Why Was the Toyota Land Cruiser Discontinued?

It was a sad day in the world of SUVs when the Toyota Land Cruiser was discontinued. Why did the automaker discontinue the Land Cruiser with how popular this Toyota SUV was? Perhaps that was its biggest downfall, the Land Cruiser was just too popular elsewhere but not in America.

Is Toyota going to discontinue the Land Cruiser?

The Toyota Land Cruiser SUV off-roading on a hill
The Toyota Land Cruiser SUV off-roading | Toyota

Unfortunately, Toyota already cut the Land Cruiser from the lineup in the U.S. With the tag line “There’s plenty more to explore,” the curtain closed on this Toyota sport utility vehicle back in 2021. After 60 years, Toyota said that interest and sales were dwindling in the country.

Is that really the case, though? The Toyota Land Cruiser has a large fan base worldwide and in the U.S. The automaker says it will still service the SUV at local Toyota Service Centers. Unfortunately, that probably won’t last for too long. If a new tech comes in, the staff member might not know a vehicle from the past.

Buyers of the Land Cruiser know how good the sport utility vehicle is. Toyota is also known for making SUVs that last over 200,000 miles. If Toyota was making an SUV that lasts that long, there aren’t going to be enough people that need a new one!

Check out the Toyota Land Cruiser sales for 2021 in the U.S.

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According to Toyota Motor North America’s year-end 2021 sales numbers, the automaker sold only 3,711 Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs. Of course, these weren’t exactly easy to find and wouldn’t be sitting on any dealership lots. In 2020, the Cruiser sold 3,147 units. Many of these would have been ordered from the factory by a potential buyer and delivered when it was ready.

Let’s compare those numbers to the best-selling Toyota RAV4 SUV. The RAV4 sold 407,739 units in 2021 and 430,387 units in 2020. The second most popular SUV is the Highlander. Toyota sold 264,128 units in 2021 and 212,276 units in 2020. That makes the RAV4 the best-selling SUV in the U.S. for the fifth consecutive year.

Comparing the Land Cruiser to these numbers gives more insight into Toyota’s decision to axe the sport utility vehicle. Of course, the LC is still available in many other countries and is more popular than ever. The manufacturer suggested American buyers look at the Sequoia, 4Runner, or Tundra as these “share Land Cruiser’s bold spirit and rugged capability.”

Can’t live without it? Upgrade to a Lexus LX 570

For those who don’t want to import a new Land Cruiser into the country, Toyota hopes you will upgrade. The 2022 Lexus LX 570 is just a grown-up luxury version of the Toyota SUV. The LX has full-time four-wheel drive and Adaptive Variable Suspension for off-roading. Plus, plenty of active safety equipment and other upgrades to help keep you safe off-road. This one starts at $88,245, and yes, you can find it in the U.S. If that isn’t luxurious enough, there is also the LX 600. That starts at $88,245 and comes with a 409 hp twin-turbo V6 and full-time four-wheel drive. The Lexus SUV has the brand’s most powerful engine ever put into an LX.

If you have connections and are outside the country, you could hypothetically have purchased the new 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser. However, Toyota was hip to that game. The automaker made the news when the new SUV dropped for making buyers sign an agreement not to sell within a year. If Toyota found out a person or dealership violated the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law (Foreign Exchange Law), it promised to take legal action against all involved.

In conclusion, the Toyota Land Cruiser was discontinued because not enough people in the U.S. were buying it. Perhaps that was because the SUV just lasted too long and buyers did not need a replacement. Perhaps it could be to generate buzz for a big return to the North American market in a year or two. Either way, you won’t find the new version at your local dealership this year or next, most likely.

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