By on October 8, 2020

Image: Toyota

The Toyota Land Cruiser seemed destined to remain on the market, forever unchanged, until the universe collapses into one giant black hole (or whatever would happen – astronomy classes were a long time ago).

Alas, even the Land Cruiser must meet its fate sooner or later. And Motor Authority is reporting that it is sooner, not later.

MA is reporting that a source on a forum has the Land Cruiser marked for death after the 2021 model year, with no apparent replacement or redesign in sight. The Land-Cruiser based Lexus LX, however, will soldier on, but with a turbo V6 instead of the venerable 5.7-liter V8. Again, according to the forum source.

This makes sense, as the Land Cruiser ain’t cheap, so Toyota might as well keep it around as an offering sold by its luxury arm.

As you know by now, speculation that bubbles up via forums often needs to be taken with not just a grain, but a silo, of salt. Yes, forums get it right sometimes, but there’s no guarantee.

On the other hand, further reporting by the lads at the Internet Brands-owned site involving a source in the dealer world does appear to confirm what was said on the forum.

Apparently, the off-road-friendly rig will go out with the return of the Heritage Edition model and addition of an available third-row.

We can’t say we’re surprised by this – the Land Cruiser is ancient in terms of platform, it’s expensive, and it sucks gas. Outside of hardcore off-roaders, it’s hard to see who the audience is for this vehicle, and sales have cratered.

Fret not, ye of the ways of the trail – there is a next-generation Land Cruiser planned, although launch timing is unknown. Fret, ye American, as the next-gen Land Cruiser may not be sold here.

Whether it is sold on these shores or only in other markets, Motor Authority expects the next generation of the classic off-roader to use the turbo V6 that’s slated for the Lexus version, with the possible availability of a hybrid system that also uses V6 power.

Fare thee well, Land Cruiser.

[Image: Toyota]

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49 Comments on “Bon Voyage: Toyota Land Cruiser Cruises Off into the Sunset...”


  • avatar
    el scotto

    First of all, the audience for these are people who can afford one. People who will spend large cash for a vehicle that will easily run for 15-20 years. A humble brag of sorts. The NX and the Land Cruiser are priced fairly equally, might as well go for the oval with an L than the oval with two more ovals.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      You mean “LX.” But yes.

      That said, some people are put off by the LX’s styling.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      While you’re right about the target market, and that spending $90k on a humblebrag doesn’t have to be rational, what does this do better than a Sequoia that the original owner might actually do while the thing is still in warranty?

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still miss it, but if you want a big durable SUV, Toyota’s still got you covered.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The Land Cruiser does have 200lbs more payload and 1100 pounds more towing capacity compared to the Sequoia 4WD. I think the price difference with the Platinum trim Sequoia was about $15K and the depreciation difference would make some of that up. Although I don’t know what kind of dealer discounts you can get on a Sequoia (I’m guessing it is close to $0 on a Land Cruiser).

    • 0 avatar
      KevinB

      I wanted to eventually buy one as my “forever” vehicle. Darn!

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    My son worked for a high volume Toyota dealer. He said they sold two a year of these. And yea-the salesmen made $250.00 on this unit.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      My Toyota store (South Florida) never even put the Land Cruisers (or 4-Runners) into inventory.

      The Dealership Principal and his family drove them all until they were barely used. Suppose the pricing was still at parity with new, and the returns on financial services were greater that-a-way.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    “Outside of hardcore off-roaders, it’s hard to see who the audience is for this vehicle”

    This betrays a deep ignorance about the actual buyers of the Land Cruiser. Old money, stealth wealth, call it what you want. The people who buy them, buy only them. This is probably the best engineered vehicle available for sale anywhere. I for one will mourn its passing.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “hardcore off-roaders” as a rule don’t buy these new. I got to see 2 of them in action off-road last weekend. I don’t recall their ages but the older one was a diesel running a 24 volt “NATO spec” electrical system.

  • avatar
    RHD

    They could just pull a Hyundai: Price it about the same as the Palisade, name it something like the “Toyota Riverside”, and let it sell itself.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “a turbo V6”

    All of the “going turbo V6” for so many future Toyota/Lexus products makes the decision to use the BMW I6 in the Supra versus developing their own inline engine seem bizarre.

  • avatar

    I don’t think this news is credible. If you’re going to federalize and bring it here, you may as well bring both versions. As well, the nameplate is legendary. Finally, they intentionally restrict supply (I think) to make them more illustrious.

    I can’t see them dropping the LC here, they sell enough in other global markets to make it worthwhile to ship a few over.

  • avatar

    R.I.P. Toyota, I hardly knew you. I suspect Lexus version will follow to meet its twin brother again.

    “until the universe collapses into one giant black hole”

    First all matter will collapse into black holes which are objects with the maximum entropy. That’s why it will be the end of evolution of the Universe. But it is not the end of the world yet, EOW will happen when all black holes evaporate destroying entropy completely and setting the stage for the new Big Bang. Universe becomes conformal and therefore lacking the size and equivalent to the point i.e. Big Bang. That’s Roger Penrose take on the evolution of Universe.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      ILO,

      The universe, as anyone whoever did any computer programming could tell you, was created by Murphy with the sole purpose of frustrating the bejabbers out of us poor humanoids. And, we are stuck here until Sleepy Joe frees us.

      It would be a damn shame if the LC did go away. I remember these in the early 70’s in Ecuador when the big competition was Toyota LC, Nissan Patrol, and the great wheezing Land Rover. In those days you didn’t go much out of town in a regular car unless you had rocks in your head. There was also the occasional Wagoneer which the locals insisted on spelling “Wagooner” in the classified ads– never could figure that one out.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Since the Wrangler is a big seller and the Bronco seems off to a good start Toyota ought to build a new Tacoma based FJ with retro Land Cruiser badging.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Given the market for big, bigger, biggest, I’m a bit surprised.

    On the other hand, I’ve long said, for the narrow price difference, my money would go to the Lexus and all the perks of owning the L versus the Lazy T provides.

    I’ve felt for a long time the Land Cruiser wasn’t priced right.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with you on the Land Cruisers inflation. If you look at the price of the LX historically it has stayed about the same, but the Land Cruisers price has grown steadily to match it.

      It’s too expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      Land Cruiser pricing is definitely too high, I’m sure large part not to step on the toes of the Sequoia and the GX. It’s a lot cleaner over in the home market where there are no 4Runner or Sequoia.

      I am a bit jealous of the $34k LC Prado (GX) and $45k Land Cruiser over there.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The dealer where I bought my Tacoma, Toyota of Plano (actually, they’re closer to Frisco since they moved almost next door to Toyota’s North American headquarters) sometimes has one of these sitting in the showroom, in black, for around $85,000, and there are a couple of other dealers in the DFW area that typically have one. I actually saw one being delivered to a customer last year at Vandergriff Toyota in Arlington, when my mother-in-law was shopping for a Camry XLE.

    Sure, they’re big, thirsty, and expensive, but they’re cool. They still have a “J” VIN (built in Japan), and they bridge the old Toyota and the new Toyota.

    Oh, and it’s offered in just *four colors* – Blizzard Pearl, Midnight Black Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, and Classic Silver Metallic.

  • avatar
    deanst

    This cancellation was reported in Forbes……..about a year ago.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I heard that the next Land Cruiser will *not* be coming to the US–why would it?–and that the LX’s replacement will trade its BOF architecture for a longitude-engine/unibody setup. That will make it closer to the BMW X7, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Range Rover, etc…

    Also, yes, it will trade the 5.7-liter N/A V8 for a twin-turbo V6, likely the 3.4-liter unit found in the LS 500.

    Hopefully, the future LX will have better fuel economy than what it currently gets. Yikes!

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    The Land Cruiser to me was always about being an affordable work-horse type of SUV with exceptional off-road characteristics.

    Toyota made a mistake by turning it into a semi-luxurious premium style SUV, thus alienating potential customers.In Europe Toyota attempted to sell it with a Diesel V8 and naturally a high price tag; it flopped, badly. This was a mysterious decision and essentially it was to Toyota here as was the Volkswagen Phaeton in North America; a sales debacle.

    The typical Toyota buyer in Europe wants one thing: value. A cheap but well-made car with low running costs. Toyota is essentially a budget brand here. An expensive Diesel V8 powered Land Cruiser with leather seats and other luxuries does not fit into its image here. It would have been more logical to sell this car as a Lexus. Yet there is no large Lexus SUV on sale in Europe (I believe a badge engineered Lexus Land Cruiser is available for the Russian market).

  • avatar
    markf

    The LC is very expensive,Toyota only sells the top level model in the US. There are cheaper, lower priced trim levels available world-wide but we only the get the full decked out version. For most folks in the US the Sequioa fills the 3 row SUV need, 4Runner is 1/2 the price, good off road but a total dog on the street. The GX is gaining a lot popularity with the off road community, esp. people fed up with 4Runner resale prices. Plus, you get an 8cyl and 6/8spd trans.

    I have an LX (before the grill got nuts) and they are cheaper on the used market and a bit more nicely trimmed out (including the hydraulic AHC suspension) Of course they are archaic by any measure but it suits my needs.

    It makes no sens for Toyota to sell the next version in the US when they sold less thank 5K LC units per year for this generation. I hope they stop styling the Lexus model.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Sales of the Land Cruiser are a few hundred a year in the UK now. When you look at how much they cost you realise you could buy an all new Defender or Discovery both of which are much more modern and as or more capable off-road

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      ^^^^this^^^^

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Yes, but the Land Cruisers will still be running, reliably, long after the Land Rovers have been crushed.

        • 0 avatar
          Yankee

          Exactly right, dukeisduke. I have a architect friend who drove a post-GM Saab for years, enduring constant breakdowns until he could no longer stand it, then bought a Land Rover. I asked him if he actually sat and though about what he could buy that was even less reliable than the Saab. Two years into the purchase he had already had the transmission, rear axle and driveshafts replaced under warranty, in addition to numerous trips for electrical gremlins. It’s amazing how long car companies can continue to sell on their image, long after the original build quality is gone.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The 200s, and to a lesser extent even the more legendary earlier iterations, were never about maximum technical “off road capability.” But rather about suitability for permanent use in places where the difference between road and offroad weren’t/aren’t all that. As well as for towing big caravans into the Aussie bush, since Aussies live in a country with enough space for big caravans and lots of bush, but seemingly not enough space for more tow-proper US sized HD crewcabs.

      The LCs are too big and heavy, as well as too low for their size, to ever win any rock crawling or Jeep-trail prizes, unless modded at insane expense to where they are no longer able to serve their more utilitarian intended role. And those limitations are there on purpose, as the LCs, more than anything, need to work well on the very few decent roads available in the places they are designed to run. It’s much more appropriate to think of their intended mission as that of being soccer mom mobiles for places where the “roads” are such that lesser vehicles may not reliably make it to soccer practice and back safely, rather than some US recreational flatbiller’s, or Japanese collector’s, wet dream.

      The “reliably and safely” part of that, for every single soccer practice, as well as trip to Starbucks (or some coffee farm growing beans for them…) is why no fancied up, marketing engineered, relaunched “Defender”, is even within zipcodes of being in the running to replace the LC. No matter how much more “off-road capable” a million computers and sensors may make it, for the duration of a press launch or Youtube shoot.

  • avatar

    There are no worries for Toyota. They sell more than two million vehicles a year than GM. GM is becoming such a small company. They will drop to fifth place if and when the PSA and FCA merger goes through. GM can sue FCA all they want, but it won’t stop FCA becoming the largest car maker in Detroit.

    At the end of the day Toyota losing the Land Cruiser is only a mild setback. GM has far more serious problems. GM is going to have a rude awakening when their EVs fail to find customers.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I love big BOF SUV’s so sad news for me, but no big surprise. At 40 years old, maybe I am a dinosaur like these vehicles. Dang crossovers….killing all the cool stuff and on they road they are like gnats that you just want to swat out of the way.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    To take a positive from it, the desirable Land Cruisers are all six cylinders, be it in an inline configuration.

    They lost the plot in the US market with the 100 series though and it was downhill from there.

    Wish we’d get the 70 series though.

    • 0 avatar
      chiefmonkey

      That’s what I was thinking. Anyway after 12 years good riddance is what I would say.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The 70s are neat, and good for some stuff, but insanely crude next to a 200. And that despite of how crude the 200 is, in almost every single US setting, compared to more modern designs.

      More than Toyota losing the plot with the 100, I’d suggest it’s the US who had by then lost the LC plot. There’s just almost no places left here, where the LC make much sense anymore. And the few places where they arguably do (some reservations etc.), people are by now too destitute to be able to afford them.

      (The massive ramp in “capabilities” and utility of full sized pickups over here since then, hasn’t done the LC any favors either. It’s a lot easier to make a case for it, in places where it is the biggest, baddest thing which is practical to drive around in, for those who tow etc.)

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    If the Ur- Top Gear crew were still producing car shows, an ode to the LC would be appropriate. I hope they don’t bring back the name plate with an abomination.
    I’ve always though the owners of these were folks who owned ranches as second homes. The patriarch – a self made millionaire who enjoyed crushing the flashy Cullinan driver in the boardroom ,drove a King Ranch or Super Duty /HD truck. His wife drove the LC to equestrian events .

  • avatar

    Thomas, is Lexus sold in Europe? And if yes who buys it?

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      I’m currently in a 2013 RX350 AWD, purchased at a local Toyota dealer here in Germany. Both have a presence, but Lexus is a much smaller brand here than Toyota. I see Skoda and Opel more than anything else.

      https://www.lexus.eu/en/#

    • 0 avatar
      ThomasSchiffer

      They are sold here, but their sales are rather subpar.

      I am not sure who buys a Lexus, maybe customers who want value and do not care about the awkward styling. Personally, not a single car in their lineup appeals to or interests me.

      • 0 avatar

        In 90s when I lived in Russia Japanese cars were considered as an unusually cheap used alternatives to German cars. French and Italian cars were not even in consideration – throwaway cars used.

        Now Russian can afford new cars and their tastes move in American direction. E.g. Camry is most popular car because it is reliable. And Koreans are sale leaders. In total Asians dominate. Forget about Opel and Ford.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Actually what I’m more thinking here…. is Toyota done with V8 engines?

    LS500 has gone turbo V6. New LX will come with turbo V6. I believe I’ve heard rumblings about it in the next Tundra.

    Is that it? To me this is far sadder than the Land Cruiser. Nothing like a big buttery V8. They’re getting about as rare as manual transmissions these days.

    Agree with earlier poster about a Land Cruiser-ized Tacoma. I think this makes a ton of sense honestly. Bit of a throwback to how the LC got started. Though now such a vehicle starts stepping on the 4Runner.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Sad! Toyota should of just lower the price from $75K to $60K and make it up on options!

  • avatar
    Super555

    Only Toyota model sold continuously in the US since 1957.

    Only Toyota model sold in the US from 1959-1968 I believe.

    Would love to see a modern FJ Cruiser with the nameplate.

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