You remember the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet, right? And you also remember Toyota’s Land Cruiser. One is high on the enthusiast’s list of great SUVs. The other one? Well, let’s just say that there is a market for them, we think? Anyway, what you’re seeing is a Toyota Land Cruiser Series 300 minus its top. Just like the Nissan Murano convertible. Why did whoever owns this do this?
Where did this Toyota Land Cruiser come from?
The images come via the United Arab Emirates. Specifically in Sharjah, the third largest city in the UAE. Besides the top, the A-, B-, and C-pillars are also whacked. Tubular protection can be seen both in front and in the back of the Land Cruiser. Hefty roll bars offer more protection for passengers.
These Series 300 Land Cruisers are very much in demand, in spite of them not being available in the U.S. And they’re not cheap. 2022 prices range from a tad over $100,000, to almost $140,000. So, if we could spitball this particular “conversion,” we’d say this was a rollover that found a need.
What does this Land Cruiser have to do with the Nissan Murano?
So this Land Cruiser has a particular use, which is for sightseeing and/or safari treks. But there is no mistaking that in many ways this conjures up images of the infamous Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet. We’ll enlighten you If you’re not familiar with the convertible Murano.
Nissan’s Murano Cross Cabriolet was the brainchild of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. The outcome was not what was expected, in spite of what he was thinking. The idea of a convertible SUV may have had some merit, but only within a limited arena.
What was wrong with the Nissan Cross Cabriolet?
Besides its odd looks, the price was exorbitant. For only a bit over $47,000, you could own this unique, weird SUV. Few took Nissan up on its offer. Consequently, the Cross Cabriolet’s production was below expectations.
Nissan gave it its best for four long years before a completely new Murano for 2015 meant the end of the Cross Cabriolet. Murano SUV sales were consistently between 60,000 and 85,000 since its inception. Nissan dared not consider adding the Cross Cabriolet aesthetics with production totals that looked to be only a small accounting error.
The Cross Cabriolet sales for 2011 were 1,159. Its 2012 sales got a lot better with 3,278 finding buyers. In 2013 Nissan saw sales of only 1,332 Cross Cabriolets. Let’s be honest, these are dismal numbers. Especially considering what it took to make a convertible Murano.
Is there a market for a convertible SUV?
Some states saw no, zero, nada, Cross Cabriolet registrations throughout its four-year run. Because the Murano was a four-door SUV, converting it into a two-door convertible took a lot of new tooling. So it is doubtful that its meager sales even covered tooling costs.
So, what does the saga of the Cross Cabriolet have to do with the Land Cruiser shown here? Not much. But seeing a convertible version of the Land Cruiser, odd as it seems, shows a path to a potential SUV offshoot as the segment gets more crowded. After all, convertible versions of sedans and coupes dominated the highways and byways of America decades ago. That pursuit must surely still exist in 2022.