Toyota discontinued sales of its beast of an SUV, the Land Cruiser, in the U.S. after the 2021 model year. Sales fell off over time, and as the Japanese brand made improvements to its Sequoia and Lexus LX SUVs, the legacy 4×4 gave up its place in the lineup. Don’t lose hope, though: Though fans of the big SUV have mourned its loss for now, Toyota might be keeping the flame alive.
In an interview with MotorTrend, Toyota Executive VP Jack Hollis was asked if the Land Cruiser would ever return to the U.S. market, and he didn’t rule it out.
“Will we ever? I would say likely yes,” Hollis said. “Obviously Land Cruiser is such an important part of our heritage and has done such a great job. And I’ll be looking at it, absolutely. Have I seen designs, thoughts, and hopes, yes. But nothing to announce. It’s still a ways off.”
That’s enough to keep the faith alive that this well-loved nameplate isn’t dead for the U.S. market. After all, while we no longer have new Land Cruisers stateside, the rest of the world does.
The new Land Cruiser — internally referred to as the J300 — launched in 2022, though Toyota ultimately declined to bring it to the U.S. But since the Land Cruiser essentially runs parallel with the Lexus LX, its luxury-brand sibling, the new LX 600 effectively replaced the Land Cruiser and the outgoing LX 570. When the Toyota was discontinued, Lexus adopted the set it calls “Land Cruiser orphans” — a fitting descriptor given the two vehicles were similarly priced and equipped.
Though MotorTrend notes “we should be looking beyond the current J300 series Land Cruiser to whatever the next generation model may look like […]” it seems unlikely that a U.S.-bound Land Cruiser is that far away. This is due to the long generational lifespans of Toyota trucks and SUVs. The previous Land Cruiser, for instance, was on sale for 14 years before it was dropped.
There’s no doubt the next U.S. market Land Cruiser will have big shoes to fill, but we also think it will have to move the needle forward in some way when it comes to powertrains. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Toyota could be eyeing an electrified revival, following the path of Jeep and its 4xe line and others.