The reason is pretty obvious.
Toyota confirmed in late December something we long suspected. This current model year will be the last for the Toyota Land Cruiser in the US. A next-generation model will debut in the near future, but it remains unconfirmed whether or not it'll be sold stateside. What we do know is that'll ditch the current SUV's naturally aspirated 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque for a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6.
The reality has begun setting in for US buyers that the V8-powered Land Cruiser's time is almost up. This is likely the reason why Land Cruiser sales last month were the highest in a decade. January 2021 saw a total of 689 units sold.
That may not sound like much, but it's a 221 percent increase from January 2020. The second-highest month was December 2020 with 606 SUVs leaving dealer lots. Toyota acknowledged to Car and Driver this Land Cruiser grab is directly tied to "our announcement that we're discontinuing Land Cruiser sales in the US after this model year."
Bear in mind the Land Cruiser is not exactly cheap, with a starting price of around $86,000. Its slightly more luxurious corporate cousin, the Lexus LX - which is also on the chopping block - begins at $87,000. The soon to be gone Land Cruiser/LX duo are considered dinosaurs by today's new vehicle standards.
Both date back to 2007 and have received just a few updates over the ensuing 14 years. Given the consistent popularity of SUVs in the US, we wouldn't be surprised to see the next-gen Land Cruiser hit our neck of the woods sooner or later. It definitely won't be next year.
What Toyota will unveil in the coming months for off-road enthusiasts is the next Tundra full-size truck. It will ride on a new platform and will drop the V8 it shares with the Land Cruiser. Expect V6 powerplants instead, both turbo and hybrid - just like in the next Land Cruiser. For those who still want an NA V8-powered Land Cruiser then we suggest not to wait too much longer.