The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser marks the return of a familiar nameplate to the United States. But unlike its 200-Series predecessor, the new Land Cruiser is a mid-size SUV with two rows of seats, giving it more in common with the overseas Land Cruiser Prado than the full-size 300-Series sold in other markets since 2021.
For 2024, the US-market Toyota Land Cruiser, codenamed 250-Series, receives a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four hybrid powertrain with an electric motor mounted between the gas engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. The setup makes a total of 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, with full-time four-wheel drive and a selectable low range coming standard.
The Return Of The Land Cruiser
The new Land Cruiser isn’t a direct replacement for the 2021 model, which was the last Land Cruiser sold in the US. That car was an eight-seat, full-size SUV with larger proportions. The 2024 model, however, has seating for five, and it’s 4.2 inches narrower and 1.1 inches shorter from bumper to bumper. It offers 8.7 inches of ground clearance from a front double wishbone and rear solid-axle multilink suspension with coil springs all around.
The 250-Series Land Cruiser has a rugged, squared-off design. Toyota says the body panels, particularly the front end, are designed to be modular so that owners can add off-road accessories, brush guards, and body armor without cutting into sheet metal. The A-pillar is pushed rearward to give the Land Cruiser an upright stance, with good visibility coming via the thin roof pillars and large side window glass.
Land Cruiser Trim Levels
The base-model trim is called the Land Cruiser 1958 and will start somewhere in the mid-$50,000 range, according to Toyota. It gets round headlights and an unpainted plastic front fascia, as well as a cloth-upholstered interior with heated front seats. An 8.0-inch center touchscreen displays Toyota’s latest infotainment suite, including over-the-air updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and available 4G LTE Wi-Fi. The company’s Crawl Control low-speed cruise technology comes standard, as does hill descent control.
The mid-level trim is simply called Land Cruiser, and it builds upon the base model with Multi-Terrain Select throttle and stability management, a disconnecting front sway bar, and a surround-view camera that works while off-road to give the driver a view of the trail. A 12.3-inch infotainment display is standard, as is Softex faux-leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats. Larger tires are likewise standard on the Land Cruiser.
The flagship Land Cruiser First Edition will be limited to 5,000 units. Receiving round headlights and a painted front fascia, it blends the styling elements of its two kid siblings, but with a genuine leather interior with First Edition styling elements, as well as heated and ventilated front seats. Rocker guards and a roof rack are also standard for off-road protection and versatility.
When And How Much?
Toyota has confirmed that the 2024 Land Cruiser 250-Series will begin production at its Tahara and Hino factories in Japan at the beginning of 2024. US deliveries will begin with the First Edition in the spring of 2024. Pricing for the base Land Cruiser 1958 model will start in the mid-$50,000 range, but specifics for all of the trim levels will be announced closer to the start of production.
Toyota Land Cruiser History
The Toyota Land Cruiser first hit the US market for the 1958 model year, at which time it was a rough-and-tumble off-roader with a removable roof and doors. Known by its codename FJ25, it was refined two years later into the legendary FJ40, which retained its predecessor’s rugged persona but added a more powerful 3.9-liter inline-six and a low-range transfer case. Toyota added a station wagon variant in 1967 known as the FJ55, a vehicle with most of the off-road hardware as its FJ40 sibling but with a fixed roof, four doors, and longer wheelbase for more comfort and space for families. A 4.2-liter inline-six was added in 1975.
The SUV was further refined with the 1980 Land Cruiser 60-Series. The 4.2-liter engine remained, but the FJ60 was wider and rode on a longer wheelbase for more passenger room. A fuel-injected 4.0-liter inline-six replaced the carbureted 4.2 in 1988. Identified by its four square headlights, this FJ62 variant was sold for two years when it was replaced by the coil-sprung FJ80 for 1991. The 80-Series still retained solid front and rear axles, as well as optional front, center, and rear locking differentials. In 1994, the 4.0-liter went away in favor of an advanced 24-valve 4.5-liter inline-six, and the model designation was revised to FZJ80.
Then, in 1998, the Land Cruiser became far more comfortable and usable thanks to a 4.7-liter V8 and independent front suspension. The 100-Series, as it is known, is legendary for its blend of ruggedness and smooth on-road ride, as well as a spacious interior. Like the 80-Series, a third-row seat was standard in the US. Finally, the 200-Series replaced the 100-Series in 2007 with a larger 5.7-liter V8. The 200-Series was revised twice – in 2013 and 2018 – before it was canceled at the end of the 2021 model year. Other markets received the larger 300-Series Land Cruiser at that time, but the US was left out of the fun. Until now.