There’s no denying that the Toyota Land Cruiser is an automotive icon. Even though Toyota no longer sells this SUV in the United States. If you want an off-road SUV, and you have the budget, a Land Cruiser can be the ideal vehicle for handling the road less traveled. And that is likely why these SUVs command such a high premium. But, which used Toyota Land Cruiser is the best buy to be an off-road SUV?
Which Land Cruiser should you buy for off-roading?
If you are serious about off-roading, the Land Cruiser is a good place to start, specifically the FJ80 model. Built from 1989 to 1997, the 80 Series is a solid mix of off-road ability and on-road comfort. And that makes it ideal for an off-road or overland build.
The 80 Series Land Cruiser came with a 4.5-liter I6 engine starting in 1992, four-wheel drive, and a variety of off-road options. These include things like front and rear differential lockers. Plus, this model still featured a solid front axle. Something that was ditched by newer Land Cruiser SUVs. The first iterations of the 80 Series came equipped with a 4.0 I6, known as the 3F-E.
Another perk of this generation of Toyota Land Cruiser is the thriving aftermarket community. Despite being an older SUV, sourcing parts should be a fairly easy task. And you can find some helpful accessories for your off-road SUV.
The 80 Series Land Cruiser has comfort features
Off-roading is not the only thing that the FJ80 Land Cruiser excels at. Toyota also offered this vehicle some comfort and luxury features. For the first time in Land Cruiser history, this model cam with coil springs. While that does make the Land Cruiser feel less truck-like, it does add better comfort for driving on the pavement.
Additionally, buyers could get things like leather seating. And while that might not be ideal for when you get this SUV muddy, it should elevate your time behind the wheel if you plan to daily a Land Cruiser.
How much should you pay for a Toyota Land Cruiser?
After a quick search on AutoTempest, it looks like 80 Series Land Cruisers do vary in price. But, you can find a higher mileage one for about $20,000. Of course, high mileage on a Land Cruiser is a little bit different than other SUVs. These models are known to pack on well over 300,000 miles and keep going.
Even especially pristine models with over 250,000 miles can fetch over $30,000. And that is a testament to what a great SUV the Land Cruiser was and still is in some markets. Unfortunately, that means you have to have a fairly big budget to get a good 80 Series Land Cruiser.
You can likely find a thrashed model for under $20,000. But, at that point, you really have to question the reliability of the vehicle and if it is actually road-worthy. Of course, some off-road enthusiasts love taking on an automotive project. So, if you are handy with a wrench, you might be able to bring an FJ80 back from the grave.