WE LOADED two traditional rivals, Toyota’s LandCruiser 79 Series and Mercedes-Benz’s G300, with 1000-litre water tanks to see which workhorse handled the weight better.
Both of these work utes are steeped in 30 years of history, and both have carved a name for themselves as durable, tough and reliable.
However, there’s one major discrepancy between the two off-road monsters: price. The Merc starts from an eye-watering $119,900, while the LandCruiser GXL will set you back at least $66,490 (and that’s without air-con).
The Mercedes-Benz, while impressive in a 4WD and load-carrying sense, is bare-to-the-bones when it comes to comfort and refinement. Dan Everett said of it at 4X4OTY: “The doors might not seal and the sound might send you deaf, but in 50 years that light switch is going to be as solid as ever, even if the suspension will be too.”
The 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine produces 135kW and 400Nm, and you’d be a game explorer to push 600km from its 97-litre fuel tank.
The 4X4OTY-winning Cruiser on the other hand, while not a luxurious vehicle in any sense, feels comfortable following a jaunt in the Merc.
Only minor changes have found their way into the Cruiser, but these changes – a taller fifth gear, auto-locking hubs, safety improvements – have made a good thing even better.
The Cruiser’s 4.5-litre eight-cylinder turbo-diesel is good for 151kW and 430Nm, while a bigger 130-litre fuel capacity should see it go 900km between refills.
Watch the above video to see whether the Merc’s $50K price premium makes it a better on- and off-road performer than the Cruiser.
Or grab a copy of 4X4 Australia’s March edition to read the complete load-lugging comparison. In stores now!