2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Review: Cool, capable, family friendly, perhaps too pricey

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Review: Cool, capable, family friendly, perhaps too pricey

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Pros: Go-anywhere capability; strong hybrid power; huge boxy cargo area; great visibility; cool looks

Cons: Stripped-down 1958 seems too pricey given hard plastic interior and limited features; hybrid more complex than past Land Cruisers

Excited for the all-new 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser? We are too. This is a profoundly different SUV than the last Land Cruiser, for better and for worse. It’s a lot cheaper, for one, but that’s because it’s a smaller, less sophisticated off-roader that may indeed be less likely to survive 30 years of hard life somewhere in the Sahara. For suburban America, the new one should probably be A-OK. It’s still a Toyota after all.


Specifically, it’s a Toyota built on the increasingly ubiquitous truck platform that also underpins the Tundra, Tacoma, Sequoia, new 4RunnerLexus GX and, yes, the "real" Land Cruiser sold overseas that we sort of get as the Lexus LX. The new Land Cruiser is most similar to the GX, though, which you can tell just by looking at them. The Land Cruiser obviously isn’t as lux inside, has five seats only and is exclusively offered with a turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid powertrain that gets laughably better fuel economy than the old Land Cruiser as well as the GX. It also doesn't offer the GX Overtrail's trick KDSS automatically disconnecting stabilizer bars, but counters with a manually disconnecting bar that contributes to the Land Cruiser living up to its off-roading heritage.

There are two variants available (plus a loaded First Edition) that basically boil down to stripped-down, old-school off-roader (the Land Cruiser 1958) and new-school, luxury-tinged off-roader (literally just “Land Cruiser”). They have different styling, especially in regard to their headlights, and you can't get the disconnecting stabilizer bar on the 1958, but the biggest difference are their interiors. In short, the $55,000 1958 has rock-hard plastics that would disappoint in a $25,000 Corolla; the "Land Cruiser" lives up to its price. That, as well as many missing or unavailable features, makes the 1958 a questionable purchase given how much you can get for that same price in other SUVs, including the upcoming new 4Runner. As for the "Land Cruiser," they really need to come up with a better trim level name, but it also lives up to all the hype.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it's like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What's New for 2024?

All of the things.

What are the Land Cruiser interior and in-car technology like?

This question really depends on the version you get. While the design is common, the 1958 and “Land Cruiser” trim level differ greatly in terms of interior materials, features and technology. While the “Land Cruiser” has padded SofTex simulated leather on the dash, doors and center console leg rests, the 1958 has rock-hard plastic. The door armrests are even rock-hard plastic. We love the sturdy, throwback gray upholstery, but this is still an SUV costing over $56,000, and considering what you’ll likely get in a comparably priced Toyota 4Runner, let alone a Jeep Grand Cherokee, this interior just seems cheap. Again, no issues with the “Land Cruiser,” which looks and feels as upmarket as its price suggests.

In terms of technology, the 1958 has an 8-inch touchscreen, while the “Land Cruiser” and First Edition have a 12.3-inch screen. Both run the same user interface, albeit with more features in the upper trims, which is getting a key update for Apple CarPlay that keeps the system’s menu icons permanently docked on-screen. That had been our primary complaint about Toyota’s otherwise agreeable infotainment system. The 1958 also has a smaller digital instrument cluster flanked by analog gauges, while the other trims have a full-screen cluster with no analog gauges.


How big is the Land Cruiser?

The new Land Cruiser is a considerably smaller SUV than the previous-generation sold in the United States. That’s because it’s really the next-generation Land Cruiser Prado that has been sold for decades in other markets (our Lexus GX has been related to it, which continues to be the case). It is 4.4 inches narrower and 1.2 inches shorter in overall length, which makes it much easier to maneuver in tighter spots off road and while parking. It’s also a whopping 800 pounds lighter despite packing a hybrid battery.

Speaking of which, that battery prevents the Land Cruiser from offering the third-row seat you’ll find in most Lexus GXs. They take up the same space in the cargo area, which means the Land Cruiser also has the same hand-width of height tacked onto the floor, reducing overall space. The good news is that there’s still a ton of cargo space further benefiting from a big, boxy shape. Toyota hasn’t released an official volume figure, but expect it to be around 40 cubic feet.

For anything that won’t fit inside, the “Land Cruiser” has traditional raised roof rails you can use for whatever gear you see fit. There’s also a big, platform-type rack available. Regrettably you can’t get rails with the 1958, meaning you’ll have to pony up for that $1,400 big rack or find an aftermarket unit that works with the fixed roof mounting points.

What are the Land Cruiser fuel economy and performance specs?

The Land Cruiser is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-four and a 48-horsepower electric motor integrated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Total system output is a respectable 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque sent through a full-time four-wheel drive system. That puts the new model at a 55-horsepower deficit to the previous one, but thanks to the power of turbocharging and electric motors, the new Land Cruiser is up 64 pound-feet of torque. Towing maxes out at 6,000 pounds, a number that will come as a disappointment for many, since the previous Land Cruiser was rated for 8,100 pounds.