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I am not thrilled about this: Toyota fans are excited about the new midsize Land Cruiser. But it seems dealerships are just as excited. Multiple places are slapping a hefty markup on the 2024 Land Cruiser, including one dealership win California which wants $88,845–pocketing a cool $12,500 just because. Why am I pissed? Because Toyota is trying to do something pretty cool by downsizing the Land Cruiser, and there’s a real chance dealerships mess it up for all of us.

The Land Cruiser: once Toyota’s humble version of Willys Jeep. The barebones little 4×4 quickly became one of the most reliable–and respected–trucks in the world. In much of the world, Toyota continues to offer a utility version of the Land Cruiser. But in the U.S., something else happened.

With every redesign, Toyota made the North American Land Cruiser fancier. And more expensive. By 2021, the Land Cruiser was a full-frame beast based on the Toyota Tundra pickup truck frame. And while its Sequoia cousin started at $51,895, the tricked-out Land Cruiser had a $81,116 MSRP.

Blue 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser on a dirt trail.
2024 Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

Toyota’s crowded SUV lineup presented it with a conflict: The luxury-spec Lexus LX started at just $88,700. So the automaker had begun competing with itself.

When Toyota redesigned its full-size SUVs it cut the Land Cruiser from the U.S. market. This dramatic choice bothered many Toyota fans. But the automaker had a plan. For 2024, it released a very different Land Cruiser to North America. This retro-inspired SUV was based on the beloved Tacoma/4Runner chassis.

I applauded this move. See, almost every model gets bigger, heavier, and more powerful with every redesign. That makes it more expensive. In the case of an off-roader, it’s also often worse on the trails. So Toyota’s brave decision is pioneering a world where we don’t need as much car, where we know that less can be more. Then Toyota did something even cooler.

Toyota slashed the MSRP of the Land Cruiser, dropping it to $55,950. With most new cars far to expensive for all but the richest percentile of Americans to purchase with the recommended 10% of their budget, we obviously need cheaper options. Toyota lowering the Land Cruiser’s price was another brave move. Then the dealerships got involved.

Dealerships often mark up exciting new releases. Why? Greed. And there’s a chance that this price gouging has reduced sales so much its killed exciting new models (I’m looking at you, Pontiac G8 GT).

One example of many is California’s Concord Toyota. The dealer slapped a $12,500 charge on a $76,345 2024 Land Cruiser and is asking $88,845. The same dealership has a “First Edition” Toyota recommends it sell at $76,695. It is marking this SUV up $13,300 and asking $89,995.

Boo, hiss!