It lives on in two countries.
The USA gave up on the Toyota FJ Cruiser in 2014 but it still enjoys a cult following locally. Somebody recently paid $81,000 for a 2014 model with just 63 miles on the clock. The original owner made a bundle, as the car cost less than $30k when they purchased it.
As you might know, Toyota continued to produce the FJ in Hamura, Japan, for markets where the FJ still sold well. Thanks to its fantastic dune scaling abilities, it was a fan-favorite in the Middle East. But it's time there has also come to an end as well. One Middle Eastern Toyota dealer will be building 1,000 limited edition models, and then it will be gone forever. Not even the tiny EV successor will be produced.
Or so we thought.
As it turns out, two countries are still keeping the FJ alive: the Philippines and South Africa. Both countries are Toyota-mad. In the Philippines, Toyota has a 51% market share.
The FJ is not built in a traditional Toyota factory. It's made by Toyota's subsidiary, Hino. It's also incredibly cheap to manufacture, as it shares mechanical and chassis components with the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which we know as the first-generation Lexus GX. Essentially, the development of every single component has been paid for many times over.
It's also powered by Toyota's famous 4.0-liter V6, which produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the 4Runner, which also uses the same engine, the FJ has been left behind when it comes to modern safety technology.
South Africa has the highest trim available on the planet right now. It retails for 797,100 Rand, which is roughly $44,000. That means it costs roughly the same as the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or the Ford Bronco Badlands. We can kind of see why the FJ wouldn't work in the USA, especially compared to Bronco, which is several steps ahead in every single department.
The 2023 FJ is a bit more modern on the inside. When it was new in 2014, there was no need for a touchscreen interface because the law requiring a reverse camera was not yet a thing. But South Africa's FJ is equipped with a tiny touchscreen that can run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.