Should I Upgrade

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Jun 11, 2003
In 2000, I purchased a green 1994 Land Cruiser with 48k, every option available (including lockers). The truck now has 113k miles of mostly on-road use. To say the vehicle has been reliable is an understatement. It has never left me stranded, and has only required brakes and a new starter.

I'm considering looking for a 1998-2000 with 70k+ miles to replace the '94. The "ride" of the 80-series is starting to wear on me, and I assume my rig is going to start to need some $$ attention (front axle service).

Any advice from someone who has moved up from an 80 series to 100 series. I frankly don't like the look of the 100, but I drove a 1999 this year, and the difference was night-and-day.

Thanks in Advance
If you want to trade down like that it's fine by me ::) .

It would be very easy to sell your 94 for sure and the 100 is a fine vehicle. Why not do both?
I have driven my FJ60 daily for the last 17 years. So when I test drove the FZJ80 (for my wife), it seemed to ride really nice compared to the old FJ. However, the 100 series looks so much like a "Big" Subaru Forester to me, not at all attractive. It may run well, but it has lost the "LC" character & looks, in my opinion.

Best of Luck!
bravo, doug -- I have always thought the 100s look like overinflated Forresters -- not that I'm pansy, but I have always loved the looks of the 80 --

NO, NO, NO! Ok, I'm somewhat biased owning a '94 myself with 115K. I gotta agree with statement so far. I much prefer the looks of the 80. Had a 2000 Lexus LX470 for a week while my wife's GS300 was being delivered so I got to have the Lexus right next to my LC in the garage. Talk about a tight fit! I know the Lexus has a cushier ride than the 100 series so that was some of it, but even in the sport suspension mode the truck was just way, way to wallowy handling for my taste. Got back into my LC and it felt tight and I could 'feel' the road. That's my personal preference, but I found the Lexus' ride to much like the old style Caddy!

Even the service writer at Lexus this morning (GS was due for service), and he used to work the Yota dealer where I go, said at 115K that my LC is just getting broken in.

Keep the '94! JMHO. :D
It might be blasphemy but if you will continue to put 25k miles per year on the truck and your use is all on-road then maybe a lower mileage 100 series is the best for you. If it were me and I could afford it, I would do what C-Dan suggested and keep the '94 and get a 100 series for road trips. But I would start adding accessories to the '94 for off-road and expedition trips.

I would recommend moving to a 100 series for all the on road driving you do. I have had a '91, '92 and '95 LC. They are awesome vehicles but the 100 takes it to another level for the onroad experience. Also, about the looks, throw on an ARB bar, a lift and 33's or 35's and the entire forrester nonsense is out the window. Also, this mid to fullsize suv is very capable.

Check these 100's out

Get a '99 at least with rear AC and rear diff lock. Also, if you buy one with more than 80k miles make sure the timing belt has been changed.


I think I see Crocodile Dundee in the back of that black one in the parking lot! :flipoff2:

I tell ya, I would love a 100 for a DD and dedicate my 91 to the trail...but I would have to live in the 100 once I brought it home.
My two cents:

I too have a '94 with 100k and am faced with now having to put some money into it ($3,000 minimum). I had actually made up my mind to go buy a 100. Narrowed it down to the vehicle I wanted (a "certified" 2000 with 36k on it), went to test drive it with the wife and kids for a 2nd time and was literally ready to start the negotiation process with the dealer. But after that 2nd test drive, as much as I was trying to convince myself that I could put up with leather (cloth is my preference) and all the luxury appointments and razzle dazzle, I absolutely couldn't. It's just a completely different vehicle for me. Although it's a complete upgrade, the overall ruggedness and solid interior construction seem to have disappeared in the 100s.

The vehicle I looked at appeared to be brand new -- a leased vehicle that came in -- even smelled new. The dash had a small but annoying rattle, the rear-view mirror (with some electronics built in to it) felt like you could have ripped it off the windshield with your bare hands.

Toyota seems to be caught up in the marketshare race adding gadgets like third seat climate control, navigation systems and DVD players. It's too bad they can't offer a more stripped down, industrial version of these vehicles. The honest dealer salesman actually told me they wouldn't do that for the US market because there's too much profit in the options/extras.

If it's luxury and plush interior that you're looking for -- the 100's the one for you. But in my book, you just can't beat the tight look/feel of the 80.

So wish me luck with my decision to stay with the 80 -- I hope it's the right one.
The best of both worlds:

Too bad they're unobtainable to us.

I'm getting good at hijkacing these threads with useless info. :D

In all honesty the 100 is probably a better family truckster as it has many more current saftey features. For that matter (bracing for a beating) you may want to look at a Sequoia if you don't plan to wheel this vehicle.

Of course I never plan to part with my 80. Just put my longtime projected 911 up for sale to pay for the winch, gearing, milford, arb roof rack, etc. etc. :)
Should You Upgrade? - YES!

The main reason I never bought an 80 series was power. I just thought the trucks could barely get out of their own way. Pulling a boat wasn't too bad near the coast where it's flat, but it's slow going if you take a trailer up into the mountains. :flipoff2:

I've read a lot of guys on this board writing about the power deficit of their 80s. Just look at all of the threads on superchargers. :'(

The 100 series has that Lexus V8. Enough said. The 100s also have a far stiffer, stronger, and yet actually lighter chassis so the "tight" ride you want is available with a little suspension upgrade. The Toy version feels just fine to me. The Lex is a little bit mushier for dealing with those urban potholes. :D

The technology has improved, and it'll keep getting better. The 98 and 99 versions just started coming off of those 4- and 5-year leases and hitting this bulletin board's market demographic. You know, the folks who buy 4 and 5-year-old (and older) used trucks, fix them up with off-road gear from Slee and Arb and Warn and wheel them up in the mountains. The gear will start being available now that the trucks are becoming available at more reaasonable prices. :banana: :banana:

There's one or two guys around this board and the cool list who have the coin to own both 80 and 100 series at the same time. They generally say the 80 is what they take for new trails -- the front locker means they won't get stuck, it's a slightly smaller body for tight spots, and they've already scraped the paint and the flares on their 80s. But the 100 is the truck they take back to the trail over and over again -- more power, more comfortable, more likely to be the first choice walking into the garage. 8)

Come on into the 21st century. The water's fine..

OK, so I'm back for seconds here.

My angle on this issue is as follows:

The 100 series is a VERY REFINED vehicle with very nice appointments and features. The build quality is second to none. It reeks of "this is the way a car should be built".
That being said. I do not care for IFS in a "Real" 4WD. (Nomex suit donned). My last Toyota 4WD truck was an 84 right before they went to IFS. I do not like the "look" of the 100 either. I prefer the 80 over the 100 because of it's styling and it's "crude" solid front axle. I'm a leaf spring guy to boot and I had a bit of a time warming up to coils but now I do like them.
I think I'm un-happy with Toyota the most because they somewhat broke with tradition when they brought out a new platform and engine at the same time. Often they bring out a new power plant in an old body for a year or so. Think of it, A UZJ80. Now that would be the ultimate Cruiser....... :banana:
LT, you look a lot like Warren Zevon before he died.

The uzj100 will be a fine rig, and it should ride much much better than your 80. With your driving habits, the 100 will fit well. Check into some bulletin boards that cater to the 100 and see what issues are present. I've heard about vibrating acc pedal & t-case shifter, weird bass amplification, and intake problems. Nothing major like an undersized wire going to the EFI relay ::).
hmmm....get the 100 series and do a SAS for that 4x4 fun!
Depend on your needs

If you drive road alot, get 100. If you like the classic looks and off road, get 80.
I am in a process of purchasing 97 LC with 109k miles in it. I test drove, 93, 94, 95, 98 Landcruisers. I am not intending on doing off road. This will be my daily driver. I have chosen the 97 LC because:
1. I love the looks of 80 series. Volupteous flares, lowe center of gravity, and very solid looking. Throw in grill/brushguard and you have urban tank.
How many 4.5L 6cylinders do you see these days? Not alot in other car manufacturer. It is just amazing how much torque it generates. HP is not the guideline to determine the power of vehicle. Torque is.
2. 98 LC- Love the amenities, features and comfort. It is a 2kids, wife, family car. If you want no worry, get in and go, get the 100. Most of people really don't mind the look of the pre stamped misly flare, very similar to Forrester, and two tone looks. I do. Only thing I like on this 100 series was the rear window actually works electronically instead of slide open. Low on torque for V8.
:D I love this topic...I'm thinking about replacing my 60 and can't decide between the 80/100. I agree that the looks of the 100 can't compare to the 80. However, I know that the vast majority of my driving is going to be on the road. At the same time I'm not an experienced offroader and I would like to buy a rig that I could "grow" into and develop my skills. Therefore, I would not want to spend $$$ to be limited by IFS (if that is in fact that the case). It would be great to own an 80 and 100 but I don't see that happening any time soon. I don't know about anyone else but I think that I'm making myself insane thinking about which one to buy. I like them both for different reasons. Luckily I have a while to make the decision. As a future owner, I'm listening to all of your advice very intently....Christo any thoughts?
Well I really thing you should move up to a 100, look at Drexx wheeling his! and besides, You could sell me your 80 so I could move up from my 60, no really, I don't have an alternative motive ( ha ha ha heard in background).
C-man - I just wanted to put Warren's mug up for a couple of days in memory of his great rock-n-roll. I haven't had that much hair since sometime in 1967 or 68 (memory's a bit faded).

As C-dan says, I'm coming back for another swing at this pitch:
If looks were the only, or even the primary consideration for my vehicle -- my choice would be the 80series. Frankly that's why I looked at the cruiser in every vehicle purchase decision from about 1986-on. But the power was a problem (and yes, I know torque makes a big difference, but for long-haul driving there's no substitute for power). And now the 100 just has more creature comforts (those remotely operated rear panels are nice, aren't they 410225?) and power, it's an easy choice.
I had never really thought about how abrupt a change Toyota made in 1997 with a new chassis, body style and engine/drive train on the Land Cruiser. I think it had to do with the Lexus market more than anything else. And the Lexus market also is why the US doesn't get the tougher TLC products exported to Oz, Africa and elsewhere.
Dan's concept that stopped me in my tracks, though, was the UZJ80. Now that would have been a truck!

A few thoughts on the 100.

1) My Brother in Law has two a 1999 and 2001. I have driven the 99 a bit and it is really a great road car. If I were to buy another LC, it would be one of these (I may buy his when he sells).

2) The 1999 is faster than the 2001. There is something with the Traction Control on the 2001 that slows it out of the hole.

3) The 100 is really superior on the road to the 80.

4) The deficit from IFS off roading is really overblown. On the Rubicon, it will not work as well as a solid axle. For 99% of off roading, it works fine. The only difference is you will spend more time with one front tire off the ground. The most important things in my opinion are still approach, departure and breakover angles. I can get up things in my Pathfinder that I can't in the Cruiser because I can take different lines with the better clearance. Do remember my 80 is stock.

Thanks everyone for the feedback thus far. I'm leaning towards the 100. A couple of additional facts that I didn't mention that migrate me to the 100.

1) I live in Fairfield County, CT and don't have access to an independent mechanic that specializes in LC's, so I use the Stamford dealer (older vehicle = more service = more $$$).

2) There are not a lot of off-road opportunities in CT. The truck goes to the Adirondacks, Maine, NH, Canada a few times a year and that's it

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