A BIG PRICE TO PAY
The widely unknown Mahindra Pik-up fronts up against the formidable Toyota LC79. Can the budget-priced Indian workhorse keep up?
IT MIGHT seem like a long bow to draw, but the two 4x4s on these pages actually have quite a lot in common. However, there’s a huge difference in price – more than $40,000, in fact. The Mahindra you see here has a drive-away price of just $32,990 and comes with a three-year, 100,000km warranty. The best dealersourced pricing for this LC79 Landcruiser, however, is a whopping $74,290.
Neither truck is perfect, but the Toyota has the runs on the board in terms of reputation, and durability. We’re not suggesting the Mahindra is any better than the Cruiser, but is it $40K better? SHORT ON GEARS THE move to the 4.5-litre 1VD-FTV bent eight has given the Cruiser a bucket-load of torque – 430Nm from 12003200rpm – and more potential power at 151kw. But this is hamstrung by a very low-geared five-speed manual, which sees the Cruiser screaming its head off at highway speeds. That said the Euro 5 update of Toyota’s workhorse, due about now, will see a taller fifth gear, plus more airbags and electronic stability control and traction control. But those changes will also see even more added to the already high sticker price.
The wider front axle to accommodate the big diesel also left an unchanged rear axle track that doesn’t do much for the Cruiser’s handling when lugging a load. Perhaps the biggest boon for the Cruiser is its effortless 3500kg towing capability. It remains the best original-equipment vehicle on the Aus market for towing a big weight a big distance.
The Mahindra sports a modest AVL 2.2-litre four-pot common-rail turbo-diesel that provides 88kw/280nm, as opposed to the Toyota’s 151kw/430nm, but it will tow up to 2.5 tonnes and can haul a one-tonne payload on its back. Just don’t try to do both at the same time.
The Pik-up’s body, like the Landcruiser’s, sits on a ladderchassis frame and, in single cab form, handles the same size tray as the Toyota. The frames are near identical. However, where the LC79 uses a coilsprung live-axle front end, the Pik-up opts for torsion bars.
The Cruiser remains the best original-equipment vehicle on the Aus market for towing a big weight a big distance
Old-school Toyotastyle twin sticks and freewheeling hubs.
A 400kg payload didn’t make either truck work that hard. Aftermarket shocks would do wonders to the Pik-up’s ride.