The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser Looks Stellar. But Where Does It Leave the 4Runner?
The two off-roaders are similar in size, capability, and—most importantly—price.
Toyota's SUV lineup just makes sense—at least, it did before the 2024 Land Cruiser was reintroduced to the States. The 4Runner has long been a staple in the automaker's arsenal, acting as a Swiss Army knife of sorts that's capable of a mall crawl or a trip to the trail. Then, drivers who needed a larger family rig could look at the Sequoia. The Land Cruiser used to be huge, too, positioned above the Sequoia with more of an adventure focus, but now it's both smaller and more affordable, cutting into the 4Runner's territory in nearly every way.
The new 2024 Land Cruiser doesn't have an official price tag yet, but Toyota says it'll start somewhere in the mid-$50,000 range. That's far from cheap—the Land Cruiser has never been a budget buy—but it's about $30,000 less than the 200 Series it replaces. To put that price into perspective, the current 2023 Toyota 4Runner SR5 starts at $41,990 after delivery and handling. The truck climbs in price from there, topping out at $55,955 for the TRD Pro. Automakers want their vehicles to be priced competitively, but usually with other makes and models—not another one of their own offerings.
We talked to a Toyota spokesperson at the Land Cruiser's launch and asked where this leaves the 4Runner. They replied, "Obviously, 4Runner is really important for the North American market. [The Land Cruiser] has a really simple grade structure, whereas the 4Runner right now has a lot of grades."
Indeed, the Land Cruiser is offered in just three flavors at launch: the base-spec 1958, the higher-optioned model that's just called Land Cruiser, and a limited-run First Edition. The 4Runner has eight trims: SR5, SR5 Premium, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, Limited, TRD Pro, and 40th Anniversary. Toyota has taken a focused approach with the Land Cruiser, then, whereas the 4Runner is more spray and pray.
The next-gen 4Runner, believed to launch next year as a 2025 model, will likely share a lot with the Tacoma and Land Cruiser as it switches to the TNGA-F platform. This almost definitely includes a change to the turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and maybe even the hybrid system. Modularity across the platforms surely helped achieve a lower entry-level price for the Land Cruiser, though Toyota probably won't slash the 4Runner's the same way.
Toyota has milked the current generation 4Runner since 2009, after all, and it's the only new model on sale today with a five-speed automatic. It would be a strange move for Toyota to develop a more advanced machine in the same segment and sell it for less. If anything, you'd expect the 4Runner's price to increase with more modern tech and equipment.
Can the two models coexist in Toyota's ecosystem of off-roaders? Sure, but it seems like it's going to be harder for new car buyers to make up their minds between the two. The price difference between the Land Cruiser and 4Runner used to be enough to put a whole Camry in the driveway, but with the price for the base model Landy now overlapping with the highest-trimmed 4Runner, more buyers might make the move upmarket.
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