THE Land Cruiser 79, complete with its then all-new 4.5-litre V8 diesel, arrived in 2007 and has never been more popular than it is now.
In fact, in the first six months of 2018 it has sold almost as well as it did for the full 12 months of 2008. What’s more surprising is its year-on-year sales increase to June 30 is better than any of the other top 10 best-sellers, with a 24 per cent increase, despite the fact it’s the oldest vehicle here. This time last year the LC79 wasn’t even in the top 10.
In its 11-year history in Australia, two significant things have happened to the LC79. Firstly, in late 2012 the dual-cab model appeared, Australia being the first market to receive it off the back of what Toyota said was “demand from the booming mining sector and others”.
Then in late 2016 the 79 received a raft of updates, many of which came from meeting government safety and emission standards as well as industry safety demands. First up, all models gained the now mandatory electronic stability control (and electronic traction control as a side benefit). Then to meet Euro 5 emission standards all models gained a diesel particulate filter and piezo injectors.
All variants also got locking hubs, cruise control and a new five-speed gearbox with a much-needed taller top gear as well as a taller second gear. To meet industry OH&S demands for a five-star ANCAP safety rating, the single-cab model also gained curtain and driver’s knee airbags and thicker frame rails.
As ever the 79 is very truck-like to drive compared to others utes in this top 10, and it doesn’t offer much in the way of on-road civility in terms of handling and ride or noise refinement. Plus, the top gear still isn’t tall enough for relaxed highway cruising.
However, all of that is forgiven once you take the 79 off-road, where it is near unstoppable. The farther you get from civilisation, the more sense it makes; and if you happen to be in the middle of nowhere, it’s the only 4x4 you really want.
Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Series mid-2018 Year-on-Year sales
|June 2018 YTD||June 2017 YTD||Sales Change|
2018 Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Series Specs
Engine: 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel
Power: 151kW at 3400rpm
Torque: 430Nm at 1200-3200rpm
Gearbox: 5-speed manual
4X4 system: Dual-range part-time
Kerb weight: 2175kg
Towing capacity: 3500kg
Fuel tank size: 130 litres
ADR fuel claim: 10.7L/100km
Examining the market leaders on 4x4 Sales Report Card
Land Cruiser 79 Series 4x4 Report Card
|Cabin & Equipment||C|
|Towing & Practicality||A|
|It’s the yardstick in toughness
and go-anywhere ability.
*Scored against class competitors. A = Excellent; B = Very Good; C = Good; D = Fair; E = Poor; F = Fail.