Why Are Toyota Land Cruisers So Expensive?

The Toyota Land Cruiser has a story almost as old as its automaker, but that story is coming to an end for American customers. Indeed, the Land Cruiser hasn’t been selling well in America, so Toyota has discontinued it stateside. Regardless, it’s still a highly capable SUV, and it’s expensive for several reasons.

Toyota Land Cruisers have been rolling throughout America since 1958

A blue 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser off-road SUV on display at the 2020 Brussels Expo in Belgium
2020 Toyota Land Cruiser | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Ironically, the Toyota Land Cruiser’s beginnings are heavily related to America. Back in the day, the U.S. military asked Toyota to build a military car. In 1951, the automaker debuted the Toyota Jeep BJ, but Jeep quickly came in and asked Toyota to rename it. So Toyota called it the Land Cruiser, and it didn’t take long for this SUV to become available to American consumers.

Americans could buy Toyota Land Cruisers starting in 1958, but these SUVs still had quite a few similarities with Jeep models. But Toyota continued changing and improving the Land Cruiser, and it didn’t take long before it became its own thing. Still, while newer generations became more comfortable on paved roads, Toyota never stopped focusing on the Land Cruiser’s off-roading chops. 

Unfortunately, its sales numbers slumped in recent years. So, while the rest of the world welcomes a brand-new generation of the Land Cruiser, Americans will say goodbye.

Though there are likely many reasons why the Land Cruiser didn’t sell well, its $85,000 starting price probably didn’t help.

Why is the Toyota Land Cruiser so expensive?

Many of the Land Cruiser’s perks are reasons why it’s so expensive. For example, Toyota Land Cruisers are expensive because they’re “built like tanks,” MotorAsk reports. Of course, this is an exaggeration, but it’s not completely off the mark because the Land Cruiser has that military history. Regardless, it’s a tough vehicle that keeps on trucking.

Similarly, that Land Cruisers can off-road so well is another reason why they’re so expensive. Off-roading isn’t a cheap hobby, but folks who can afford it can do it extremely well in a Land Cruiser.

In addition, it’s actually considered a luxury vehicle despite the Toyota name attached to it. So that $85,000 sticker price is paying for plenty of capability and a plethoria of luxury features.

Plus, like any other Toyota model, the Land Cruiser is highly reliable. And that quality comes at a higher price.

And thanks to its rarity in America, prices will only get higher

Because they’re so reliable and tough, Toyota Land Cruisers hold their value well. This means that, while other cars quickly depreciate over the years, a used Land Cruiser can be valuable for years. This also means that many owners are unlikely to sell their Land Cruisers, and they’ll be even less likely now that the model has retired.

After all, the discontinuation in America will result in fewer and fewer Land Cruisers on the road. Since it’s still a desirable SUV, its value will go up. Though it probably won’t be a collectible car anytime soon, all of the above reasons explain why Toyota Land Cruisers are so expensive.

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