1993 Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Series VX
Pending Sale: $19,995
Stock Number: 4633
SUVs these days have become more about status and luxury than actual off-road prowess which is a real shame. Your options for something that can tackle the dirt just as well as a trip to Costo in comfort have been severely limited over the past decade or so. Toyota was well aware of this fact and continued to build proper off-roaders, while still realizing that they can partake in both segments in order to build to the best of both worlds. Fitted with all the modern luxuries you'd want like a power sunroof and heated seats all while retaining its go anywhere do anything attitude. There are very few JDM imports that offer the convenience of ownership that an 80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser can. This generation of Toyota's fabled truck was sold here stateside, utilizing the same bulletproof 1FZ-FE powerplant and tenacious 4WD system. For that reason, parts are easy to find and many owners even service at the dealer. While this one has been kept relatively stock it has undergone a handful of changes over the years. Most notably the body color has been changed from the frankly, not terribly desirable, Silver Metallic/Medium Red Pearl (20R) two-tone to a much nicer Baltic Black. With the exception of the engine bay, the color change was well done as they made sure to paint all of the jambs. The paint shows particularly well which generally leads us to believe that the color swap was done shortly before leaving Japan. The body is in just as good condition with really nothing more than a door ding or two worth reporting. Rolling on a more aggressive set of 20" alloys wrapped in fresh 33" Falken tires only builds on the Cruiser's street cred.
The cabin in this Land Cruiser is about as voluminous as it gets from a Japanese export. SUVs are often much smaller found in Japan, in contrast to many stateside trucks. It's not uncommon for us to see third-row VX Limiteds have the back row removed in order to get the dual-zone climate control yet still keep all of the original cargo space. The VX came as the top of the line trim level packed full of amenities. Heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, sliding back glass, along with a power sunroof. Of course, those still go along with all the standard items like the power-folding mirrors, power windows, and power locks. Since leather was a rare factory option in Japan, to begin with, this one has been fitted with a great set of Clazzio seat covers. Unlike your generic Auto Zone slip ons these are custom-fitted and look as if they could have been a factory option. Aside from the obvious level of protection to the stock seats they do a great job of sprucing up the interior. The driver's bottom cover does show its age a bit, however, the seat feels as if its held up well. Normally you can feel for bolster breakdown on the side from climbing in and out over the years. The passenger and back seats look great and leave little reason to believe they're not in just as good condition. The leather and wood grain wheel feels as good as it looks. The original radio has been replaced with a newer Panasonic unit that's already wired for a backup camera which is a nice touch. You'll probably still want to swap it out for something newer and more US-friendly, but it makes for a nice starting point in the meantime. The gauge cluster is all done in large letters and numbers and is easy to read and fully functional. The climate system, which is upgraded for third-row equipped models also has large buttons, that are clearly legible and can be pressed even with winter gloves on once the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Mechanically, this '93 is everything you look for in a well-appointed off-roader. Known for its longevity, durability, and low cost of ownership the 1FZ-FE 4.5L is a killer setup. The biggest draw with these motors is the fact they were also used here stateside meaning that anything you need for it can be picked up at your local Napa or a quick delivery from RockAuto. The gas 1FZ engine is as good as advertised; with the near vibration-free straight-six layout it makes for an ideal daily driver. The startup is quick and surprisingly quiet in the spacious cabin and with a mere 90K verified miles it's only just getting broken in. Acceleration is about as seamless as anything we import and has no issues getting you up to speed on the highway. The robust automatic transmission sails through the gears, and despite the heavy curb weight, American interstate speeds aren't an issue unlike some of our smaller imports. The auto in these are surprisingly pleasant around town and don't feel like the typical slushbox you think of that most 90's cars came equipped with. The 4WD system works as it should and can keep you on the roads in the sleet or snow without breaking a sweat. An electronic center locking differential can be engaged with a click of a button on the dash, and the front and rear axles benefit from electronic limited-slip differentials. The suspension rides well for its size and these are surprisingly light on their feet at low speeds. These typically come to us in already good condition but like all of our vehicles, it still goes through a full check over. Aside from those new Falken tires, it's also received an oil and filter change along with a quick tightening of the front hubs. Real SUVs are dead, replaced by lifted sedans sarcastically known as crossovers. The good news is, if you prefer the real deal, these Japanese Cruisers offer lower mileage, better options, and improved mechanical condition over most US versions for sale. Toyotas like these take you anywhere in style and luxury, and will surely do so for years to come.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.