Toyota Land Cruiser Luggage Test: How much fits in the cargo area?

From a body perspective, the Toyota Land Cruiser and 2024 Lexus GX are basically the same vehicle. The differences are mostly cosmetic. That applies inside, too, as seating positions and underlying hard-point things like air vent positions are the same. But! You will note that the Land Cruiser is only available with two rows and therefore a five-passenger capacity, whereas the GX can be had with either a two- or three-row configuration. 

There are different reasons for those configurations, however. The GX Premium and Luxury trims come standard as a three-row, while the Overtrail is two-row because Lexus determined that trim would be most desirable for overlanders who would value an extra 5 cubic feet of cargo space over a third-row seat. Lexus had already heard protests about this decision back in January when we drove the GX for the first time. A three-row Overtrail option seems like a sure-thing for the future. The Land Cruiser, on the other hand, is two-row only because there quite simply isn’t room in the back for a third row. Its standard hybrid powertrain negates it because the battery has to go somewhere and that somewhere is exactly where the third row would go. (For the exact same reason, you won’t be able to get a three-row 2025 Toyota 4Runner with a hybrid powertrain.)

Toyota Land Cruiser cargo area Lexus GX cargo behind second row

Above left is the Land Cruiser. Above right is the GX Premium+ with its third row removed. 

You should be able to see that the two spaces are not the same.

Land Cruiser lifted floor

As you can see above, the battery raises the floor by 4 inches. This results in a sort of stage-like solution. 

Lexus GX cargo behind third row

The GX Premium’s third row also raises the load floor over the two-row Overtrail (above right), but it’s a lot harder to tell. Note that the load sill is angled like a ramp, as is the trailing edge of the carpet beyond. The Overtrail’s sill is flat and even with the floor beyond. The Land Cruiser’s sill seems to be the same piece as the Overtrail’s, but gets the more abrupt stage-like floor instead. 

So which loss is greater? The GX ramp or the Land Cruiser stage? 

I think the numbers tell that story. The three-row GX has 40.2 cubic-feet of cargo space behind its second row. The Land Cruiser has 37.5. Advantage ramp. 

underfloor storage Toyota LC

At least the stage allows for this skinny bit of covered storage. I don’t think it’s especially useful, but it does exist. 

OK, now let’s get the bags in here. 

As with every Luggage Test, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two black roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller green roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).

all bags inside all bags third row down

Yeah, I know, this isn’t helpful. There’s a reason I usually don’t do luggage tests with two-row midsize SUVs — I don’t have enough stuff to consistently fill them up.

If anything, I’d say the abrupt edge of the stage made it easier to keep the green bag in place, whereas it was tipping a bit in the GX. But really, that’s all I got. Both have really big cargo areas behind the second row. 

Toyota Land Cruiser liftgate window

Their tailgates also both have flip-up glass portions for longer items to poke out or, as I discovered with the GX, accessing stuff in the cargo area when you’ve mounted a bike to the trailer hitch.

Toyota Land Cruiser vestigial third row elements

And one more thing. Although the Land Cruiser does not have a third row, it still has cup- and device holders, USB-C ports, and grab handles to help hoist yourself back there, and latches in the second-row seat back to slide it forward. This is what you call vestigial. 





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