Land Cruiser returns to U.S. leaner, hybrid four-cylinder only

Toyota | Jason Bax

For lovers of stout off-road platforms with nameplates that have decades of brand equity behind them: Rejoice! The Toyota Land Cruiser will return to the United States for the 2024 model year. After weeks of anticipation, some timely teaser photos, and a full rundown of its more luxurious sibling, the new Lexus GX, we finally lay eyes on the 2024 Land Cruiser.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 1958 grade exterior side profile
Toyota | Jason Bax

So, what exactly are we working with under that geometric sheet metal? Surprisingly, quite a lot of departures from conventional Land Cruiser thinking. Let’s dive into the details.

The new Land Cruiser will ride on the TNGA-F global truck architecture—bones it will share with everything from the Lexus LX 600, to the new Toyota Tundra, to the massive Sequoia SUV, to the hotly anticipated 2024 Tacoma midsize pickup. The ladder-style, body-on-frame design will offer more rigidity than the outgoing 200 Series Land Cruiser, thanks to the tactful use of high-strength steel.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser rear three quarter on trail with heritage Land Cruisers
Toyota | Jason Bax

Remarkably, the new Land Cruiser is actually smaller than the outgoing 200 Series model—4.4 inches narrower and 1.2 inches shorter tip to tail, to be exact. That’s in part because the new machine is based on a model called the Land Cruiser Prado, which is sold elsewhere in the world as a smaller, more budget-friendly version of the Land Cruiser. Put another way: The new Land Cruiser is the Toyota version of the Lexus GX; in the past, the Land Cruiser was always the toned-down twin to the larger Lexus LX. (To make things more confusing, there is still a full-size, Lexus LX-esque Land Cruiser sold in other countries as the 300 Series. Clear as mud?)

The shift in approach continues under the hood. Historically, Land Cruisers have always housed Toyota’s burliest and most workhorse-like engines—often the largest in the automaker’s arsenal. Were that continuing here, the U.S.-bound Land Cruiser would boast a version of Toyota’s 3.4-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine and the accompanying hybridization components that we find on the new Tundra.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 1958 grade exterior rear three quarter on cliff
Toyota | Jason Bax

Instead, the new Cruiser will employ the 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found underneath the new Tacoma. All Land Cruisers will get the i-Force MAX hybrid system, which will pair said engine with a 1.87-kWh NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) battery and a 48-hp electric motor integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission. Total system output is 326 hp and a hefty 465 lb-ft of torque, and all Land Cruisers will be able to tow up to 6000 lbs.

A full-time 4×4 system with a locking center differential and an electronically-controlled, two-speed transfer case with high/low range are standard across the lineup. Front suspension will be a newly-developed double-wishbone independent setup, while out back, you’ll find a multilink solid axle with coil springs. An electronically-locking rear differential is also standard. Underbody armor and rock rails will be offered as well.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 1958 grade exterior passenger's front three quarter on trail
Toyota | Jason Bax

Opt for the higher two of the three grades available (we’ll break those down in a moment) and you can also get a front stabilizer bar disconnect that increases the front end’s flexibility with the push of a button. Properly equipped, the new Land Cruiser boasts approach, departure, and breakover angles of 31 degrees, 22 degrees, and 25 degrees, respectively.

About those grades: Toyota will offer just three for the new model. The lowest grade will be named Land Cruiser 1958, then simply Land Cruiser, and finally Land Cruiser First Edition, in ascending levels of cost and content. On the Land Cruiser 1958 and the First Edition, you’ll get round LED headlamps, while on the mid-tier grade, those headlamps will be swapped out for rectangular LED units.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser First Edition rendering front three quarter

The decidedly boxy, retro styling might take some getting used to, but we’re open to being convinced. There’s a bit of Land Rover Defender in there, which is probably not by accident. Expect those two longstanding nameplates to battle for large swathes of the same buyers, the Landie trading on nameplate prestige while the ‘Yota points to its record of dead-nuts reliability—this particular nameplate even more than most.

Toyota shortened the front overhang to increase trail worthiness, and the pushed-back A-pillar not only looks cool, it also helps with outward visibility. The silhouette looks slender and tall like the 80 Series Land Cruisers of the 1990s. Dimensionally, this new unit is just 1.5 inches wider than those bygone (and deeply collectible) machines.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser interior front cabin dashboard area
Toyota | Jason Bax

The cabin seems to strike a commendable balance between functionality and comfort. Land Cruiser 1958 models will suffice with an 8-inch center screen for infotainment and phone mirroring duties, while the upper two trims will score a 12.3-inch screen. Real switch gear (hallelujah) will adjust climate control functions and seat heating and ventilation.

How much will all this retro dirt-chasing goodness cost? Impressively, Toyota says that the 2024 Land Cruiser will start in the “mid-$50,000 range.” This was, according to Toyota, a big part of why the new Land Cruiser feels like a “downsized” offering. Expect those First Edition Cruisers (just 5000 are coming to the North American market) to command hefty premiums over that starting price, made worse by dealers who will inevitably slap “market adjustments” on them.

Ah well. A marked-up Land Cruiser is better than no Land Cruiser at all, or however that saying goes. We can’t wait to try one out.




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    I like it in part but dislike it in others. I don’t want the hybrid only. I wish I could get a model without it. The TT V6 would have been nice to see.

    Cool as hell. Thanks for specifying the trims that get the different headlight treatments; all the other posts just show the two versions and don’t mention it at all. For me the round headlight is the best look for a vintage-inspired off-roader. It’s interesting that they spec’d both the low and high trim with that look, with the middle trim getting an entirely different look.

    Looks like the big cousin to the original Rav-4 a bit. Not bad compared to what I thought might come out. Toyota has a real opportunity with the next generation 4runner, don’t blow it!

    A few thoughts here. First, that is some first-rate car photography. That shot of the new LC on a mini-peak overlooking a vista is an amazing photo (HD wallpaper worthy). Second, I like the new look, both outside and inside. In particular, that new steering wheel look is great (something Toyota has often failed at and I know as an owner of 2). Third, the hybrid turbo-4 powertrain is disappointing. As Gary said, I think the TT V-6 would have been more exciting. Interesting to see how (or if) the long term value and collectability of these holds up given the very unpredictable nature of the reliability (and replaceability) of the hybrid components. Fourth, I think the middle trim looks best *because* of the rectangular headlights.

    Reliability and hybrid don’t go in the same sentence for me.
    Land Cruisers have been known for the rock solid reliability. We own a 94 with the straight 6. It’s a heavy fuel gulping beast that rides smother than most cars.
    Nothing ever goes wrong with it even when I let it sit for months at a time. Not sure future collectors will be saying the same thing about the 2024 hybrid.

    I had planned to purchase a Land Cruiser sometime around the Summer of 2025 but it’s a hard pass for me now since there is no third-row option and it’s a hybrid only. I really don’t like hybrids since they tend to go down in value much faster and are not as reliable, very expensive to fix etc. I’m not sure who this is marketed to since it seems like an off-road vehicle, but the off-road crowd is not into hybrids as much as the soccer moms, but the soccer moms seem to be really into 3rd-row seating and hybrid combos.

    What a bummer. LCs used to be the pinnacle of Toyota ruggedness and durability. Everything over-engineered and bulletproof w half-million mile examples still cruising about. No way a turbo/GDI system straining a little 4-cyl gonna do the job like LC fans expect & demand even w the hybrid. Sadly it’ll just be another soccer mom SUV.

    I love this vehicle. It is a hybrid which is what I want in this type of vehicle. My two Toyota hybrids have been nothing but reliable, and cost of ownership has been lower than my other past ICE autos. A V6 option would be great of course and maybe will come in time?
    The 6000 lb towing capacity is great to see as well. Getting one sounds difficult though!?

    I like most of this, but the front porch looks like it was extended in an afterthought and the front fenders look like lego add-ons. (See the pic of the tan one.) And I too would have it with the TT V6.
    I’d love to see a comparison test between this, the Bronco, the Defender and a Wrangler. Without learning anything more than I know now, it’s a Bronco for sure for me.

    Where are the batteries going to be? If it is like the Sequoia and under the back seat it’s worthless, if you can’t put anything in the back.

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