Toyota has unveiled a new and improved Land Cruiser hybrid SUV, slated to arrive in the U.S. next spring with a mid-$50,000 price range.
The new model reimagines one of Toyota’s most recognized luxury vehicles with a sleek look and a 326 horsepower, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder hybrid powertrain. The company plans to launch three variations of the vehicle; the 1958, a cheaper variant with fewer off-road abilities; the Land Cruiser, featuring cabin upgrades and wider tires; and the First Edition, a premium SUV capable of handling diverse terrains. Four-wheel drive is included in all grades.
Although gas or diesel powered models are scheduled to hit Europe in 2024, Toyota currently only plans to offer a hybrid powertrain in the U.S. The decision to exclude America from a petrol-only Land Cruiser may be related to the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly announced emissions targets, the most aggressive to date. In a comment to Reuters, Hiroki Nakajima, the automaker’s chief technology officer, stated, “We’ll offer vehicles that customers hope for” while simultaneously lowering carbon dioxide.
Like other SUVs, the Land Cruiser is a profitable model, despite its relatively low sales. Having likely improved the mileage from the prior release’s 14 mpg and confirmed the addition of quality-of-life features such as heated steering wheels, Toyota has added extra value to the vehicle without increasing the price. The 1958 model is currently advertised with a price in “the mid-$50,000 range,” a steep discount from the 2021 Land Cruiser’s $87,030 starting cost.
The company is also hoping to see more demand for the new variant than it did with previous editions. While the last model sold 3,711 units in its best year, the automaker intends to sell its entire stock of 5,000 First Edition units, which are likely to be more expensive than the 1958. In many ways, the new vehicle is a refresh not just for the Land Cruiser lineup but also for Toyota, which, in the midst of an industry-wide shift to electricity, is looking to modernize and improve its business model.