Want a Toyota FJ Cruiser? You’ll Have to Pay Up
It seems like human nature to want what we can’t have, and when it comes to off-road SUVs, a brand new Toyota FJ Cruiser is one such vehicle. Toyota hit the brakes on production of its retro FJ Cruiser with the close of the 2014 model year, capping off just over 222,000 sold in the U.S. since its 2006 debut. There seem to be plenty used models on the market, however if you’re planning to buy one, it likely won’t come cheap. In 2014, a base 4x4 model equipped with the automatic transmission would have carried an MSRP of around $29,270. With 2016 just a month away, NADA Guides data shows the same model with 30,000 miles (about the two-year average) commands an average trade-in value of $30,100. Talk about an unexpected investment. Dealership and private seller asking prices would seem to reflect this appreciation as well, with many late-model and low-mileage examples asking $30,000 and above online. That said, there’s always been a sentiment that the Toyota FJ Cruiser was a rather special vehicle. RELATED: Meet the 4-Door Ford Bronco You Didn't Know Existed
Never intended to span multiple generations, the Toyota FJ Cruiser mixed classic looks evocative of the FJ40 Land Cruiser—a vehicle also soaring in value—while retaining a rugged four-wheel drive setup and body-on-frame chassis that has largely disappeared from the U.S. market. Standouts remain, including the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner, though past rivals like the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder have adopted unibody construction.
These rugged off-roaders have once again realigned with the U.S. market’s car-buying palate as well. Thanks to readily accessible financing and relatively cheap gas prices, buyers have been flocking to crossovers and SUVs in droves, while automakers continue to rollout new models to fill niche gaps. Historically a strong seller, the Jeep Wrangler totaled just 82,044 units in 2008. Fast forward to 2014, the Wrangler posted a huge 175,328 units at years end. Too bad the FJ Cruiser couldn’t hang around a little bit longer.
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If you’re feeling the price pinch, you aren’t alone. According to Automotive News, even dealerships are paying big money for FJ Cruisers. The trade paper cited a used-car manager from Virginia who was outbid on an 87,000 mile, eight-year-old FJ Cruiser at an eye-watering $18,000.
Still need one? Your best bet is to wait. If gas prices rise in the coming months, these 4.0-liter V6 SUVs could begin to dip from fashion, but if the FJ40 Land Cruiser is any indication, these 4x4s should remain collectible for a long time.
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