The Toyota Land Cruiser Is an Off-Roading Legend; Here’s Why It Had to Die
The Toyota Land Cruiser is a mythical beast that a new generation of drivers may never experience. The Land Cruiser is discontinued, so Toyota won’t be cranking out any more of these bad boys. Still, the Land Cruiser has left a lasting impact on the industry that even those who have never driven the SUV acknowledge. It’s ‘GOATED,’ as the kids say, or compared to the greatest of all time. So, why do people love the Toyota Land Cruiser, and why’d it have to go to the great junkyard in the sky?
The Toyota Land Cruiser isn’t what the average full-size SUV driver needs
If you’re the average full-size SUV driver with a family and a daily commute on weekdays, the Land Cruiser probably isn’t what you need. Why? Two words; fuel economy. Gas prices have hit astronomical highs following the global pandemic and the economic challenges that came with it.
Full-size SUVs like the Land Cruiser haven’t been this expensive to refuel in years. Edmunds claims the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser (the last new model ever made) has a 24.6-gallon gas tank. It gets 13 miles per gallon in the city and 17 miles per gallon on the highway. So, 2021 Land Cruiser drivers get roughly 369 miles of driving range on a full tank.
According to AAA.com, the national average gas price as of March 15th is $3.466. Drivers that own a 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser are paying around $85.26 to refuel the full-size SUV. While this price isn’t scary to some full-size SUV owners, the thirsty Cruiser’s average driving range on a full tank should be.
If a 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser driver travels for the national average annual driving distance (around 14,263 miles), they could spend over $3,295 on fuel a year. That average annual fuel cost is much higher in states like Nevada and California. There’s no denying that the Land Cruiser is one of the best SUVs ever made in terms of capability and longevity, but some drivers just aren’t prepared to spend over $3K a year on fuel for a vehicle that’s best-enjoyed off-road.
The necessary death of the Toyota Land Cruiser
Land Cruiser sales began to dwindle as consumers favored competitors that offered slightly better fuel economy and more refined interiors. Toyota decided that as great as the Land Cruiser was, it could no longer compete in the current market.
Make no mistake, Toyota’s full-size SUV is a legend. It was just time to hang its jersey in the rafters rather than risk a serious injury. Fear not. There’s another Toyota full-size SUV that embodies many of the Land Cruiser’s key qualities. It was recently redesigned to compete in today’s market.
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is picking up where the Toyota Land Cruiser left off
The 2023 Toyota Sequoia’s redesign puts it back in the game after years of lagging behind the competition. The Sequoia starts at $58,365.
It uses a 3.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine and an electric motor to make 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. The Sequoia gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. It has a 22.5-gallon gas tank. The Toyota Sequoia can travel for 506 miles of driving range.
The Toyota Land Cruiser may be gone, but the redesigned Sequoia offers plenty of value for the money. It’s even available in off-road configurations for drivers that desire a more capable full-size SUV.
Did Toyota fill the gap with the Sequoia, or was discontinuing the Land Cruiser a bad move?