(first posted 5/15/2014) This legend, casually parked around lesser cars, needs little introduction. It is without a doubt, an icon, but somewhat unusually for a Japanese product sold in the US, its relationship with both its competition and its maker’s line-up is less than clearly defined. In both its well-known, enduring qualities and its undiluted expression of its engineers’ intentions, the Land Cruiser has always been exceptional, with popularity remaining a secondary consideration.
If SUVs are meant to impart a sense of adventure to mundane errand running, the more rustic Japanese SUVs of the 1980s and early ’90s are hard to beat. Cars like the Jeep CJ at the time didn’t allow enough relief from the elements for most buyers, making it hard to fully enjoy the tippy, bouncy experience on a regular basis. Smaller hardtop SUVs with off-road cred like the Jeep XJ were more compact and, in comparison, wieldy and refined. While the Nissan Patrol was never offered in the US (until now, in Infiniti guise), I’ve experienced them overseas and loved every minute of it. Looking good almost thirty years later, this FJ62 continues to bring the same whole-grain experience to a local group of college students who are likely even younger than I am, and even less clearly able to remember these cars.
The draw of these classic Land Cruisers is the same viable-antique vibe that keeps the Benz W123 or Volvo 240 popular today, though this Toyota likely requires much less maintenance. In a sense, it’s sad when you consider that the very capable Mitsubishi Montero and Isuzu Trooper II, which were cut from a similar (but smaller and cheaper) cloth as the Land Cruiser, are generally written off as old junk by the sort of fashion conscious, but not necessarily car-savvy people who embrace these trucks today. Luckily, as such a rugged device, this rig is more able to deal with any such owners’ potential neglect.
As I implied, it’s somewhat difficult to pin this generation of Land Cruiser down, at least in the US market. Introduced as the FJ60 in 1980, it was a definite step upmarket, with power steering and A/C, but mechanically, it remained rather basic, with a solid leaf-sprung axle front and rear. On the other hand, its departure angles were limited by its new role as a family vehicle. The closest thing I can think to compare it to would be the Grand Wagoneer or the Suburban, but both were more plush. This bodystyle most definitely represents a transition for the nameplate, marking the very beginning of its conversion into a Range Rover rival.
The quad headlight mug identifies this as a facelifted 1988-1990 FJ62. The leaf springs front and rear were made softer, and the powertrain was upgraded. A fuel-injected 4.0 straight-six, a descendant of a Toyota interpretation of a Chevy design, replaced the previous carbureted 4.2 variant and put out 155 horsepower at 4000 rpm and 220 lb-ft of torque at 3000. Its low revving nature made it perfect for the four-speed automatic which replaced the mandatory four-speed manual, and complemented the newly available power windows and locks. Toyota was definitely late in civilizing the Cruiser and until the next generation bowed, despite its family friendly body, power steering, air conditioning and dual heater, it remained very purpose-built.
As is the case today, the Land Cruiser was very different from the company’s mainstream North American offerings in terms of its engineering and market position. The 4Runner and compact pickup which sold alongside it offered modern conveniences a bit earlier as well as more up-to-date technology, despite being cheaper. And the same applied to cars like the Corolla, still an honest car in those days. Toyota’s big SUV, however, was stocked in small numbers and only ordered by those in the know who really wanted one, soldiering on with proven technology even older than that employed by its already conservative stablemates.
What sets the Land Cruiser apart from the other big utes was its combination of rustic mechanicals with a very well-finished Japanese aesthetic and ergonomic sensibility. In terms of its looks and passenger accommodations, it was classic Toyota through-and-through. I can’t help but be reminded of the Cressida wagon when I see the Land Cruiser, giving this rugged piece a degree of car-like user friendliness; note that this is different from the outright luxury promoted by the Anglo-American analogues I mentioned earlier.
And it’s hard to see as much similarity between those other SUVs and the passenger cars made by same companies. Even in the case of the Nissan Patrol, there’s not as much linking it stylistically to such cars as the Maxima or (non-US) Laurel wagons. Toyota did an excellent job of establishing a brand identity, still mostly true today, and even the US-centric Camry in those days had to be dragged away from its Corona influence, distinguished as it was by gothic chromed door releases and faux dashboard stitching. No wonder it took the next Camry to make a real breakthrough, and no wonder the launch of the original Lexus was seen as such a huge step. Toyota was a very different company back then and in that sense, the Land Cruiser was the most solid expression of the their identity.
While slightly less dear than the Cressida, this is what $20,000 bought you in 1988. For reference, the Grand Wagoneer was $25,000 and the Range Rover, $34,000. But even in those days of (relatively) cheap Yen, this sort of peerless quality did not come cheap. Today, the Land Cruiser costs $79,000 ($3k less than a Range Rover); that price exceeds inflation, though even considering the change in buyers’ expectations, today’s version is much more generously spec’d. This kind of pricing, of course, would not be possible for most other cars with a mass-market badge. The Land Cruiser may sell in smaller numbers than the Lexus LS, but enjoys an arguably superior reputation and may even be built to a higher standard. Thus, even with the establishment of a premium brand, it remains the top dog Toyota (except for the already-forgotten Lexus LFA). Senior management have recently admitted to losing track of what made their cars great in the past, but if they are interested in more than lip service, they’ll take note of this Cruiser’s straightforward presentation and apply the same philosophy to the creation of all future models.
1970 Toyota FJ55 Land Cruiser – You Haven’t Aged One Bit!, 1980 Toyota FJ40 – A Victory Lap for a Trailblazing Upstart
The main difference between a Landcruiser and the competition like Jeeps and other attempts at 4WDs is the Toyota will get you home again. US models look very spartan compared to the JDM versions most here have the 3.4 4 banger diesel or the 4.2 diesel as offered in OZ factory installed front winch etc, They rust like mad probably their only really serious fault.
+1 the real thing in the Australian bush, where rust tends not to be a problem. Jeeps and Land Rovers were for suburban wannabes and the Tojo’s only real rival was the Nissan Patrol.
These built the reputation of Toyota here, and that excellent reputation opened a door for other Japanese makes as well.
The OZ military used LandRovers for decades, nothing, absolutely nothing including the much vaunted Landcruiser can follow a Landrover off road especially hillsides and steep approaches.The OZ army tested everything it could from all interested manufacturers including some special model Nissan Patrol utes and bought Rovers again an employer of mine bought one of the rejected Nissans great ute but it had endless engine problems eventually solved by installing a Holden V8.
All the Landrovers here are driven by yuppies and soccer moms. They seem to lose value quickly and parts are outrageous.
Not sure how much they cost in Australia but here they’re expensive as hell.
My cousin who is a mechanic has nothing good to say about them either.
The purchase of Landrovers was more of a political decision- Toyota was a no-go from the start due to WW II considerations.
Could you imagine the reaction of the RSL to the purchase of Japanese military vehicles over British during the 1970s and 80s?
Don’t know much about the reliability of military spec Landrovers, but civilian versions were about as loved in Northern Australia at least as Landcrabs.
Both the Toyota and Nissans were dismissed due to incapability Landrovers are actually quite reliable if correctly maintained and driven properly, my uncle runs the RSL march on ANZAC day in Sydney for the crew of the Warramunga a WW2 destroyer he drove a Mazda last time we met.
Most problems associated with landrovers is finding a dealer where toyota have a shop in every town LR doesnt Jeep queered their pitch by not having an Australia wide warranty when not if it broke down you had to be in the right place too far out in the bush they washed their hands of it.
The Land Rover Defender is too expensive, it’s way too spartan to drive it as a daily (commercial) vehicle and its diesel engine is too small to haul some real ass. The 2.2 liter diesel is ideal for a van or car, not for a King of the (Off) Road.
It has become a niche vehicle, just like a Jeep Wrangler and a Mercedes G-class. Although the G-class is a tough guy, you first have to rob a bank to buy one. And its depreciation is low, an older one is still expensive.
Oz Army has replaced its fleet of Land Rovers with G-wagons. Auction houses are full of exArmy including six wheelers. Defender finally on its way out, to be replaced by an all new model next year. Not exactly the same vehicle as the 1948 model, but I can’t think of another with the same longevity except the Morgan.
Yep, the Dutch Army uses the G-class too. Here’s one, parked next to its successor from VW.
Just as you’re getting out of them, we’re getting into them. Civilian version price premium is a head scratcher, but the punters over here are buying them.
In France, the army is also using a G-Wagen built by Peugeot. Basically, it a Mercedes G-Wagen with engines built by Peugeot.
French army has started to replace those by long wheelbase Defenders.
Nice ! Pope Benedict XVI had the civilian version. Well, sort of….
No, that’s Kanye’s.
How’s this for a rusty Cruiser?
When I was a kid, my next door neighbor had one with the round headlights (from around 1980) and his wife had a 1978 Corolla. I can’t recall them having anything else than Toyotas, cars and 4x4s, except for a mid-eighties Cutlass Ciera that they didn’t keep very long! Now they have a current generation 4 Runner with the manual lever transfer case (which is getting rarer nowdays!)
I am really enjoying the CC perspective on Toyota at the moment. Perry’s article on the Q45 and David’s California wander featuring the Previa/Tarago have really refreshed my perspective on Toyota. There was a period where Toyota just ruled; from a styling point of view they peaked in the mid to late nineties, and now it seems like they did so well then that each subsequent model is a step back. The Land Cruiser is a great example, the current one just looks awkward.
But back to this one. I find it interesting that the new 70 series looks like the first iteration of this 60. Great perspective, Perry.
And $20,000 would have bought you a fully loaded Volvo 240 wagon or 740 sedan back in 1988!
I just love how they couldn’t be bothered to switch the 4×4 lever to a LHD position, so it just remained on the passenger side, easily accessible to anyone who wanted to cause major problems going down the highway…
To switch the location of the transfer case lever would require a new transfer case and front axle. Plus that is exactly where you want it for a LHD vehicle, out of the way of the driver’s leg. Look at the 4×4’s that were designed and built as LHD vehicles and you’ll see that is where they are located. It is on the “wrong” side for a RHD vehicle because Toyota just copied from American vehicles when they started out and they didn’t bother to change more than they had to for the home market.
On the rhd versions of the Wagoneer the auto trans selector was nearly that far over to the passenger side, awkward if you had a centre passenger but actually easier as shifting duties could be delegated rather than having to stretch!
I’m not sure what they did for manuals if offered but suspect a long lever would be involved, and I can’t remember where the transfer case lever was.
A nicely done piece on a vehicle that appeals to me a lot. Yes, these were always very expensive and we consequently never saw that many of them in the midwest. I know that I am out of the mainstream, but I prefer the older, more spartan versions to even the much nicer 1990s version of the LC.
I wonder how these compared to the Grand Wagoneer in dimensions. The GW seems to me a bit larger. I was always amazed by the kind of money Chrysler was asking for the final GWs. Without the highly advantageous exchange rate, these LCs would probably have been priced even higher.
Yeah Chrysler Corp. was asking ridiculous money for the GW in its final two years, wasn’t it, JP?
I remember going with my best friend’s father to check out the GWs at our local Chrysler-Jeep dealer back in 1991. My eyes literally popped out of my head when I saw the sticker price, which I haven’t forgotten to this day – $29,441. That was a huge sum of money for a vehicle whose basic platform dated back to 1963!
At any rate, my friend’s dad tried to negotiate with the dealer. When they couldn’t be bothered, he stormed out of there and purchased a new BMW a few days later.
I had thought these to be relatively rare, but there are 5 or 6 in my neighborhood which tends to attract eccentric older vehicles. Only one is the round-headlamp version, and I rarely see other examples of those anymore, which makes me wonder if the refresh for ’88 caused a big sales boost or if they changed something else that year (like better rustproofing). It’s a nice selection though with a couple of interesting options…one has two-tone paint, one has “woody” dinoc paneling (was that a factory option?), and they all have that old LC charm.
Great trucks, and I loved them. My buddy college buddy had a 1987 with the stick and his brother had a 1989 with the automatic. They were a lot of fun in a truckish, go anywhere type of way (except for the large rear overhang mentioned above).
Unfortunately, the Land Cruiser had a number of design elements that were useful in Africa or the Outback that made it badly suited to use in the United States. The first was that their engine was designed for slow speed torque with a redline of 4,000 rpm. Combined with a 4-speed transmission that gave the stick shift model a top speed of something like 70 to 75mph (the automatic may have had a higher top speed).
The second weakness was that they were known for engine failure in the US because cruising at top speed caused the development of piston slap which eventually would worsen until the engine threw a rod (my buddy’s threw a rod at 120,000 miles, and the mechanic said they all do, solution is to buy a new engine).
The third weakness was the locking hubs. True off roaders would love the locking hubs, but for snow use, locking hubs are far from ideal. For comparison, our 1975 Jeep Wagoneer had full time 4 wheel drive (quadratrac), and the Landcruiser still had locking hubs in 1990, meaning that driving in 4 wheel drive required complete coverage of snow on the road and caused very bad gas mileage.
The fourth weakness was the delivery with sand tires that were not great in dry, and less good in both rain and snow.
I actually disagree that locking hubs are bad for snow use. Lock ’em in in the Fall and unlock in the Spring. Sure, mpg and front diff wear may increase slightly, but whether hubs are locked or unlocked has nothing to with ease of 4wd engagement. In fact, compared to unreliable electric or vacuum axle connect/disconnect systems (Ford Explorer, GM, Toyota) manual hubs are more predictable, and unlike so-called “auto locking hubs” don’t require reversal to disengage. Full-time 4wd (ie AWD or open center diff) is very convenient but is just as bad for gas mileage and front drivetrain wear as running around with locked hubs but disengaged transfer case. Though modern AWD vehicles seem just fine in that regard.
Great article and a nice looking truck. I prefer the square headlights myself of the 62s. Nicest looking LC they ever made. Seeing those old SUV photos made my mouth water.
As others above have said, these are the definitive four wheel drive in outback Australia, though there are some deep-country types who insist a Nissan Patrol is superior. Both are very highly regarded out here. The very first Land Cruisers exported were sent to Australia to work on the immense Snowy a Mountains scheme – it was there that their reputation for ruggedness and reliability was born. You do see these everywhere in Australia and I reckon they live very long and useful lives!
My brother-in-law used to be a geotechnical engineer for the (then) State Electricity Commission of Victoria. He’d often bring home a ‘Cruiser from work if he had to leave early in the morning for a site inspection elsewhere in the state. Eventually he ‘retired’ (just before the SEC was disbanded/privatised) and went farming in southern New South Wales. After decades of driving company Cruisers he bought a Patrol. Interesting.
Land Cruiser VS Patrol is the Ford VS Chevy debate for the rest of the world…in the Mideast these dominate the market. No US-made 4×4 can compete, although the Raptor has made an impression on those Sheiks wealthy enough to import one.
Highway driveability was greatly improved with these 62s–my ’83 FJ60 is at 3,000 RPM at 68mph…any faster and you’re really pushing the poor thing.
These trucks will go around the world without a second thought…at 35mph.
I thought the LX470 was the “top dog”?
I have to respect the progeniture.
I love the FJ62 and still see them around northern California regularly. I have to say though, my fav is its far less common predecessor the FJ55, affectionately known as the “pig.”
Here is one I shot in Bolinas, California.
A manual trans version, an early one at that, is on my short list of vehicles I have to own sometime in life. This would be an awesome adventure vehicle for the family to travel (slowly) to far off places.
Still to this day, the design is pretty timeless.. and bulletproof. Assuming you’re nice with the accelerator.
I’ve always loved this generation of Toyota Land Cruiser. I’d want mine with a diesel engine, maybe a 2.8 litre or a 3.0 litre diesel engine.
They didnt use the baby Hilux motors in these diesel was 3.4 or 4.2 naturally aspirated or turbo.
I’d go for the 4.2 litre turbo diesel. Any vehicle that weighs over 4000 lbs should at least be offered with a diesel engine as an option.
It is interesting how Toyota treated these as almost an afterthought in America for years, I remember for years and years the Land Cruisers were always on the very last page of the Toyota brochure, next to the copyright info.
Sort of like: “oh yeah….we make this too, if you’re interested”
Luckily I also lust for what I already own. The only advantage for sure that this has over my 4runner is that it is over 24 years old which means smog exempt in Texas. More debatable is the straight six (room in engine compartment) over the 3.0 in mine. Advantages of mine would be AC that’s cold enough to hang beef and a five speed manual transmission.
Despite the 3500 pound tow limit the 4runner has seemingly enough torque to pull tree stumps. Hope it lasts because after the cluster of problems that I endured to finally buy it, I don’t care to do that again.
The straight six is much better than the 3.0 V6.
A gold 89′ with red laser stripes was my second car I owned when I was 18, and I had it for almost 12 years only selling it a little less than a year ago. Quite the tank of a vehicle! Never left me stranded once and the automatics overdrive did actually allow 80 MPH speeds all day without breaking 3000 RPMs. Any sort of uphill grade would stick you in the slow lane through.
It always did seem funny to me that my dads 89′ V6 4Runner, which I bought from him in 2006, was a much more modern vehicle with superior drive-ability and better interior accommodations.
Did very well off road too, but the technology used on it was quite dated in some cases, which made it difficult to work on. The engine hadn’t really changed much from when Toyota introduced it in the 1950s, and in that case, it was based off a Chevy design from the 1930s! I found it amusing that it even has the arrow stamped into the timing gear cover identical to the Chevrolet motors of years past… Adjusting the timing was an absurd undertaking, and the valve adjustments had to be done with the engine HOT, which was also no fun at all.
It was a great truck though. Other than the cost of parts, rust, and difficulty of repairs, I sometimes wish it were still around.
Toyota cloned whole Chevrolets for the 41 model year unfortunately hostilities cancelled production, Valve lash clearances are always Hot measurements, no point in doing those cold as metal expands with heat and you end up burning valves. Maintenance on these is actually quite simple and easy.
Go change a waterpump and a radiator in one of these and let me know how easy it was. 🙂 Valve clearances are usually measured cold on most engines as well, such as all the OHC toyotas, such as the 22R. Hydraulic lifters on the Toyota F Engines would have been a godsend!
For the record though, alot of other things were pretty simple, and the majority of things that were difficult didn’t have to be touched very often.
Valve clearances are always given as hot measurements for mechanical lifters going back decades on a huge variety of engines.
Precisely! Kinda of a pain to carry out on an engine with emissions hoses and lots of other things blocking the Valve cover.
Gotta refine the process and be able to unbolt things like a madman to get to them in time, and make adjustments before the engine cools.
Might of been cake for some, but I can’t say I ever enjoyed doing it! Ha ha!
Mechanics of yore used to adjust valve clearances with the engine running at slow tickover good mechanics not me I ruined a couple of sets of feeler gauges trying to do that
I did that a few times when I was a teenager … I would be flattered to be considered a “mechanic of yore”. It sounds a lot more distinguished than just “old guy”
My dad, a scientist who spent a number of years in Africa with the Peace Corps in the 60s and then more time in South America in the 70s, loved the old style Land Cruisers. When he finally decided to give in and buy a truck after years of following my mom’s lead with two Civic hatchbacks in the driveway, he was hoping to get one of these. This was in the early 90s. He went to the dealership. They had the new soccer mom style Land Cruisers. He experienced a near-immediate loss of interest.
For decades Toyotas held little interest for me. Easily dismissed as cramped cars that would rust, or kill you in a tangle with an Impala.
But, the Land Cruiser always intrigued me. You could have told me is was a Range Rover during the ’70s and early ’80s, and I’d have bought in.
As an adult with practical considerations, and the Americanization of the Toyota product, I see a lot more value in the brand today – except the Land Cruiser. The latest Motor Trend covers large SUV’s, and at a base of $80,600, (Toyota website shows Perry’s figure) this car is hard to justify in any fashion. The Sequoia starts at $45,090 with the same 5.7L / 6-speed auto and unless things have changed, has a much more functional third row. You can get into a Navigator for $58,000 and an Escalade for $72,690. The LC also boasts about the worst gas mileage in the industry at 13/18.
It’s an interesting plaything for folks with money to blow, or a bizarre need to role play a UN peacekeeper. Heck, the peacekeepers would be better off with a Tahoe.
As Perry mentioned, it’s place in the Toyota line-up is hard to explain. I’m glad it is around to keep the landscape interesting, but I’ll never understand anyone that has purchased one since the 1990’s.
How does the Sequoia do offroad compared to a LC? That is their sole reason for being.
A friends father had a 62 Sahara with the high roof, rear AC etc for 20 years & 300k+ miles, by then you were looking at 12-15 mpg highway, it was a bit worn.
In this era the Patrol is preferable I think but the coil sprung 80 or 100 series with the live axle is a good way to go. As well as the 70 series the 200 is sold in ‘work’ trim but is still pretty $$$.
My uncle had/still has one (can’t remember). He used to push the 3F to 100 mph and it was screaming up there. Ride wise they are harsh, although the interior was “nice” specially with leather seats.
They really nailed it with the next generation, the FZJ80 if my memory doesn’t fail.
Ironically , for a vehicle that is revered as a go anywhere legend, these rust for fun . The paper thin chassis and the rate that they dissolved in pommy conditions make the Landrover look like a quality bit of kit. Which it is obviously not. I have not seen one for years, unsuprisingly.
I’m on my third Land Cruiser (and there’s a forth one elsewhere in the family). All of them the next generation 80 Series, but my current one is an early one, an FJ80 with the same 3FE engine as this subject vehicle. The 80 series carried over the FJ62 engine for its first two years. The truck is slow and gets abysmal gas mileage, but it’s indestructible and I won’t part with it. Over the years I almost bought an FJ62 on two different occasions….and I still want one.
I agree with previous comments about the price of new Land Cruisers being just silly now. Although I think almost ALL new car prices have inflated to silly levels. My inflation calculator tells me that 20,000 1988 dollars is equivalent to just under $39,900 today, which is almost exactly half of what a new one sells for. I don’t get it.
I also agree that I really miss simple, bare bones, honest (and square) trucks like this being available any longer. Even all the body on frame choices are disappearing. And I don’t completely buy what the manufacturers tell us (that no one wants them). I see gobs and gobs of 4 door (square) Jeep Wranglers (body on frame) everywhere I look. I think that’s because all of it’s competition has been evaporating. I think if Toyota would have made a true 4 door FJ Cruiser, it would have given the Jeep 4 door Wrangler a run…
My friend and co-worker (when I worked in the Philadelphia region) bought an earlier carbureted / 5 speed version. He bought one in the mid 1990’s from a lady who used it to transport consigned furniture (she owned a shop). I remember he and I spending a long weekend cleaning every nook and cranny of the interior, replacing the shocks and doing minor rust repair (wheel wells). He also was a member of an owner’s group (pre-internet subscription based) that gave hints on performance upgrades (to include plugging several vacuum hoses for the early based emissions controls on the carburetor).
The is/was an honest SUV. It had gobs of interior space, true off-roading ability and a reliable powerplant.
What no mention of the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero? They won the Dakar rally 12 times and are popular in the Middle East. Although they have really nice interiors, they have stayed mostly true to their off road roots unlike newer generations of the Land Cruiser which have morphed into just an another generic mall cruising SUV.
Mitsi fan here. I think they’re really a ‘next class down’ size-wise. And despite their undoubted rally success, how close are the production trucks to rally-spec? Unfortunately, sometimes the gap between production spec and rally spec can be too wide. How close is ANY rally vehicle to production?
When you get way outback, toward the Red Centre/Dead Centre of Australia, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest settlement, all you see is Cruisers or Patrols. Or Hiluxes. No show ponies out there. And it’s jaw-dropping to see what folk who depend on these for their livelihood can do with them.
We were on the Oodnadatta Track between Coober Pedy and William Creek, in a 100-series Cruiser, bowling along at about 60mph in the dirt which I thought was pretty fast for the conditions, when the mailman came blasting past. Within seconds all you could see was the TOYOTA letters on the back of his Hilux rapidly disappearing. Our driver/guide remarked that he was a real character, and always got the mail through. We took two days to do what he did in one.
Tough folk out there, and tough vehicles too.
These command a surprisingly high price in Oregon. One near me was for sale with a $10,000 asking price. At that price you can get JDM diesel models, and there is a high roof Landcruiser of this vintage in my neighborhood, as well as a US model with a roof tent and an ex army trailer.
They’re still about, from time to time, in Las Vegas, The Land That Rust Forgot™.
6 years ago, I passed on an opportunity to buy an ’80 model, for about 1/3 of what it would sell for today. The timing just wasn’t right 🙁
As for the modern version, Toyota must be printing money on the few they sell. According to goodcarbadcar.net they’ve sold fewer than 30,000 units in the past *decade*, while the Lexus LX sold 46k in the same period. But all/most of the tooling is surely long paid off, so there’s a lot of profit per unit.
Ever see an advertisement for a modern Land Cruiser, from Toyota or a dealer? No, because they don’t have to. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one on a dealer lot, either. It has to be the most discrete vehicle one can purchase.
I just looked up the MSRP for both. The LX has a base price only $75 (!?) over the Land Cruiser. It seems to me that you have to *really want* a Land Cruiser over a Lexus LX to buy one. But some 3000 people a year still buy them!
Just checked the Toyota inventory website. there is a single new Land Cruiser for sale in the Las Vegas Metro area. Exclusive, indeed!
I’d also like to point out that the Nissan Patrol was sold here in the 60s in small numbers, I used to see one sitting behind a local Nissan dealer.