2024 Toyota Land Cruiser: Big, Bold and a Boss on the Trail and in Traffic

Toyota Land Cruiser owners LOVE this SUV. It was discontinued and heartbreak ensued, but it's back for 2024 with a bold look, an efficient engine and the TLC we crave.

Allison Bell And Scotty Reiss With The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser
Allison Bell and Scotty Reiss with the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Bringing Back the TLC, and all the Love it Inspires

There aren’t many family cars that owners describe using the word “Love.” But the Toyota Land Cruiser is among them.  This full-size SUV has long delivered what families need: Reliability — and the confidence that you won’t be stuck on the side of the road with shivering passengers who are late for school.

It has great capability — not just on the road, but inside, with resilient materials that are also comfortable. Space — for kids, car seats, dogs, gear. It has a great command position: You can see the road ahead, the cars and trucks around you, and the smiling faces in the back seat. And its timeless design conveys all its muscle and capability.

 Related: How Does Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro Measure Up?

The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Is The Newest Entry In The Land Cruiser Heritage Center Collection

The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser is the newest entry in the Land Cruiser Heritage Center collection. Photo: Estee Reiss

And Then: Shock and Sadness

Waves of disappointment shattered TLC fans when, 3 years ago, Toyota announced that the Land Cruiser would not be built for North America any longer. It would be replaced by the larger Toyota Sequoia, which would come with updated technology, a more powerful yet efficient engine, and better off-road capability. 

Related: See how the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander compares

The Rear Of The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

The rear of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Finally. It’s Back! 

Toyota revealed the 2024 Land Cruiser and allowed us to crawl through it to see all the new details.  Probably the most stunning thing is the heritage look. It’s tall, it’s square — front and back — with a flat roof and the classic look of an off-road capable SUV. The Land Cruiser has sizable ground clearance of up to 8.7”, and two of the 3 models come with running boards.

It takes a lot of its DNA from the just-announced redesigned Lexus GX, which is also tall, square, and off-road capable.  The Land Cruiser is priced in the mid-$50,000 range, so we expect it to range up to the low $60K range fully loaded — Toyota will announce pricing closer to the Land Cruiser official launch in the spring of 2024.

Toyota branded the 2024 Land Cruiser with a TOYOTA badge on the front grille and rear tailgate. Two of the three models will have classic round headlights; the mid-level model has rectangular headlights and a more modern front face and grille. 

There are 3 editions, which include Land Cruiser 1958, named for the first year that Land Cruiser came to North America; Land Cruiser, which is nicely outfitted and will likely be the most popular version; and Land Cruiser First Edition, which has a few more extras but limited production of just 5,000 units. 

Related: The 2024 Lexus GX Inspires the Toyota Land Cruiser

The View From The Drivers Seat In The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

The view from the driver’s seat in the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Tech and Utility Define the Land Cruiser Interior 

Inside the cabin is roomy-to-cozy, ideal for couples, small families, and fur families whose four-legged babies can easily climb into the second row or cargo space.  The front seat is outfitted with the things you need — Toyota’s new multimedia system with voice activation, a digital driver’s screen, a drive mode selector, and 4WD functions at your fingertips. There’s a solid palm-sized gear shifter, and all editions have heated front seats, 4WD, and rear locking differential for off-roading.

Rear seat passengers will find comfortable seats, USB ports (there are 5 or 7 in all, depending on the model), cup holders, and air vents.  There is a sizable cargo area and a lift gate versus the swing-out gate of prior models, but the rear window still opens independently of the lift gate, so you can conveniently reach in for things without having to open the full gate.

The Command Center In The Land Cruiser

The command center in the Land Cruiser. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A New, More Efficient Engine 

Under the hood, there’s a completely new 4-cylinder engine that combines turbo power with hybrid technology. It delivers a reasonable amount of power — 326 HP and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. The horsepower rating is down from the last model, which generated about 381HP, but torque is up from 401 to 465, which means this SUV should be zippier than the last model.

Overall, the Land Cruiser is slightly smaller, so even with a 4-cylinder turbo engine, 326 HP should be plenty for carrying a full load of people and cargo and towing of up to 6,000 lbs. This smaller engine is expected to get significantly better fuel economy. The last model Land Cruiser got a shockingly low 13 MPG city/17 MPG highway, but it also had a V8 engine.

The new engine is expected to deliver MPG in the low to mid-20s, which is a huge improvement; even if the gas price isn’t an issue for you, who likes spending extra time at the gas station?

Rear Seats Fold And Flip In The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

The rear seats fold and flip in the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser. Photo: Scotty Reiss

WAIT. No 3rd Row. Really?!?!?

Well, for now. However, there are a lot of signals that the Land Cruiser could eventually be offered with a 3rd row in North America. First, the Lexus GX has a 3rd-row option.  Then, the rear seats fold and tumble forward, which is a common way to configure seats for third-row access. (Not our favorite, but it works, and we appreciate that). 

There are air vents, grab bars, USB ports, and cup holders in the cargo area, things that you would not add unless you were intending to add seats, too. And Toyota Land Cruiser versions sold overseas in Asia and Europe have a 3rd row, so it’s a thing, just not in North America. Yet. 

The Front Face Of The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

The front face of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Three Land Cruiser Versions Deliver What You Need

This is a nice approach: instead of simply stratifying the Land Cruiser trims by price, starting with a basic entry model and adding luxury and price, Toyota sought to outfit each of the three editions with necessities for buyers at that level: An off-road focused entry-level model, a well equipped standard model and a top tier model with a few more luxury details. 

Toyota Land Cruiser 1958 Front Grille Detail

Toyota Land Cruiser 1958 front grille detail. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Land Cruiser 1958 

The entry-level is outfitted for the purist who wants what they need without extra frills. It has all the off-road capability and heritage details, including the iconic round headlights and a cage-like grille, a true nod to protective add-ons that protected those early savanna-going modes. Other features include an 8” multimedia touch screen, digital driver’s screen, 4WD with crawl control, rear locking differential, and 18” wheels with all-season tires.

It does not have a sunroof or running boards, which many off-roaders don’t want, so they can clear higher obstacles. It has manual cloth seats, another favorite of off-roaders who want to ‘stick’ in their seats on the trail and not slide around.

It has a 2400W AC inverter in the cargo area for power on the trail when needed. We also didn’t see those tell-tale air vents and grab bars in the cargo area, so our guess is that this model will not be offered with a 3rd row. It does not come with skid plates or terrain monitor cameras, and these are not (at this point, anyway) offered as an option.

If you want extra visibility on the trail or undercarriage protection, you’ll have to get that from an off-road outfitter.

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser: Big, Bold And A Boss On The Trail And In Traffic - The Cargo Area Is Large But With A Cargo Box Installed Not Easy To Climb Into

The cargo area is large, but with a cargo box installed, not easy to climb into. Photo: Estee Reiss

Land Cruiser

The mid-range model carries all the necessities: A more modern look on the front end, SofTex leatherette heated and vented front seats, a larger 12” multimedia touch screen, multi-terrain monitor camera system, multi-terrain select to add more capability to the 4WD system, a power tailgate and a 10-speaker JBL sound system.

Rear Seats In The Land Cruiser

Rear seats in the Land Cruiser. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Land Cruiser First Edition 

The top-of-the-line model adds a touch of luxury and even more off-road capability with leather seats, a front skid plate, and a light in the tailgate area. It also has more heritage details such as round headlights, roof rails with crossbars, and mudflaps. 

The Interior Of The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

The interior of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser. Photo: Scotty Reiss

We Can’t Get Enough TLC 

The new design has our hearts beating just a bit faster, especially in the “Tiffany box” light blue with a white roof that Toyota rolled out for the introduction. We also liked the nice selection of important features in a right-sized SUV that’s smaller than the Sequoia and more capable than the Grand Highlander.

It features a lot of the same capabilities as the Lexus GX but with fewer luxuries and a more palatable price tag. 

And it’s a Land Cruiser, so it is expected to have all the fun, capability, and reliability that this heritage name conveys. We love that!  

The Rear Window Opens From The Liftgate

The rear window opens from the liftgate. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Disclosure: I was a guest of Toyota for this test drive. Travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own. Additionally, A Girls Guide to Cars may earn a commission from affiliate links in this story.

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss