Meet the Mega Cruiser: A Hummer Knockoff Built by Toyota That You Can Finally Import to the U.S.
A recent Bring a Trailer auction has many 4WD enthusiasts scratching their heads and asking questions like: “What the heck is a Toyota Mega Cruiser?” “Is this SUV classy or tacky?” and “Would I drive one?” Here’s the scoop, and how you can buy your own.
Toyota built the Mega Cruiser SUV from 1995 through 2001. So its not surprising that it takes major design cues from the civilian Hummer, which was huge at the time. And just like the Hummer, the Mega Cruiser had a military version (BXD10) with either a cloth top or a bed. But you want the hardtop BXD20, which was the civilian/police/fire version.
The Meg Cruiser had some downsides: its engine was a 153 horsepower 4.1-liter diesel. But it was a turbo that also made 282 lb-ft of torque, so it could get the job done. Instead of a tall, Hummer style grille it was a bit scrunched up front. And all but 12 were RHD. In fact, Toyota only built about 3,000 and only sold those in Japan. So on U.S. roads, this thing’s rare as hen’s teeth.
So now that we’ve got that out of the way: the pros you’ve been waiting for.
This thing’s a gosh darn Toyota-built Hummer! How 90s-fabulous JDM-cool is that!?! Even better, it wasn’t some outdated truck, but was instead a test platform for some of Toyota’s most cutting-edge tech of the day. It has THREE locking differentials (like the G Wagon), and was available with a central tire pressure system (like only the highest trim G Wagons).
This might be the only vehicle that you could drive around and earn bro nods from both vintage Land Cruiser drivers and Hummer drivers. Yup, you really can have it all.
So how do you get one? Luckily for you, you can import vehicles to the U.S. that are 25 years old, or older. So all you have to do is buy a military surplus Toyota Mega Cruiser in Japan, throw it in a shipping container, and when it gets here you can slap U.S. plates on it. I know, it sounds like a lot of hassle. But you’re guaranteed to have a cooler story than 95% of other 4×4 drivers.
That’s exactly what some Toyota fan did before listing their 1996 Meg Cruiser on Bring a Trailer. And considering that their rig is already bid up to $85,000, importing your own Mega Cruiser could be a fantastic investment.
Next, meet the original Hemi-powered Toyoat Crown, or see Doug DeMuro’s walkaround review of a Mega Cruiser in the video below: