Customers have spoken. Toyota is listening.
Big things are happening in the world of large Toyota vehicles. The 2023 Toyota Sequoia just dropped, replacing a 15-year-old model that desperately needed an update. This new Sequoia rides on the same TNGA-F architecture that underpins the Tundra pickup truck, as well as the 2022 Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser (the latter of which will not be sold in the US market). Or will it?
CarBuzz recently attended the drive event for the new LX and a reveal event for the Sequoia; in both instances, the topic of discussion kept being directed towards the Land Cruiser's absence from the US market. Though Toyota quickly came out to confirm the 300 Series Land Cruiser won't come to the US, that stance could already be wavering.
Speaking anonymously at the event, a Toyota spokesperson told us, "don't be so quick to rule out the Land Cruiser. We obviously haven't made any announcements yet [regarding Land Cruiser], but we are listening strongly to customer feedback."
Lexus' attitude towards the Land Cruiser felt like a stark contrast. At the LX drive event in New Mexico, Lexus spokespeople told CarBuzz they expect "Land Cruiser orphans" to migrate towards the LX 600 Premium trim level. This model starts at $96,345 and offers a $1,295 appearance package that enables buyers to select no-cost 18-inch wheels. With smaller wheels and more sidewall, the LX is theoretically a better off-roader, like the Land Cruiser.
If you can live with the base LX, the $88,245 starting price isn't much higher than the outgoing Land Cruiser's $85,665 MSRP, so we can see why Toyota didn't feel the need to offer both in the US, where volumes for both models are low.
Having just revealed the new Sequoia with a rugged TRD Pro trim, most of the Toyota spokespeople felt confident this model would appeal to former and current Land Cruiser customers. But while the TRD Pro Sequoia looks like a fine off-roader for families, the approach and departure angles are still lacking compared to the Land Cruiser (we will have to wait for official specs). Even if Toyota wouldn't sell many Land Cruisers in the US market, we've seen stranger things happen based on customer demand.
The Sequoia may not be the perfect Land Cruiser replacement, but between it and the new LX, there's a lot to get excited about from Toyota and Lexus. If Toyota does ultimately decide to bring the Land Cruiser stateside, it shouldn't be too complicated since it shares a platform and engine with the LX. Just some badging changes are necessary.