JDM Toyota LandCruiser https://www.classiccruisers.com/

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Toyota Land Cruiser first hit the market in 1951 and holds the distinction of being the longest-running Toyota vehicle. Ten years prior to its release, the Imperial Japanese Army occupying the Philippines had found an abandoned American Willys MB army reconnaissance jeep and sent it home to Toyota. The military tasked the auto manufacturer to produce something similar, but to alter a few things, mainly the appearance. However, the goal was to reverse-engineer a utility vehicle with similar capabilities as the Willys.

In 1954, after some modifications, the new car was named the ‘Land Cruiser,’ as a dignified competitor to the English-made Land Rover. At the time, the SUV shared the name with the American-made Studebaker Land Cruiser.

Today, more than 10 million units have been sold, making the Land Cruiser one of the most iconic SUVs of all time.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

Given its long history, every model has been slightly better and more improved than the last. The latest versions have all the modern bells and whistles, making them superior to the previous generations. Here are the most notable Land Cruiser pros:

  • Reliability. Due to the long reliability track record, Toyota Land Cruisers are very dependable. True to the Toyota brand, maintenance costs are also low.
  • Powerful V8 or Turbo Diesel engine.
  • Smooth ride. The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the most comfortable SUV’s for long trips.
  • Size. This is a massive SUV with enough interior space for up to eight occupants. In addition, the Land Cruiser can tow up to 3,500kg without breaking a sweat.
  • Great for any terrain. It is suitable for city, country and off-road driving. The high-clearance, four-wheel drive and unfettered raw torque makes it easy to drive anywhere.
  • Great visibility. It offers a clear, unobtrusive view of the road.

Cons

  • The third-row seats are cramped.
  • The petrol / gas V8 is a gas guzzler, and a very thirsty one at that.
  • Replacement parts can be expensive.
  • Weak front differential.
  • Handling could be improved.

Common Issues

The automatic gearbox:

The Toyota Land Cruiser has an issue with its automatic gearbox, which affects the selectors, especially when switched to manual mode. This issue makes changing gears extremely challenging. This is exacerbated by the fact that the gears are quite complex.

Air Conditioning:

Some air conditioning pipes are prone to fracturing, leading to air conditioning problems. To fix this issue, the pipe in question must be found replaced by a trained professional.

Shock Absorbers:

Although the Land Cruiser is a heavy-duty SUV, continuous hard use takes a toll on the suspension. The shock absorbers are known to leak and make the suspension go wonky. The tell-tale signs are oil leaks and grease on the suspension springs. When this happens, the shock absorbers may need to be replaced; and in severe cases, the suspension springs may also need replacement.

Average Prices

Below you will find the average Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the Toyota Landcruiser when new.

Year Average MSRP (USD)
2020 $82,500
2019 $75,000
2018 $68,750
2016 $55,750
2014 $42,250
2012 $37,000
2010 $34,000
2008 $24,500
2006 $18,900
2004 $12,000
2002 $10,000
2000 $9,700
1999 $9,700

Here are some grey market JDM Land Cruiser examples currently available:

View all Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles listed for sale.

View Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vehicles for sale.

Comparable Alternatives

Models and Specifications

Due to the fact that the Land Cruiser has been around since the 1950’s, we’ve created a list of how it evolved over the years.

  • From 1951 to 1955 – The FJ and BJ Models
  • From 1955 to 1960 – The J20 and J30 Models
  • From 1960 to 1984 – The J40 Model
  • From 1967 to 1980 – The J50 Model
  • From 1980 to 1990 – The J60 Model
  • From 1984 to date – The J70 Model
  • From 1990 to 2000 – The J80 Model
  • From 1998 to 2007 – The J100 Model
  • From 1951 to 1955 – The FJ and the BJ Models

From 1951 to 1955 – The FJ and BJ Models

The 1951 Toyota BJ. Courtesy of Toyota Global Mobility.

The BJ and FJ Models were designed for the US military by Toyota. This design took after the British Land Rover Series 1.

The BJ series was manufactured in the following three variants:

  • The BJ-R (or Radio)
  • The BJ-J for fire engines
  • The BJ-T for Touring

Around this time, the term ‘Land Cruiser’ was first used to describe the vehicle. After dropping the ‘Jeep’ name. The BJ-J model, which sported the fire engine chassis, was the first Land Cruiser to have a 3.9L Type-F gasoline engine that boasted 123 horsepower. The Toyota FJ-J model was also introduced with the cowl chassis for use as a fire engine.

From 1955 to 1960 – The J20 and J30 Models

Toyota Land Cruiser
1957 Toyota FJ20 – Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In 1955, the second-generation Land Cruisers were rolled out. Ranging from J20 to J30, they were designed to appeal more to civilians, not the military. Compared to the first generation, the engine had been moved forward by 4 inches, to provide a more comfortable ride. The seats were also made as comfy as possible and the softer suspension made the ride smoother compared to its predecessors.

The result was a light truck with a 3.9L Type -F gasoline engine that produced 133 horsepower accompanied by a three-speed transmission. In 1958, the FJ25 model was unveiled in Brazil as the Toyota Bandeirante, making it the very first Toyota built away from Japan.

From 1960 to 1984 – The J40 Model

Toyota Land Cruiser Station Wagon
The 1963 FJ45 Station Wagon. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The J40 series was first introduced in 1960. They were built as two-door models, with both Gas and diesel engines available. In 1960, the FJ45-B was rolled out, featuring a longer wheelbase than its predecessor. The FJ40’s series were released in different variants including pickups, station wagons, and utility vehicles.

From 1967 to 1980 – The J50 Model

This series came with both gasoline and diesel engines. The gas engine had six cylinders, while the diesels in the FJ40 – B series came with four cylinders only. The Type-F engine had a capacity of 3.9L, while the type B engines started from 3.0L. Production went on until 2001, when the Bandeirante line was officially retired.

From 1967 to 1980 – The J50 Model

1979 Land Cruiser FJ55 Wagon
The 1979 Land Cruiser FJ55 Wagon. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This model is usually referred to as the ‘Toyota Land Cruiser 55.’ The FJ50’s was considered to be the first serious, comfort-oriented station wagon in the entire Land Cruiser line. Starting with the FJ55 in 1967, the vehicle had four doors and the drivetrain was borrowed from the FJ40. From 1975, the Type-F engine was replaced with the larger Type-2F engine. Production ended in July 1980.

From 1980 to 1990 – The J60 Model

1985 Land Cruiser FJ60
The 1985 Land Cruiser FJ60. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This series, also known as the Land Cruiser 60s, had the capacity to seat up to 8 people. It was a four-door wagon with exceptional off-road capabilities. Even though the truck inherited the rugged appearance from its predecessors, it had been revamped to compete with the formidable rivals in the SUV market. Creature comforts like an upgraded interior, air conditioning, and a heating system helped it appeal to the family-oriented consumer. In Venezuela, it was dubbed ‘The Toyota Samurai.’

The FJ60 came with the six-cylinder Type-2F gas engine. In addition, a 3.4L four-cylinder diesel engine was added to the Land Cruiser’s lineup. By 1988, the gas engine had been upgraded to a 4.0L Type-3F-E EFI engine. Moreover, the FJ62 VX series started gaining popularity as passenger vehicles in Japan.

From 1984 to date – The J70 Model

1991 Toyota Land Cruiser J70
The 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser J70. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The current iteration of the Land Cruiser traces its roots to the 1984 J70. The SUV boasts an excellent ride quality that rivals its predecessors. The J70’s series has a 4.0L Type-3F gasoline engine. Smaller, lighter-duty Land Cruisers come with the 2.4L gas engines. The J70 has also created a couple of spinoffs: the J80, which was nicknamed ‘the Bubble’ in Columbia, and the J90 Prado, which is a very successful SUV in its own right. The Prado was the first Toyota to combine four-wheel drive with an automatic transmission.

From 1984 to 1999, the Land Cruiser J70 and J75 were produced as a revamped version of the J40’s. The J70 was styled as a family utility vehicle. However, it was also used as a troop carrier. Over time this model evolved from a four-door to a five-door vehicle. In addition, there are pick-up and double-cabin pick-up versions. There were various facelifts in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Double-Cabin Version of the J70
The Double-Cabin Version of the J70 – Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

1990 to 2008 – the J80

1991 FJ80 Land Cruiser
The 1991 FJ80 Land Cruiser. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In October 1989, the Land Cruiser J80 model was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. The SUV featured back doors that swing out, making it a well-rounded vehicle. The Land cruiser came in two variants – an entry-level model and the VX model, which was fully equipped. In 1994, the swing-out back door was replaced with a hatch and tailgate. The J80 came with either a type 3FE gasoline engine or a direct-injection turbo diesel. In addition, four-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes were offered as standard.

From 1998 to 2007 – The J100 Model

Toyota Land Cruiser J100

Toyota introduced the J100 series as a replacement for the J80 after the latter had been running for eight years. This series was introduced in two variants – the J100 and J105. The 105 series were sold to Australian, African, South American, and Russian markets. The 100’s came with both diesel and gasoline engines. The new rack-and-pinion steering helped improve handling, although it somewhat compromised off-road capability.

With this series, the Land Cruiser started offering a V8 engine for the first time. The 100’s were produced until 2007, being called various names such as the Amazon (in the UK) and leading to spinoffs like the Toyota Cygnus. There was a slew of facelifts from 2000 to 2007, with small tweaks here and there.

2007 to Date – The J200

 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser V8
The 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser V8

In early 2007, work on the modern iteration of the Toyota Land Cruiser was completed, culminating in the release of the J200. Sales started in Venezuela in September.

The J200 had the following improvements from earlier models:

  • Ten airbags
  • Smart start
  • Remote-sensor smart-entry
  • A lighter, yet stronger frame compared to the earlier models
  • Downhill assist
  • Leather seats
  • Multi-terrain ABS
  • A new V8 VD engine, which is twin-turbocharged
  • Standard automatic transmission
  • Rearview camera

Sources

  • https://www.autoblog.com/2019/09/20/toyota-10-millionth-land-cruiser/#slide-2171048
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  • https://www.classiccruisers.com/

How to Import a Toyota Land Cruiser

Read our ultimate guide, How to Import a Car from Japan.

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