No more Toyota Land Cruiser in the USA (at least in this generation), but maybe the 2022 Lexus LX can ease the pain.
The current Toyota Land Cruiser will no longer be sold in the United States after the 2021 model year. That’s the end of an over 60-year legacy. Less than 3,500 Toyota Land Cruisers were sold in North American in 2020. Granted, it was a Covid-19 year, but that number was only about 900 (or so) less than 2019. The Sequoia sold about twice that, and the Toyota Highlander was close to a quarter-million sold. In other words, very few people bought them; very few people can afford them.
The Toyota Land Cruiser went from a simple, rugged utility vehicle to an extraordinarily expensive, luxurious, massive, off-road hauler. Despite its growth and expense, it remained solid and capable. We were fortunate enough to drive the Heritage Edition, but that’s more or less the end of the Land Cruiser as we currently know it.
New information from Japan
A report by Japan’s Best Car magazine indicates the next Land Cruiser packs a twin-turbo V6, with and without hybridization options. It may be very different than its cousin, the Lexus LX. If the reports are accurate, the 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser “300” will share many components with the LX. One thing they won’t share is the powertrain. They say the Lexus LX soundly outsells its cousin the Land Cruiser, so the Lexus may continue on – over here.
Like the current Lexus LX, the current parts-bin sharing appears to be under the skin, like the frame, body, and some interior components. Otherwise, it looks like Toyota wants to make these vehicles very different.
Adding to the report is the prospect that the Lexus would retain its burly 5.7-liter V8. There is some speculation that it might use Toyota’s rumored 10-speed automatic transmission. This transmission may be used in the future Tundra as well. A separate insider rumor suggests that the next Lexus LX may have an independent rear suspension as well.
One additional part of the reports suggests a GR (Gazoo Racing) version of the upcoming Toyota Land Cruiser which would give it a sportier character. We’ll see about that.