around we’re gonna witness the Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 clash, and see the winner take the prize.
Ever since the very first days of development, the automobile industry has always been about innovation, enthusiasm and the genuine desire to make great cars. Over the years, the industry has grown into something huge, with the biggest companies gaining a permanent place in the Fortune 500 list. Toyota, Japan’s biggest automobile company to date (and ever) in 2014 was number 9 in that list, falling in only to the mighty food and oil companies.
At the uprise of SUVs Toyota rolled out its best card – the Land Cruiser – unique to its time, and legendary today. And, even though my article is called Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015, I wanna start with the Cruiser – paying homage to the fabulous SUV.
Land Cruiser – The War Vet
Toyota Land Cruiser is the company’s longest running series. The first ever generation of the brand saw the light of day in 1951. They made only 90 units, and the goal was to rival with the American Jeep vehicles. As the story goes, when the Imperial Japanese Army occupied the Philippines during World War 2 (in 1941, to be exact), they found an old Jeep model, and sent it back to Japan to produce a different version of it for the Japanese Army. It wasn’t that efficient on the battlefield, but, as time proved, the brand showed exceptional results in the civil sector.
Over the long years in the business, the Land Cruiser has been transformed into a utility truck, a station wagon, a convertible, and a hardtop. Its main qualities are longevity and reliability, which granted it the highest spot on the SUV pedestal. In Australia the Land Cruiser is the best-selling 4WD (four-wheel drive) vehicle.
Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 – The Bigger The Better?
One thing about the Land Cruiser 2015 that immediately makes you raise your eyebrows, is that it comes standard with seating for eight passengers (as the statement on the official page goes, adventures are best shared), and still manages to be amazing in the off-road adventures. The way it feels in the wild, cruising through dirt, rain, show – you name it – not a lot of trucks can stand next to it, let alone family SUVs. And that’s the Land Cruiser’s biggest win and lose at the same time.
If you’re just a regular American citizen, looking for a fairly-prized SUV for drive-arounds in the city, then all of the sophisticated powertrain and off-road greatness is of little to no use to you. If taking your kids to school, then driving to work and back is all you need an SUV to help you with, than the much cheaper Highlander (we’ll get into the price debates later) is a far better choice for you in the Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 line-up. It’s a bit of a shame to put the Land Cruiser’s amazing skills to rest, but it is what it is.
A Beast In The City
To be fair, though, I have to say, that the Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 is perfectly capable of providing a smooth, enjoyable ride in your hometown. It’s got an amazing suspension, so, if you wanna take your kids out in the wild for a long, one-on-one trip than the Cruiser got you fully covered. You won’t have any problems with the powertrain – weak engine, slow transmission, not enough grit – after all, it’s in the wild-wild nature that this vehicle feels like being at home. As a downside, the mighty-mighty V8 engine under the hood of the beast will result into very steep 15 mpg (miles per gallon) – 13 in the city, and 18 on highways – and that’s a big strike on your budget. Well, not that big, but still – it’s a big throwback for the Cruiser in the Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 battle. Plus, the acceleration is pretty average – could be a bit better with all that power, right?
Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 – Triumph Of The Successor
As the Highlander is considered to be Toyota’s big success story in the family SUV segment, along with the RAV4 (see the comparison between Toyota RAV4 2015 and Toyota 4Runner 2015), I’ll work my way up from that point of view. So, if you’re a family man with a middle-class job, then the Toyota Highlander 2015 is the perfect car for you. Yep, that’s right. Let’s start with the basics – what does a family need from an SUV, or any other vehicle, for that matter? A big, spacious interior, with enough room for up to 8 people? Check. A very comfortable and enjoyable ride? Check. Great city performance and fuel-efficiency? Check.
Plus, you can install a TV-DVD for your kids to enjoy on the back seats. And – like all that wasn’t amazing already – the Toyota Highlander 2015 can tow up to 5,000 pounds – just enough to take that family trailer on the road with you. Toyota Highlander 2015 is not very different from the previous edition, and that’s more than OK, because it went through a significant redesign last year, and looks better than ever.
Heads-On Collision – Cost
Let’s continue with the cost – arguably the most important thing to check before even thinking about picking a vehicle. And, as mentioned before, this is where the Highlander 2015 beats the Land Cruiser 2015 fair and square. The Cruiser costs TWICE AS MUCH, and, to be honest, doesn’t really deliver the double of what its rival does. The MSRP on the Toyota Highlander 2015 Limited (that’s the highest trim level) is 40K, while the Toyota Land Cruiser 2015’s price tag is about 80K (that’s eighty thousand dollars, guys). The standard edition of the Highlander will cost you even less – 30K. So, no debate there – you can get two Highlanders for one Cruiser!
Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 – Interior Wars
Interior-wise, the Highlander 2015 is – surprisingly enough – a match for the Land Cruiser 2015. It’s got that warm, fuzzy feeling to it, and that’s probably the most important characteristic of a car’s interior: if it feels good to be behind the wheel, or in the back seats, then it’s all good. I’ve been lucky enough to personally test A LOT of cars in my life, and can tell you that in my experience a pricier car doesn’t necessarily mean a better and comfier interior. And that’s exactly the case with our contestants today. Don’t get me wrong – the Land Cruiser is in the segment of luxury cars, and delivers fully. You got amazing materials, a heated steering wheel (leather-trimmed), heated and ventilated seats (all of them), auto climate control with 4 different zones, the Smart Key features, and plus that save TV-DVD for the back seats. Still, with a price tag of 30K, the Highlander manages to provide top-class comfort.
Both SUVs are top-notch in terms of safety. I don’t even wanna get into too many details – just know, that you can trust these cars to take care of your family and loved ones in the most extreme circumstances.
As for technology, the Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 is packed with a first-class HDD navigation system, a backup camera, USB-Bluetooth connections, a great dashboard, and much more. However, the Toyota Highlander 2015 has pretty much the same stuff, with the exception of a few not-so-important techy features. Furthermore, its cabin looks more like the luxury one, that the Cruiser’s. Land Cruiser’s back seats have one cool feature – they can be folded not only in a flat position, but also against the walls, and that creates a lot of cargo space. Unfortunately, the seats are known to be stuck and behave erratically, so, not much of an advantage after all.
The Highlander, on the other hand, has an adjustable power liftgate, which allows you to control exactly how high it opens with just a simple press of a button. Anybody with a low-clearance garage will tell you that this is an amazing feature. The maximum cargo capacity is 83.7 cubic feet (which is standard for an SUV), while the Cruiser’s capacity with both rear seat rows folded is 82 cubic feet.
So, in the Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 rivalry the Highlander – once again – easily overruns its opponent in terms of interior comfort as being better suited for a modern-day American family. The Cruiser is better in terms of technology.
Oki-doki, ladies and gentlemen, this is pretty much the only contest that the Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 is superior at, and not only as opposed to the Toyota Highlander 2015. This is the company’s ultimate SUV in terms of powertrain. It comes packed with an exceptional 5.7-lit V8 monster of an engine, which provides 381HP and 401 lb.-ft of torque (that gives you a towing capacity of 8200 pounds). But, this kind of power comes with a prize –the Cruiser is very hungry for fuel (15 mpg, as mentioned before).
The 2015 Highlander comes equipped with a 4-cyl engine, that’s capable of 185HP and a towing capacity of 5000. Pretty impressive for a family car, right? The estimated mpg is 20 in the city, and 25 on the highway. By the way, you can go with a V6, and get even more HP and torque – 270 horsepower, and 248 lb.-ft. of torque (184 lb.-ft with the 4-cyl). The mpg is the same as with the 4-cyl engine.
Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 – The Conclusion
Alright, that concludes our Toyota Highlander 2015 vs Toyota Land Cruiser 2015 review. As you can see, the Highlander 2015 is a far better pick, if you’re not looking for a monster of the wild nature with eight seats, and a price tag of 80K. If what you need is a present-day family SUV with a great interior (also with seating for eight), great technological features, safety, and an affordable price – than the Highlander is your perfect vehicle.
But, if you’ve got some very deep pockets, and can’t imagine your life without the roar of the mighty V8 while you’re conquering yet another peak in the wild nature with your family (a pretty big one) in the back seats, then you should go with the Toyota Land Cruiser 2015. It all comes down to what you need, and how big of a budget you have.