Toyota has produced some of the most capable off-roaders in the world, and here’s a list of the top 10

10 – Toyota FJ Cruiser

2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser front-three quarter view
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A 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser driving on canyon roads

The FJ Cruiser is an all-time favorite. It combined retro looks with modern-day comforts. It was also based on the Land Cruiser Prado; however, its shorter wheelbase and overhangs meant that it was extremely capable. In fact, it is one of the most capable Toyota’s of recent times – even more capable than the 4Runner. Off-road systems included A-Track, Craw-Control, and a rear locker. Like many others on this list, its front suspension was independent which means it wasn’t as capable as the older machines. Prices for these vehicles are high, and we can see why. It is a unique, reliable, and usable Toyota!

9 – Toyota 76 Series Land Cruiser

Land Cruiser 70 Series front three-quarter shot
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The legendary Land Cruiser 70 Series 

The 76 Series Land Cruiser is a model variant that is only sold in limited parts of the world like Australia. Australia receives the 76 due to its harsh terrain and mining industry. It is one of the nation’s most loved trucks. The 76 Land Cruiser is unlike any other SUV on the current market. The front end is a coil-sprung solid axle and the rear is a leaf-sprung solid axle. This means that it has a great payload capacity while also being extremely durable. The higher-spec models also come with two differential lockers. While it isn’t as capable as the 80 Series because it has less suspension travel and is also narrower, it can easily be considered one of the most capable off-roaders the brand has ever made.

8 – Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro front end shot
Toyota
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro urban environment front end shot 

The Tacoma and 4Runner go hand in hand. If you want an SUV, you go for the 4Runner, and if you want the same product in a ‘truck-skin’, you go for the Tacoma. The Tacoma isn’t as capable as the 4Runner due to the longer wheelbase, longer rear overhang, and leaf-sprung rear suspension, however, it is still a very capable vehicle. Just like the 4Runner, it offers a rear diff lock and the same traction control systems. It is also sold in a TRD Pro variant which gets the same off-road-worthy upgrades. Granted, both models are old and dated, but they offer a proven platform that will without a doubt be capable and comfortable.

 
 

7 – Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Toyota Land Cruiser 90 side shot
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Side profile shot of a Toyota Land Cruiser 90

The Land Cruiser Prado is the smaller brother to the actual Land Cruiser. It shares a similar suspension design in the rear but upfront it uses independent suspension. In fact, the 90 Series Land Cruiser which was sold alongside the 80 Series was the first Land Cruiser to feature a more road-biased front end. Since the 90 Series, every Land Cruiser and Land Cruiser Prado produced had switched to independent suspension. These vehicles – both new and old, are capable off-road as they feature a rear diff locker with the newer models also incorporating traction control.

6 – Toyota 4Runner

Black 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition
Toyota
Front three-quarters shot of a 2023 Toyota 4Runner 40th Anniversary Special Edition 

The Toyota 4Runner is one of America’s favorite vehicles. It features reliability and capability in a package that can also be very useful for a family. From the third generation onwards, the 4Runner was based on a nearly identical platform as the Prado. So, it too offered a rear locker, independent front suspension, and clever traction control systems like A-track and Crawl-Control. Unlike the Prado, the 4Runner’s body is a bit more off-road biased with shorter overhangs. The TRD Pro models further increase abilities by adding a suspension lift, better tires, and undercarriage protection. If you want a reliable and usable off-roader, the 4Runner is the truck to get.

5 – Toyota Tundra

A parked 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid
Toyota USA
Front and side view of a 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid

As you may know, the Tundra is the Tacoma’s larger brother. It has been recently updated with a new engine and platform. That new platform is very similar to that of the 300 Series Land Cruiser featuring a coil-sprung rear and an independent front. The TRD Pro variants of the model have front and rear lockers and great traction systems. The only letdown of this truck when it comes to off-roading is the huge size, long wheelbase, and small tires (compared to the truck’s size). These issues mean that the Tundra will have difficulty squeezing through the tighter trails and will also lack clearance.

4 – Toyota 60 Series Land Cruiser

60 Series Land Cruiser side shot
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The 60 Series Land Cruiser looking classy in an urban parking spot 

The 60 Series Land Cruiser is the predecessor to the 80 series. It was the model that took the first step towards a new Land Cruiser design which resembled more of a wagon rather than a Jeep-like 4×4. The interior was more spacious and comfortable than ever and the engines available offered decent power and insane reliability. Underneath, the 60 featured two leaf-sprung solid axles. This meant that ride quality wasn’t great while wheel articulation was also left lacking. However, the 60 Series can easily be considered one of the toughest vehicles Toyota has ever built and therefore, one of the toughest vehicles in the world.

3 – Toyota Hilux

1988 Toyota Hilux
Global.Toyota
a front 3/4 shot of a red 1988 Toyota Hilux in desert mountains

No such list would be complete without one of the most legendary and most famous vehicles ever – the Hilux. The older variant used a very similar platform to that of the 60 series as it was also based on leaf-sprung solid axles. Diff lockers weren’t offered, and the Hilux was and still is a part-time 4×4. The current models are more capable off-road when both compared to the older model in stock form. However, once you modify them, the older Hilux models enter a class of their own. The lightweight combined with the strong drivetrain is very hard to beat.

2 – Toyota 80 Series Land Cruiser

80 Series Land Cruiser front-three quarter shot
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An 80 Series Land Cruiser outside a countryside house 

It is safe to say that the 80 Series Land Cruiser is the most capable four-wheel-drive the brand has ever made. It had all the ingredients that make an off-roader great, from coil-sprung solid axles to three diff lockers. Additionally, it featured a powerful and extremely reliable engine that could be trusted in the harshest of environments. Also, on the inside customers got eight seats that could be folded or removed. This provided the ability to carry lots of people or ample amounts of space for storage solutions and adventure gear. It is safe to say that if an 80 series Land Cruiser can’t get there, then “there” isn’t meant to be reached.

1 – Toyota Mega Cruiser

Mega Cruiser front three-quarter shot
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The unique Mega Cruiser on an off-road trailer

We left the Mega Cruiser at the last just because how special it is. This is by no means the least capable of the 10, in fact, the opposite is true. The Mega Cruiser is a weird and quirky Toyota that was built for the Japanese army. As you can see, it looks very similar to the Humvee. It was powered by a 4.1-liter four-cylinder engine which made 152 horsepower. So, it was by no means quick. Underneath it featured independent suspension both front and rear; however, this vehicle sits on portal axles for maximum ground clearance. Exactly like the Humvee did. It is one of the most capable and weirdest Toyotas ever made.