Does the New Land Cruiser 250 Have What it Takes to Overland?

New Land Cruiser 250 Overland

As more overland details of the new Land Cruiser 250 emerge, we are even more excited by the prospect of the model. It is clear that Toyota is taking performance seriously, but it is also good to dig into their “all in on overlanding” mantra these past few years. Let’s deep dive into the recently released specifications and compare them against our design standards. The new 250 is based on the global TNGA-F platform, with chassis and body architecture shared between the Prado, Lexus GX, and Land Cruiser. While it is important to note that the 250 does not have the same underpinning and duty cycle as the 300 series Land Cruiser, this variant is among the best in the lineage, striking a balance between price, durability, and capacity.


Just looking at the new Land Cruiser, it is clear that capability was at the top of the engineering team’s mind. From the center and rear locking differentials to the front Auto LSD (think A-Trac). To further improve traction, the KDSS of the 4Runner and GX has given way to a driver-selectable front swaybar disconnect. With the touch of a button, articulation improves by over 15%, with the added benefit of enhanced driver/rider comfort with less head toss.

With the First Edition (and other trail-oriented packages), the tire diameter is nearly 33 inches on an 18-inch wheel. There is speculation based on the brake disk diameter that a 17-inch wheel will still fit, as that would be a more effective choice for flotation, deformation, and mechanical keying of the tire in soft and/or technical terrain. For our design standards, a tire diameter should be twice (or more) the wheel diameter, which can be challenging to find. Regardless, 33-inch tires are a great start and better than many in the class. The 250 has a stated ground clearance of 8.7 inches, but I suspect it is closer to 9.3 inches in the models with larger tires.

Additional considerations for capability include the body shape and clearance angles, which all compare well in the class. The approach angle is 32 degrees, which is notable, and the breakover of 23 degrees is competitive with other brands, but the departure of 22 degrees lags behind the competition. Again, these are early specs, and the models with larger tires will likely fare better.

The final consideration is trail protection, appropriately delivered on the First Edition, including full-length rock rails and underbody protection packages. Contrary to some recent Toyota releases, the Land Cruiser has recovery points at the front and rear. We want to learn more about the working limits on the chassis-mounted recovery points (there appears to be both a loop and a metal plate with a shackle/hook connection point on the front. The rear has both a chassis-mounted loop and an available two-inch receiver.

Rating (Interim): Overall, the Land Cruiser’s capability looks better than average for the segment and certainly better than the Prado and GX that came before it. However, a proper off-highway test will be required to score the vehicle.


Overlanding requires payload and storage volume, with longer trips often necessitating days or weeks of water, food, and fuel. In addition, remote travel usually involves camping equipment, extensive recovery gear, tools, spares, and emergency supplies. All of this adds weight, so an overland wagon like the Land Cruiser needs to support a minimum of 1,500 pounds to meet our design criteria. Fortunately, the 250 is the good Land Cruiser it should be and comes specified with a curb weight of 5,037 pounds and a GVWR of 6,725; impressively, this results in a reported payload of 1,688 pounds—Go Toyota!

The 250’s towing capacity is 6,000 pounds, which is adequate for most overland trailer duties. The rear seats also fold (nearly) flat for sleeping inside, with a total interior volume aft of the front row approaching 100 cubic feet (98 as specified). Combined with the tall roofline, the inside of the 250 will make for a good sleeping option to stay out of the elements.

One capacity specification that raises questions is the 17.9-gallon fuel tank, which harkens back to FJ Cruisers. Typically, our minimum design standard is a 90-liter fuel tank (23 gallons) to ensure adequate range and reduce the need for additional fuel cans. With a combined MPG of 23, this gives a range of 411 miles or 660 kilometers, which, in Toyota’s defense, is consistent with others in the segment (that have 90-liter fuel tanks). Traditionally, the Prado or Land Cruiser II has been equipped with a 90-liter fuel tank, giving the Toyota a 529-mile range (851 kilometers). Smaller tanks are becoming more common as MPG improves, but we can all wish for that ideal 800-1000 kilometer pinnacle overland range (like the 70 series with 130 or 180-liter tanks). We noted the premium fuel requirement but suspect it has been programmed to take lower-octane fuel occasionally.

The other considerations we noted are the 4.41:1 first gear and the 3.58:1 final drive ratio. With smaller displacement turbocharged or mild-hybrid powertrains, having a lower (numerically higher) first gear is beneficial for initial acceleration, particularly when loaded or towing. The electric motor torque may solve these concerns in real-world evaluation. The final drive ratio is the same irrespective of the tire diameter package, so an upgrade to 35 inch tires or similar will likely require a axle ratio change (and a good time to install a front ARB Air Locker).

Rating: With a payload of 1,688 pounds, we are genuinely impressed (and grateful).


Land Cruisers are known for their durability, with the Prado and Land Cruiser II traditionally being constructed to a 330,000-mile plus service life, often in developing country conditions. There is a reason Toyota has excelled in South America and Africa: buyers rely on durability to survive the abusive road conditions, mud, snow, and flooding common where advanced infrastructure is minimal.

The New Land Cruiser 250 is built to overland on the new TNGA-F chassis architecture, with variable-thickness frame construction and tightly controlled robotic welding. I have witnessed this high-strength boxed, laser-blank welding process in person, and it is nothing short of revolutionary. Cameras and sensors continuously inspect each frame throughout the assembly, with operators checking everything from elaborate control panels. This chassis has been deployed throughout the body-on-frame lineup on everything from the 300 Series Land Cruiser to the newest Tacoma.

One item of uncertainty is the differentials specified in this model, as we have yet to find finalized specifications showing which front differential / CV is fitted and the configuration of the rear differential housing and internals. We expect it to be durable, but it will be good to know how robust the fitment is for the 250 Land Cruiser to accommodate larger diameter tires, etc.

Rating: We anticipate excellent durability, but we look forward to more details on axle ratings/part numbers.


We have no reason to doubt the new Land Cruiser’s reliability, but time and miles will be needed to validate its position in the rankings. As of November 2023, Consumer Reports ranks Toyota #2 in overall reliability, only a few points behind the sister brand Lexus.

Does the New Land Cruiser 250 Overland?

We do love Land Cruisers and have trusted them with our lives on all seven continents. In three of our four circumnavigations of the planet we had traveled overland nearly half a million kilometers in Land Cruisers. The new Land Cruiser 250 demonstrates not only Toyota’s commitment to the brand heritage but also its resolve to go “all in on overlanding.” The pricing is fair at the $55,000 starting point and a combined fuel economy of 23 MPG is a significant improvement over outgoing models. We look forward to properly evaluating the 250 in the field and will report once a test unit is available. Podcast | Starting at $55,950



Curb Weight (lbs.)


GVWR (lbs.)

Payload (lbs.)








Land Cruiser


First Edition



Type, Materials


2.4-liter 4-cylinder Hybrid Turbocharged, Double Overhead Cam (DOHC) 16-Valve, D-4S Fuel Injection


2,393 cc

Bore x Stroke

87.5 x 99.5 mm

Compression Ratio



326 hp

@ 6000 rpm


465 lb-ft

@ 1700 rpm

Ignition System

DIS (Direct) with iridium-tipped spark plugs

Fuel System

D-4ST direct injection and port injection

Recommended Fuel

91-octane or higher



Land Cruiser 1958

22 City, 25 Highway, 23 Combined*

Land Cruiser

First Edition



4×4 front engine with full-time four-wheel drive

Transmission Type


8-speed AT

Gear Ratios



















4×4 Transfer Case Ratio (high/low) 1.00:1 / 2.57:1

Final Drive Ratio





Independent double-wishbone front suspension with

stabilizer bar and twin-tube shock absorbers

Rear (coil)

Multi-link rear suspension with coil springs and outboard-mounted twin-tube shock absorbers

Ground clearance

8.7 inches



Electronic Power Steering (EPS);

power-assisted rack-and-pinion

Turns (lock-to-lock)

3.25 turns

Turning Radius (ft)




32 degrees


22 degrees


23 degrees

Brake System


Ventilated disc,

12.4 inches


Ventilated disc,

12.3 inches

Parking Brake type




112.2 in.

Overall Length

193.8 in.

Overall Width

77.9 in.

Overall Height

76.1 in.


Maximum Towing Weight (lbs.)**


Fuel Capacity

17.9 gal.

Engine Oil

5.6 qt. (with filter)

New Land Cruiser 250 Overland

Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. He lives in Prescott, Arizona IG: @scott.a.brady Twitter: @scott_brady