TOUGH truck

It’s the old­est and most ex­pen­sive ve­hi­cle amongst the best-sell­ing 4WD utes but its year-on-year sales in­crease is the strong­est

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Ute Review: Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series -

The LandCruiser 79 Se­ries, 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 that its year-on-year sales in­crease to June 30 is bet­ter than any of the other best-sell­ing utes with a 24 per cent in­crease, de­spite the fact that it’s the old­est and most ex­pen­sive ute here.

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 manda­tory gov­ern­ment safety and emis­sion stan­dards as well as in­dus­try safety de­mands.

First up, all mod­els gained 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 oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety 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 with oth­ers utes you’ll find amongst th­ese best sell­ers and doesn’t of­fer much in the way of on-road ci­vil­ity in terms of han­dling, ride or noise re­fine­ment. All that is, how­ever, for­given when the 79 is asked to work hard car­ry­ing or tow­ing a big load, or off road, where it is near un­stop­pable.

And the fur­ther you get from civil­i­sa­tion, the more the 79 makes sense. And if you do hap­pen to be in the ab­so­lute mid­dle of no-where it’s the only 4WD ute you re­ally want.

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