Price: 💲: mid-$50K
Powertrain ⚙️: Turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder + electric motor
Output 💪: 326 hp/465 lb-ft of torque
Transmission 🕹: 8-Speed Automatic
Sale Date 🚦: Spring of 2024
MPG (as tested) ⛽️: TBA


I almost never attend preview events these days. Being away from my two young kids is never easy, and I’m typically only willing to do it for a very special first drive.

Yet when Toyota invited me to an early look at the new Land Cruiser, I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. Months before I’d even get behind the wheel, and with only a rough idea of the content I’d generate, this was still a can’t-miss opportunity.

The Land Cruiser is an icon. It’s been on sale in the US for 65 years, and has such a diverse and successful model collection that the Land Cruiser Heritage Museum – which might have been my favorite part of the whole trip – had over 100 examples to surround the new model’s reveal.

Media were sent the press release, without photos, a few days early. It was then I learned this new model would have a much smaller footprint than its 200 Series predecessor, use a turbo 4-cylinder hybrid engine, and start around $55K.

The Cruiser was becoming the global market Prado, riding on the same ladder frame chassis as the Lexus GX. And yet, while the rest of world would get a third row, ours would only feature two.

This was a lot to process. As an 80 Series owner (last slide), I attempted to reconcile a new Land Cruiser that was around the same size as my 30 year-old rig.

Then I saw it.

Specifically, I saw the 1958 Edition. This would be our mid-$50K entry point. With round LED headlights, fabric seats (80 Series vibes), a functional but accommodating cabin, and blocky panels, it all clicked.

The 200 Series was a workhorse, but it also lumbered down tighter trails, sucking in its gut to avoid pinstripes. This new rig still had permanent 4WD and still used locking differentials, but in a tighter package.

I’m still chewing on the rectangular headlights (not as distinguished as the round, IMO), the hybridized powertrain (peak torque of 465 lb-ft from 1,800 rpm, but how will it hold up to abuse?), and the shrunken interior, but the thought of an “attainable” price point to unlock a whole new segment of Cruiser buyers is doing a lot to calm my apprehensions.

Let’s see how it drives 😉