2020 Toyota Land Cruiser vs. 2020 Acura MDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Land Cruiser are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Acura MDX doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The Land Cruiser has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The MDX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Land Cruiser. But it costs extra on the MDX.

The Land Cruiser’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The MDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Land Cruiser and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

The Toyota Land Cruiser weighs 1229 to 1783 pounds more than the Acura MDX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Land Cruiser for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the MDX.

There are almost 5 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Land Cruiser’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Land Cruiser’s reliability 30 points higher than the MDX.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 63 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Acura is ranked 13th.

Engine

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The Land Cruiser’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 91 more horsepower (381 vs. 290) and 134 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 267) than the MDX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6. The Land Cruiser’s 5.7 DOHC V8 produces 60 more horsepower (381 vs. 321) and 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (401 vs. 289) than the MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Land Cruiser uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MDX requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Land Cruiser has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Land Cruiser has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the MDX’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 19.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Land Cruiser’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MDX:

Land Cruiser

MDX

MDX Sport Hybrid

Front Rotors

14 inches

12.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

13 inches

The Land Cruiser’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MDX are solid, not vented.

The Land Cruiser stops much shorter than the MDX:

Land Cruiser

MDX

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Land Cruiser has larger tires than the MDX (285/60R18 vs. 245/60R18). The Land Cruiser’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MDX (285/60R18 vs. 265/45R20).

The Land Cruiser has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the MDX, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling

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The Land Cruiser has active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The MDX doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Land Cruiser’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the MDX (112.2 inches vs. 111 inches).

The Land Cruiser’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.1% to 47.9%) than the MDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Land Cruiser more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the Land Cruiser has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the MDX (8.9 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Land Cruiser to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Land Cruiser is quieter than the MDX SH-AWD (74 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Land Cruiser has standard seating for 8 passengers; the MDX can only carry 7.

The Land Cruiser has 10.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MDX (143.4 vs. 132.7).

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Land Cruiser’s middle and third row seats recline. The MDX’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Land Cruiser’s cargo area provides more volume than the MDX.

Land Cruiser

MDX

Behind Third Seat

16.1 cubic feet

15.8 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition easier. The Land Cruiser Heritage Edition’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.8 inches, while the MDX’s liftover is 31.5 inches.

The Land Cruiser’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The MDX’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Payload and Towing

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The Land Cruiser’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the MDX’s (8100 vs. 3500 pounds).

While the MDX SH-AWD Sport Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any Land Cruiser can tow a minimum of 8100 pounds.

The Land Cruiser has a higher standard payload capacity than the MDX (1320 vs. 1173 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Land Cruiser is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the MDX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The Land Cruiser’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The MDX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Land Cruiser’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The MDX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Land Cruiser has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The MDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Land Cruiser has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Land Cruiser has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the MDX.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Land Cruiser has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The MDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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The Land Cruiser will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Land Cruiser will retain 50.43% of its original price after five years, while the MDX only retains 40.03% to 44.9%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/18

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Land Cruiser, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Acura MDX isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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