2017 Toyota LandCruiser 79 Series offroad review


In a nutshell: The LandCruiser remains the toughest and most heavy-duty 4X4 on the market. That’s why it is so respected and commands the price it does, despite its age.

2017 Toyota LandCruiser LC79 Dual Cab GXL

Pricing $68,990 plus onroad costs Warranty three-years, 100,000 kilometres Safety Unrated (single cab only 5 star rating for 2015) Engine 4.5 litre V8 turbo-diesel Power 151kW at 3400rpm Torque 430Nm at 1200rpm Transmission five-speed manual Drive part-time 4X4, low range, front and rear locking differentials Dimensions 5230mm (L); 1870mm (W); 1955mm (H) Ground clearance 232mm Approach/ramp/departure angles 33 / not available / 27 degrees Wading 700mm Seats five Turning circle 14.4m Tare weight 2175kg GVM 3300kg Fuel Tank 130 litres Thirst 10.7L/100km Fuel diesel Towing 3500kg braked, 350kg TBM, 750kg unbraked GCM 6800kg Spare full-size alloy underslung

The LC79 is supplied as a cab chassis with optional tray. Some specifications such as tare weight and length, and the price will depend on options taken. Our test vehicle came with options which are priced below.

The LC70 looks like it can trace its ancestry all the way back to the Toyota BJ of the 1950s, and it can. For a while there was just the one LandCruiser, but in the late ’60s the line split with the J50 station wagon body, which developed into the 60 Series, 80 Series, 100 Series and today’s 200 Series.

On the other hand, what is now the LC70 line has remained pretty much the same in basic design and looks, right up until the latest update in 2016. The basic layout of 4.5L V8 diesel with a part-time 4X4 system and live axles was maintained, but changed were:

  • Cruise control added.
  • Taller 2nd and 5th gears, by 7% and 15% which contribute to fuel saving.
  • Electronic driving aids – traction control and stability control, with advanced ABS (brake distribution and brake force assist), hill start assist.
  • 5 star safety on the single cab only – airbags, strengthening, steering link relocation.
  • A diesel particulate filter (DPF), other changes to make it Euro 5 emissions compliant.
  • Engine upgrades that are claimed to improve fuel consumption by 10.1%.
  • Changing the split-rim steel rims to one-piece with tubeless tyres (Workmate, our tester is a GXL with alloys).
  • A single 130L tank, except for the Troopy which retains two 90L tanks.
  • Auto locking front hubs instead of manuals.
  • Front seatbelt pre-tensioners.
  • Engine immobiliser.
  • New infotainment unit with Bluetooth and MP3 CD player.

A total of around 1.3 million LC70s have been sold worldwide, and one-fifth of those are in Australia. The previous update was in March 2007 when the LC76 wagon was offered, along with the V8 turbo-diesel. In 2012 the dualcab variant was offered, and GXL grades got standard twin cross-axle differential locks.

Our tester is the LC79 dualcab, and we had it for ten days during which we drove it around town, offroad and on long-distance cruises. Price and specification as tested:

  • LC79 dualcab: $68,990.00
  • Air Conditioning: $2,761.00
  • Metallic Paint: $550.00
  • Colour-coded Steel Tray with chequer plate floor: $4,025
  • Ladder: $499.97
  • Towbar: $627.00
  • Tow ball: $31.24
  • Lower Toolbox: $546.00
  • Trailer Wiring Harness: $234.00
  • Head Board Spare Tyre Hanger: $134.90

TOTAL: $78,399.11

What’s what
The generic name for this vehicle class is LC70. Within that there is:

  • Wagon – LC76
  • Troop carrier –  LC78
  • Single cab chassis – LC79 SCC
  • Dualcab – LC79 DCC
LC76 (left), LC78 (centre), LC79 SCC (right). All MY2007 models.

How is the LC70 different?
Now the Defender is gone, the other top-selling utes are all variations on a theme – independent front end, live rear with leaves, all trying to be modern wagons as well as utes. There’s a couple of exceptions though, the NP300 dualcab has a coil rear end and the low-volume importers like the RAM Laramie offer a different class of vehicle. But the LC79 is different from the mainstream dualcabs because it has:

  • Live axle at the front compared to independent.
  • Disc brakes at the rear compared to drum.
  • Manual only, and 5-speed compared to 6 speed autos.
  • Payload of 1125kg – more than any other dualcab ute, and up to 1235kg in single cabs.
  • 16″ wheels compared to 17″ or greater.
  • The GCM is the same as the sum of the GVM and 3500kg max braked tow rating.
  • There is a massive difference between the sum of the front and rear axle loads and the GVM.
  • A much larger capacity engine, 4.5L V8 instead of 2 to 3.2L 4 to 6 cylinder engines.

Generally in almost every way, the LC70 is basic and old. And it’s more expensive. So, why bother? Well, a bit of a clue is given in the specifications above, which can be translated in English to “heavy duty ute”. But we’ll get into that later, so read on.

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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper