Toyota Land Cruiser J100 or Fortuner?

What you need to know:

  • Hello Paul, I want to buy a car (used) and will work on it until it is as good as new. So, between a Toyota Land Cruiser 100 and a Toyota Fortuner TRD, which would be a better deal in terms of performance and durability, among others? Emmanuel 

Hello Emmanuel, if you are looking for a durable extreme off-roader workhorse and not a vehicle for a drive through the botanical gardens, then go for the 1990-98 J80 Land Cruiser. The Fortuner should not even be a part of the extreme off-roading conversation. The newer 1998-2007 Land Cruiser J100 you are interested in is a full-size SUV body on the platform while the Toyota Fortuner is a midsize SUV on a pick-up platform.

Both are different categories of vehicles that should not be compared when discussing extreme off-road performance. In terms of performance, I would consider engine power and off-road duty. The J100 has loads of engine power compared to the Fortuner 2004. The J100 Land Cruiser petrol engines are bigger and more powerful. I prefer the petrol 4.5L 1FZ-FE line six for its power delivery, simplicity, fuel efficiency and durability. No wonder it is a darling of the J80 Land Cruiser I have driven for a long time. It also has a good output of 212 horsepower and reasonable torque of 363NM @ 2800 rpm. In 1998 the 1FZFE power output was improved to 240 horsepower @4600 rpm using ignition coils, distributor less and 4 nozzle injectors.

The J100’s other petrol engine; the 4.7L 2UZ FE V8 delivers 228 [email protected] and more torque 410 [email protected] However, this engine is more fuel-thirsty and costly to maintain when it ages compared to the older line six petrol engines. The Fortuner’s 2.7 litre 2TRFE petrol engine delivers sluggish but fuel costly performance (158 [email protected]) while its 4.0 litre 1GRFE delivers more thrilling power (236 [email protected]).

The diesel engines are more fuel-efficient but deliver less power and torque. In this case, consider engine power as to how fast you hit a wall and torque as how much of the wall you are able to take away. Land cruiser J100’s 4.2litre naturally aspirated diesel 1HZ delivers 129 [email protected] and torque of [email protected] The turbocharged 4.2L 1HDT L6 is sprightlier and fuel-efficient with 164 [email protected] and [email protected]

In the long term, the J100 diesel engines become costly and unreliable as they age and the fuel systems require an overhaul. Their engines will require an overhaul at 250,000 kilometres if you are not keen on regular service with recommended oil and filters. The Fortuner 2.5 litre 2KDFTV diesel engine delivers smaller power and torque (101 [email protected] / [email protected]) but superior fuel economy.

Offroad duty and practicality

The Land Cruiser J100 is a full-size station wagon with a wider and longer chassis. Its full time 4WD with auto 4H/4Lo can traverse all-terrain better than the smaller Fortuner. The LandCruiser is more comfortable on extreme terrain and offers better ground clearance, better arrival and departure angles for wading depth compared to the Fortuner.

The older J80 Land Cruiser is a better offroad workhorse than the J100. It has a solid front live beam axle suspension with trailing arms and drag links. This suspension setup performs better during extreme offroad driving and is more durable than the J100’s Independent front suspension (IFS) with rack and pinion steering. J100’s IFS is challenged and is reputed for suffering front differential damage.


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