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Opinionated introduction

Discussion in '200-Series Cruisers' started by chiplee, Nov 12, 2017 at 8:57 AM.

  1. chiplee

    chiplee

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    We took delivery of a 2017 Land Cruiser about a week ago and quickly found this forum to be the most active and informative. Thought I'd introduce myself and explain a little of our LC200 purchase calculus.

    Like many, our expanding family drove us to look at 3rd row equipped vehicles and we initially rejected the Land Cruiser for several reasons. We really only considered it because I'm a long time 4x4 Toyota lover with a built 4th Gen 4Runner that I might want to replace with an LC someday, but we were replacing my wife's daily driver, and she was coming from back to back BMW X5's, a 2011 e70 and a 2015 F15.

    The Land Cruiser just didn't feel right to her, and the price seemed outrageous for what you got. It scored low on the mommy convenience scale, so to speak; no power lift gate, no power folding 3rd row, terrible fuel economy, honestly a little plain looking. Our search/analysis continued, and I dropped little bits of the stuff LC200 purchase decisions are made of when opportunities presented themselves. Eventually, the pendulum began to swing, and I think the factors that contributed to our eventual decision really capture some of the magic behind the LC200 value proposition.

    First let me say I think it's a bit odd for reviewers to even try to explain something so personal as car buying decisions. Invariably they disappoint the biased devotees and miss the intangibles that can often only be revealed by a little of said bias. As one commenter on a review said, this very well may be the last vehicle so well built it can be considered an heirloom vehicle; something your kids will fight over when you're dead. As many of you must have realized, I think there's a solid objective case to be made for this vehicle, too.

    In our case, our first X5 was repurchased by BMW for mechanical issues. For those who haven't had a vehicle repurchased by a manufacturer, this is a good deal. They essentially pay off whatever loan balance you have and refund all of your payments less depreciation. We dodged a bullet by about 2000 miles on that deal, as it was going out of warranty very soon. Our second X5 depreciated over 50% from MSRP to private sale price in just 3 years. It was so difficult to sell that we considered keeping it and extending the warranty. An extra 2 years and 24k miles was $5500. Out of warranty ownership simply is not an option at our risk tolerance. We cut our losses and unloaded it.

    We shopped Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, BMW X5, Acura MDX, Toyota Sequoia, Chevy Traverse, various Land Rovers, and of course, the Land Cruiser. All but the Toyotas promised to put us right back in this "going out of warranty" paranoia in 3-5 years, and comparably equipped the luxury brands were also comparably priced. That's when it really hit us that the Land Cruiser's price was a bargain. Reviewers had so consistently pounded it into our heads that it was overpriced relative to competition that we'd almost mindlessly accepted that idea. In reality though, a fair price comparison to the Land Cruiser actually needed to include two purchases of any non-toyota competitor to achieve the same usable lifespan. The only Toyota that compared was Sequoia, but that was really moot, since that's not a heritage vehicle and it could end up dangerously close to LC price with similar options. Not to mention the girth and construction didn't fit my long term plans for the vehicle. In any case, we realized we'd have to buy two $80,000 X5's to get the same number of years of reliable and financially secure utility from BMW as you get from one Land Cruiser. This epiphany really tipped the scale. It meant the LC offered a $70k discount over the next decade. There were countless other factors, but again, they're almost too personal to bother describing.

    Changing cars, especially in CA, is time consuming, tedious and expensive. We extended our warranty to 10yr/100k and can't believe the weight that was lifted off our shoulders knowing that we won't be pressured or "paranoid" into our next family hauler decision.

    When my wife is ready for something else, the LC will be built to replace my 4Runner. For now, we love everything about the vehicle, and it feels like slipping under a warm blanket after so many years of harsh riding BMWs. We even love the rear seat entertainment, including the "huge" screens. Never understood why people would want wires hanging off of ipads clipped there.

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017 at 9:14 AM
  2. Romer

    Romer fatherofdaughterofromer Moderator

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  3. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    Perfect vehicle for your neck of the woods!
     
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  4. chiplee

    chiplee

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    Thanks! We agree. That was a big factor, too. Tons of fun is two to four hours in all directions where we live, much of it off prepared surfaces. 4Runner is nice for me and one or two people. LC opens up a lot of options.
     
  5. Ali M

    Ali M

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    I was close to pulling the trigger on g550 before I purchased my LC. I owned a x5 M and x5 diesel and I will always be comparing the German design to the LC plain and simple interior. If there is one thing I would like it to be better is the contour, stitching and leather quality of the seats. I will not drive my LC on long trips for that simple reason because I know I won’t enjoy sitting as much as I did on my x5s.
     
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  6. chiplee

    chiplee

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    Interesting perspective. We feel like the LC seats are a big upgrade over the X5s we've had, but we never had one of the high end seating options in those. I think we were just ready to blend in a little better, too. People who know the Land Cruiser will appreciate it, but most people are oblivious, or surprised to learn they still make new Land Cruisers. German luxury is out of place where we live. That's urban warrior stuff, and our town is very rural and off road oriented. My 4Runner turns WAY more heads than my F80 M3.
     
  7. Yossarian

    Yossarian SILVER Star

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    Welcome. At the LCDC gathering this past summer in Breckenridge, Dave from Toyota stated that the usual design life of a vehicle is approximately 10 years (or something like that). He continued with the Land Cruiser is designed for the same, but in 3rd world countries without paved roads. That fact is lost on most automotive journalists and reviews.

    Enjoy :cheers:
     
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  8. BennyGP

    BennyGP

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    Thanks for the write up. I bought the same color and the same year as your. My thought exactly the same way You did before I bought my venhicle, now that thought fading away and sometime I was thinking about trade it in for something more luxuries. But after I read your post I appriciate my SUV more... welcome to the forum.
     
  9. Dan Higgins

    Dan Higgins

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    Welcome. Your thoughts are spot on. Both your characterization of the LC “magic” that most people don’t understand as well as the reality that choosing the right vehicle is very personal and very dependent on lifestyle, intended uses, passenger/cargo/towing requirements, hobbies and on and on. And it’s also true that. I vehicle has everything we want. Whatever you get there will be things you wish were different. (The same is true with just about everything we buy from cars to houses to mobile phones! Heck, even my wife had to settle for some compromise when she married me 38 years ago. :D)

    I loved the LR4 I had before the LC. But I knew that once it hit 150K miles I would be feeling the same concerns about reliability - especially out in some remote area - as I may someday when the LC is well over 300K. And I put nearly 30K on these vehicles per year with a fair bit of shaking and bouncing on some of those miles. And the LR4’s towing abilities were suspect.

    So, do I wish the LS had a better Nav system and that I could lose the RE screens and that the 2nd and 3rd row would fold truly flat like my LR4 did? Sure. But when I had the LR4, there were a whole set of things that I wished were different on it. That’s life.

    BTW, if I pass the LC down to our kids it will have at least 300K on it.
     
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  10. Sandroad

    Sandroad SILVER Star

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  11. Rigger

    Rigger Ramble Tamble Staff Member Moderator

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  12. Oakleyguy

    Oakleyguy

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    It is my understanding that the 200 series is designed with a 25 year service life.
     
  13. hickuptruck

    hickuptruck

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    Welcome, see you somewhere on US395 soon!

    Yeah, when Chevy Suburbans start going north of $70k sticker, the LC at $84k doesn't all seem too bad. New car wise, the only other cars I'd consider other than the LC is the Nissan Patrol/Armada as they call it in the USA. They are getting heavily discounted for the '17 model. My buddy just bought a brand new SL (leather, AWD, Nav) for $41.5k......they are made in Japan. I love the XC90, it seems modern now, but once it is out of warranty with the turbo/supercharged 2L, that would seem like a nightmare along with the huge, but very nice looking nav stack.

    Anyways, the comfort of the 200 is bar none. Such a high upright seating position with lots of clear views with huge windows. Only other car I've been as comfortable is the xc90 with the Swedish designed seats and supple leather. Worst comfort I've been in, is probably the current Escalade and X5s.
     
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  14. mcgaskins

    mcgaskins

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    I've always liked German cars and have owned many over the years, but the overall package that a 200 series offers is hard to compare to anything else sold in the US. Usually you have to chose among things like reliability, durability, longevity, luxury, comfort, towing, off road ability, resale value, seating capacity, technology, prestige, etc. but in a Land Cruiser you get pretty much everything. The tech is always behind the cutting edge, but it's generally robust enough and reliable. I feel like the platform is getting a bit long in the tooth, but the 16+ facelift did wonders to keep it relevant. My only complaint with my 14 is that it felt very "old" compared to other modern, expensive vehicles in terms of the user interface, tech and general feel, but the 16+ seems to be a lot better. I have an 08 LX now that honestly feels as modern if not more modern than the 14 LC, so I think that's the sweet spot in the 200 lineup other than the 16+ LC. Congrats on the new truck and be sure to search here when you have questions as most of the common concerns/issues/questions have been answered already.
     
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  15. Yossarian

    Yossarian SILVER Star

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    That's what I recall, though I've been wrong before, and will be wrong again. That said, it did seem like a low # in regards to design service life. Also, many of us were enjoying Breckinridge Brewery's finest, so.......
     
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  16. Haggis

    Haggis

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    Well stated and pretty much sums up why I sprung for the 200.
     
  17. allan man

    allan man Since 2008 GOLD Star

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    I would agree with ali m on this one the X5s seat was more comfortable than the 200
    For extended driving BUT what a POS that beamer was,highly agree with you on the warranty we got rid of it right before the warranty expired. I was getting tired going to the dealership in and out of loaners the worse part was i would ask the service writer what was wrong and he replied we dont know but we replaced everything and 2 days later still acting up.

    Congrats on your new 200 series and welcome
     
  18. hickuptruck

    hickuptruck

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    This was for a '17 F15 X5. That seat was way to wide, and didn't at all hold em in place. That seat is definitely made for someone with a very big butt. Every turn I would be moving around way too much. Yeah, it is supportive though. I dislike IDrive a lot......it is submenus galore. However, it is still miles ahead of the '17 GLS but not quite '17 S-Class nav yet.

    The 200 series is up for a redesign to the 300 series. It still is very modern, doesn't feel too outdated. I really can't think of cars that have held up to nearly a decade+ before a redesign, but still are modern. Just look at how the 2008 LC/LXs are ......compare that with any of the competition of the time and the 200 is clearly a winner.
     
  19. TonyP

    TonyP SILVER Star

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    If you want awful infotainment mosey on over to the Caddy dealer.
     
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  20. Ali M

    Ali M

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    Definitely hated the frequent dealership stops and getting in and out of loaners during the years I’ve owned German cars. The only German truck I will buy today used is the mercedes G class. Those remind me a lot of the LC legendary reputation.