When Toyota announced the 300-series Land Cruiser, they were clear: the United States wasn’t getting one. The 300-series would live on as the Lexus LX 600, but what had evolved into a beloved, capable stealth-wealth-mobile was officially dead following the 2021 Heritage Edition. Of course after 65 years of Land Cruiser, Toyota would be remiss to let the iconic brand flame out entirely, so the United States is indeed getting a 2024 Land Cruiser and I have all the tea.
Toyota says the 2024 Land Cruiser is “returning to its origin” as a capable, durable off-road vehicle, while also acknowledging that the 200-series Land Cruiser had become a large, luxurious wagon that was unobtainable for a lot of people. That means the 2024 Land Cruiser is the slightly-downmarket sibling to the smaller 2024 Lexus GX, something other markets might know as the Land Cruiser Prado.
2024 Land Cruiser Engine, Transmission, and Four-Wheel Drive
Every 2024 Land Cruiser is getting the same engine, one we’ve seen recently in the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. It’s the corporate 2.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder, paired to an electric motor and 1.87 kWh battery. Yes, every new Land Cruiser will be a hybrid. Total power output is a claimed 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque.
Hybridization doesn’t mean a CVT is in the mix, thankfully. The electric motor is integrated into the eight-speed automatic’s bellhousing, so there are indeed Real Gears. To the surprise of no one, this all pairs to full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case with low range, and locking center and rear differentials.
Toyota’s off-road software is included as well, with Downhill Assist Control and Crawl Control as standard. Multi-Terrain Select drive modes to optimize the all-wheel drive and traction control settings are included on most models.
2024 Land Cruiser Dimensions, Angles, and Towing
Off-roading is all about the angles. Approach, breakover, and departure all give owners a good idea of the obstacles they can conquer with a stock truck, and generally, bigger numbers indicate more capability. You could say the same for ground clearance. I’ve made a fun little table to compare the 200-series Land Cruiser to the 2024 Land Cruiser – and this new Land Cruiser to its Lexus GX sibling.
|200-Series Land Cruiser||2024 Land Cruiser||2024 Lexus GX 550 Overtrail|
|Ground Clearance||8.9″||8.7″||not listed|
Not bad overall, right? At least, I don’t think so. But my off-road skills and knowledge are pretty basic. I’m sure it’ll be fine for most people, despite losing one degree of approach angle.
Given the engine differences between the 2024 Land Cruiser and Lexus GX, the Toyota is rated to tow less weight. Every trim of 2024 Land Cruiser is rated to tow the same 6,000 pound maximum. This pales in comparison to the Lexus GX’s maximum 8,000 pound rating – though I suspect there’s only so much you can do with the hybrid 2.4L turbo setup.
2024 Land Cruiser Trim Levels and Paint Colors
Toyota’s going back to basics, so they say, and they’re starting with a Land Cruiser 1958 as their base model. From there, you can pick the regular variant, simply called “Land Cruiser,” or get the first-year-only First Edition.
Interestingly, Toyota’s got two noses for the Land Cruiser, with the 1958 and First Edition wearing round headlights and the regular Cruiser using rectangular units. Toyota provided a handy chart to show basic options of each trim, which I’ve re-written to add some clarity:
|1958||Land Cruiser||First Edition|
|The Face||Round headlights|
LED fog lights
Rigid color-changing fog lights
Rigid color-changing fog lights
|Wheels and Tires||18″ wheels|
|Seats||Manual cloth, heated|
|Power SofTex, heated and ventilated|
Black or Java
|Power Leather, heated and ventilated|
Black or Java
|Off-Road Software||Crawl Control||Crawl Control|
|Off-Road Hardware||Locking diffs||Locking diffs|
Front swaybar disconnect
Front swaybar disconnect
Front skid plate
Back door guard
A “Premium Package” will be offered, adding leather seats, a 14-speaker JBL sound system, heads-up display, and digital rearview mirror to some or all Land Cruiser models. Twenty-inch wheels are optional on the “regular” Land Cruiser.
The 2024 Land Cruiser can be had in seven paint colors, most of which are predictably fine. Choose from Ice Cap (white), Wind Chill Pearl (pearl white), Underground (gray), Meteor Shower (silver), Trail Dust (sandy beige), and Heritage Blue (matte light blue, as seen on the 2014 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Edition).
The Inevitable Comparison: 2024 Land Cruiser vs 2024 Lexus GX
There’s an obvious connection between the two off-roaders – just look at ’em. Platform-sharing is a smart move that everyone has done for decades, and while the 2024 Land Cruiser is on the same TNGA-F platform as the new Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, and Lexus LX, it only made sense to share the tooling cost of the new GX with a Toyota-branded vehicle.
If you want more cylinders and more power, the Lexus GX will be your option. It comes with the same twin-turbo V6 I’ve experienced in the Toyota Tundra, making 349 horsepower and 479 lb-ft, and it’s rated to tow up to 8,000 pounds when properly equipped.
Dimensionally, the Land Cruiser is three inches shorter in length than the GX, and 2.5 to 3″ less tall. It’s an inch wider.
Most fascinating to me is that every 2024 Land Cruiser comes with all-season tires. Lexus, meanwhile, has created this “Overtrail” trim of GX that is shod with 33″ all-terrains, adaptive dampers, and cross-linked Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) for a bit more capability out of the box. I’d love to hear how the product planning went down between the two.
What About the 4Runner?
And speaking of product planning, I’m super curious where this leaves the similarly-sized Toyota 4Runner. It’s due for replacement, having not been fully redesigned since I was 19 years old. Will it end up as a more rough-and-tumble SUV to the Land Cruiser’s nice-but-not-too-nice positioning?
If I were a guessing man with a Toyota-shaped crystal ball, I’d assume the 4Runner will look like a 2024 Tacoma with a bed cap, also on the TNGA-F platform of course. It would make sense to offer the non-hybrid 2.4-liter turbo four, which may end up as the only engine option if the “premium” Land Cruiser gets the hybrid setup. I’d also predict fewer street-oriented trims, leaving those for Land Cruiser buyers, with more of a focus on TRD Pro and Trailhunter types of models.
Or it could come back as a fully electric model. It won’t, but it could.
Back to the 2024 Land Cruiser
While I won’t be able to drive the new Land Cruiser for a little while – it’ll be available next spring – I’m fascinated by Toyota’s shift in approach. They claim pricing will start in the mid-$50,000 range, which makes the truck far more accessible than the previous model.
Given the new Sequoia and Grand Highlander both occupy the “big three-row” slots in their lineup, I’m curious to see the reception to this Prado-ized, downsized Land Cruiser after several decades of filling a different niche.