Until it was discontinued in the United States, the Toyota Land Cruiser was one of Toyota’s longest-running vehicles. Unfortunately, it was also the brand’s slowest-selling vehicle. Ultimately leading to Toyota deciding to remove it from the States. Perhaps one of the most iconic models is known as the FJ80 or 80 Series Land Cruiser. The FJ80 was launched in 1990 and experienced a number of changes before it was phased out for the 100 Series Land Cruiser. These three features make it a legitimate off-road monster.
1. The 80 Series Land Cruiser has a solid front axle
The FJ80 is the last Land Cruiser SUV that came equipped with a solid front axle. Solid axles help tremendously for off-road use. They improve traction and allow a smoother transfer of power. Both of these aid this Toyota Land Cruiser with tackling rough terrain.
While independent suspensions might be more comfortable for daily use, a solid axle gives a more connected feel to the road. Generally speaking, solid axles should have better durability than independent suspension.
2. The FJ80 has standard four-wheel drive
Starting in 1990, the Land Cruiser in North American started to come with a full-time 4WD system. This system was also paired with optional differential lockers which are pretty sought-after in the off-road community. It is worth noting that if you want to buy an FJ80, models equipped with these optional features will likely cost more than those without.
On the global market, the 80 Series Land Cruiser could be purchased with a part-time 4WD system. But, that was not the case for U.S.-spec Land Cruiser models. To compliment the 4WD system, this Land Cruiser was also the last version to boast an inline six-cylinder engine. During its lifespan, Toyota equipped it with the 4.0-liter 3F-E I6 and the more powerful 4.5-liter 1FZ-FE I6.
3. This Toyota Land Cruiser is durable
If you are familiar with Land Cruisers, you likely know that it isn’t unheard of for these SUVs to rack up hundreds of thousands of miles. According to Hagerty, some folks even pay upward of $20,000 for models with over 300,000 miles on the clock. So clearly, Toyota put a lot of care when building the 80 Series Land Cruiser.
Another perk about this off-road SUV is that because it has been around for so long, if you have a problem, someone else has likely had to fix that same issue. And, parts are pretty widely available.
Should you buy an 80 Series Land Cruiser?
If you want a good mix of daily comfort and off-road capability, an FJ80 is a good place to start. Although it is not the cheapest option on the market, if you have the budget, it is certainly a worthy option.
Over the years, the FJ80 market has been heating up. Pristine examples command quite the high price tag. And that is especially true for models that come well-equipped, with things like locking differentials. However, if you’re lucky, you just might be able to come across a barn find for cheap.