Toyota Fears Land Cruisers Could End up in Terrorists’ Clutches

The Toyota Land Cruiser has been in the news a lot this year. In fact, it’s often in the news year-round, thanks to its superior off-road ability. However, it appears there are other fans of the Land Cruiser beyond the off-road community. Due to this fact, Toyota is restricting sales in some areas. 

The Toyota Land Cruiser is an off-road master

A Toyota Land Cruiser driving in the desert in Fish River Canyon
A Toyota Land Cruiser driving in the desert | Edwin Remsberg/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There’s something about leaving civilization behind as you travel down back roads that a regular sedan can’t do. While many off-road vehicles are legendary in their own rights, like the Jeep Wrangler, the Mercedes G-Wagon, and the Land Rover Range Rover, the Toyota Land Cruiser has a special place in the hearts of off-roaders.

Its ability to travel over a wide variety of terrain makes it an off-road beast. The Land Cruiser can also handle driving down highways and city streets, although there’s no denying where it really belongs. However, this isn’t always a good thing.

Land Cruisers may be used by terrorists

In a strange twist, it appears that the Toyota Land Rover is being used by terrorists thanks to its superior off-road capability. Toyota’s reputation for reliability and durability is also another reason why the Land Cruiser is valuable. Because of this, Fox News is reporting that Toyota is becoming stricter as to where Toyotas can be sold and where they can’t.

For instance, Toyota requires buyers in Japan not to export their vehicles. The Japanese automaker takes this so seriously that it requires owners to sign a pledge. In fact, Toyota dealers have also been warned not to export vehicles.

It’s unclear how effective this pledge will be, as once someone sells their Land Cruiser, they no longer have a say in where it goes. Despite this, the fact that Toyota is taking a stand is admirable, and this will doubtless keep at least some Land Cruisers out of hot zones.

The end of the Land Cruiser is here

It appears that there may be another reason why the Land Cruiser won’t be entering any hot zones. Car and Driver reports that Toyota has decided to discontinue the Land Cruiser after the 2021 model year in the U.S. With this restriction in manufacturing, there will be fewer Land Cruisers, which may increase the value enough that owners may not be willing to part with it as readily. In fact, it’s already accomplished that in the U.S.

According to Car and Driver, “Back in December 2020, Toyota told Americans that the 2021 model year would mark the end of the Land Cruiser’s venerable 60-year run in the U.S. And to that news, more U.S.-buyers snatched up the Land Cruiser in January of 2021 than in any other month for the last 10 years. The second-highest sales month? December of 2020.” To break it down further, there was a 221% increase from January 2020 compared to January 2021. In January 2020, 215 Land Cruisers were sold. In January 2021, 689 Land Cruisers were sold.

A local dealer spoke to Car and Driver and thinks that this rapid increase in sales will be enough to tempt Toyota to reintroduce the Land Cruiser to U.S. markets. It won’t happen in 2022, of course, but the dealer thinks it will happen eventually. 

The bad news is that the V-8 engine currently available may not be an option in the future, should the Land Cruiser actually come back. The good news is that it may get a hybrid engine or EV option, which is definitely a good thing.

RELATED: Which Reliable Toyota SUV Is Better Off-Road, the 4Runner or Land Cruiser?