By on December 28, 2020

Toyota's Land Cruiser

Toyota’s Land Cruiser is soon to be a casualty of technological advancement, after rumors of the venerable SUV being dropped were confirmed by Car and Driver when they spoke with a partner in a large dealer franchise who said that 2021 would be the end of the road for this premium SUV. This seems to confirm some earlier reporting we shared from Motor Authority.

Toyota's Land Cruiser

The Land Cruiser utilizes a 5.7-liter, DOHC 32-valve V8 with dual independent variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque, versus a turbocharged, inline-six-cylinder with an integrated electric motor in the BMW X5, with an additional nine hp and 32 lb-ft more than Toyota’s flagship SUV. Combined city/highway MPGs are 14 in the Toyota. For funsies, we compared that to the 78 city/77 highway MPGe in an Audi e-tron, just as a reminder how far new tech has come.Toyota's Land Cruiser

The 200 Series, as the Land Cruiser is known to aficionados, has been around since 2007, a 14-year run that has seen a lot of other SUVs come and go. Its body-on-frame construction is common only to a handful of other utes, with more headed the way of unibody construction for their lighter weight and greater fuel efficiency. Simply put, it appears the Land Cruiser’s time has come.

Toyota's Land Cruiser

That same source said that we should not mourn the loss of the Land Cruiser for too long, and that he thought it would be reprised in a more modern, luxurious version, much like the Ford Bronco. Let’s hope Toyota retains the same rugged, utilitarian spirit embodied the original Land Cruiser, and not become another crossover like the Chevrolet Blazer.

Toyota's Land Cruiser

Styling and fuel economy aside, do we really need another crossover in a field as crowded with them as there are now? If a new Land Cruiser doesn’t possess the same third-world-conquering capabilities of the current model, why bring it back? For the fashionistas, there’s already the Highlander and the new Venza. If adventure travel is your thing, there’s the 4Runner, or the Sequoia. Come to think of it, maybe Toyota is simply thinning the herd, content to work with their other existing platforms.

[Images: Toyota]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

41 Comments on “Toyota’s Land Cruiser Grounded After 2021...”


  • avatar
    jh26036

    Stealth wealth people will just have to buy the Lexus version.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    As I stated in another thread…my son worked at a high volume Toyota Dealership-and they sold one Land Cruiser a year. So the people with wealth are buying other vehicles.

    For most people a Land Cruiser is just another Toyota-so you pay the price and don’t get the prestige-hence the pitiful sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      They’re more popular among the wealthies who are, or want to be, active in the back country. They’re very chic here in the northern Rockies.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I have seen more than one real estate listing for the Santa Fe, NM area where a multi-million dollar ranch is being sold with “Land Cruiser” included.

        The kind of people who own multiple homes and in the case of their “Ranch out West” keep a Land Cruiser on the property for those few months a year that they visit.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I would definitely pick a Land Cruiser over the BMW X5. The Land Cruiser will still be running after 100s of thousands of miles over the next 20 plus years while the BMW X5 will be in the junkyard in 10 years.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “For funsies, we compared that to the 78 city/77 highway MPGe in an Audi e-tron, just as a reminder how far new tech has come.”

    LOL Most LCs will still be on the road when those Audi e-trons have been recycled twice.

    The message from the overlords is clear: you can’t have reliable and you can’t use as much fuel as we can. You will all buy EV even though 2/3rds of you can’t afford it and 3/4ths don’t want it. The rest of the world will continue as-is but you get to live in a dystopian Jetsons. Be well, proles.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      What, some “overlord” somewhere decided to force Toyota – one of the world’s biggest, most powerful, and deepest-pocketed corporations – to build a vehicle that got passed over hundreds of thousands of times in favor of similarly priced Escalades and Navigators?

      Nope…blame Toyota. They decided to let a high profit vehicle that’s smack dab in the middle of a HUGELY profitable and very viable market get stale. Same story for the Sequoia and Tundra. GM and Ford sell TONS of full sized trucks and SUVs and for some reason Toyota has decided to fail in this market.

      Sounds like Market Economics 101 to me…build a less appealing product, and fewer people will buy it.

      (And meanwhile, the E-Tron you mention is also a bust due to Market Economics 101.)

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        That’s not exactly accurate. In the US Toyota has treated this generation of the LC like how Ferrari treats their cars (or how Toyota treats the Century in Japan). The Cruiser sells in very low numbers in the US but its discounting is about $0 and its days in inventory is also low.

        The Tundra and Sequoia are a different story. Those aren’t meant to be low volume prestige vehicles and have struggled with excess capacity issues.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Don’t get me wrong – I respect Toyota’s approach with this vehicle. It’s BUILT. If I were in the market for a full size $90,000 SUV, this is the one I’d buy. But at the end of the day, it’s still a $90,000 full sized SUV that still doesn’t sell, in a market where hundreds of thousands of $90,000 full sized SUVs find homes every year.

          They certainly at a minimum could have refreshed the styling, added more features, and given it more horsepower without fatally compromising its’ build quality.

          In the end, even “crafted” stuff needs to sell, you know?

          • 0 avatar
            jh26036

            The tough part is the $90k buyer wants the vehicle to drive like a luxury car…unfortunately the LC200 can never match that expectation in 2020. You can get away with it in 1995 because everything was truck based. This is still an awesome truck but we live in the wrong environment to enjoy its best attributes.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The US is not the LC’s intended market, as Ajla pointed out its an exotic with a cult fan base. Even if US volume doubled from 1K units to 2K units, whop-dee-doo. Toyota could spend a lot to do as you suggest and still wouldn’t sell more than a few thousand units in USDM. People don’t understand what “it is” vs that Chevy Escalade.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @28: Why shouldn’t the US be the LC’s market? We buy TONS of high priced full-size SUVs. What’s the point of this exercise – making money or satisfying the cultists who buy one of these every 17 years? I know what I’d do. Put it on the same platform as a Tundra/Sequoia, give it completely different styling, real off road chops, and build the s**t out of it. All of that is doable. If the cultists can’t handle it, let them move on…they can figure out what else to buy in another 17 years.

            As it is, they’re literally handing billions of dollars over to GM and Ford (and Jeep, pretty soon). That’s poor business, if you ask me.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think they view it as moving extra volume where they can and offer zero incentives. Sequoia and Tundra are intended for this market, I wouldn’t be surprised if dealers asked to remove LC because they sold 1 or 2 a year and it wasn’t worth it for them sitting on the floorplan.

            I’ll also point out you’re comparing the Cadillac Tahoe and Lincoln MK Expedition to the “lesser” Toyota vs Lexus. Its a weird model in USDM because its essentially at Lexus levels of refinement/cost but from the plebian dealer. A bit akin to Corvette, which despite the “Chevy” drivetrain is not really a “Chevrolet”.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Sure, the proles can’t have reliable, except a ton of Toyota’s core product is just as likely to last as a Land Cruiser. Plenty of Camrys and Priuses in taxi duty running out to 250+k, the Corolla had a known, common defect of the odo quitting at 299k, and is the 4Runner known for fragility? And from the other side, the wealthy mostly seem to eschew reliability the Range Rover has been a horror show its entire life, and the S-class has favored complexity for about 30 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      28-Cars-Later,

      “The message from the overlords is clear:”

      I believe the attitude of the ruling “elite” was clearly expounded by Orwell/Huxley. Proles do not need fun.

      Sigh, another one bites the dust…

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    I think there is a point that is being brought up-No doubt the Land Cruiser will last years. However with few exceptions those who can afford one are not going to keep them for decades.For the rich those who can afford a LC can drop $80,000 on a vehicle every five years and think nothing about it.

  • avatar

    I seriously doubt they’re killing it entirely, as in sandy and jungle areas they’ll still want a real truck.

    So methinks there will still be a utility version for Australia and the UAE, and the luxury one sold in NA will go modern chassis.

    Given the Pajero is dead, this leaves the Patrol to stand alone as premium Japanese truck SUV.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This vehicle, along with the Tundra and Sequoia, absolutely confound me – why the hell would Toyota – TOYOTA, folks – decide to just try and pass off stale, outdated big SUVs and trucks in a market that is absolutely gaga for that stuff?

    Yes, they’re high quality. But the market clearly wants something more than that, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how a company with Toyota’s obvious engineering and marketing prowess managed to drop this ball.

    I’m sure the usual suspects (the big bad gubmint) will be blamed.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Yes, they’re high quality. But the market clearly wants something more than that,”

      I think it would be a very large error for Toyota to jeopardize their reputation for quality by chasing the Americans or Germans for volume. When it comes to these segments I think they would be better off playing in their niche.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Just keeping the product fresh and updated would have helped them find more buyers. Car and Driver tested one of these not too long ago, and the main takeaway they had was that it’s somewhat underpowered, and the interior is not very posh (I haven’t driven one, so I can’t speak to the first criticism, but the second one is on target). A company with Toyota’s obvious car-building prowess should be able to solve both of those issues pretty easily without compromising build quality. But they didn’t.

        It’s almost as if Toyota decided to be iconoclastic for the sake of being iconoclastic. Good on them, I suppose, but in the end clearly they weren’t making money off this approach, so what’s the point?

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “should be able to solve both of those issues pretty easily without compromising build quality. But they didn’t.”

          My feeling is that if Mercedes could make a C63s as reliable as a Lexus or if Lexus could make a RCF perform as well as a C63s without compromising reliability then both would be doing it. I think there are more trade-offs involved than you’re anticipating.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Toyota also let the FJ Cruiser die too so maybe they just don’t understand this market? That vehicle in today’s market would be selling like hot cakes. Never thought I see the Land Cruiser on the chopping block given the current SUV / off-road all the things craze.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    @JMII – in fairness, when the FJ was discontinued, it looked like the market for “real” SUVs was dying, and the only winner in that market was going to be Jeep.

    But, yeah, they should definitely bring that back now…without a top. It’d be a natural Wrangler/Bronco competitor.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these in person, but it’s a shame. This is one of the few Toyotas that have recently been for sale which didn’t look like deep-fried wet fecal material.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Nobody is going to miss the 200 series. These weren’t the rugged 40, 60, or even the 80 series. They started moving it away from it’s intended purpose in the US when we got the IFS 100 series and the parts of the world that the Land Cruiser’s reputation was built ingot the 105 series which was basically the new 100 series body on the older 80 chassis. The 200 rigs went further down that road, at least in the US.

  • avatar
    200Series

    Maybe these will only be missed by those that have had the pleasure to own one, but for us, they will surely be missed. As an 80 and 200 series owner, the 200 is a far superior vehicle in all aspects, including reliability and build quality.

    You really need to be a long-term owner, with other brands in the stable, to fully appreciate how great these vehicles are. They are not for everyone, thankfully. Plenty of Range Rovers and Escalades available.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I’ve owned a 62, 80 and a 100. I was assigned a third world spec 200 for 9 months. The 80 to me was the peak. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 200 wasn more reliable though. But That 200 was a pig. It seemed good if I wanted to blast across the open desert or drive through snow in New England but it just didn’t have the go anywhere chops my earlier rigs had to me.

      Honestly if I could buy any current Land Cruiser, it’d be a 70 series.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        Art Vandelay,

        “Honestly if I could buy any current Land Cruiser, it’d be a 70 series.”

        This points to the fact that at one time the LC was competition to the Nissan Patrol, Land Rover 90, and the Jeep (I don’t know which model). That was (at least) true in the late 60’s early 70’s. At the time all these vehicle were utilitarian — not even remotely luxe (the late 60’s LR 110 my family had didn’t even have a heater/defroster). They were focused on go-anywhere practical, period. Over the years the LC has retained the tough running gear, but somehow put on a lot of blubber elsewhere (incl. price). By now, it’s become (in my opinion) a bit disjointed and confused about it’s mission in life.

        It would be nice if Toyota would bring out a less foo-foo LC to compete with the Wrangler Unlimited. If they could bring back the short wheel base LC to compete with the Wrangler JL… I know, not gonna happen.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    Am I understanding it correctly that Toyota is pitching this vehicle as a premium/luxury product in your market and intending it to compete with the likes of Range Rover?

    Essentially they tried this in Europe. The Land Cruiser was only available with a Diesel V8 and a high price tag, and nobody bought them. When you are shopping in this niche and have money, you want to spend it on a prestige badge and not on a Toyota. Even badging the SUV as a Lexus would have failed here since that brand carries no cache and prestige in my market.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Well there goes one of my aspirational vehicles.

    And yes my smart mouth always liked to say “Land Bruiser”.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    What exactly makes a $90k Toyota so much better than a $50k Expedition, $78k Escalade, or the soon to be released Bronco?

    And I thought the $50k Supra was a bit much!

  • avatar
    markf

    The Land Cruiser is only being discontinued in the US market, it lives in the rest of the world. The number one LC market is Australia where it is available in numerous engine/trim configurations. I have to wonder why the US only got one version (the most expensive owner) Seems Toyota is content to sell buckets of Camrys and 4Runners (with it hopelessly outdated engine/trans combo)

    I own a 200 series LX and it is a nice truck but I always get flamed in the 200 forums when I point out it’s shortcomings. The hardcore owners have their entire being tied up in these trucks, it’s weird. I pointed out how woefully outdated the infotainment system is and wondered why my 8 y/o Sienna had a better system than my 7 y/o LX. I also pointed out that a new 35K Sienna has a better system than 100K LX.

    I was told to sell my LX because “I don’t understand who the vehicle is intended for”

    I think the plan is to keep selling the LX after dropping the LC so there will still be a “Land Cruiser” sold in the US, just the Lexus version.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I was under the impression the LX had some kind of AWD system vs the LC’s traditional 4×4, am I wrong?

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        Same 4WD on both trucks. The only real differences (styling aside) were a few more “luxury” features and the LX has Active Height Control (AHC) hydraulically controlled suspension that can be raised/lowered with a switch. LC has a tradition suspension.

        Aside from that they are identical.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Syke: Fascinating. Then again, if you didn’t exactly know what it was that you were looking for, you...
  • Corey Lewis: Saw a 4Runner with a $25000 “”limited availability” adjustment on Twitter.
  • Russycle: Agreed on all 3 points. The gaping-maw trend can’t die soon enough.
  • ajla: Yea, I’m a 500 fan, they are nice to drive and I think it got a bit of a bum rap on the internet. The...
  • Russycle: @ToolGuy: Heh!

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber