Toyota Land Cruiser: Which Should You Buy, 2020 or 2021?

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edited July 31 in Cars Motorcycles

Most significant changes: Heritage Edition adds available three-row model

Price change: Up $170 for two out of three trims; pricing on third trim TBD; destination charge up $70

On sale: August

Which should you buy, 2020 or 2021? 2020, unless you want a three-row Heritage Edition

Changes for the Toyota Land Cruiser, one of the automaker’s most off-road-capable — and expensive — SUVs, are minimal for 2021. They include two new colors and a Heritage Edition now available with three rows, a configuration heretofore unavailable for the specialty trim. Equipment and functionality otherwise carry over for the large, V-8-powered SUV.

Related: 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition Celebrates SUV’s 6 Decades

Toyota introduced the Heritage Edition one model year ago to commemorate some six decades’ existence in the U.S. for the Land Cruiser. The Heritage Edition had some light cosmetic and equipment differences, the most consequential involving the removal of the SUV’s otherwise-standard third-row seat.

Toyota said it would build 1,200 examples of the Heritage Edition. That’s more than it sounds like, relative to demand — the automaker sold only about 3,500 Land Cruisers stateside in all of 2019 — but if you missed out, Toyota will offer another crack at the trim for 2021. The Heritage Edition now comes in two- and three-row variants to form two of the Land Cruiser’s three trim levels for 2021. The SUV’s remaining trim, simply dubbed the 4WD Base, has three rows.

Price

The Land Cruiser’s sky-high price changes little for the new model year. Base models start at $86,910, while the two-row Heritage Edition runs $89,240 (both prices include destination). That’s up $170 apiece versus both trims for 2020. Cole Young, a spokesperson for Toyota, told Cars.com that production for both variants begins Aug. 3, so the SUVs should hit showrooms by the middle to late part of the month.

Engine, Transmission and Features

Toyota says pricing for the three-row Heritage Edition will come closer to the start of production, slated for September. Standard equipment across the board includes a normally aspirated 5.7-liter V-8 (381 horsepower, 401 pounds-feet of torque), eight-speed automatic transmission and off-road equipment aplenty: full-time four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, a limited-slip locking center differential, a terrain selection system and hydraulically adjustable stabilizer bars to maximize wheel articulation.

Standard, too, are automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, four-zone climate control, a 9-inch touchscreen, JBL premium audio, a moonroof, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel with power tilt/telescoping adjustments.

The Land Cruiser’s current generation, known as the 200 Series, debuted clear back in late 2007, though Toyota furnished a minor refresh for 2013 and a heavier one for 2016. Reflecting such age, a slew of technologies — Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, lane-centering steering, and stop-and-go adaptive cruise control — remain unavailable for 2021.

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