2017 Toyota LandCruiser 79 Series offroad review

What’s it got?

Not a lot of advanced tech here. There’s a part-time 4X4 system now with manually lockable or automatic locking hubs, which we will describe in another post.

Automatic hubs or lock. Not an improvement over the previous free/lock versions as there’s less flexibility.

The transfer case offers 2WD (2H), 4WD high (4H) and 4WD low range (4Lo). You can shift from 2H to 4H at speed, although our 79 wasn’t very keen on the operation. You can even shift from 4Lo to 4H at speed too.

Read more – Why Toyota is wrong about the LC70’s hubs.

An actual transfer case lever! Not a button, a lever! We like this…

Electronic driving aids are new to the LC70. Here’s a rundown:

  • VSC – Vehicle Stability Control, otherwise known as ESC.
  • A-TRC – Brake Traction Control.
  • TRC – Engine Traction Control.
  • ABS – Antilock Braking System.
  • Brake Assist – detects an emergency stop and increases brake pressure.
  • EBD – Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.
  • Hill Start Assist.

A full explanation of these technologies can be found here:

How 4X4 electronic driving aids work

and the Toyota-specific implementations are shared with other Toyota 4WDs, explained here:

Fortuner and HiLux technical analysis

Dash showing brake traction control disabled (TRC off) as the lockers are engaged (red icons). VSC is also off in low range, as is ABS.

Here is the button that offroaders love, the front and rear cross-axle differential locks. You engage the rear first, and this disables brake traction control on the front axle, so you may as well twist the dial further and engage the front one too. We have a video showing the effects later in this review.

The 70 has long had front and rear cross-axle lockers available as an option, but since 2012 they are standard on GXL models and $1500 for Workmate. Aircon remains an “option” at $2761.

There is also now a DPF, along with a manual burn option. We have an explanation of how DPFs work here and a post on how hot the LC70’s DPF gets when it burns off.

Manual DPF burn switch. Refer to text above for a link explaining how it works. The Redarc knob is an aftermarket electric brake controller.

There is also an idle-up switch:

When the V8 was fitted to the LC70 in 2007 Toyota had to widen the front track to accommodate the engine. They simply didn’t bother at the back, so all LC70s since have had this odd crab stance.

There’s no new tech to the LC70, just the tried and true fundamentals. The standout feature is the front cross-axle locker which is rare these days. A handy feature is that you can also keystart the vehicle (start it in gear), something that has been deleted from even the HiLux. And the DPF gauge and manual burn option are welcome.

It is no coincidence that the notable features all relate to bushabiity, not comfort.

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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper