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So I'm debating buying either an early 90s Land Cruiser with approximately 160K miles for $4,000 OR a gently used FJ Cruiser for $20-25K.

I only go off-road about once a month. The gas mileage of the Land Cruiser isn't exactly great (neither is the FJ cruiser because my current ride gets 30mpg, but I'm willing to compromise a bit). And there's the possibility that I might be moving abroad in three years for my company, which means the car is only temporary.

From a purely objective view - which car is more practical financially? Just the gas mileage (assuming I drive 10K miles per year, and gas is $3 per gallon) the Land Cruiser will cost $700 more than the FJ Cruiser per year just for gas. But the Land Cruiser will hold its resale better since it's already old while the FJ is still newish and depreciating. But I don't know at what point Land Cruisers require major repairs (granted, it depends on how well it is maintained, but traditional Toyota Corollas and Camarys start to show their age around 150K miles).

Any insight?
 

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But I don't know at what point Land Cruisers require major repairs (granted, it depends on how well it is maintained, but traditional Toyota Corollas and Camarys start to show their age around 150K miles).

Any insight?
It's all about how well they're maintained, and if you're buying from the rust belt or not. My '91 FJ80 is still a daily driver for one of my sons at 250,000 miles and it's never had a major repair. An alternator and a radiator in all those years. I would drive it across the country tomorrow without a second thought. FJC will be a lot more comfortable of a road vehicle; more power, better A/C, etc.
 

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I'm looking at a few between 91 and 96. I was told to avoid the 1990 model. Which ones are better and why?
They all have their quirks. '90 and '91 FJ80's have the 3FE engine, the penultimate development of the venerable F motor from the original gasoline Land Cruiser. A great wheeling motor, but underpowered on the interstate for a truck as heavy as an FJ80. A stone-dependable engine though, and still relatively easy to work on.

In 1992 the 3FE was replaced with the 1FZ-FE engine, a much more modern design with DOHC and more power. They have some small history of blowing head gaskets but otherwise are a superior highway motor to the 3FE.

Other than that, just minor improvements to the body/chassis over the years, for example in 1996 they got air bags and anti-lock brakes.
 

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I've owned both a 1996 (FJ80) and a 2001 (FJ100) LandCruiser. Excellent, well-built vehicles, but gas suckers. They typically got about 11-12 mpg in city driving, and I decided to sell the 2001 when gasoline prices crept over $4.00/gallon back in the spring of 2006.

Also, the brakes on the FJ80s were notoriously under-engineered, which should be a real consideration in your decision to purchase one. I owned the 1996 LandCruiser for five years, and had to do a complete brake job (rotors, calipers, pads) at least once a year. Brakes were significantly improved on the FJ100.

But, If you can afford a LandCruiser, you can't beat 'em....
 

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First off, where's Layonn? I'm sure he will have some interesting insights.

3yrs ago one of my best friends bought a '93 or '94 80-Series with 125,000 miles for around $5k-$6k in fair condition. He immediately put another $5800 into it for maintenance (front axle, head gasket, valve gasket, all hoses, tune up, etc) by a Certified Land Cruiser tech (what he told me) at a local Toyota Dealer. That thing runs like a top. Later on he added an ARB Bullbar, Side Protection Steps, and the Brushbars that connect the two. Currently he has 175,000 miles on it and he's been running 35" BFG A/Ts for two years since he replaced the OE-style Michelins that came with it. His one glaring issue with the vehicle is the 11-13mpg he gets, no matter the conditions. He's in sales and doesn't get enough gas allowance to pay for driving the Cruiser every day, so he switches between that and his '08 Mustang GT (about 24mpg HWY) for the days he just goes to the office.

Back in August '10 I got a very nice condition '08 FJ 4WD 5AT with 12,000 miles for approx $25k. I haven't had to put any money into it yet, and I just got 19.1 MPG on my last fill-up (314.3mi 16.455gal). Admittedly I could probably get even better if I wasn't driving 70/75/80mph whenever I want to, but that's pretty good after a week of very mixed city/highway/stop-and-go traffic driving. My FJ is still on the stock tires (34-35psi) and has no roof rack.

I drive my FJ everyday and it's a much better 'car' than the 80-Series, but I've seen that 80-Series Land Cruiser lock all the diffs and drag an F-350 4x4 Crew Cab long bed pulling a 12ft travel trailer across a pit that made mud pile up against the front of the trailer and left differential tracks in the ground. I have a not-insignificant car payment every month, and his is paid for. I happily drive mine every day, but he can't afford to right now, etc, etc.

The list goes on and on. I love both the FJ and the 80-Series, but the FJ fits my life. Either way you'd be getting one hell of a vehicle, but focused in slightly different directions. If you wanted to ask some questions directly I'd be happy to ask my friend if I can PM you his phone #. :cheers:
 

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I currently own both the FJ Cruiser (07) and the FJ 80 (94). I loved my FJ until few days ago when I saw the rip in the iner fender in the engine compartment. On the other hand, I have abused my FJ80 for the past five years without any major problems. I have had to tow a tractor trailer towing a 40 tons with my FJ 80 without any hassle.

Other than the gas mileage and the ability to get off the ground quickly that the FJ Cruiser has over the heavier FJ80, you;ll be getting a better trucking the FJ80. Since I saw the rip the fenders of my FJ Cruiser, I no longer drive this car without being apprehensive of it weakness over heavy bumps. I drive the FJ80with the confidence of an elephant crossing the ocean.
 

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Hello and welcome! Buy the Toyota. For what it's worth I think the Land Cruiser makes the most sense until you figure in that it might have to go in just three years time. Considering that possible scenario, I would go with the FJ. Regardless, good luck.
 
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