The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser just dropped, and WOW, what a revelation it is. Sure, the legend has been around since 1951, but over the years, its glory waned as it became too fancy, too expensive, and well, too unattractive. The Land Cruiser ended production after the 2021 model year, and we were told it was not going to come back. Well, color everyone wrong because the 2024 model has been totally redesigned, made hybrid, and tens of thousands of dollars have been sliced off the price. Yes, you read it correctly.
The last Land Cruiser was still quite capable off-road, but it had become far too bloated and luxurious to be attractive. It was also seriously dated in terms of styling, both inside and out. Plus, the base price of more than $87,000 made it unappealing to most buyers, not to mention the abysmal gas mileage from its thirsty V8 engine. The new 2024 Land Cruiser changes course and actually taps into its past while making the SUV more efficient by giving it a hybrid-only powertrain. Let's take a closer look at it.
Fresh and Rugged Styling
What stands out the most is the return to the squared-off looks of the pre-'90s Land Cruisers. It looks far less bulbous and rounded than the last Land Cruiser, and it uses the redesigned Lexus GX cues to do so. The new Land Cruiser is also smaller. It measures 4.4 inches narrower and 1.2 inches shorter to make it more off-road friendly. The brand even gave the Land Cruiser two headlight designs. The rectangular versions nod to the Interestingly, there are two headlight designs, one round and one rectangular, both of which tap into the Land Cruiser's past designs.
The more squarish styling gives the Land Cruiser far more of an off-roader vibe, and that's exactly the way it should be. The last one had far too much chrome, and it looked more expensive (it was) than purposeful. All of that changes here. The boxy body, black grille, angular fender trim, prominently creased hood, upright windshield, and the square side mirrors all contribute to a look that's ready to take on rocks and trails. It also follows suit after other manufacturer redesigns like the upcoming 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe and the all-new Kia EV9 3-row electric SUV.
While there are variations in the trims and appearance, the same boxy shape is the most prominent aspect of the new Land Cruiser. The different models include the Land Cruiser, the base trim Land Cruiser 1958, and the fully-loaded Land Cruiser First Edition. Each version has unique features for the interior and exterior, and they look distinct enough to draw different buyers.
Power and Off-Road Readiness
Rather than the big, inefficient V8 from the previous Land Cruiser, Toyota is giving the new SUV an i-Force Max hybrid powertrain as the only choice. The 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine gets assistance from a 48-horsepower electric motor, and they're mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that drives all four wheels full-time. The same setup comes from the new Tacoma pickup truck where the powertrain makes 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of twist. We don't know the EPA estimates in terms of mileage, but the current Lexus RX 500h has the same hybrid mill, and it's good for 27 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined.
While the new engine might be down by 55 horsepower compared to the old V8's output, the new turbocharged mill combined with electric motors provides an important torque increase of 65 lb-ft. We're guessing the Land Cruiser will also weigh quite a bit less than the old one, so it should be quicker. There's also no more third-row seating. Towing is down substantially, however, from 8,100 pounds in the old Land Cruiser to 6,000 pounds in the new one. Gonna need a smaller boat.
The new Land Cruiser utilizes Toyota’s TNGA-F body-on-frame platform that's in the new Lexus GX. It gets a new double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension with coil springs. For off-road goodness, it gets a front sway bar disconnect feature found on the upper trim levels. Ground clearance is 8.7 inches, and the Land Cruiser gets 31 degrees of approach, 25 degrees of breakover, and 22 degrees of departure angles. The 1958's approach angle loses one degree because of its less aggressive wheel and tire combo.
The Land Cruiser's full-time four-wheeld drive system gets a center-locking differential and an electronically-controlled transfer case with high and low range. There's also an electronic locking rear differential, optional rock rails, and a ton of high-strength steel skid plates. Each trim also gets front tow/recovery hooks for those moments when the Land Cruiser encounters obstacles it can't manage, which won't be many.
The base 1958 model comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lamps, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, Crawl Control, and Downhill Assist Control. The fancier Land Cruiser trim tacks on the front stabilizer bar disconnect, Multi-Terrain Select. Multi-Terrain Monitor, Rigid fog lights, and just to name a few. The First Edition adds a front skid plate, rock rails, leather upholstery, and more.
A Truly Modern Interior
Gone is the bulky interior setup from the old Land Cruiser. The new one sports similar aesthetics as the totally redesigned Toyota truck/SUV lineup, and it's truly modern. The base model gets an 8" touchscreen, and the Land Cruiser and Land Cruiser First Edition receive a much bigger 12.3-inch touchscreen along with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto. The 1958 has a smaller digital instrument cluster in between two analog gauges, and the other trims get a digital instrument clusters, and they're likely to be configurable base on driving mode.
Of course, what would a new Toyota be without a fusillade of safety features including the excellent and comprehensive Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 system with aPre-collision System, Lane Departure Alert,
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, Automatic High Beams, and the new Proactive Driving Assist that provides gentle braking in curves, and it works with the adaptive cruise control system.
In terms of the price, no specific MSRP has been provided, but Toyota says the new Land Cruiser will start “in the mid-$50,000 range for the 1958 trim. That might just be the biggest price drop between vehicle generations that we've ever seen, and it should open up sales to a much wider swath of customers versus the alienation of the $87k price tag of the last one. Sales will begin in the spring of 2024 with the First Edition model, which will be limited to a mere 5,000 units. We're guessing it will sell out quickly, but the Land Cruiser 1958 and the Land Cruiser will surely come in bigger numbers. We can't wait to drive it.
Watch the intro video of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser below: