With the death of the Land Cruiser in the US, Toyota is down one iconic off-road SUV. It still has the 4Runner TRD Pro, but that starts at almost $50k. While you can import JDM Land Cruisers, including the rugged 70 Series, there is an easier option. And it’s this week’s Cars and Bids bargain buy: a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trails Team Edition.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser was a modern homage to an iconic off-road SUV
Although it was discontinued in 2014, the Toyota FJ Cruiser still enjoys a healthy enthusiast community. That’s partially due to its design, which draws inspiration from the original FJ40 Land Cruiser. And just like the FJ40, the FJ Cruiser has some genuine off-road chops.
Launched in 2007, the Toyota FJ Cruiser is built on a shortened version of the 4Runner’s platform, Motor Trend reports. It also has the 4Runner’s engine, a 4.0-liter V6 initially rated at 239 hp and 278 lb-ft. And like the 4Runner, the rear-wheel-drive FJ Cruisers have 5-speed automatic transmissions. However, the 4WD models offered a 6-speed manual, Autotrader reports. And going with 4WD meant getting a few off-road goodies as standard.
Like the reborn Ford Bronco, the Toyota FJ Cruiser has independent front suspension, traction control, and skid plates, Hagerty reports. And in manual 4WD form, it has a limited-slip center differential with transfer case. In 2008 the SUV received extra standard airbags, Car and Driver reports, as well as an optional Off-Road Package. This added Bilstein shocks, BFGoodrich off-road tires, and a locking rear differential. And that’s on top of 9.6” of ground clearance, a 27.5” fording depth, and a hose-out interior, Car and Driver and Autotrader report.
The Trail Teams Edition, though, further improves on these off-road capabilities. In addition to the Off-Road Package features, the Trail Teams Edition comes with TRD wheels and exhaust, beefier skid plates, auxiliary lighting, and rock rails, Autoblog reports.
The 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams listed on Cars and Bids
The 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Edition currently listed on Cars and Bids isn’t exactly a low-mileage example. It has roughly 215,000 miles on the odometer.
However, all but the first 5000 of them have been added by the current owner, who has meticulous service records. And apart from some minor chips and dings, as well as some interior wear, this FJ Cruiser is in very good shape. Plus, several of its suspension components have been replaced in the last 2 years.
This 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Edition is an automatic example, so it lacks the limited-slip center differential. However, it still has all the Trail Teams goodies, as well as the part-time 4WD with transfer case, parking sensors, inclinometer, and compass. And it’s been modified slightly over the years.
It sports a Garvin Wilderness roof basket, a TRD cold-air intake, and an ICON Stage 1 suspension kit. It also has an aftermarket Pioneer touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a removable GPS. Plus, it has an aftermarket backup camera—Toyota didn’t offer one on the FJ Cruiser until 2010.
What makes it a bargain purchase?
As of this writing, this 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trails Team Edition is listed on Cars and Bids at $7500. And there are 3 days left in the auction.
Admittedly, it has over 200,000 miles on the clock. However, it’s been very well maintained, and it has excellent Consumer Reports owner satisfaction and reliability ratings. Plus, not only has it been tastefully modified for off-roading, but it’s also very well priced, especially for a Trails Team Edition.
Toyota produced just 3200 examples in 2008, and these, along with TRD-modified FJ Cruisers, typically command a premium. On Bring a Trailer they go on average for $30,000-$40,000. And in the past, FJ Cruisers have gone for $10,000-$20,000 on Cars and Bids.
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