The Toyota Land Cruiser is the ultimate all-around vehicle. It’ll take you and the family on a road trip across the country, blending in at every destination along the way, just as easily as it’ll take a hardcore off-road enthusiast through the deepest of trails. At least, it was the ultimate all-rounder — before Toyota killed the model off in the United States back in 2021.
But now, the Land Cruiser is back. It’s (marginally) smaller, retro styled, and — exclusively — a hybrid. Best of all, it may well be the most accessible Land Cruiser of them all: When it’s released next spring, it’ll cost about $30,000 less than the outgoing 200 Series.
The Land Cruiser’s looks take after the updated Lexus GX, but the retro styling fits better under the LC nameplate. It’s boxy and squared-off, gone are the oblique shapes of the 200 Series. This new Cruiser harkens back to the FJ40 and FJ62, and the aesthetic is just chef kiss.
The standard Cruiser has bar headlights, like more recent classic Land Cruisers, but the 1958 and First Edition trims get even more retro-looking rounded lamps. Without having seen either in person yet, my vote would be for the round lights. If you’re gonna get a retro off-roader, go all in.
While the looks may be retro, the engineering beneath them is certainly not. For the first time since the 100 Series’ introduction in 1998, the Land Cruiser no longer has a V8 engine beneath its hood. Instead, all 2024 Cruisers will come with a 2.4-liter four cylinder mated to a hybrid drivetrain. Now, before you get all concerned, remember that hybrid power is a replacement for displacement: Toyota claims 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, as well as a 6,000-pound tow rating on all models.
One might expect this hybrid drivetrain to cure the Cruiser’s longstanding struggles with fuel economy, but that remains to be seen. Toyota says that gas mileage estimates are yet to come, and will follow sometime before the new truck hits dealership floors.
The new Land Cruiser shares its architecture with Toyota’s other trucks — the Sequoia, Tacoma, and Tundra, as well as the Lexus GX and LX. It’s shared with the old 200 Series as well, but the new Cruiser is slightly more compact than its older brother. It’s 193.7 inches long, 73.2 inches high, and a curious 84.2 inches wide. The former two measurements are each approximately an inch smaller than the 200 Series, but the latter is over six inches wider — which runs contrary to Toyota’s claims of a newly narrowed chassis. In all likelihood, the measurement for the new truck simply includes the side mirrors.
The new Cruiser has an updated Multi-Terrain Select feature, which tunes traction control to accommodate for varying surfaces off-road. It also gets an 8-inch infotainment display, upgradeable to 12.3 inches for the fancier models. Every trim gets keyless start, though remote start from Toyota’s mobile app is locked behind a subscription. Can’t win ‘em all, I guess.
Toyota expects the new Land Cruiser to hit dealers this coming Spring, with pricing and fuel economy estimates to be released closer to the car’s arrival. The company has, however, said that the new truck “will start in the mid-$50,000 range” — a massive shift from the $85,000 starting price the 200 Series had by the end of its run. That likely means more Cruisers on the roads; with these looks, I won’t be complaining.