Did the research in 2002, bought a 1998 TLC with 54,000 miles on it from a dealer that picked it up off auction as a lease return. This is one fantastic vehicle. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts in this case. The engine is not powerful by today's standards, but quite adequate. The cabin space is not enormous, but very comfortable. It will go anywhere, out climb the Hummers, leave the jeeps in the gullies, etc. Handles snow and ice like a dream, even on 13% grades in the mountains. Locking differentials are a great option. Maintenance cost in minimal; I put a starter in at about 100,000 miles. Like it so much I bought a 2nd one in 2006. Keeping this one too, though.
AWD, locking diffs; rear & center.
Climate control could do better at maintaining a consistent cabin temp. Fixed in later years.
Amazing, we owned it for almost eight years. Put over 100k miles on it, bought it at 60k as a Toyota CPO. Unfortunately, it was totaled at 173k two weeks ago. Thing was amazing, we LOVED LOVE LOVED every minute with this car. We would NEVER have gotten rid of it. Performance, reliability, quality, comfort. What we loved? The ride. Ruggedness. Looks. Quality. Seats amazing. Everything. Loved everything. Few improvement areas like rear A/C would have been nice (they later did this). Just spent two weeks researching like crazy a replacement SUV. Drove everything, including MB GL 470, Audi Q7, Volvo XC 90, Escalade...What are we getting? Another Land Cruiser. '05 model, p/u this week!
Style, dependability, the fact that there was virtually no maintenance other than oil changes, interior space, off road capability, safety. I've owned a half dozen Mercedes, as well BMW, Porsche, and others...This was probably our favorite car I've ever owned--tied w/ my MB 560 SEL (also totaled).
Rear A/C, memory seats, third row seats that are more "stowable", better low-end torque for towing, one touch windows, traction control. Most of these are very small items... Also, most of these were addressed in later model years (2000 and later). I'd buy another '98 in a heartbeat.
Our Crusher was given to us by relatives that used it as a parking lot princess. In 10 years it had been dinged, scraped, dirtied and unloved as it was a family workhorse. NY winters did not help. NO scheduled maintenance ever, just generic oil changes, tires and brakes every so often. $4K later (a bargain!), it looks and rides just like new. Best of all it has only 60K on the clock! Even after 10 years of short trips and substandard preventative maintenance, this LC still runs like new! This vehicle is rock-solid and it's reputation precedes it, making my analysis superfluous. ;-)
We bought the LC with 150K miles on it and it still drives like a new car. We also own a Lexus and I could not tell the difference in the ride. With the windows up it is as quiet as can be, there is not a single squeak, rattle or noise anywhere. the V8 is smooth as silk. In one weekend we fit 2 families in the LC and went to and from the mountains (7K ft. elevation) to the beach and it performed flawlessly. We will be keeping this vehicle til the wheels fall off.
They don't make great vehicles anymore... this is a classic that will be handed on to the next generation. Handling is super and gets you anywhere. My grandfather had the very first one back in Asia and it is still running... Toyota please keep making great vehicles... All my cars are made by Toyota... Last bought was a Lexus gs another classic car in the making. Land cruiser owners enjoy and always think safety.
comfort and feeling of security esp. on bad weather.