Toyota Land Cruiser LX Turbo Diesel 4 Dr Double Cab CC Review

Toyota Land Cruiser LX Turbo Diesel 4 Dr Double Cab CC Review

At the very toughest end of the Toyota range sits the Land Cruiser 70. It’s a purebred workhorse designed to haul and tow whatever is required over terrain that is rugged and unforgiving.

Propelled by a seemingly unstressed 4.5-litre turbodiesel V8 with 151kW and 430Nm, the Land Cruiser 70 will pull 3500kg (with braked trailer) while

carrying five burly guys. . Keeping that power under control is a five-speed manual gearbox. The gearstick throw is like rowing a boat, but positive enough in its placement and feel. Despite its 11.5l/100km fuel figure, it will go for a long time between fills as the tank is 130 litres

My brief excursion off-road showed that the Land Cruiser has a lot of grip and is capable of bludgeoning the environment into submission (while bouncing you out of your seat with its leaf springs if you’re not holding on – this was with an empty tray, though). It has an excellent low range crawl and can use its mountain of torque to pull itself over obstacles.

With its standard snorkel the Land Cruiser is capable of wading in 700mm of water. The approach angle is 36 degrees (and would probably be more if it wasn’t for the comically large front bumper), while the departure angle is 27 degrees. These figures are perfectly adequate for most farm and industrial applications, but if you want to go up a notch you’ll need to get a Land Rover Defender.

Like the Defender, as a hardcore utility vehicle the Land Cruiser has some compromises. First, it’s not a car for the city. The turning circle is ridiculous, it fidgets all over the place at motorway speeds and at 1.94m tall, 5.22m long and 1.87m wide it’s too big for many car parks.

Inside it’s fairly basic but comfortable. You do get a radio that supports Bluetooth phone integration but the two-speaker stereo sounds thin. There is a stopwatch function and you can charge your phone via USB. Two airbags are included for driver and passenger.

There is not much storage inside – a fairly small glovebox and central binnacle, plus a combination cup holder and phone holder. You can fold the rear bench seat forwards to create a more flexible interior cargo space.

The rear doors feature old-style ashtrays – something I haven’t seen for a while – and there is plenty of room for three largish guys to fit across the seat. Getting in and out of the ute is easy with aluminium side runners and built in grab handles. If you drag mud into the cabin the carpets can be easily removed for cleaning.

Our test ute was fitted withToyota’s standard, versatile tray and integrated rear cargo barrier. The sides and rear fold down for easy loading. The spare tyre fits in an under-tray compartment.

I wish I’d had a bit more of a chance to drive it off-road, but the lack of an available support vehicle meant I didn’t want to push my luck. And, with summer in full swing, I couldn’t even find a decent ford or stream to challenge the snorkel.

With its rugged, utilitarian features this Land Cruiser is aimed towards users in forestry, mining, farm work and rural industry. It’s less suitable as a city-based trade vehicle. The low range gearbox, excellent hauling capability and rugged simplicity set it up well for a hard life, and given that the engine seems like it’s not stressed at all, it’ll hopefully be a reliable workhorse.

Price: $79,880

Pros

  • Chuck the Land Cruiser at gravel, mud and rocks and the ground complies with its wishes
  • Good towing ability

Cons

  • It’s a monster to drive at speed on tarmac
  • Very little interior storage

Words and photos: Darren Cottingham

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