- Toyota Land Cruiser fans rejoice: A new model is here for North America after a three-year hiatus.
- Instead of getting the larger 300 Series as a direct successor to the old 200 Series, the North American market is getting a bespoke model with a hybrid powertrain.
- Toyota says the 2024 Land Cruiser will start in the mid-$50,000 range when it arrives in Spring 2024.
- This latest Land Cruiser aims to take the nameplate back to its 1950s roots by way of a smaller, no-nonsense design compared to the 200 Series.
It’s time to unravel the mystery of the new (for America) Toyota Land Cruiser!
A few years ago, Toyota made the tremendously upsetting decision to straight-up pull its most iconic SUV from our shores, ending the 200 Series’ decade-plus-long production run and leaving us without a direct replacement. Oh, places like the Middle East could get the full-size 300 Series, but North America? Nope, not happening. Well, the automaker finally addressed that travesty by staging a comeback with a brand-new and bespoke Land Cruiser for North American customers. This version goes back to the LC’s 1950s roots and — more importantly in the real world looking to buy these damn things — won’t cost an arm and a leg, either (at least if you can snap one up at MSRP…start clutching your rabbit’s foot).
“Legends never die”, Toyota says. So the Land Cruiser was just on a sabbatical and is now back to kick ass and take names in the wilds around Salt Lake City, Utah. Tommy headed out to see the 2024 Land Cruiser in person, and you can see more of his hands-on experience with the SUV below.
At its core, the 2024 Land Cruiser specifically aims to offer a “high-quality off-roader” (again, Toyota’s words) at a more affordable price point. On that note, the company says it will actually launch this car with a mid-$50,000 price tag for the base 1958 Edition, shown immediately above in a color called “Trail Dust”.
This rig still rides on the TNGA-F platform, like most of Toyota’s current trucks including the 300 Series Land Cruiser. As far as powertrain is concerned, though, the new Land Cruiser exclusively uses a hybrid setup backed by a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Working together, the new model manages 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. Like the new Tacoma, this “i-Force Max” powertrain mates up to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The new Land Cruiser packs full-time four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, as well as locking differentials for the center and rear end as standard equipment.
2024 Toyota Land Cruiser dimensions and capability
While this new model carries some distinctive cues from virtually every generation from the FJ40 through the 60 Series, 80 Series and onward, the company made a fundamental change to its size against what the Land Cruiser’s been for the past 20-odd years: A large luxury SUV. Against the 200 Series, this North American variant is 4.4 inches narrower and 1.2 inches shorter. Not a massive different in the grand scheme of things, but enough to make it more maneuverable when you take it off the beaten track.
Interestingly, the new Land Cruiser actually sits a bit lower than the old SUV, rocking just 8.7 inches of ground clearance. That’s also notably lower than the 4Runner, which competes in a fairly similar space with the TRD Pro model, though the Land Cruiser brings decent approach, breakover and departure angles of 31/25/22 degrees respectively. Compared to the midsize 4Runner, this new Land Cruiser also rides on a 112.2-inch wheelbase and is 193.7 inches long — roughly two inches longer in both cases.
Each 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser brings 6,000 pounds of towing capability, which keeps it competitive against most midsize SUVs, and gets an integrated trailer brake controller to the left of the steering wheel.
The trim walk may be confusing at first glance
If you like the styling, size and capability of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser, then the next questions you’re probably considering are trim levels and features. This is where things aren’t exactly intuitive, because the Land Cruiser is technically not the base model option. The Trail Dust-colored model shown above (with the single, round headlights) is the Land Cruiser 1958 — that is the entry-level model.
Opt for the least expensive 1958, and you’ll get the rear locking differential, Crawl Control (Toyota’s low-speed off-road cruise control), LED fog lamps, 18-inch alloy wheels with 245-section all-season tires, a 6-speaker sound system, a heated steering wheel, manual cloth-trimmed heated seats, Qi wireless phone charging and a 2.4-kilowatt AC inverter. Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 also comes standard across all Land Cruiser models, including a pre-collision system, radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist and “Proactive Driving Assist” as part of the suite.
All Land Cruisers also get standard push-button start and a “Smart Key System”. Toyota’s Remote Connect feature (available on a trial or as a subscription, later on into ownership) lets you lock, unlock and start the car with a digital key should you have access to the AT&T 4G cell network. If you plan to go far off the grid, though, you will still want to bring the physical key for obvious reasons.
The next step up, however, is simply the “Land Cruiser” trim.
Not XLE, not TRD Off-Road, not Limited — just Land Cruiser. The mid-range option (more on the special model in a moment) includes a front stabilizer bar disconnect switch, rectangular LED headlights shown on the Heritage Blue trim above, 18-inch wheels with wider 265-section all-season tires, Multi-Terrain Select, Multi-Terrain Monitor, a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen, a 10-speaker sound system and leatherette “SofTex” heated and ventilated power seats.
This mid-level Land Cruiser can also accommodate 20-inch wheels, if you have the insatiable need to upsize in that department. A JBL 14-speaker audio system is also available as an option, as is a 4G hotspot. If you want genuine leather seats, they’ll be available as part of a premium package.
Finally, there’s the “First Edition”.
Technically at the top of the range, the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser First Edition is the limited-run model. In its statement, Toyota says it will only build 5,000 units for the first two months of production. These models get two new two-tone paint options, as well as some more off-road kit on top of what your run-of-the-mill Land Cruiser offers.
Off-road upgrades for the First Edition include a roof rack, rock rails, a front skid plate, the Round LED headlights, a tailgate light, back door bumper guard, mudflaps, a uniquely stitched key glove and genuine leather heated/ventilated seats.
What the Land Cruiser doesn’t have, and what we aren’t sure about yet
Thanks to the downsizing, the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser loses its third-row seating to accommodate the 1.87-kWh hybrid battery pack. That said, you do still get what look like third-row cupholders behind the rear seats, weirdly (take a look below). Although, if you were to camp in the back of the new Land Cruiser, those cupholders could come in handy with a mattress taking up the floor space, as do the overhead HVAC vents.
While there is quite a bit of information on the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser with today’s reveal, there are still a few missing pieces of information. We don’t have exact pricing
or fuel economy yet (Update: Toyota did actually publish estimated fuel economy on its retail website, suggesting it will get up to 27 mpg). That typically comes closer to the Spring 2024 launch.
Toyota will build the new Land Cruiser at its Tahara and Hino plants in Japan.