Home » The Toyota Land Cruiser Is Officially Coming Back To America, But Which One Will We Get?

The Toyota Land Cruiser Is Officially Coming Back To America, But Which One Will We Get?

Toyota Land Cruiser Topshot

Overlanders, rejoice: A recent official social media post confirms that the Toyota Land Cruiser is returning to America after a brief hiatus. While certainly unexpected, this burst of interesting news comes with intrigue, hope, and the potential to disappoint a whole bunch of people. Let me explain.

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Captioned “Did you really think we’d be gone for long? The legend returns,” this slideshow of various Land Cruiser badges confirms plans for a U.S. revival, but it doesn’t say much about what’s coming. Toyota could go in several different directions, but before we start speculating, let’s kick things off by looking at the recent past.

2020 Land Cruiser Heritage Edition 01 51e4d666ded162b46765669e636532a46d8defd2

The dearly-departed J200 Land Cruiser was a favorite of America’s old money set for a staggering 13 model years until Toyota gave it one last special edition with an amazing throwback emblem package and kicked it from showrooms permanently due to an incoming global replacement. While it never sold in massive volumes, it was a culturally-important vehicle for Toyota in America, acting as a status symbol and beacon of aspiration for off-roaders.


Toyota J300 Land Cruiser 1

The global replacement for the J200 Land Cruiser is the sweet-looking J300 that’s already on sale in many parts of the world. Could it be sold in America? This large rig shouldn’t be terribly difficult to certify as its Lexus LX twin is already on sale in America, and the big Lexus’ upmarket move should clear some space for a full-size J300 to sell without cannibalizing sales. However, if Toyota wanted to bring the J300 Land Cruiser to America, why wouldn’t this have happened already?

2023 Sequoia Limited Supersonic Red 015

A big possibility is that Toyota wants to protect the Sequoia. This full-size SUV doesn’t quite offer the packaging of its domestic competitors, and there’s a chance the J300 Land Cruiser could chomp into sales of Toyota’s current American flagship SUV.

2024 Lexus Gx Overtrail+ 007 Scaled Land Cruiser Prado


Of course, it’s also worth noting that the Land Cruiser name applies to more than one SUV. Another possibility is that the next-generation Land Cruiser Prado midsize SUV could make it to America. While we haven’t seen the next Prado just yet, expect it to look similar to the 2024 Lexus GX that the internet is going crazy for. However, the Prado option has a potential problem. Because of its midsize status, it would compete directly with the Toyota 4Runner. Awkward.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that Toyota kills the 4Runner altogether, but we’re talking about a vehicle with legions of dedicated fans, plenty of brand equity, and hot sales figures. That seems extremely Even though the 4Runner is a whopping 13 years old, a new one is coming and people still want it because it’s a beast off-road.

2024 Lexus Gx Premium 002

An Automotive News report claims that the Prado is the Land Cruiser we’ll see in America, but I’m not so sure if this should be the move. The report claims this new SUV will come with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, which sounds like a reasonable way to differentiate the Prado from the Lexus GX, but I have a strange feeling that a smaller, four-cylinder Land Cruiser would go over like a lead balloon.

J300 Land Cruiser Family


While a Prado makes sense for sales volume, it really should be the full-size J300 Land Cruiser that makes the boat to America badged as a Land Cruiser. Old money just isn’t aligned with the vulgarity of the current Lexus LX 600, and the Sequoia is compromised enough that a flagship above it should still hold appeal. The Prado could then become the 4Runner, eliminating the need to build an entirely new U.S.-specific vehicle.

Of course, that’s likely never going to happen, but we’ll have to see where Toyota’s chips fall.

(Photo credits: Toyota, Lexus)

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3 months ago

Bring over the 70 series. Toyota fans will go freaking ba-na-nas. Maybe add a new touchscreen radio, but keep the rest of it looking how it has for the past 35 years.

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