Toyota’s 200-Series Land Cruiser has had two facelifts already, but at least here in the US, it won’t live to see a third.
In August, Roadshow reviewed the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser, and we concluded, “the old guard still has it.” Despite its high price and advanced age (today’s 200-Series has been in dealers since 2007), Toyota’s old-school, body-on-frame SUV remains a charmer. Unfortunately, it appears that charm is coming to an end: According to a new report from Car and Driver, 2021 will be the final year for the Land Cruiser in the US.The Land Cruiser has earned its legendary bones as a durable, capable off-roader over the course of more than 60 years. Here in the States, the model has evolved from something akin to a glorified agrarian implement to a leather-lined Land Rover Range Rover rival. In other parts of the globe, the Land Cruiser lives on in similar guises and more utilitarian configurations, including pickup trucks prized by farmers and freedom fighters alike.
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In today’s new-car marketplace, utilitarian four-wheel drive SUVs with iconic nameplates are enjoying a bit of a resurgence. You might predict Toyota would in the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco’s footsteps by hitting the Land Cruiser’s reset button. This would return the truck to its roots and reincarnate it as a continuation of the FJ Cruiser, a model that left the US market in 2014. But despite the FJ’s rising status as a collector’s item, that strategy doesn’t appear to be where Toyota is going with our Land Cruiser. Rumors persist that the company plans to reenvision a North-American Land Cruiser as an even more luxurious and upscale model than today’s SUV, which already starts at a heady $86,880 (including $1,365 delivery fee).It also isn’t immediately clear if the 200-Series SUV will continue to be built and sold in other global markets. Roadshow has reached out to Toyota for comment and will update this story when we hear more.
2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition: Going out on a high adventure note
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With the Land Cruiser’s pending departure, it seems Toyota will be left with the equally antiquated and less off-road-capable Sequoia as its most expensive SUV.As for what, if anything, comes next, Toyota isn’t exactly sharing. The Japanese automaker did issue the following statement: “The Toyota Land Cruiser has been a legendary name for more than 60 years. 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.” That sounds like a mighty big hint to us that the Land Cruiser’s final US chapter hasn’t been written yet.