2024 Land Cruiser Hybrid: How Does This Cheaper, Re-Invented 4x4 Fit Into Toyota's Lineup with 4Runner, Sequoia, Lexus GX & More
When Toyota introduced the next-generation 300 series Land Cruiser, there was some serious disappointment among Toyota fans and 4x4 enthusiats that the beloved SUV would no longer be sold in America.
Or at least that version wouldn't be.
Back from Hiatus
As it turns out, Toyota was indeed planning to release a Land Cruiser for the American market and they've just taken the wraps off this fully redesigned and repositoned SUV that's loaded with retro charm.
The big story isn't just that the Land Cruiser is back, it's that the new version is aiming for a slightly different segment with a less expensive starting price, a slightly smaller size and more of a focus on ruggedness rather than luxury.
And that's by no means a bad thing. As you'll see in a moment, the back-to-its-roots '24 Land Cruiser looks like it could be an mega-hit for Toyota.
But there is some question of how it will slot into the Toyota/Lexus SUV lineup alongside existing models the 4Runner, Sequoia, Lexus GX and Lexus LX.
A New Type of Land Cruiser
Let's start with the price. Though Toyota hasn't given any hard figures, the new Land Cruiser said to have a starting MSRP in the mid $50,000s. And that's a very big deal because the previous Land Cruiser had a starting price close to $90,000.
Smaller than before, the new Land Cruiser ditches the previous version's 5.7L V8 for Toyota's new 326hp 2.4L turbocharged four-cylinder i-Force Max hybrid setup. That's right, every Land Cruiser will now be a hybrid.
As you'd expect, all of them will come standard with full-time four-wheel drive — along with a locking center-diff, two-speed transfer case and an electronic locker in the rear. That's in addition to all the electronic assists and driving modes you find in most modern 4x4s.
The understated, if slightly non-descript styling of the old 200 series Land Cruiser is replaced with a more butch look that draws inspiration from the boxy Land Cruisers of the '70s and '80s. There's even a little bit of the beloved FJ Cruiser in there.
Combine the lower price, retro looks, serious 4x4 capability and hybrid powertrain and you've got the recipe for what should be a very popular enthusiast SUV.
But how does the '24 Land Cruiser fit in relation to the rest of Toyota (and Lexus) body-on frame offerings, many of which now share the same TNGA-F platform.
A Stout Lineup
At the top of the food chain is the Lexus LX600, which is going to be the closest you can get to the 300 series Land Cruiser sold in other markets — the largest, most expensive and most luxurious.
The flagship LX600 starts around $90,000, which is approximately the same as old 200 series Land Cruiser.
On the Toyota side, there's the three-row, full-size Toyota Sequoia, which though developed specifically for the US market, uses the platform and twin-turbo V6 from the LX600 and Land Cruiser 300. It has a starting price around $60,000.
Next comes the recently debuted Lexus GX — which previously was a luxury-oriented, re-badged, V8-powered version of the Land Cruiser Prado from overseas.
The new 2024 GX gets a similar twin turbo V6, and shares a similar profile to the new 2024 Land Cruiser — but with two extra-cylinders and of course the Lexus-grade luxury appointments.
Pricing hasn't yet been announced for the redesigned 2024 GX, but we'd guess starting MSRP will be in the low $60,000s.
Then comes the smaller US market 2024 Land Cruiser, which is actually being called the "Land Cruiser 250 in Japan where it will be sold alongside the larger 300 series and likely replaces the Land Cruiser Prado.
As mentioned a moment ago, pricing is said to start in the mid $50,000s.
As for 4Runner?
Last but not least in the Toyota body-on-frame SUV hierarchy comes the 4Runner. And this is where things potentially get interesting.
The current popular, but outdated fifth-gen 4Runner is long overdue for replacement and the debut of a next-generation version should be imminent.
For now, the 2023 4Runner has a starting price a little over $40,000, which theoretically leaves plenty of space below the new Land Cruiser.
Then again, these days most decently optioned 4x4 4Runners have an MSRP closer to $50,000, and the high end TRD Pro model has an MSRP very close to where the Land Cruiser will start. So there's certainly some potential overlap there.
So in light of this news, we'll now be very interested to see how Toyota positions the new 4Runner against the new less expensive, smaller-sized Land Cruiser.
We've got our own speculation about how Toyota might change up the 4Runner in the wake of the Land Cruiser's return, but that's the subject for another story.
For now, the Land Cruiser is back in a big — but also smaller, and cheaper way. The new version might be a big departure from the old one, but we'd bet Toyota fans will welcome this fresh take on a historic 4x4.
More From Driving Line
- If you think these late model Toyota SUVs but don't have the budget for one, we think the V8-powered first-gen Sequoia is still one of the best sub-$10,000 rigs you can find.