At first glance you may mistaken this monster 4×4 to be the all American Hummer, but you would be totally wrong, and forgiven as this truck is little known outside of the Asian Pacific region. Although the big and square appearance is very similar, this truck is Japanese through and through, a little known truck here in Europe, that was very successful for it’s designed role by manufacturers Toyota.
The heavy-duty Mega Cruiser was produced by Toyota from 1995 to 2002 and it remains to be the biggest SUV the Japanese car maker has ever built, dimension-wise. It was designed primarily for the Japanese Home Ground Defence Forces, although a civilian version was also released.
While the Mega Cruiser is basically barren when it comes to creature comforts, it has features that will help you survive the most difficult of motoring conditions, that’s because this is essentially a military vehicle. One such feature that is extremely useful is the automatic tire-inflating/deflating system, which is fully adjustable from inside the cabin.
Powered by a 4.1-liter turbo diesel engine, the Mega Cruiser has exterior styling that borrows heavily from the Hummer H1, it looks just as intimidating, especially when you consider that this humongous SUV has been used to transport artillery and missiles.
With a ten person capacity and room for combat gear there is no shortage of space in the vehicle for the school run or shopping trip, you could probably complete a tip run for the whole street in one hit.
The Mega Cruiser sits on 37-inch tyres that are run flats that help in the massive 16.5 “ ground clearance (420mm), and with the factory fitted 4 wheel steering makes navigating the hairiest of . trails a breeze. With a turning radius of 5.6 meters (18.4 feet) the Mega Cruiser is a serious contender for the harshest terrain. Powered by a Toyota inline 4 litre 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine the truck has a reliable bullet proof power plant that is easily maintained whilst out in the field, would we expect anything less from Toyota?
Cylinders 4 cylinder in-line 4.104 ltr
Bore 4.25 x 4.41 inch
Power 150bhp @3400rpm
Torque 280 lb – ft @ 1800 rpm
Transmission 4 speed auto + O/D full time 4×4
Steering 4 wheel steering as stock
Differentials Front, Center & Rear diff locks, electronic switchable
Suspension 4 wheel interdependent, double wishbone
Brakes 4 inboard vented discs
Tires 37 x 12.50 x R 17 run flats
Ground Clearance 16.5 inch 420mm
Gross Vehicle Weight 3830kg
Height 81.7 inch 2075mm
Wheelbase 133.7inch 3395mm
Unfortunately, the Mega Cruiser is no longer available, civilian production was discontinued in 2002. However, it is possible to find some pre-owned vehicles, especially in Japan and Australia. The Mega Cruiser was designed specifically for the Japanese market, and there was no left-hand drive option.
Cost at new was €104,500 or £74,000
A short (and ropey) original promotional video;