2017 Toyota LandCruiser 79 Series offroad review


Basic is the operative word here. The heating/cooling controls are not touchscreen (good) or even dials, they’re ’80s spec levers. There is one interior light and that’s in the middle, not even one up front. Seating adjustment is just fore/aft and recline. There is no mirror in the sunvisor.

No electric seats here. The back is tilt-adjust, and fore-aft for the base.

The dashboard is basic too. There’s no temperature or fuel consumption display, but you do get a DPF gauge (more on that here). There is no courtesy delay light and certainly no puddle lamps. No steering wheel controls. No split aircon. You know all those little modern touches on modern cars? Forget it. However, there is Bluetooth, which works quite well even at 100km/h, and remote central locking. You know the answer to keyless start. It’s not a thing for the LC70.

Good – twin mesh seat pockets. Bad – centre lap belt. No child restraints either, but there are aftermarket companies that do that.

At the back the rear seats fold forwards and down. There is room to store some gear behind the seats, or they could be removed entirely. Toyota also provide a decent bottle jack.

The LC79 comes as a cab chassis with optional tray which has been fitted to our test vehicle, plus a dual battery install. Our tester also had access ladders and steps. The snorkel is standard.

The tray is pretty decent. Looks well made, and there’s good tie-downs on the bed which are recessed into the floor. The dimensions are 1840mm width and 1800mm length. The sides fold down and can be removed, and there are tie-down rails along the sides. LC70 utes must be optioned with trays, or choose an aftermarket unit.

The infotainment unit offers a CD player, USB port, aux-in, Bluetooth, AM/FM and has buttons not a touch-screen which is definitely a positive. It is a decent unit for the vehicle, but there’s no modern features.

And yes, those heating controls are out of a 1980s Corolla. They still work though. Below the aircon is an actual electric antenna that extends and retracts when the radio is switched on, or you can do it manually.

Just the one drinks holder.

The side pockets in the doors are tiny, but at least they exist. The blue-grey is straight from the ’80s and not to everyone’s taste.

The glovebox isn’t massive either.

There are at least two 12v sockets, both visible here, and an ashtray.

The centre console has a removeable tray, and is quite spacious:

Overall, think of 1990s design and features…that’s the LC70. Now that sounds like a terrible thing to say, but in fact it’s not that bad. Everything is easy to use because it’s all buttons, levers and dials, no touch screens, there’s space to bolt your own things in like extra drinks holders, and it’s all easy to use. Plus there is a certain charm to the simplicity of the design which is refreshing after so many modern try-hards. You’d want to customise it a bit, but the LC70’s interior does lend itself to practical if not comfortable offroading.

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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper