The Toyota FJ Cruiser was an interesting idea. Intended to capitalize on the rising collectibility and value of the old FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota rolled out a "retro" SUV with many new touches for off-roaders. But timing is everything, and Toyota’s was off: they correctly predicted the robust, off-roader SUV craze, but they were too early.
There’s proof of this in a few ways. One is just how the SUV market has taken off since the FJ Cruiser went out of production following the 2014 model year, as SUVs — including Toyota’s own 4Runner — are now the hottest things around, with many hitting sales records even as the rest of the car industry slumps. Had the FJ Cruiser debuted in 2017, instead of 2007, I suspect it would’ve been more successful.
Another example of this comes in the values of used FJ Cruiser models. When the FJ Cruiser debuted back in 2007, the starting price was in the low- to mid-$20,000 range. When it went out of production in 2014, the starting price was just under $30,000. Admittedly, this $22,000 to $29,000 price range was for base model trucks, and options added significantly to that cost — but, still, it gives you an idea of new prices.
These days, though, used prices haven’t fallen much behind those new prices. There are currently 327 examples of the 2007 FJ Cruiser listed for sale on Autotrader, and just 34 are listed for under $10,000. Amazingly, 16 are listed for over $20,000, which isn’t far off their original price. The majority seem to be congregating in the $14,000 to $16,000 range, which is about half of the original price with options — meaning they’ve held 50% of their value after 12 years. Imagine, if you will, a 2007 Honda Pilot still bringing $17,000. Or a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-Class still commanding $55,000, all these years later. It’s practically unthinkable.
More recent models are even more impressive. There are 162 examples of the 2014 FJ Cruiser currently listed for sale on Autotrader, and every single one is listed for over $20,000. In fact, 105 of the 162 are listed for over $30,000. That means nearly two-thirds of 2014 FJ Cruiser models are still selling for probably 80% of their original sticker price — five years after they left the market. It’s insanity.
And, indeed, it means Toyota probably shouldn’t have pulled the FJ Cruiser off the market — or, maybe it means they should consider bringing it back. The market demand is clearly high, and prices are a lot stronger than you’d probably expect. Find a Toyota FJ Cruiser for sale