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Retro looks for new Toyota Land Cruiser

An all-new Land Cruiser is set to take on the Land Rover Defender in 2024, boasting a boxy design and serious off-road capabilities

  • Heritage-inspired exterior
  • Five or seven-seat interior layout
  • 2.8-litre diesel with 3,500kg towing capacity

In a surprise reveal, the Toyota Land Cruiser is set to make a comeback with a striking design inspired by its legendary older models. Yet, for all its boxy and retro looks, the Land Cruiser will be the most advanced version so far if you peel back its cladding and bodywork. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, but expect the most rugged SUV in Toyota’s lineup to cost from over £50,000.

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Described as going ‘back to its origins’, the Land Cruiser has a vertical nose with a chunky grille surround, old-school ‘Toyota’ script badging and LED illumination that mimics the round headlights of classic Land Cruiser models. It’s a look hammered home with boxy flared wheelarches, an upright windscreen and a flat roof in a contrasting colour, with sturdy rails for carrying luggage or even a tent. 

Best 4x4s 2024Top 10 best 4x4s 2024

It’s a functional design, with shortened front and rear overhangs to improve its off-road abilities, and its body panels have been designed for ‘easy replacement in the event of damage.’ 

Its interior will be offered with five or seven-seat configurations, and the retro theme continues with details like a dashboard and instrument panel design dominated by horizontal lines. Its physical switches and controls have even been made to be easy to operate while the car is bouncing along gravel roads. While no specifications have been provided by Toyota thus far, interior shots show a large digital instrument display flanked by an infotainment touchscreen – both housed under a large binnacle, presumably for good visibility in the bright conditions encountered crossing a desert like the Australian Outback.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser specifications and performance

Unlike the Land Rover Defender which uses a monocoque construction, the Land Cruiser will stick with a traditional ‘body-on-frame’ chassis, but this is said to be considerably stiffer than before. It will also be the first Land Cruiser to adopt electric (rather than hydraulic) power steering, reducing kickback through the wheel when driving over rough surfaces and making it easier to park. It also provides compatibility with the latest driver assistance safety features.

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In the UK, the Land Cruiser will launch with a 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine providing 201bhp, paired with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox. By 2025 this will have evolved to incorporate 48-volt mild hybrid hardware for improved efficiency. The Land Cruiser will be able to tow 3,500kg trailers as standard.

To boost the off-road capability the Land Cruiser is famed for, it will be fitted with a disconnecting front anti-roll bar operated using a switch on the dashboard. While this feature is activated, wheel articulation is improved over very rough terrain, and reconnecting the anti-roll bar improves handling back on tarmac roads. Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Monitor uses cameras to give a view around and beneath the vehicle, while Multi-Terrain Select can adapt the Land Cruiser for different driving conditions.

The Toyota Land Cruiser will be available to order later this year, before the first customer cars arrive in early 2024. A First Edition will be sold alongside the standard model, with round headlights, a bi-tone paint finish and ‘special styling features’ in a nod to the Land Cruiser’s heritage, but only 3,000 will be sold across Europe.

Read our in-depth review of the Land Rover Defender, or take a look at our round-up of the best 4x4s currently availabable

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Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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