Skip to main content

By 2021, Toyota had a serious problem: the Land Cruiser. What started as a barebones little Toyota-built jeep had morphed into a 5,800 pound full-size luxury SUV with an MSRP of $81k. The result was probably taking a bite out Toyota’s Lexus brand’s sales.

The solution? Kill the Land Cruiser. When Toyota designed a new “300 series” of the Land Cruiser for the rest of the world, it cut the nameplate from the North American market altogether. This “300 Series” was built on the new full-frame Tundra and Sequoia Chassis. But if Americans wanted this chassis as a luxury SUV, they had to opt for the Lexus LX ($88k).

After redesigning the Tundra, Sequoia, and Lexus LX, Toyota turned its attention to its midsize full-frame family. The fourth-gen Toyota Tacoma inherited a chassis, suspension, and hybrid engine option from the latest Tundra. Then Toyota did something that shocked many, it engineered a “250 series” Land Cruiser on this midsize chassis, exclusively for North America.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser, posed on an off-road trail.
2024 Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

Not only did the new Land Cruiser have retro styling, but as a lighter-weight and nimbler off-roader, it returned to the Land Cruiser’s roots. The SUV’s prices dropped to a 20-year low, with its 2024 MSRP sitting at $57k.

The choice seemed like a win-win: the Lexus LX got one share of the market, and the Land Cruiser got a new niche. With the Toyota 4Runner limping along for 15 years without a redesign, many midsize SUV buyers were happy to pony up for the upgraded Land Cruiser. But Toyota has trapped itself yet again.

The automaker just revealed the 2025 Toyota 4Runner. And in looks, technology, and price point, it is almost identical to the current Land Cruiser. Some journalists think you’ll be able to get a 2025 4Runner for as little as $43k, but that would be a truly barebones version. Honestly, the 4Runner’s current $40k MSRP seems a bit low, and I suspect we’ll see a $45k price tag next year.

The two midsize SUVs are going to share powertrains and technology such as the available 14-inch touchscreen. What’s more, the 4Runner offers Limited, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, and even a full-on Premium trim. At the top end, I fully suspect a loaded 4Runner to cost more than a Land Cruiser.

Overall, going down-market with the Land Cruiser was a bold move. I’m happy Toyota did it. But the automaker has so many SUVs for North America, it’s just going to have an awkward overlap somewhere. And for 2025, that will be the top end of the 4Runner range and the low end of the Land Cruiser range. The Land Cruiser has been such a hit, the new 4Runner Premium is obsolete before it even hits the streets.

You can see Toyota’s reveal of the next-gen 4Runner in the video below:

Related What Does Toyota’s ‘4Runner’ Name Even Mean?

What Does Toyota’s ‘4Runner’ Name Even Mean?