There aren’t a lot of SUVs today that can match the Toyota Land Cruiser. Its solid size together with its ability to give people a smooth ride even in rough terrain make it a one-of-a-kind vehicle to have.
Its production began in 1950 and with the accumulated technology advancement for over more than 60 years, it has become Toyota’s longest running series.
There are different models of the Toyota Land Cruiser that fall into two different classes depending on what suits your need. They can be categorized as the comfort-oriented models and the off-road oriented models.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll be presenting you with the history behind the landcruiser, some tips and specification details on the Toyota Land Cruiser varieties that you should check out for 2019.
During its introduction in the market in 1950, Toyota Land Cruiser was popular for its off-road capabilities and durability. The company continued to produce the vehicle with this feature until the late 1960s when they decided to also gear towards improving the comfort of the interior. The models back then were very box shaped and clunky when compared to today’s designs.
We will discuss all the comfort-oriented models starting from the latest series down to the oldest.
J200 Series (2007 – Present)
Following the 100 series which was first introduced in 1998, the redesigned Toyota Land Cruiser was introduced in late 2007 which are known as the 200 Series.
The 200 Series offered many features and upgrades that are not available in the previous series like the aesthetic and cosmetic changes made to the body and interior including:
Advanced driver assist technologies not offered on previous models, including:
Transmission and engine improvements include:
J100 Series (1998–2007)
The 100 series Land Cruiser models were presented to take over the 8-year-old 80 series in January 1998. There are two different versions of the 100-series, the 100 and the 105. The two versions look very similar however, there are notable differences when it comes to the bodywork.
The most evident detail is that the front end of the vehicle generally appears lower than the rear on the 100 models due to its IFS. The other noticeable difference is the design of the wheels. The 100 models have relatively flat wheel designs. On the other hand, the 105 models have dished wheels.
Regardless of these differences and official model names, both series are known as the 100 series.
Also, the introduction of a V8 engine was a breakthrough and also a first for a Land Cruiser and was specifically intended to boost the sales in the North-American market, where it was the only engine available.
Generally, the 100-series has lived up to the expectation of being a durable and reliable vehicle.
J80 Series (1990–1997; 2008)
The Land Cruiser 80 series was officially introduced in early 1990. In this series, comfort and style was being introduced on top of its original and established off-road features thus gaining worldwide attention. Here is an overview of the 80 series milestones:
J60 Series (1980–1989)
In 1980, the Land Cruiser 60 series was launched and production continued until the year 1990 for most markets. However, the Cumana plant located in Venezuela continued to produce these models until 1992 for the local market.
The evolution from a reliable heavy duty utility vehicle to an RV (Recreational Vehicle), the debut of the 60 series changed the general concept of 4WD vehicles together with the addition of the luxury GX grade.
Its body and interior look absolutely different from its predecessor, the 55 series. The 60-series underwent a number of minor mechanical changes between some of the models. In that time, it took on power windows and automatic transmission as well as other luxury trimmings.
The 60 series was available in the following solid exterior colours: Alpine White, Brown, Desert Beige, Freeborn Red, Royal Blue; and in the following metallic exterior colours: Charcoal Gray, Cognac, Gray-Blue, Rootbeer, Sky Blue, Stardust Silver.
J55 Series (1967–1980)
The 55 series of Land Cruiser was manufactured from 1967 through 1980. Toyota refers to the FJ55G and FJ55V as the first “real” station wagon in the Land Cruiser series, a breakthrough marking the beginning of the station wagon branch.
Of all the Land Cruiser models produced from the beginning, 55 was the first to have fully enclosed box frame members. Looking at all Land Cruiser wagons sold in the U.S., including the FJ45, 55 solely is the series that does not have a tailgate and hatch in the rear. Instead, it features a tailgate only that has an electrically operated window that can be retracted into the tailgate. Here is a brief overview of the history of 55 series:
J70 (1984 – Present)
The 70 Series is a family of Toyota Land Cruiser models introduced in 1984 (replacing the quarter-century old 40 series) and is still being produced even until the present day.
The Land Cruiser 70 series is an upgraded version of the 40 series in terms of its design and other technological updates while preserving the concept of rigidity, reliability, and durability in which it was best known for.
The production of the J40 series of Land Cruisers started in the year 1960 and ended up until 1984. Although looking almost similar on the exterior, the 20 and 40-series varied significantly on the interior. In addition, defying the eye, the construction of the body was vastly different. The 40 series had greatly widened its range with approximately a quarter of a century of collected technology developments.
The J40 series was manufactured with both petrol and diesel engines. The B series has a 4-cylinder diesel; the H series has a 6-cylinder diesel, while the F series has a 6-cylinder petrol motor.
The majority of the 40 series of Land Cruisers were made as 2-door vehicles. This model was available in 3 wheelbase versions: short (J40/41/42 models), medium (J43/44/46 models) and long (J45/47 models).
J20, J30 (1955–1960)
During Japan’s post-war rehabilitation, Toyota already had been looking toward the possibility of exporting its domestic vehicles overseas. Toyota knew just how valuable the Land Cruiser was so they took this huge step forward into further making their dream a reality through expansion in their market.
BJ and FJ (1951–1955)
The concept of Toyota Land Cruiser happened during the Korean War. With the increased demand in a military light utility vehicle, Toyota was asked to create a prototype of the then-popular Jeep. Toyota responded to this challenge thus, giving birth to the Toyota “Jeep” BJ combining a B-type engine with a Jeep model.
Because of its brilliant features and performance, BJ, later on, became the official patrol car of National Police Agency. The BJ was later on renamed into “Land Cruiser” as the company’s answer to trademark violation claims by the Willys Company.
The Toyota Landcruiser has been through a lot of change and stood the test of time. You can really see how far the brand has pushed the vehicle to not only perform but to evolve.
Search the John Hughes dealership for Toyota Landcruiser’s today.