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Here Are The Toyota Land Cruisers Years To Avoid

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White Toyota Land Cruiser

Source: Pixabay

Toyota’s flagship has a rich history that dates back to the 1950s. In addition, the Toyota Land Cruiser was one of the most recognizable models in the large SUV segment. In addition, the Land Cruiser boasted muscular acceleration, a spacious interior, and excellent reliability. Unfortunately, to everyone’s dismay, Toyota had to discontinue the Land Cruiser in 2021.

The Toyota Land Cruiser is undoubtedly worth checking out if you’re looking to buy a solid and reliable three-row SUV. However, since it’s not in production anymore, you’ll likely have to shop around the used car market. In that case, reliability should be your top criterion. Thankfully, Toyota has a legendary reputation in reliability and longevity – but does that reliability apply to the Land Cruiser? 

For today’s buyers’ guide, we bring you the worst Toyota Land Cruiser years to avoid buying as used. Let’s take a look.

Which Toyota Land Cruiser Years To Avoid?

According to RepairPal, the Toyota Land Cruiser has a reliability score of 2.5 out of 5.0, making it dead last in reliability out of 14 full-size SUVs. With that said, below are the Toyota Land Cruiser years to avoid buying used due to questionable reliability.

  • 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • 2002 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser

2000 Toyota Land Cruiser

Although many Land Cruiser owners claim their vehicle can go to the sun and back, they’re probably not talking about the 2000 Land Cruiser. This model year of Toyota’s flagship SUV was thought to have the most problems compared to other models. According to CarProblemZoo, the 2000 Land Cruiser has the most issues, with 40 and counting.


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The number one issue with the 2000 Land Cruiser is related to its structure. As per CarProblemZoo, this SUV’s chassis was prone to deterioration. In fact, the deterioration could get so worse that it rendered the vehicle unsafe to drive. The Land Cruiser’s chassis and frame are very vulnerable to rusting, significantly impacting its integrity. Some owners have taken great lengths to ensure the chassis is free from ice and salt during winter time.

If, for some reason, you’re stuck with a 2000 Land Cruiser, make sure you check it for chassis and frame rust.

1999 Toyota Land Cruiser

The 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser has made the list due to its various reliability woes and was only trailing the 2000 Land Cruiser by a hair. CarProblemZoo lists the 1999 Land Cruiser as the second-most problematic model of the three-row SUV. As of this writing, this model year has 28 problem counts.

The worst trouble spot of the 1999 Land Cruiser is the service brakes. Several reports detailed how the SUV’s service brakes just stopped working, which is highly dangerous at higher speeds. Thankfully, most reports claim the issue occurred at around 30-40 mph speeds. One user wrote:

“While traveling 15 mph, the contact noticed a high pitched sound coming from inside of the vehicle. Moments later, the contact noticed that the brakes had suddenly stopped functioning and the vehicle was safely coasted to a stop.”

On a lesser note, the 1999 Land Cruiser also received reports of vehicle speed control issues. A few reports detailed how the SUV throttled on its owner, while another reported that the vehicle accelerated and caused it to hit a pole. With such issues, the 1999 model is one of the worst Toyota Land Cruiser years to avoid.

2002 Toyota Land Cruiser

The 2002 Toyota Land Cruiser is a definite improvement over the several previous years in reliability. However, the 2002 Land Cruiser is still a problematic model year that used car buyers should avoid. This Land Cruiser recorded 16 problems, including vehicle speed control, engine/engine cooling, and build quality.

Like the previous models in this generation, the 2002 Land Cruiser struggled with issues concerning vehicle speed control. According to a few reports, the SUV just suddenly accelerated while driving at low speeds. One person described their scary experience as the “car completely went out of control as if a tire was blown.” The sudden unintended acceleration issue isn’t really prevalent in this model year, but it’s worth keeping in mind.


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Another common mechanical issue that you may encounter in this Land Cruiser is the engine cooling issue. A few users claimed that their vehicle had just lost power and stopped. Then, the SUV just became unresponsive. One owner experienced this particular issue twice before being told by the dealership to replace the engine for an incredible six grand. Avoid the 2002 Land Cruiser and save yourself from headaches.

2008 Toyota Land Cruiser

The 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser doesn’t share the major mechanical issues of earlier models, but it has its fair share of reliability woes, like the faulty A/C system and airbags. As one of the worst Toyota Land Cruiser years to avoid, the 2008 model was also impacted by the notoriously defective safety feature, the Takata airbags.

In case you don’t know, tens of millions of vehicles were recalled because of the Takata airbag scandal. Apparently, high heat and humidity may cause the Takata airbags to explode during deployment. Metal shards from the airbag may be sprayed into the cabin, turning them into deadly shrapnels. To date, 24 deaths and over 400 injuries have been associated with this issue. Thus, it’s always best to check if the airbags have been replaced.


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Moreover, the 2008 Land Cruiser also received a few complaints about vehicle speed control. As we’ve covered earlier, drivers experienced uncontrolled acceleration while driving the Land Cruiser at low speeds. One driver wrote that the car accelerated randomly while in traffic and caused a rear-end collision.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Toyota Land Cruiser is an impressively reliable large SUV. Many owners have claimed they easily clocked in 200-300k miles on their pedometers. However, not all Land Cruisers have good reliability. We’ve selected the models above due to the number of problems and their severity. Avoid the years we’ve discussed in this post, and you should be fine.

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