Toyota Land Cruiser Years To Avoid | 15 Best & Worst Years

The Toyota Land Cruiser is a large luxury SUV first released in 1990 and discontinued in 2021. Since then, it has been a solid contender for a reliable three-row SUV and has been considered the best off-road vehicle for so long.

Since it is no longer manufactured, you will probably need to look in the used automobile market. In that scenario, reliability has to be your primary concern. Although Toyota has earned a well-deserved reputation for reliability and durability, can the same be said of the Land Cruiser?

Here are the worst model years of the Toyota Land Cruiser that you should avoid buying used and ones worth your investments. Let’s check it out.

Land Cruiser years to avoid include 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2016; they are considered the worst. The best years for Land Cruiser are 1999, 2013, 2017-2021. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Toyota Land Cruiser Years To Avoid

The RepairPal reliability rating for the Toyota Land Cruiser is 2.5 out of 5, which places it dead last among 14 other full-size SUVs. Accordingly, these are the worst Toyota Land Cruiser model years to avoid due to their uncertain reliability.

  • 2002 Land Cruiser
  • 2005 Land Cruiser
  • 2008 Land Cruiser
  • 2009 Land Cruiser
  • 2011 Land Cruiser
  • 2015 Land Cruiser
  • 2016 Land Cruiser

8. Worst Year: 2005 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.28 Rating)

Source: favcars

Although it may be hard to believe, some drivers actually did have trouble with the transmission from the very first shift with this model. In addition, its engine produces blue smoke from its tailpipe and consumes significantly more oil than it should have, mainly when driving on adventures.

Some people’s blue smoke problems required expensive fixes, including replacing the turbo, piston rings, valve seals, and glow plugs. Due to the high expense of these fixes, the 2005 model year is generally best avoided. If you think you’ve found a good deal on it, think again.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

7. Worst Year: 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.24 Rating)

Source: TopGear-auto guide

One of the worst Land Cruisers is the 2016 model. Car Complaints reveal that the 2016 model year has the most faults overall. Although it garnered mainly positive feedback, a small number of issues did cause frustration for some users.

Some 2016 Land Cruiser drivers have reported trouble shifting gears. The brake calipers worked OK. However, the brake pads wore out rapidly. Squeaky brakes developed immediately after purchase as a result. Moreover, when you apply brakes, noise may indicate a severe issue.

Fortunately, the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser did not suffer too many serious mechanical or electrical issues, rendering it unfit for the road. However, buyers of the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser could get a secure vehicle with average comfort.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Worst Year: 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.20 Rating)

Source: automobiles review

The 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser rarely had difficulties with the engine, the lights, or the other things, but its audio system was disappointing.

People who enjoy listening to music, making phone calls, etc., had difficulty due to the terrible speakers and horrible Bluetooth connectivity.

The good news is that updating the audio setup made it sound new. Compared to engine concerns, this is exceptionally insignificant, yet it may be the determining factor for some drivers.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Worst Year: 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.03 Rating)

Source: Pinterest

Many Land Cruiser drivers brag that their SUV can travel everywhere, anytime, but they are likely not referring to the 2000 model year.

The 2000 Land Cruiser’s structural weaknesses are its most pressing problem. Rust can cause serious structural damage to the Land Cruiser’s chassis and frame. In fact, the degeneration may progress to the point where driving the car is no longer safe.

If you find yourself with a 2000 Land Cruiser, check it thoroughly for corrosion in the chassis and frame.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Worst Year: 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.00 Rating)

Source: malithgeblogeka

The 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser has many exciting extras, but widespread sensor problems have compromised its superb performance. There were a lot of broken sensors in this car. Even if there is no problem, they will randomly show an error code.

The most severe issue with the sensors was that the engine would suddenly shut off when it didn’t have enough gas. In addition, there have been reports of problems with air conditioning sensors, tire pressure monitors, and more.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Worst Year: 2002 Toyota Land Cruiser (3.97 Rating)

Source: test drive

The 2002 Toyota Land Cruiser is far more dependable than older models. Still, used-car shoppers should avoid the 2002 Land Cruiser because of ongoing reliability issues.

There were thirty-eight reported issues with this Land Cruiser, including problems with the speedometer, the engine, the cooling system, and the overall construction.

The Land Cruiser’s engine cooling system is another potential point of breakdown. Several drivers reported that their vehicles suddenly stalled out. After that, the SUV stopped responding to any input.

The dealership told one owner who had this problem twice that replacing the engine would cost an unbelievable $6,000. If you want to avoid hassles, don’t buy a Land Cruiser from 2002.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Worst Year: 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser (3.87 Rating)

Source: NYTimes

While the 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser does not suffer from severe mechanical problems as its predecessors, it does have its fair share of reliability concerns, such as a defective air conditioning system and airbags.

The 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the worst model years to avoid because of problems with the notoriously faulty Takata airbags.

In case you didn’t hear, the Takata airbag scandal resulted in tens of millions of vehicles being recalled. Apparently, the Takata airbags can explode when exposed to high temperatures and humidity levels. Therefore, it is always recommended to double-check if the airbags have been changed.

Some 2008 Land Cruiser owners also had issues with the car’s cruise control. In addition, the Land Cruiser had a problem with uncontrollable acceleration at low speeds.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Worst Year: 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser (3.64 Rating)

Source: favcars

The Toyota Land Cruiser 2009 is the worst model year to avoid. It has the lowest reliability and the most number of recalls, making it the worst car on the market.

This vehicle’s poor gas mileage is its biggest drawback. You will be sorely disappointed if you are looking for a car that is good on gas. In the city, you’ll get only about 13 miles to the gallon, which means you can spend more on gas than it’s worth.

Many drivers have complained about the ineffectiveness of their vehicle’s speed regulator. Upon starting, the engine rpm rose noticeably more than usual and immediately shut down the engine. Moreover, when an electrical junction block fails, the power accessories, including the windows and mirrors, become inoperable.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Toyota Land Cruiser Years To Buy Used

These are the most reliable models available. If you’re in the market for a reliable car, watch for models like these.

  • 1999 Land Cruiser
  • 2013 Land Cruiser
  • 2017 Land Cruiser
  • 2018 Land Cruiser
  • 2019 Land Cruiser
  • 2020 Land Cruiser
  • 2021 Land Cruiser

7. Best Year: 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.29 Rating)


The 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser is a perfect option for you if you want a vintage used Land Cruiser. Despite being more costly than the 4Runner, this SUV can comfortably transport a large family across rough terrain thanks to its powerful V8 engine and numerous storage options.

The engine generates 230 hp, an increase of 18 over the previous generation’s six-cylinder engine, and 320 ft-lb of torque, which is a gain of 45 over the ’97 model.

According to Toyota executives, the 1999 Land Cruiser is larger and studier than the previous generation car, and it is also expected to have lower emissions, greater fuel efficiency, and more luxurious features.

Related: Land Cruiser vs 4Runner | 10 Points Of Comparison

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Best Year: 2019 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.37 Rating)

Source: Mexatk

The 2019 Toyota Land Cruiser is the same car as the 2008 model. Its gorgeous design has won over millions of fans all over the world.

With 16.1 cubic feet of room available behind the third row, this vehicle is praised for its extensive load capacity. When the third row is folded, 43 cubic feet of storage space is available.

The 2019 model is distinct from the original and is among the most potent Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs. The SUV’s many amenities, such as its plush cabin, guarantee a pleasurable ride. However, Some drivers have complained about the brakes being too sensitive and steering too heavy.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Best Year: 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.38 Rating)

Source: cars.usnews

The 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser is a luxury vehicle that can seat eight people, but its high price tag and extensive off-roading equipment put it out of reach for most people. This legendary SUV still has its brand of charm.

The 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser continues to use the same 5.7-liter V-8 engine that produced 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque in previous years. A six-speed automatic is mated to that engine. Having an EPA rating of only 13/18 mpg city/highway, the luxury off-roader isn’t without its drawbacks.

After a year off, Toyota returned the Land Cruiser with some minor updates for 2013. One of the most notable changes is that previously optional amenities on the Land Cruiser are now standard.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Best Year: 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.41 Rating)

Source: Khodrobank

Regarding SUVs, the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is among the most off-road capable options. It is also appropriately luxurious. The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is a high-end SUV that seats eight people. It comes in a single, well-equipped model.

Each Land Cruiser features a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque as standard equipment. It has a permanent all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.55 Rating)

Source: motor trend

The 2017 Land Cruiser is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable SUV in the used market. However, the drivetrain has been problematic for several consumers.

One engine and transmission combination is available for the Land Cruiser, Toyota’s standard 5.7-liter V-8, producing 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque is available for this model.

Ten airbags are standard equipment in the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser, which makes it even more secure. However, the Land Cruiser has not been given a safety rating by either the NHTSA or the IIHS.

The 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser has antilock brakes, stability/traction control, trailer-sway control, hill-start assist, and front/rear parking sensors.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.8 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser is a high-end SUV that exceeds most fans’ expectations. The vintage seats on this car will provide you with a relaxing ride and unparalleled comfort.

Toyota included some throwback seats in this vehicle, but that didn’t stop them from improving the ride comfort. The Land Cruiser has many helpful features, such as traction control and numerous safety precautions.

The rest of the technology is superb, but the infotainment system falls short. This vehicle gets 15 mpg on the highway despite having a V8 engine.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser (4.82 Rating)

Source: SUV drive

After a long and successful run, production of the Land Cruiser ended with the 2021 model year. This Land Cruiser is equipped with exceptional reliability, near-luxury levels of comfort, and off-road prowess.

Standard features include abundant high-quality off-road gear and the Safety Sense package, among other driver aids and safety measures. This year marks the debut of a brand-new option for Heritage Edition vehicles: a third row of seats.

Owners have given this model high marks for its reliability, quality of construction, safety, ease of operation, responsiveness of the controls, and cutting-edge features.

The 2021 Land Cruiser received an above-average reliability rating from Consumer Reports of 4.0 out of 5.0. Moreover, with the placement of #5 place in the Large Premium SUV from J.D. Power, this model is unbeatable in the used off-roading market.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Common Land Cruiser Problems

The Land Cruiser has proven to be a reliable off-road vehicle. However, the most common faults appear to be sensors, water pumps, and general engine problems, which is true across all generations and models.

These are the most common problems with Toyota Land Cruisers.

  • Failure of the Engine
  • Shifting Problems
  • Structure-related problems
  • Transmission Problems
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Blue vapour
  • The AC does not switch off
  • Braking noise


Are Toyota Land Cruisers Reliable Cars?

Even though there are a few exception years in this model range, Land Cruisers are still among the most reliable vehicles. This SUV, for instance, scores an excellent 83 out of 100 for quality & reliability, which is very good.

Furthermore, a study suggests that the Toyota Land Cruiser has a longer lifespan than most SUVs. According to a survey by iSeeCars, the Toyota Land Cruiser got a near-perfect 9.9 out of 10 for reliability, making it the most reliable large SUV to last for over 200,000 miles.

Is Land Cruiser Expensive To Maintain?

Unfortunately, most Toyota Land Cruisers have a high cost of ownership due to their high maintenance and repair needs. It costs more to maintain a Cruiser than a standard car or SUV, according to mechanics, who estimate an annual cost of $800 to $1,000. Still, Land Cruisers have lower maintenance costs than high-end vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade and the Lexus LX.

Which Vintage Toyota Land Cruiser Model is Most Reliable?

There are certain older Land Cruisers that you should avoid, but some are absolute treasures that you should buy at any cost. The FJ55 Land Cruiser from 1977 is one such rare find.


While it’s true that many older Land Cruisers have faults, the majority are fine for most drivers. After all, Toyotas are admired for their spacious gas tanks, longevity, and dependable powertrains. However, not every Land Cruiser is reliable. We carefully select the worst Land Cruiser models to avoid for the reasons stated. Avoid the years mentioned above, and you will be good.

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