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The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser has only one powertrain option and it is a hybrid.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

After more than three decades, Toyota’s longest-running nameplate, the Land Cruiser, is back and its stronger and greener than ever. It was first introduced in North America in 1958 – even before Toyota officially set up shop in Canada in 1964. Back then, the Land Cruiser was one of only three models sold in Canada. Even though it had cult following, Toyota stopped selling the Land Cruiser in North America in 1989.

“Now, 35 years later we’re thrilled it’s back. The return of the Land Cruiser to Canada is a big deal for us,” said Scott MacKenzie, director of corporate and external affairs at Toyota Canada Inc. “This iconic model is the strongest connection to Toyota’s legendary truck heritage, which goes back nearly 80 years,” he said before hitting the trails in the 2024 Land Cruiser in southern California.

The Land Cruiser was originally made in response to a request from the U.S. military and national police reserve for a new four-wheel-drive truck for the Korean War. In the end, Mitsubishi was awarded the contract, but it didn’t stop Toyota. They continued to develop a new utility vehicle focused on off-road driving performance. It didn’t take long to gain a reputation as a reliable, go-anywhere tough SUV.

The new 2024 Land Cruiser is built on Toyota’s global body-on-frame truck platform, which is shared with the Tundra, 4Runner and Tacoma. But the Land Cruiser comes with only one powertrain – a hybrid. It’s a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission through a 48-horsepower electric motor. Total output is 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque.

The 2024 Land Cruiser 1958 is the base retro-inspired model, but it doesn’t come cheap. It starts at $69,290 (plus freight and pre-delivery inspection). That’s significantly less than the Land Cruiser First Edition model. With a price tag of $90,370 (plus freight and pre-delivery inspection), only 290 First Edition models will be available in Canada. This limited-edition model includes extras such as front and transfer skid plates, rock rails, a distinct roof rack, rally-inspired mud flaps, leather upholstery, power adjustable front-row seats and exclusive two-tone body colours.

We hit the trail at a nearby ranch driving a Land Cruiser 1958 edition. The route was filled with mud, deep ruts, steep climbs and descents. Unfortunately there aren’t any cameras to display wheel position so tackling this terrain is a bit tough. You have to rely on your field of vision, which gets tricky when your sightline is only the sky. But systems like the crawl control, downhill assist control and vehicle stability control work well at controlling the speed when traveling downhill. It’s narrow tall body also makes it easy to manoeuvre tight corners along the trail. All models also have full-time four-wheel drive with a centre locking differential, electronically controlled two-speed transfer case, an electronic locking rear differential and automatic limited slip centre differential, which come in handy when off-roading, adding more stability over the uneven terrain. Inside this model, it is fairly bare bones with an eight-inch touchscreen display, fabric upholstery and somewhat plasticky materials – not what you’d expect in this price point.

Move up a trim level to the Land Cruiser model and things improve; there’s more technology and nicer appointments inside. Our second trail was harder, climbing rocks, hills and driving through water. The multiterrain select, which automatically adjusts the braking and acceleration depending on the terrain to improve traction, and the multiterrain monitor provide different camera views along the path and improves visibility. A stabilizer disconnect mechanism increases suspension flex at the push of a button. It disconnects the sway bar at low speeds and allows for more wheel articulation and improved traction over uneven terrain. Inside, there’s also a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen, power adjustable driver’s seat, power-adjustable steering column, heated and ventilated front row seats, a power tilting/sliding moon roof and a power back door.

Unfortunately, since the vehicles were pre-production models we weren’t allowed to drive them on regular roads. The Land Cruiser is rated at 10.7 per 100 kilometres in the city and 9.5 litres on the highway, but premium fuel, 91 octane or above, is recommended. It can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

Still, the Land Cruiser was impressive when off-roading and true to its roots. It’s capable and tough as nails. Land Cruiser enthusiasts won’t be disappointed. The 2024 Land Cruiser goes on sale this spring.

Tech specs

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

  • Price: $69,290 - $90,370 (plus $1,930 for freight and pre-delivery inspection)
  • Engine: 2.4-litre, four-cylinder hybrid turbocharged with 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque
  • Transmission / Drive: Eight-speed automatic / Four-wheel drive
  • Fuel consumption (litres per 100 kilometres): 10.7 city / 9.5 highway
  • Alternatives: Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender, Ford Bronco
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The base 1958 edition has distinct oval LED headlamps and a vintage-inspired heritage grille.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail


Harks back to its past with its squared-off boxy body and retro design cues. The 1958 edition has distinct oval LED headlamps, a vintage-inspired heritage grille and the signature pop-open rear window. Great colours, especially heritage blue.

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The rear seats of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser, which seats five comfortably with excellent head and legroom.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail


The rugged and tough exterior theme continues inside. It seats five comfortably – with excellent head and legroom. Grab handles at all doors provide a much-needed boost into the cabin. All controls and gauges are within the driver’s reach and easy to use. But the volume button is positioned oddly to the left of the centre touchscreen. It looks out of place.


Powerful hybrid that’s true to its roots and capable of tackling all kinds of obstacles easily when off-roading.

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The dash of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser with the volume knob in an odd spot to the left of the touchscreen.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail


An abundance of safety and convenience features such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Toyota’s Smart Key system with push button start and an anti-theft alarm system with engine immobilizer and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, which includes features such as a blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers and parking assist with auto braking.

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Lots of cargo space with 1,061 litres of room in the trunk.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail


Spacious cargo area with 1,061 litres of room and a 2,400-watt, 120-volt outlet in the cargo area.

The verdict

Finally, the Land Cruiser is back and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s a perfect off-roader capable of tackling anything in its path.

The writer was a guest of the automaker. Content was not subject to approval.

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