In the event you hear the title Land Cruiser and nonetheless end up excited about the cumbersome, rounded machine from 2021, I’ve acquired nice information: for 2024, Toyota’s stealth wealth off-roader has been revived because the squared-off and succesful machine that made it such a star within the first place. Its appears to be like alone have been sufficient to lure within the adventurous sort, however does its functionality stay as much as the hype? I’m happy to report that sure, it does.

Full disclosure: Toyota invited me to Coronado Island in San Diego, California for an all-out journey take a look at driving 4 new or refreshed Toyota fashions in simply two days. It was a powerful show of occasion group, although I feel I used to be most taken by the ducklings and flamingos residing within the pond exterior the lodge.

When the 2021 Land Cruiser run got here to an finish, Toyota advised us that the mannequin was lifeless in the USA. For over a decade the bulbous SUV had lumbered alongside, principally unchanged, on the Lexus LX platform. Whereas its reliability and efficiency was nothing to shake a stick at, it was additionally simply type of… meh. It regarded like each different SUV available on the market (see: bulbous), and it didn’t fairly impress on the inside, tech, or efficiency fronts. It was advantageous, nevertheless it wasn’t spectacular.

Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

Now, for 2024, the Land Cruiser is again from a really ignominious dying, and Toyota has pulled off a powerful wholesale evolution to deliver this off-roader again to its roots whereas nonetheless counting on one of the best tech that the twenty first century has to supply. Let’s dig into what makes this mannequin such a winner.

At its base is Toyota’s TNGA-F truck platform, the identical primary construction you’ll discover below the Tundra, Sequoia, and Tacoma. That mentioned, the Land Cruiser has additionally shrunk. In its earlier incarnation, it was a full-size SUV twinned with the Lexus LX. Now it’s twinned with the smaller Lexus GX — our new Land Cruiser is what’s bought because the Land Cruiser Prado elsewhere — providing simply two rows of seating for 5 people to do battle towards smaller off-roaders just like the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco.

It additionally boasts Toyota’s i-Drive Max hybrid powertrain, which consists of a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-4 engine that makes 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates you’ll get 23 MPG mixed with this configuration, which isn’t tremendous nice however nonetheless represents a big step up from earlier Land Cruiser fashions, and it might tow as much as 6,000 kilos. To supply some additional comparisons, this new LC makes 55 fewer horsepower, 64 extra lb-ft of torque, and may tow 2,100 fewer kilos than the previous V8 truck. It’s additionally over 800 kilos lighter than the earlier mannequin.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser multi-terrain monitor

The Toyota Land Cruiser’s Multi-Terrain Monitor
Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

Let’s Get Off-Roading

I had an opportunity to expertise two totally different off-road trims on two totally different off-road programs supplied by Toyota. The primary was a technical path that concerned sharp inclines and declines, plenty of rock crawling, and a waterlogged portion, whereas the second was known as the “playground” and felt like such: there have been some sharp declines, nevertheless it was additionally far much less technically difficult.

Even in its base 1958 trim, the 2024 Land Cruiser is loaded with the type of tech and componentry you need for climbing round within the grime. Each mannequin has a 31-degree strategy, a 25-degree breakover and 22-degree departure angle. You’ve acquired fundamentals like locking rear and middle differentials as commonplace for all grades, which helps cut up the facility 50/50 between the entrance and rear wheels for higher traction on even the hardest terrains. You’ve additionally acquired full-time four-wheel drive as commonplace, in addition to Crawl Management, which serves as an off-road-y type of cruise management. Push a button, and also you’ll crawl alongside at a gradual, adjustable velocity so that every one it’s important to do behind the wheel is give attention to steering. In the event you’ve used this tech earlier than when it was launched on the 2022 Toyota Tacoma and Tundra TRD Professional fashions, you may need seen it sounded… a bit gnarly. There was numerous intrusive suggestions within the type of engine groan and floorboard creaking, however that has been taken care of to create a a lot quieter, smoother experience.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser interior

Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

Transfer up a stage to the Land Cruiser trim, and also you get much more functionality — and a friendlier off-road expertise for newcomers or quick drivers like me. These modifications are extra on the tech entrance, resembling a multi-terrain monitor. Primarily, it makes use of a number of exterior cameras to show your environment on the infotainment display. I’m pretty quick, so it may be powerful for me to get a visible on my environment and not using a sturdy digicam system, and Toyota’s is without doubt one of the most interesting I’ve used. The image is obvious, and the abundance of angles helps you keep away from probably the most difficult obstacles that may have in any other case crept up on you.

You may also choose certainly one of a number of totally different terrain modes that may assist your Land Cruiser cater its drive to, say, rocky paths, muddy ruts, or sandy dunes. I didn’t have an opportunity to actually put these totally different modes into follow, however in essence, they deploy totally different settings to sort out totally different terrains. I feel I used to be most impressed with the entrance stabilizer disconnect mechanism. Loads of off-road machines have this function, however on the Land Cruiser, you simply press a button, and voilà: you get some ridiculous suspension articulation.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser interior center console

Selectable drive modes and Crawl Mode can be found to the left of the gear selector. Under the gear selector are choices to allow or disable stabilizer bars or differentials
Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

What Trim Is Proper For Me?

Some Toyota fashions on the market actually go hog wild in the case of the trim scenario, however Toyota has blessedly stored issues easy for the Land Cruiser. You’ll have your choose of three totally different trims for this mannequin yr: Land Cruiser 1958, Land Cruiser, or Land Cruiser First Version. Every successive trim represents a step up the know-how and luxurious ladder, and I’m right here to information you thru simply what you’d have to know to resolve on the fitting trim for you.

Land Cruiser 1958: As Primary As A Land Cruiser Will get

In the event you’re the type of one who needs an elevated off-roading expertise however who doesn’t want sufficient know-how to make your grandmother weep, then the Land Cruiser 1958 will likely be your dream machine. In the event you haven’t already guessed, the “1958″ on this trim grade is a callback to the Land Cruiser’s authentic debut yr in the USA, and it serves as probably the most primary providing in Toyota’s up to date Land Cruiser lineup. You’ll acquire the identical retro styling as the remainder of the Land Cruiser lineup — that neat “heritage” grille, rounded headlamps, cloth seats — with a lift in tech choices. Included are blind spot monitoring, a 7-inch gauge cluster display, an 8-inch touchscreen, computerized local weather management, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a six-speaker sound system. On the off-road facet of issues, you’ll stick to among the nicer fundamentals: locking middle and rear differentials, rear coil springs, full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed switch case, a brake controller, a 2400W AC inverter, and Crawl Management.

I didn’t have an opportunity to drive the 1958 trim, however I did get a prolonged off-road experience in a single with a fellow journalist. It’s positively a extra laid-back machine designed for the oldsters who know what they’re doing on a path, because you received’t have a number of digicam angles to provide you a way of your environment. In the event you’re assured and competent, you’ll be advantageous. I’m neither of these issues, which is why I used to be glad to have a experience on this trim on the technical off-road course Toyota had developed for us. As a shorter human being, I’ve a tough time seeing round bulkier, trendy SUVs, and the sharp angles and vast planes of the Land Cruiser gave me a tricky time. From the fabric-trimmed passenger seat, although, I used to be capable of respect simply how cozy I used to be whereas going through off towards steep declines, water-flooded paths, and rocky outcrops.

So far as value goes, that is the most affordable trim yow will discover, boasting an MSRP of $57,345 (together with necessary supplier processing and dealing with charges).

Land Cruiser (Land Cruiser?): A Formidable Contender

For the oldsters on the market who love the potential of the Land Cruiser however need to take issues up a notch in each tech and luxury, there’s the Land Cruiser grade. It bumps up the fundamentals of the 1958 grade by including rectangular LED headlamps and heated and ventilated artificial leather-based seats. You’re additionally getting among the beefier off-road options, like color-selectable LED fog lights, a stabilizer disconnect mechanism that permits for better suspension articulation, multi-terrain choose to curate your driving expertise to the situations at hand, and the multi-terrain monitor. Plus, you’re additionally getting comfort options like bigger dashboard and infotainment screens, a 10-speaker sound system, and an influence liftgate.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

Word the squared headlights
Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

In the event you’re within the temper for extra however don’t really feel the necessity to absolutely decide to the First Version mannequin, you will get your mid-tier Land Cruiser with the Premium Bundle. That’ll provide you with leather-trimmed heated and ventilated entrance seats with lumbar assist and driver reminiscence options, a 14-speaker JBL audio system, a digital rearview mirror, a head-up show, illuminated entry, an influence moonroof, a middle console cool field, and extra USB-C charging ports within the cargo space.

Throughout my off-road drive, I nabbed a Land Cruiser with the Premium Bundle. In the event you’re strictly involved concerning the act of off-roading, you in all probability don’t want all these premium options that the package deal supplies. These are going to come in useful whenever you’re within the throes of a long-ass journey and wish methods to maintain your water bottles cool, or if you wish to hearken to some music. For shorter trailside jaunts, you’re in all probability not going to overlook ‘em.

So far as the off-road tech options went, I used to be impressed with the choices. The stabilizer disconnect mechanism provided unbelievable articulation; any time I wasn’t motoring ahead on the off-road path, I used to be watching the motive force in entrance of me, marveling at simply how far aside the rear tires had been by way of carry whereas nonetheless remaining on the bottom. From the cockpit, you positively get a a lot better sense of management and luxury. I additionally actually relied on the multi-terrain monitor, because it offers a a lot better view of the environment than you will get simply from the entrance seat. Which means you’ll be capable to clock obstacles or rocks protruding into your method. I did, nonetheless, be taught the arduous method that you simply can not go off-roading whereas relying virtually totally on the displays; a normal-looking rock on my display regarded innocent from the digicam angle, but when I’d have peered out the window, I’d have seen that it was a really sharp rock heading immediately for my left rear tire. (I apologize, Toyota, for popping a tire; I’ll actually by no means recuperate.)

The upgrades for the Land Cruiser trim imply you’ll be going through greater costs. As commonplace, you’ll be paying $63,345. Go for the out there $4,600 Premium Bundle, and also you’ll have a complete of $68,245.

Land Cruiser First Version: Let’s Get Luxe

In the event you merely can not stay with out boasting one of the best of one of the best, look no additional than the Land Cruiser First Version. This mannequin offers you all of the goodies from the Land Cruiser Premium Bundle, nevertheless it throws in spherical LED headlamps, particular 18-inch wheels, a “First Version” emblem embossed on the door panels, a entrance skid plate, a roof rack, and rock rails. The First Version is available in at $76,345. That added off-road safety will certainly come in useful for the avid adventurers, however I didn’t take a look at this trim, largely as a result of the 20-minute off-road programs that Toyota created for us didn’t essentially require the accouterments that might make an extended tour way more snug.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser front angle showing the rounded headlights

Evaluate the above squared headlights to the rounded ones, pictured right here
Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

Classic However Fashionable In All The Proper Locations

I hate to be a type of individuals who laments the dying of the cool automobiles of our previous, however I do must be trustworthy: The fixed push towards chunky, rounded SUVs hurts my soul, particularly when these styling cues come for the sick-ass legacy automobiles of the previous — those which have cool tales to inform. I did my greatest to fake the previous technology Land Cruiser simply didn’t exist; certain, it was dependable and succesful, nevertheless it additionally didn’t present any of the aesthetics that made the unique machine so legendary.

That’s why I’m so stoked on the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser. The Ford Bronco proved we’re again in an period the place retro styling has a severe place within the off-road automobile market, and the Land Cruiser kicks it up a notch with nicer facilities and a extra luxurious general really feel — as a result of why ought to it’s important to sacrifice functionality for consolation? With the Land Cruiser, you don’t have to decide on.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser rear badge

Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser tires

Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser trunk space

Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser second row controls

Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser second row

Photograph: Jalopnik / Elizabeth Blackstock

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