Toyota has some pretty impressive SUVs in its lineup. The 4Runner and Sequoia are two examples. The third, the Land Cruiser, is reportedly saying goodbye as of 2021, despite being built like a tank. Is it really leaving us, and will we see it again? Recent news says it might be returning sooner than expected, but as a Lexus model.
The life and times of the Toyota Land Cruiser
The Toyota Land Cruiser is not new to the off-roading game. Having quite many years under its belt, this big SUV has proven it’s worth time and time again. The brand’s reliability, coupled with its heavy-duty construction, makes it one of the longest-lasting models today.
Because of that fact, people are keeping them around for a while longer than they would with other new vehicles on the market. Since it can last over 200,000 miles and some can reach 300,000 without any major issues, it’s no wonder it’s a vehicle many want to hang onto for as long as they can.
Unfortunately, this model is pretty pricey, and sales have decreased over the last few years. Toyota made the hard decision to finally let it go from the American production line in favor of other more cost-effective vehicles. Even though 2021 is the last new model you can get, the used versions are still an option if you can find them. You will continue to see it in other foreign markets, though.
The Land Cruiser is making a comeback, sort of
With the discontinuation of the Toyota Land Cruiser, we didn’t think we’d ever see it again. However, it appears to be making a comeback to the U.S. market. Well, sort of. According to J.D. Power, it will live on but through another model. The new Lexus LX 600 will get the underpinnings and powertrain that helped make the Land Cruiser what it was.
Powering up the Lexus LX 600 is a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is the same as the 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser offered in other markets. This V6 engine will generate 409 horsepower, over 25 horsepower more than what the 2021 Lexus 570 achieved.
The Land Cruiser underpinnings will actually shave off quite a few pounds off the Lexus. The new model will weigh 441 lbs less than the previous LX 570. While the Lexus is geared toward the luxury SUV market, the LX 600 will still have off-roading drive modes for rock crawling, as well as a suspension you can lift and lower to gain more or less ground clearance.
Where will Toyota go from here?
As with many automakers, Toyota plans to switch gears and produce electric vehicles. Two models they’re currently designing are SUVs. One will sport a third-row model reminiscent of the Highlander, and the other will be a more compact model.
Beyond those two, however, the brand wants to launch at least 10 more electric vehicles in just a few more years. Up to this point, Toyota has been producing hybrid powertrains, and more recently, hydrogen-fueled cars as well. Even Lexus is getting in on it with a few EVs up its sleeve. Both brands combined have plans to launch a line of pickups, SUVs, sports cars, and even some buses with electric powertrains. By 2030, Toyota wishes to have at least 30 different EV models in its lineup, so they have at least one of every type of vehicle with at least one electrified version available, according to CarBuzz.
While it’s sad to see the Toyota Land Cruiser go from U.S. markets, it’s not really gone. You can still get the same underpinnings and powertrain with a different model, the new 2022 Lexus LX.