This Toyota Land Cruiser Model Year Has the Most Owner Complaints

The Toyota Land Cruiser has a storied history, but as with anything, it’s had some years that were better than others. Land Cruisers have been popular for quite some time but were recently discontinued, so there’s a robust used market for the SUVs. Nevertheless, anyone looking to buy a used Land Cruiser should keep in mind a model year that one website has declared particularly problematic.

The Toyota Land Cruiser had quite a run

Toyota logo on a black background as found on a Toyota Land Cruiser.
Toyota logo | Getty Images

According to Toyota, the Land Cruiser’s origins date back to 1950, when the Japanese manufacturer was encouraged to develop it for military use. Originally known as the Toyota BJ, it astounded everyone in 1951 when it made its way farther up Mt. Fuji than any vehicle before it. 

After being renamed the Land Cruiser in 1954, sales of the SUV first began in the United States in 1958. While sales the first year were slow, with only one unit was sold, they eventually took off. The Land Cruiser would remain one of the most respected SUVs for decades to come. However, Toyota announced that it had decided to discontinue sales of the Land Cruiser in the United States in 2021. Car and Driver reported that this announcement led to a bump in sales of the vehicle, as people rushed to get one before it was too late. The Land Cruiser had many fans due to its ability to remain in service for an astonishing number of miles

The 2000 Land Cruiser is thought to have a few more problems than other model years

Motor and Wheels reports that the Land Cruiser can easily reach 300,000 miles with proper maintenance, even after repeatedly being driven over rough terrain. Nevertheless, Car Problem Zoo has named the 2000 model year Land Cruiser the worst due to the number of complaints about the vehicle that have been reported.

The most frequently reported complaint involves the vehicle’s structure, including problems with the body, underbody, and bumpers. There were seven total complaints in this category.

The next largest category of complaints about the 2000 Land Cruiser was the category of service brakes, with five complaints. And third on the list was the power train, with four complaints. 

It’s essential to remember that the 2000 Land Cruiser was also the model year for which sold the most units of all the years considered by Car Problem Zoo. There have been 19,411 units from the 2000 model year sold. The next most popular year, 2001, sold only 8,088 units.

When you consider the number of complaints about a model year as a percentage of the total units sold, the idea that the 2000 Land Cruiser was the “worst” becomes more questionable. There have been complaints about only 0.1 percent of 2000 Land Cruisers compared with the 2017 model year, complaints about 0.48 percent of vehicles sold. 

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Given that production of the Land Cruiser was recently discontinued in the U.S., if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll likely have to purchase a used one. So what model years are excellent prospects? We’ve got a few suggestions.

Of the 100-Series models, 2004 and 2005 vehicles received high marks, the first to get an improved 5-speed automatic transmission.  Some consider the 80-Series to be superior to the 100 Series. For those folks, 1993 and later models come highly recommended, thanks to the improvements made to the inline-6, which is remarkably tough. The 80-Series was also the first Land Cruiser to go with full-time AWD and all-round coil springs. In truth, it’s hard to go wrong with any Land Cruiser, as it’s one of the most durable vehicles out there.