2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car
2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser: The Baby FJ EV You Didn’t Know You Wanted
Toyota’s pivot to EVs could be a boon for off-road enthusiasts, including an all-electric follow-up to the iconic FJ Cruiser.
WHAT IT IS:
After initially doubling down on hydrogen and hybrids, Toyota appears to be pivoting slowly toward battery electric vehicles. One of the models that’ll anchor this directional change is the new 2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser. A follow-up of sorts to the beloved FJ Cruiser (which left our market in 2014 but still soldiers on in the Middle East), the Compact Cruiser is a pint-sized electric off-roader built in the same vein as early ’90s classics such as the Suzuki Samurai. This small electric off-roader sports four doors, plenty of ground clearance, tucked-away bumpers, all-terrain tires, and beefy-looking skidplates, all of which ought to make it a hoot off-road.
WHY IT MATTERS:
Toyota is finally coming on strong in the EV space, promising 10 new “lines” of EVs by 2025, and the Compact Cruiser will be part of that salvo. While models like the 2023 Toyota bZ4X cover Toyota’s more conservative audience, the Compact Cruiser, previewed here with images of the Toyota Compact Cruiser Concept from earlier this year, aims to satisfy legions of Toyota’s hardcore off-road enthusiasts by offering more traditional Land Cruiser styling cues in an efficient, modern package.
PLATFORM AND POWERTRAIN:
We don’t know a ton about what’s underneath the Compact Cruiser’s sheetmetal, but we think it’s a safe assumption we’ll find Toyota’s new e-TNGA platform, also found underpinning the bZ4x and Subaru Solterra. We expect the Compact Cruiser to offer dual-motor all-wheel drive and somewhere in the realm of 250 hp or so. If that’s the case, don’t expect it to be a range or charging champ—the more aerodynamic all-wheel-drive bZ4X nets 222 miles of range in its least efficient form and is among the slowest-charging EVs on the market.
ESTIMATED PRICE: $45,000
EXPECTED ON-SALE DATE: Fall 2023
Toyota has a history of capable off-road SUVs, from the FJ Cruiser to the 4Runner to the luxurious Land Cruiser. While the Land Cruiser is leaving the American market starting in 2022 and the FJ Cruiser hasn’t been sold here since 2014, Toyota is intent on staying competitive in the off-road space as the market transitions to electric vehicles, and will launch a tough compact electric SUV in the coming years. Previewed by the Compact Cruiser EV concept, the SUV will get boxy styling and rugged bumpers and body cladding. Very little is known about the electric powertrain, but the instant torque of electric motors should make it decently quick and adept at navigating rough terrain.
What’s New for 2024?
The Compact Cruiser EV will be an all-new model for Toyota when it launches, and presumably will have a more creative name. We expect the electric off-roader to arrive for the 2024 model year. It will likely share some suspension and powertrain components with other upcoming electric Toyotas, but there is not much information yet on the mechanical components of the Compact Cruiser EV.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We estimate the price of the 2024 Compact Cruiser EV will start at around $35,000. We’ll know more about trim levels and pricing for the Compact Cruiser EV as the on-sale date nears.
Toyota has a long history of producing off-road capable SUVs. This includes the 4Runner, Land Cruiser, and FJ Cruiser. However, the Land Cruiser was discontinued in the United States in 2022, and the last time the FJ Cruiser was sold in America was in 2014. As Toyota makes the move toward EVs, it aims to retain its edge for off-road SUVs. Enter the 2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser EV, also known as the LiteCruiser EV — an all-electric FJ Cruiser-style SUV. Find out what we know so far about the release date, price, and features of the 2024 Toyota LightCruiser EV.
When will the 2024 Toyota LightCruiser EV be released and available?
The release date of the 2024 Toyota LightCruiser EV SUV will likely be in late 2023 or early 2024. The Compact Cruiser EV will be available to buy at Toyota dealerships throughout the United States and in select international markets. For pre-order/reservation information for the LightCruiser EV, stay tuned.
How much does the 2024 Toyota LightCruiser EV cost?
Toyota didn’t yet release the price information for the 2024 LightCruiser EV. However, Car and Driver estimates that the starting cost of the Compact Cruiser EV will be $35,000. The automotive site also speculated that the LightCruiser EV could offer three trims: LE, XLE, and Limited, with the following starting prices:
- LE: $35,000
- XLE: $40,000
- Limited: $45,000
2024 LightCruiser EV specs: Electric powertrain and all-wheel drive system
Toyota hasn’t revealed much information about the 2024 LightCruiser EV SUV. However, we expect the Compact Cruiser EV to share powertrain components with some of the automaker’s upcoming electric vehicles, such as a possible Tacoma EV pickup truck. Currently, the only electric vehicle that Toyota offers in the U.S. is the bZ4X crossover SUV.
Given the off-road emphasis of the LightCruiser EV, it will undoubtedly offer an all-wheel drive system. This means that the Compact Cruiser EV will offer at least two electric motors, with a motor for both the front and rear wheels.
Award-winning design of the 2024 LightCruiser EV
The 2024 Toyota LightCruiser was previewed as a concept model in December 2021, along with many other Toyota electric vehicles. Despite its relatively recent unveiling, the Compact Cruiser EV was already honored for its design. It won the 2022 Car Design Award for Concept Vehicles, as detailed by Drive. The LightCruiser beat out a competitive field of other finalists, including the Porsche Mission R, Polestar O2, Audi Skysphere, and Lexus Electrified Sport.
Fans of the FJ Cruiser will notice design similarities for the LightCruiser EV, including its boxy body, flat roof, upright A-pillars, and large windows. The Compact Cruiser also draws inspiration from the first-generation Land Cruiser.
Back in December, Toyota revealed an absolute onslaught of new electric car concepts. My eyes immediately flew to the back corner, where there was an electric pickup that looked very much like a Tacoma EV…and right next to it was a small, boxy, off-road SUV with heavy cladding, a skid plate and a roof rack. Toyota is calling the concept the Compact Cruiser EV.
Here’s what we know about the Compact Cruiser EV so far.
The Compact Cruiser is likely to be a crossover
The Compact Cruiser takes styling cues from the first-gen Land Cruiser. But it looks very much like it runs on a car platform. And Toyota’s description of the target buyer — “young, professional urban dwellers who enjoy active outdoor leisure interests” — screams crossover.
The Compact Cruiser offers all-wheel-drive
The Compact Cruiser is already award-winning
Expect the Compact Cruiser EV to stay small
Will the Compact Cruiser be called the Land Cruiser?
Is the Compact Cruiser the new FJ Cruiser?
The Compact Cruiser may be the FT-4X concept, but electric
When will the Compact Cruiser EV arrive?
2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser, On Youtube
All New 2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser EV | The electric FJ Cruiser is here
2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser – Overview
New 2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser – Electric SUV Concept Firstlook
2024 Toyota Compact Cruiser Wins Car Design Award