The student news site of Clark Magnet High School

Clark Chronicle

The student news site of Clark Magnet High School

Clark Chronicle

The student news site of Clark Magnet High School

Clark Chronicle

Is the legend now a letdown?

The FJ-40 Land Cruiser at the ‘Hampton Court Concours’ auto show in 2020.

From the World Wars to a global icon, the Land Cruiser has always been the best off-road option. During The Second World War, Toyota was tasked with making a Jeep-like military vehicle and designed the AK series, which failed to make production. Once the Korean War came around, it was Toyota’s second chance. Soon, the infamous Land Cruiser, also known as the FJ-40 series, was released with a great reliable engine and a timeless design. Soon, the military-focused FJ-40 was released to the general public. Customers liked how it was offered with a two-tone paint scheme, round headlights, a tailgate, and two doors. Although this was standard for similar Off-roaders, Toyota’s reliability was the deal breaker.                      

As all things evolved, so did the Land Cruiser. They got bigger, faster, and more luxurious, including four full doors and fully leather seats, while still keeping it as capable as the original. Most Land Cruisers can handle traveling 200,000 miles with basic maintenance done, further proving its reliability. Enthusiasts still loved older Land Cruisers, since newer models became a family car rather than the mean, tough, and capable off-roader enthusiasts once knew.

In 2007, Toyota went back to the 60’s and came out with the all-new, FJ Cruiser. Another two-tone, two-door SUV, which came standard with a 4-liter V6, (arguably one of the most reliable engines ever produced), it seemed like they struck gold. Early in its production, Toyota gave ARB, an Australian off-road aftermarket company, some FJ Cruisers, which instantly produced aftermarket parts.

The 2024 Land Cruiser was unveiled at the Land Cruiser Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.

These parts included light bars, lift kits, bumpers, and roof racks, which gave customers immediate access to aftermarket parts at the vehicle’s release. This was important early on since Toyota wanted to appeal to the younger generation, as Toyota’s usual lineup of cars were small economy cars for day-to-day use. Despite instant popularity, poor sales eventually led to the cancellation of the FJ in 2014 but still kept the Land Cruiser in production.

Toyota’s other off-road options were still capable, but very expensive in the resale market. The Land Cruiser’s starting price was easily over $50,000, so customers went to smaller Toyota pickup trucks and SUVs instead. Soon, Toyota decided the Land Cruiser’s time was also up in the American Market in 2021.

As Ford and Jeep came out with newer, greater off-road options, Toyota decided it was time to get back into the game: the 2024 Land Cruiser was announced. Paired with its old-school design, round or square headlights, and two-tone paint, it seemed to be one of the best vehicles to be released in the coming year. Despite instant popularity, mild disappointment drew potential buyers away. Like most new Toyota models, The 2024 Land Cruiser will be only offered with a hybrid, twin-turbo 4-cylinder engine. If the motor wasn’t an issue for some, the lack of a tailgate and the placement of a hybrid battery was the make or break for those interested.  Animation teacher and car enthusiast Mr. Lockhart is looking forward to the Land Cruiser’s launch. “I absolutely love it; it’s amazing, but I do like the squared headlights a lot more than the round ones. The first edition is great and I’d love to have one,” Lockhart said. “However, I’m going to wait a few years before I get one since the first few years of newer cars always have problems.”

The styling was pristine, and the options and tech are some of the best on the market. Despite the anticipation just to have minor imperfections dragging buyers away, it would just be too soon to consider the 2024 Land Cruiser a letdown.


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About the Contributor
Charbel Slaibi
Charbel Slaibi, Staff Writer
Interests/Hobbies? Planes, Sports, Art, and Cars Dream Destination? New York Something I'd tell my 10 year old self; You'll never go to Toys R Us again.. Favorite Genre: Action What piece of text do you like to read the most? The Bible

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