Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Vs.Toyota Land Cruiser 250
An all-new Land Cruiser is finally inbound for North America but has significant changes compared to the bigger 300 Series
When Toyota unveiled the new Land Cruiser 300 Series back in 2021, the world stopped and paid attention. It was an all-new vehicle built on a new platform with so many new features and changes. A new Land Cruiser doesn’t come often, and they tend to stick around for a long time. Sadly, North America did not get one, but Toyota finally has a solution to this problem.
Since we didn’t get the Big Daddy, Toyota has made a new Land Cruiser that will be offered in North America. Dubbed the 250 Series LC, this is a slightly smaller vehicle with an even more boxier look that the 300 Series Land Cruiser. It has a different engine and is just as capable as the big boy. Best of all, it will be sold in most parts of the world including North America. So let’s take a look at what makes this different from the flagship Land Cruiser.
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The Land Cruiser has grown bigger over the generations and the 300 Series is no different. But it became more boxy and edgy than the previous gen 200 Series, giving a tougher look. It has new LED lights with a bigger grill design which looks elegant. The bulges on the hood give it a very serious look like the SUV means business.
Its side profile looks like giant slabs which were molded into shape to fit the muscular-looking body. There are also big mirrors, side steps, and 18-inch wheels. At the rear, the story is similar with new LED lights and a completely flat surface. It is just a big vehicle with simple styling and a large footprint which is what most buyers want.
2022 Land Cruiser
2024 Land Cruiser
The 2024 Land Cruiser may be smaller but even more boxier and edgier than the 300. It looks like a design study made with just square shapes and right angles, but it looks tough. Its front grille is very rectangular and devoid of any chrome, the LEDs also take this rectangle shape which aligns very well with the grill. There are smaller LED fog lights on the lower bumper.
Another muscular feature is the bulges on the hood similar to the 300 Series, but these are very close to the fenders. From the front, you can easily see those wider arches that make the car look very muscular. The Land Cruiser 300 has arches but is not as pronounced as these. They also get black lower body cladding that accentuates just how much the arches stick out.
The side profile looks like a vehicle that has been keeping up with its daily gym routine. Its body lines are very visible with the big arches, body cladding, side steps, big mirrors, roof rails, and new 18-inch wheels. The rear is not as flat as the 300 series, it does have a small wiper too, new vertical LED lights, and a black tough looking bumper. It may be a smaller vehicle but looks tougher than the bigger Land Cruiser. If the Land Cruiser 300 is a sophisticated, tailored suit big brother, then the 250 Land Cruiser is the same but smaller with more muscles.
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Toyota has made it a point to always make functional interiors with as few gimmicks as possible. The gauge cluster is still not fully digital, It has physical dials with a smaller screen inside. But there is a large 12.3-inch infotainment screen with support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also has various functions and aids with vehicle information when going off-road.
But Toyota still retains big physical buttons and knobs for other quick tasks like climate control and drive mode selection. There is also a big start/stop button very close to the steering wheel and a chunky gear lever. Overall, the dashboard has a clean look with the essentials in the right space.
The interior space is large with three-row seating for seven people. There are many comfort features in the Land Cruiser like the fingerprint start sequence. This is a first for Toyota, it allows you to start the vehicle by placing your hand on the sensor. It only works if the fingerprint is already registered and the Smart key is present. Other optional features include:
The new 2024 Land Cruiser maintains the same functional interior design and layout but with a few noticeable differences. There are two screens in view, a 12.3-inch center infotainment just like the 300 Land Cruiser with similar functionalities. But the second screen is a 12-inch fully digital drivers display which the other Land Cruiser does not get. It still maintains the physical buttons for important quick tasks.
The dashboard has an upright position compared to the waterfall-like effect of its big brother. The air vents are rounded, and the steering wheel has a more rugged look to it. Three-row seating is optional but it comes standard as a five-seater and has smaller passenger space. Even the third row and trunk space will be a lot smaller because of the hybrid battery back there. It also has many of the features found on the Land Cruiser 300.
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First editions models come fully equipped with everything needed for the new Land Cruiser, the 1958 edition is the opposite. It pays homage to the 1958 FJ25 model which was the first Land Cruiser sold in the United States. The 1958 edition is aimed at those who may not need to go off-road often, so it gets smaller tires and fixed anti-roll bars. This gives owners the option of saving money and just buying the mods they need instead of getting rid of the sophisticated parts engineered by Toyota.
Even the interior loses some features. It has manually adjustable cloth seats, a smaller 8.0-inch touchscreen, and a manual liftgate. Its exterior looks just like the regular model except for the round headlights. This harkens back to the original J-series Land Cruiser with round headlights which look good on this vehicle.
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When the new Land Cruiser was announced, Toyota ditched the V-8 and introduced a twin-turbo V-6 for its entire range. This engine makes more power and torque than the old mill and gets better fuel economy. It is also paired with a new ten-speed automatic to make it quicker with a four-wheel drive system.
Land Cruiser 300
Land Cruiser 250
Turbo I-4 hybrid
The Land Cruiser 250 gets a smaller 2.4-liter turbocharged hybrid engine. This is the same engine first introduced in the new Toyota Tacoma. Its combined output is impressive but not as good as the V-6 but close to the old V-8. It also has a different transmission which is an eight-speed automatic with four-wheel drive.
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Every Land Cruiser has always been known to have good off-road capabilities and both these models are no different. These aids are designed to assist the driver in off-road conditions with almost no need for third-party help. It is a combination of analog mechanical and digital hardware that make the Land Cruiser safe off-road. These systems include:
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The 300 series Land Cruiser may not be sold here but the previous gen had a starting price above $85,000. If the new one was sold here then we would probably see prices above that. It may have great off-road capabilities and general usability but it was just getting very expensive for a non-luxury car. This led to a decline in sales that eventually killed the vehicle here.
But the 2024 Land Cruiser 250 is expected to have a starting price of around $50,000. This is great as it lowers the price by a substantial margin and allows you to get a new Land Cruiser that won’t eventually cost $100,000. It is expected to raise sales for the Land Cruiser while being able to give people what they want at an affordable price.
Davies is automotive writer with a deep passion for cars with an extensive knowledge of the automotive industry shared through his engaging and informative articles.