Today was the highly-anticipated launch of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 250, but in doing so, it dropped the Prado nameplate as well. Bringing it in line with the bigger Land Cruiser 300 in terms of naming and branding, the Land Cruiser 250 was initially previewed by the more luxurious Lexus GX. In Toyota’s case, however, the rugged SUV embraces retro styling cues but is executed in a modern fashion.
And that’s where the new Land Cruiser 250 excels at. By adopting a boxy and retro silhouette, it has ditched the fashionable and elegant looks of the older model that has slowly transformed the Prado into an SUV that looks more at home in the mall. Instead, the new aesthetic has made it a more practical and modernized version of the FJ Cruiser we’ve come to know and love. That’s no coincidence, though, because the FJ Cruiser was indeed inspired by the Land Cruiser FJ40.
There are two distinct faces for the new Land Cruiser 250. Depending on the variant, the Land Cruiser adopts two different headlight designs. Lower variants come with circular LED headlights while upper trims come with tri-projector LED headlights in a rectangular housing. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 20 inches, and due to its legendary reputation for reliability, there will be a Land Cruiser to cater to different customer wants and social needs. After all, this has been the vehicle of choice for humanitarian use.
Likewise, the interior of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 250 will come in a huge variety of material choices and sets of features. There will be versions that are catered for more utilitarian use, while higher-end variants will come with premium features like ventilated front seats, a 12.3-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a fully-digital instrument cluster, and even the full Toyota Safety Sense suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane centering, blind spot warning, just to name a few.
Of course, a Land Cruiser 250 conversation wouldn’t be complete without talking about its capabilities. Riding on the same TNGA-F platform as the bigger Land Cruiser 300, it has 221 mm of ground clearance, along with capabilities such as a new Stabilizer Disconnect Mechanism (SDM). SDM is operated via a switch that enables the front stabilizer state to be changed, delivering driving performance and ride comfort when off-road and handling stability when on-road. You also have nothing to worry about when it comes to potentially damaging crucial components because of its approach, departure, and breakover angles which are rated at 31, 22, and 25 degrees, respectively. Even if the under chassis does hit an obstacle, the mechanical components of the vehicle have been tucked within the frame rail.
Engine choices are also very diverse for the new Land Cruiser 250 in order to meet varying customer and social needs. The most basic is a 2.7-liter gasoline engine that produces 163 hp and 246 Nm of torque that’s mated to a 6-speed automatic, while the 2.8-liter turbo diesel we’ve come to be familiar with also arrives in the Land Cruiser 250. It likewise produces 201 hp and 500 Nm, just like in the Fortuner and Hilux. Unlike those two vehicles, though, the Land Cruiser 250’s diesel comes with a new 8-speed automatic.
Electrification now plays a bigger role in the Land Cruiser 250, because that 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine can now be mated to a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Weirdly enough, its horsepower and torque are unchanged despite the added electrical assistance, though it improves fuel economy in urban settings as well as improves throttle response. The other electrified engine choice is a 2.4-liter turbo gasoline engine with a parallel hybrid system, which has a total system output of 330 hp and 630 Nm of torque. This is also fitted with an 8-speed automatic.
Lastly, that 2.4-liter turbo gasoline engine is also available without hybrid assistance, in which case it produces 281 horsepower and 430 Nm of torque. This engine is likewise fitted with an 8-speed automatic. Whichever engine you choose, a four-wheel drive system with a two-speed transfer case, an automatic slip center differential, and a locking rear differential is fitted as standard.
The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser 250 will surely be a hit in the Philippines, considering the popularity of the Land Cruiser 300. This rugged SUV will go on sale in select markets in November 2023, while a Philippine launch could most likely happen sometime in 2024.