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The Toyota Land Cruiser is a living legend across the world. It has gone through many changes over the decades. For Americans, the newer Land Cruisers represent an SUV for only the wealthy or forbidden fruit for the 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser. But it was not always this way. The 80 series Toyota Land Cruiser had a factory trim known as the “poverty pack,” and we want it back!

This older Model Toyota Land Cruiser shows the same spirit of toughness as the 80 seires Land Cruiser with the Poverty Pack
Toyota Land Cruiser at border post to Chile | Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Why are Land Cruisers so expensive? 

The 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser’s price of $85,000 shows how much the Land Cruiser has changed from rugged off-roader to luxury off-roader. This massive price, while stunning, didn’t appear overnight. 

According to The Drive, the Land Cruiser used to mean something different to buyers in some markets. While the modern Land Cruiser is packed with luxury and badass components, the 80 series had an optional trim that stripped the truck of anything even somewhat close to being considered luxurious or even semi-nice. 

What is the Toyota Land Cruiser “Poverty Pack?” 

According to The Drive, the Poverty Pack was so rare that it didn’t even appear in the Land Cruiser media archives. To be clear, “Poverty Pack” is what Toyota actually called the trim. The PP was mostly found in the Middle East and South African markets. These are two of the most demanding off-road markets in the world, making a simple, no-frills trim make perfect sense. 

The Poverty Pack trucks were powered by a 4.2-liter six-cylinder diesel engine. This massive diesel made a grunty 129 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. Naturally, this crude diesel engine was paired with a five-speed manual transmission and 4×4 transfer case. 

These stripped-down Land Crusiers only had Air Conditioning, a heater, a passenger-side defroster, a manual sliding rear window, or third-row seats. The Drive mentions that some models have been reported to have third-row “jumper-style” seats, and some came without third-row seats at all. They also had rubber floors, no sunroof or running boards, the option of no CD player or even front speakers, and the seats were either done in cheap fake leather, vinyl, or cloth. 

This is probably the rarest Toyota Land Cruiser

The Drive found a listing for one of these super-rare 80 series Land Cruisers. The listing is great because it’s for a 1997 Land Crusier with over 200,000 miles on the clock and  in the plainest trim ever conceived, yet the listing calls it the “Holy Grail.” The Grail usage is justified given the model’s rarity, but it’s just funny to see. 

These are indeed Holy Grails. It feels odd that the cheapest version of something can become the most expensive verison of something. That is the rub of loving cars and trucks. The things we want never really change, and as a result, the things that were once desirable will likely become desirable again. Let’s hope that Toyota brings the Land Cruiser Poverty Pack back. Oh, and, Toyota, if you’re reading, maybe let us have the Land Cruiser in America if that happens. 


2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Review, Pricing, and Specs