Wait until you see how little it costs.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the greatest automotive icons of all time. Although its origins date back to WWII by way of a US Army Jeep found by the Imperial Japanese Army in The Philippines and shipped back to Japan to be reverse engineered, the Land Cruiser's evolution has taken a different route than that of the Jeep, now sold as the Jeep Wrangler. Instead of a rugged appearance and attitude with features reflecting that, the Land Cruiser is now a fully-fledged premium luxury SUV. Despite its high sticker price, however, it remains an extremely capable off-roader. Its go-anywhere attitude has never wavered.
As we wait for the arrival of the next-generation model (the current Land Cruiser has been on sale since 2008), it's always fun to watch the used market for interesting second-hand Land Cruisers because sometimes you can strike gold. This is one of those times.
Up for sale on Craigslist in the Los Angeles area is this 1994 J80 generation Land Cruiser, but we'll get back to its details shortly.
Sold from 1990 until 1997 in the US (it continued to be built and sold in a few overseas markets for another decade), the J80 Land Cruiser was not only a far more elegant design inside and out, it was the generation that transformed the SUV from a utilitarian vehicle to one with everyday practicality. In North America, a full-time four-wheel-drive system was standard and convenience features like air conditioning became standard. A new engine lineup also debuted that year, which included a naturally aspirated inline-six and a pair of diesel inline-sixes. Starting in 1992, anti-lock brakes became standard. Interestingly, a V8 was never offered.
To give you an even better idea as to how much the J80 exceeded its immediate predecessor in terms of refinement, in 1995 the first-generation Lexus LX 450 debuted. To this day, the LX remains a rebadged Land Cruiser with an even higher price tag. The fact that the J80 was already good enough to be turned into a Lexus with relatively few changes speaks volumes.
And like all Land Cruisers, the J80 was tough as nails. Build quality was excellent and many are still on the road to this day, like this '94 Dark Emerald Metallic Pearl with Saddle leather interior example.
According to the listing, it's had just one owner who religiously kept it maintained. It was parked in a garage every night and has never been registered outside of Southern California. The listing states it's nearly in mint condition. There's zero undercarriage rust and recently received new brakes, tires, and a general maintenance inspection. It's never been an accident nor taken off-road. It's time to change the latter. Now, for the one and only downside.
There's a grand total of 228,000 miles on the odometer. Given its age and the fact it's a Toyota SUV, this doesn't come as a surprise, but it's still something to take into account. Fortunately, the asking price is a very reasonable $13,900. We doubt it'll be for sale for much longer.