To buy or not to buy: 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser

I currently drive two different vehicles—a fuel sipping Ford Focus, mostly to cover the short distance to work, and a fuel-guzzling Ford F-250 diesel, mostly for fishing and hunting . My wife has been encouraging me to downsize my fleet and recently observed that one of her friends has a ’91 Land Cruiser for sale. “What about something like that?” was her question to me; it could get me out to some remote fishing spots as well as fit a couple car seats for transporting kids (which my old truck doesn’t do so well). 

And so, I’ve been doing a little bit of looking into Land Cruisers. I have a few questions for you, if you don’t mind.

-  This vehicle originally came from the States and has a fair number of miles on it (250,000). How many is too many? I’m currently driving a truck with 225,000 miles.  So, it wouldn’t be a whole lot more than what I’m already driving, but certainly wouldn’t be a step toward a lesser-used vehicle, which would be nice for peace of mind.

-  What sort of a ball-park price do you think is reasonable for a vehicle of that vintage? Obviously you won’t know the exact condition, but it seems to be in reasonable shape for its age.  There is a bit of surface rust starting to show up on the back door, below the window, and just above the windshield. I don’t think that it has been abused, but it hasn’t been babied either.

-  Would I be better off spending a bit more for a lower mileage vehicle? I need to keep my total purchase price below $10,000. This one is well below that. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of these available in Alberta, from what I’ve been able to find. I’d potentially consider importing something from the States if that made sense.

-  Are other options worth looking at instead?  I’ve thought about Jeeps (Wrangler and Cherokee) or picking up a 4Runner, both of which are probably better on fuel and a whole lot more common.  I’d love to have a Tacoma, but won’t be able to find a 4-door in my price range.

Thanks for your feedback,

Robert Anderson via email, Blairmore, Alberta, Canada