Think Toyota offers an extensive lineup in America? Well it does. But it has even more models back in its home market. And yes, that includes trucks – one of which is now returning to Japan while the other is just leaving.
On its way out is the FJ Cruiser, a model which was withdrawn from the North American market a little over a year ago already, but which is now taking its final tour of the Japanese islands before being retired there as well.
Reminiscent of the original Land Cruiser, the FJ Cruiser took on hard-core off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Defender, but with even more retro styling. It was introduced in 2006 and stuck around for over a decade before its charm wore off. To mark the FJ Cruiser’s retirement, Toyota has rolled out a special Final Edition for the Japanese Domestic Market, decked out inside and out in black and tan, with 20-inch aluminum wheels and side steps.
While the FJ Cruiser rolls off into the setting sun in the Land of the Rising Sun, Toyota is bringing back another truck to (sorta) take its place. That’d be the Hilux, the pickup truck that’s been around for 50 years now. Toyota sells the Hilux in 180 markets around the world, but stopped selling it in Japan in 2004. Now it’s bringing it back home to roost – much to the presumptive satisfaction of those 9,000 owners who still use their old ones in Japan, and those who’d like to join them.
At the same time, Toyota is rolling out the Land Cruiser Prado that was just introduced for the European market (sans the Prado name). All three models are based on the same underpinnings, also shared with the Tacoma and 4Runner sold in America. The Japanese automaker expects to sell 2,000 or so examples of the Hilux, another 1,800 of the Prado, and 200 of the outgoing FJ Cruiser, in Japan each month.