Sunrise on the beach with the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser. Source: Victoria Mason
Toyota loves to say, “Let’s go places!” And that’s exactly what we did with the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser with its V8 engine and 4WD this summer.
We did a lot of traveling and spent a great deal of time together as one big family unit, especially during the month of August. It was as if we were really feeling the waning days of summer and wanted to chase after them, even if it meant we had to get in the car and drive for hours on end to do so. I’m talking to you eclipse traffic.
The Land Cruiser is part of those memories because it gave us the ability to do exactly what we wanted without sacrificing comfort or safety at any point during our two trips. First, when we were northbound to Bethany Beach, DE where we faced driving rains crossing a darkened Bay Bridge (white knuckle driving there!) and again on the way home when the Land Cruiser lane departure assist and rain-sensing windshield wipers became our BFF. Both drives the Land Cruiser held fast to the road and didn’t feel top-heavy or wobbly even with a loaded roof rack.
When the Land Cruiser arrived a few days before our beach trip to Bethany I wasn’t too impressed. It just looked like your average hulking SUV. I was excited about the storage capabilities and how easy it would be to please my kids with the dual screen tv’s in the spacious second row but beyond that, I wasn’t feeling overly excited. When I saw the cooler, I might have squealed. Just a little bit. When I got behind the wheel to run some last-minute errands I was even more excited. Why?
The Land Cruiser is a snap to drive. I immediately felt comfortable and confident when behind the wheel. It was easy to navigate the dashboard, centerstack, and controls as well as back up with the rear 365 degrees back up camera on the 9-inch display. Now I was excited and couldn’t wait to hit the road! Bethany Beach, here we come!
Simple to use. Easy on the eyes too. Source: Victoria Mason.
No, the seats don’t fold up in the third row. They fold to the side and do it in two steps too. Source: Victoria Mason.
Source: Victoria Mason.
About That Night
So, let’s revisit the rain. It’s been unusually rough with the rain this summer. It is never just a little rain storm. On the night we drove home we were hit with loud claps of rumbling thunder and startling and bright lightning that caused the kids to scream half the ride home. Honestly, it was at least our third storm like this over the summer but the worst one. On the one lane roads in Delaware and Maryland in pitch black night and slanting rain, we could barely see the lines of the road. Water pooled on the roads and the Land Cruiser never wavered. Pulling over wasn’t an option with no shoulder so we pressed on and the LDA and the SUV’s solid connection to the road held fast mile after mile. We felt safe inside its cabin the whole way home. My connection to the Toyota Land Cruiser was getting stronger. My husband was head over heels in love with it.
Shake the Sand Out and Head South
After the rain, we had a solid 24 hours at home before we packed up the Land Cruiser once again and headed south. It was time to visit friends and see the eclipse in totality at Sadler’s Creek State Park in South Carolina.
Total Eclipse 2017 = Unforgettable time together as a family. Source: Victoria Mason
Time Tested & Tested Again
Guys, the eclipse was amazing. I geek out over a lot of stuff but not things like the eclipse. What got me out the door to do this thing was that I like to travel and I really enjoyed being in the Land Cruiser. I like testing cars. That’s it. However, once we got to Sadler’s Creek with our sandwiches and snacks safely stored and chilled in the Land Cruiser cooler and met our friends it was all about the eclipse. And it was well-worth the drive. So. Much. Driving. *shakes fist at eclipse traffic.*
Watch my video and step inside the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser. Subscribe to my channel for more car reviews.
The eclipse lasted an hour. After that, we packed it in and all climbed back in the Land Cruiser. The girls donned their wireless headphones (4 total) and tuned us out as we used the navigation system to figure out the best way to head halfway home. That’s right. We were only going four hours up the road to Durham, NC.
Eight hours later we arrived at our destination in Durham. That’s a lot of gas consumed and really one of my only issues with the Land Cruiser. That and the absence of a power liftgate. The V8 engine sucks up fuel at 13 city mpg, 18 highway, and 15 mpg combined. But, we again, we were comfortable in the car the whole way. We all felt like we had the space we needed and kept each other entertained. Even when it took us another five hours to get home the second day. At that point, our youngest broke and dubbed the Land Cruiser “The Big Box”. By the second day of our journey home she was yelling, “Just get me out of the Big Box!”
In the End
We made it home. Tired and safe after almost two weeks of travel together and all in one vehicle. The Toyota Land Cruiser won me over. It’s 60-year history as a durable, rugged vehicle could certainly have handled more than what we threw at it. It’s also why the Land Cruiser has such a hefty price tag of over $80k. There is a lot going on under that hood and that goes into keeping a cabin so quiet and the ride as smooth as the one the Land Cruiser offers. That’s where your dollars are going when you buy one.
The interior is nice with its leather seats but not too luxurious and the entertainment system was one of the easiest to use out of all the cars I have tested in the past. That’s saying something. The fact that my husband and I could listen to our own music while the girls used wireless headphones and their own movie was a treat. Not every SUV or minivan does that even today. Two weeks later and I’m still missing the Land Cruiser and highly recommend it for those that can afford the price tag and will put it through its paces. For us, it helped create family memories that will last a lifetime. That’s totally worth all the traffic and long hours in “the Big Box”.
*Disclosure: TMC was not paid for this post. Vehicle provided by Driveshop and Toyota. Opinions are 100% my own.