US Probably Won’t Get Toyota TJ Cruiser. We Want It, Now!

Just last week we discussed the dilemma of Toyota’s Land Cruiser, and that maybe they should make a new FJ and call it Land Cruiser. Rumors are swirling around saying that the TJ Cruiser, shown at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show, may be heading to production. Yes, the TJ is not an FJ. Still, it looks fantastic as a concept.

Japan’s Bestcarweb says a dealer insider told them a production version of the TJ will debut at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Show in October.

As can be seen, the TJ is a mash-up between a van and an SUV. In this day and age, everything has to be morphed with an SUV if it’s going to get anywhere with project managers. The closest thing we can compare it to proportion-wise is a Ford Edge. Or a slightly scaled-down Hummer H2. 

Best Car says it will be an all-wheel-drive hybrid. Toyota’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder, hybrid assisted, is the same engine as the Prius and Corolla hybrid. Another engine rumored to be available would be the 2.0-liter banger with either FWD or all-wheel-drive.

TNGA Platform

It rides on the TNGA platform, which many Toyota models are based on. It will feature a 108-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 170-inches. For comparison, it’s not as long as a Ford Edge, which has a wheelbase of 112-inches.

The production version will have folding seats that, when down flat, can handle over nine-feet of cargo–easily able to haul eight-foot sheets of drywall. 

One BIG Downside

So here’s the downside to the TJ Cruiser, and it’s a BIG one. Rumors claim it will only be produced in limited quantities. Like 1500 units-per-month. That’s Pike Factory-like production. Not familiar with the Pike cars?

The Pike cars were done in the late-1980s by Nissan. They produced a number of very unique, retro, limited-production cars based off of the Nissan Micra platform. Many considered them the height of automotive post-modern expression.

The Pike cars’ average production was 10,000 units.  They were not available in the US, though they’re now being imported here because they have reached the age that restrictions have been lifted.

Pike Cars

At 1,500 units-a month, it would suggest that the TJ won’t be coming to the US. But, if there is demand, Toyota would surely reconsider the limited production idea. Because the TNGA platform is the basis for numerous Toyota cars manufactured in the US, who knows? Maybe Toyota can add a line to their existing plants and crank out some TJs. 

Once it is announced, and the media circulates images of the production TJ, US enthusiasts need to flood Toyota with requests for it. There was definitely demand for the Nissan Pike cars in the US. Especially from the amount being exported into the US today. Toyota doesn’t want to miss an opportunity to sell cars no matter what their original intentions were for production. sees this as an untapped segment. Consumers want a unique everyday driver, but they also want utility. Because the TJ can’t be slotted into a current segment, that in itself makes it a desirable model in the US.