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Toyota Land Cruiser Mini Could Be Coming Soon

by | September 29, 2023

Folks were sad when Toyota killed the Land Cruiser in the U.S. a few years ago, and they got their wish when told it earlier this year it was coming back for 2024. But the news may be even better, a junior model of the Land Cruiser may be coming too.

A so-called baby Land Cruiser is anticipated to arrive in dealerships sometime in 2024, according to two recent rumors from Japanese publications Best Car and Magazine X, which have a history of revealing inside information on forthcoming Toyota automobiles.

Land Cruise Mini side

Land Cruiser fans were thrilled when Toyota said it was coming back for 2024, but now it may get a smaller partner in crime.

Additionally, the smaller Land Cruiser will be the production model of the Compact Cruiser EV concept, also known as the “Lite Cruiser” or the “Yaris Cruiser,” which was unveiled in 2021.

The foundation for the diminutive new SUV will come from the forthcoming U.S.-bound Toyota Tacoma EV, which will serve as the basis for the electric driveline in the Compact Cruiser’s production model. Toyota has confirmed it will offer an electric pickup, one that should look much like the “Pickup EV” concept previously shown.

Details, details, details

That makes its use for a baby Land Cruiser’s underpinning an easy fit, and makes it the rugged off-road vehicle expected of a Land Cruiser. This means the TNGA-C car-derived architecture used for the Corolla Hatchback and Corolla Cross crossover wouldn’t be employed for the Lilliputian Land Cruiser. Instead, it will have a robust ladder frame, according to the reports.

Land Cruise Mini roof

The baby Land Cruiser or Land Cruiser Mini clearly will boast some unique utility features.

And it will be a baby Land Cruiser, measuring 171.3 inches long, 73.2 inches wide, and 74 inches tall, according to Magazine X.

Yet it could sport some differences from the Compact Cruiser concept, with an exterior-mounted spare tire and circular headlights. Certainly, the concept’s appearance seems to be a rugged development of design themes first explored by Toyota’s Calty Design Research Inc. in Newport Beach, California in 2017. That’s when it developed the Toyota FT-4X Concept, short for “Future Toyota Four-Wheel Drive Crossover.”

If the reports prove true, Toyota will be expanding its Land Cruiser lineup much like Ford expanded its new Bronco portfolio with the addition of the Ford Escape-derived Bronco Sport. It has proven successful, as the smaller Bronco outsold its sizable sibling in the first half of 2023, and nearly outsells the Ford Escape, with U.S. sales up 15% through July.

Land Cruise Mini rear 3-4

The mini Cruiser will likely ride on the Tacoma EV chassis, according to reports.

And Ford’s Bronco/Bronco Sport sales strategy is nothing new. In March 1983, the automaker introduced the 1984 Ford Bronco II, a smaller Bronco based on the Ranger pickup platform, rather than the Bronco’s F-Series. It was built through 1990, when it was replaced by the Ford Explorer. The full-size, two-door Bronco would end production in June 1996, when it was replaced by the Ford Expedition.

Of Ford’s two strategies, Toyota seems to be following the Dearborn automaker’s 1980s Bronco/Bronco II strategy, endowing the baby Land Cruiser with the same ability as its larger sibling.

When questioned about the veracity of the Japanese magazine Land Cruiser reports, Toyota representatives had no comment.


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