A Rare Toyota Mega Cruiser Is for Sale in the US Right Now

You could buy an old Humvee, or stand out with Toyota’s own ex-military off-road SUV.

byJames Gilboy|
1996 Toyota Mega Cruiser
Bring A Trailer
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Some people just wanna own a Hummer, but not look (or smell) like your typical Hummer owner. That's why there are things like the GMC Hummer EV, or electric-converted classic H1s. Of course, some people want their off-roaders to still have combustion engines, and they'll have to pay through the nose if they want to get at the lost H1 cousin currently for sale on Bring a Trailer: the Toyota Mega Cruiser.

The Mega Cruiser is exactly what it looks like: a military off-roader adapted for the civilian market. It's similar in size to an H1, though the Toyota is longer, taller, a touch narrower, and considerably lighter at 6,283 pounds. Both are powered by diesel engines linked to four-wheel-drive transfer cases, but it's also one of the places they diverge.

This Toyota uses a 4.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that generates 152 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. That may not sound like much, but it'll push the Mega Cruiser to a top speed of at least 81 mph, and get as high as 22 mpg. It does so despite a four-speed automatic and two-speed transfer case, with a low range to take advantage of almost 17 inches of ground clearance. (Also, locking differentials.)

It gets all that clearance from portal axles and 37-inch tires, which are optionally linked to a central inflation system that may or may not be equipped to this example, it's hard to tell. Amazingly, it manages that much even with four-wheel double-wishbone suspension, offering more articulation and better on-road performance than solid axles. On top of it all, Mega Cruisers have four-wheel steering for super-tight turning circles.

The Bring a Trailer listing for this 1996 example says it used to be green, and has received some rust repair, a new windshield, and had some collision damage fixed. Between that, its high mileage, and the addition of Mega Cruiser badging, it seems this is actually an ex-military truck. That might explain why its interior is cheapo spec, without the civilian Mega Cruiser's leather and (faux?) wood. It also appears to lack a car phone, which people have recently figured out how to resurrect. Still, it seats six with four-wide rear seating, so it's a better family vehicle than a Jeep Wrangler.

Most people won't care that it's not a "real" Mega Cruiser, and those that want one probably can't afford to split hairs anyway. Only 3,000 or so military models were built, and just 133 civilian trucks were sold. Though the auction just started, this example's already at $22,250, and it has until almost 5:00 p.m. Eastern next Wednesday to climb. Don't be surprised if it sells for GMC Hummer EV money—I know which of the two I'd rather have.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com

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