This is why Escalade can never command the price and prestige of a Range Rover.But then, a few months ago, I had the chance to get up close and personal with a 2013 Land Cruiser, which is the model I want. And do you know what I discovered? The turn signal stalk is from a Toyota Sienna. The steering wheel is from a Toyota Tundra. The window switches are from a Toyota Camry. The Land Cruiser – the mighty Land Cruiser, with its go-anywhere persona and its near-$90,000 price tag – is a parts bin special.
So why, you are asking, does this matter?
Here’s why: have you ever sat in a Range Rover? I mean, seriously. The thing is gorgeous. It’s beautiful. The interior is filled with perfectly woven leather and handsome electronics and a lot of other stuff you can’t afford and shouldn’t touch with your grimy little meathooks. It’s the perfect automotive accessory for the kind of person who pays $84 for a designer clothes hanger at the kind of designer furniture store where the salesperson sneers at you even if you buy something.
And it’s not just the Land Cruiser that suffers from this parts bin issue. Ultimately, the Infiniti QX80 shares many interior components with other, cheaper Infiniti models. The Escalade is just a really nice Tahoe. The Lincoln Navigator is an outdated dinosaur. The Mercedes G-Wagen is really the only SUV that offers the same level of bespoke character as the Range Rover – but most Range Rover people I talk to (including myself) think the G-Wagen goes a little too far down the “asshole” scale for serious consideration. NOTE: If your car is “too asshole” for Range Rover buyers, it may be time to start dialing it back a little.