Toyota Land Cruiser Discontinued After 2021

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - December 24, 2020

The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the few SUVs on the market with a rich history. Toyota has had a Land Cruiser on sale since 1958. While the Land Cruiser’s design has changed over the past six decades, one thing about the nameplate has remained the same – its off-roading prowess. Unfortunately, the demand for large, antiquated, off-roaders isn’t there anymore. So, when Toyota confirmed the death of the Land Cruiser after the 2021 model year to Road and Track, it wasn’t a surprise.

Rumors of the Land Cruiser’s discontinuation started to emerge earlier this year, so this was expected. Still, with a nameplate as historic as the Land Cruiser’s, it’s sad news.

"The Toyota Land Cruiser has been a legendary name for more than 60 years," Toyota said in a statement to Road and Track. "While it will be discontinued in the United States after the 2021 model year, we remain committed to the large SUV segment and will continue to explore future products that celebrate the Land Cruiser’s rich off-road history. We encourage loyal enthusiasts and intrepid adventurers to stay tuned for future developments."

While the Toyota spokesperson told R&T that the Land Cruiser is being discontinued in America after the 2021 model year, Car & Driver claims this could be a hiatus. The outlet, speaking with an unnamed source, claims that the Land Cruiser’s departure could be more of a hiatus. The unnamed source told Car & Driver that the Land Cruiser is expected to return as a “way more modern and luxurious” SUV.

Toyota Land Cruiser

We’re not quite sure what to believe. The current Land Cruiser hasn’t changed all that much since 2008, making it one of the oldest models on sale. Up against newer, more modern SUVs, the Land Cruiser’s naturally-aspirated V8 engine, split tailgate, third row of seats that fold into the sides of the SUV, and ancient infotainment system, date the Land Cruiser. The SUV desperately needs an update. Instead of giving it one, Toyota could just discontinue the SUV for good. On the other hand, it could take a few years off before unveiling a new, fully-updated model.

The current Land Cruiser is a niche vehicle. It’s a large, three-row SUVs with incredible off-roading capability that starts at $86,880 with destination. Toyota never expected it to be a high-volume model. Still, the automaker only sold 3,536 SUVs in 2019. Last year, Toyota sold 10,289 units of the Sequoia, Mercedes-Benz sold 22,615 units of the GLS-Class, Lincoln sold 18,656 Navigators, Cadillac sold 35,424 units of the Escalade, and Land Rover sold 18,831 units of the Range Rover. So, the Land Cruiser isn't nearly as popular as its rivals.

With Ford introducing a new Bronco, Land Rover recently reviving the Defender name, Toyota offering both the Sequoia and 4Runner in capable TRD Pro trims, and the Jeep Wrangler continuing to do well, the market for off-roaders exists. We’re not quite sure, though, if there’s a large enough market for Toyota to justify selling an $85,000 SUV that can go off-roading when the Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X7, Land Rover Range Rover, Lincoln Navigator, and Cadillac Escalade offer far more in terms of luxury and are cheaper.

Learn more about the current Land Cruiser on sale now »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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