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Toyota LC76 Land Cruiser GXL 70 Series wagon 2017 review

EXPERT RATING
6.5
Andrew Chesterton road tests and reviews the new Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series Wagon with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Andrew Chesterton  road tests and reviews the new Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series Wagon with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

If you live in one of Australia’s major cities and you buy Toyota’s boxy and brutalist 70 Series LandCruiser to drive to and from work, then you’ve possibly got rocks in your head. The good news, though, is should you remove those rocks, you’ll have absolutely no problem summiting the pile in this ludicrously capable Toyota. 

MORE: Read the full Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series 2016 review

The lifeblood of the Aussie bush has been recharged for 2017 and beyond. But don’t expect huge changes - the LandCruiser still offers all the on-board technology of a roller skate and is as comfortable to pilot through the city as a camel. And it looks exactly the same, too. But some critical under-the-skin changes have been made to ensure it’ll meet all the current emissions regulations.

Tested here in (LC76) GXL Wagon ($64,990) form, this four-door, five-seat LandCruiser is touted as the most family friendly of the bunch. Which is to say, it’s the least likely to pull your arms from your sockets and knock the teeth from your mouth.

Toyota Land Cruiser 2017: GXL (4x4) 2 SEAT
Safety rating
Engine Type4.5L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency10.7L/100km
Seating2 seats
Price from$68,990

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   6/10

At $64,990, you might expect the GXL Wagon to be swimming in comfort and technology features, but it ain’t. In fact, even air-conditioning is a cost option, and one that will set you back an extra $2761.

But it's built for a purpose, and that purpose is working. It weighs around 2.5 tonnes, but it can tow 3.5 tonnes, and has a huge 130 litre tank. It’s got a heavy-duty 4WD system with low range, auto-locking front hubs and a diff lock. It can cross rivers, climb mountains... you name it. 

What is can’t do, however, is just about anything invented in the past 10 years. The old-school radio is Bluetooth-enabled, the windows are power operated and, in this top-tier model, there’s a central-locking system controlled via an annoyingly large and separate key fob. But that’s about it. 

You’ll also get 17-inch alloys instead of the 16-inch rims on the lower-spec model, cruise control and a host of new traction systems including stability and traction control and Toyota’s 'Active Traction Control', which is designed for off-roading.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   6/10

Time-tested and largely unchanged, the GXL Wagon is still the familiar boxy shape that’s been prowling the Australian outback for decades.

If your morning commute includes disposing of rings into the fiery pits of Modor, then there’s few that do it better than the LandCruiser.

It's tough, and looks every bit of it, with a sky-high snorkel, soaring ride height and powerful front end. Viewed side on, it looks like it's been constructed from Jenga pieces, but it all somehow adds to the LandCruiser’s retro charm.

That charm does start to wear a little inside, though, where paper thin door trims, ye olde worlde seats and a dash and steering wheel combo that looks to have been transported here from the past - which, like the rest of the car, it was. The rear doors still have pull-out ashtrays, for example.

It’s not quite as agricultural as the tray-top variant - the easy-hose rubber flooring has been replaced with carpet - but this is not the height of luxury.

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

As practical as a gumboot. Just open those twin, vertical-hung rear doors and start throwing stuff in. Toyota doesn't actually quote a luggage capacity number, but suffice to say it's lots. And more still if you drop the rear seat, which ignores all the modern 60/40 split nonsense and folds down in one unbroken piece.

Elsewhere, there's one lonely cupholder to share between front seat passengers, and, well, that's about it.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

Just the one engine and transmission offered right across the 70 Series family, and that’s a hardworking 4.5-litre diesel V8 paired with a five-speed manual transmission. The engine will generate 151kW at 3400rpm, but it’s a rich and meaty 430Nm from 1200rpm that really keeps the 2265kg Wagon moving along.  

The switch to Euro5 standards has seen some under the skin upgrades applied, too. A diesel particulate filter has been added and Toyota has changed the gear ratios to make second and fifth gear taller. Stability and traction control were also included for the first time in October last year, along with Toyota’s off-road focussed 'Active Traction Control.'

Interestingly, Australia was the driving force for these changes, and led the charge for the engine to be modernised. In other markets, most opt for a petrol V6 engine, but Australia’s outback wanderers and, more importantly, mining site fleet managers, all insist on the big diesel, so Toyota Australia demanded our LandCruiser get the updates.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

The big V8 will sip a claimed/combined 10.7  litres  per hundred  kilometres  and emit 281g per  kilometre  of C02. Its  130-litre  tank won’t be cheap to fill, however.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   5/10

Not good, I'm afraid. While the tray-top variants got some serious updating to qualify for a five-star ANCAP safety rating, including extra airbags, the GXL Wagon did not.

And so safety kit is limited to the usual stability stuff, including stability control and traction control, along with ABS brakes and Hill Start Assist. That, and two front airbags. To say that is a woeful standard safety compliment is an understatement.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / 100,000 km warranty

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

The LandCruiser LC76 GXL Wagon is covered by a three year, 100,000km warranty, and will require a visit to a service centre every six months or 10,000 kilometres . Toyota's capped-price servicing program limits the cost of each service to $340 for each of the first six services.

What's it like to drive?   7/10

I could you tell how this car is, at best, uncomfortable in the city, how the clutch is too heavy, the turning circle laughable and the steering so spongey you don’t know whether to turn the wheel or find some icing, but what would be the point? Around 80 per cent of these are sold to bush buyers, and that means smooth tarmac will only form a small part of their daily diet. And anyway, thanks to a shorter wheelbase, the wagon version is actually heaps more comfortable than the tray trop in the city.

But people actually buy these because they're tough. Bulletproof, even. And there’s something hugely satisfying about sizing up everything from a neighbourhood gutter to a soaring sand dune and knowing the GXL Wagon is going to come out on top. And it's going to be able to do it all with your whole family aboard.

It's loud, rough, each trip is a kind of mini workout thanks to the heavy clutch and opening the bonnet is damn near impossible for anyone weaker than The Rock, but it all somehow adds to the retro charm of the old school Cruiser.

But it has to be said, if your morning commute includes disposing of rings into the fiery pits of Modor, then there’s few that do it better than the LandCruiser. This is a serious 4WD for serious 4WD people, and everything from the on-board diff lock to the low-range 4WD settings accessed by a manual gearstick are designed to get you places that other cars can't. But if you’re a hobby off-roader unlikely to truly torture your car, then there’s plenty of vehicles that will do all you will ever ask of them in a lot more comfort and with a lot more technology.

Verdict

It’s not just the last of a dying breed, but the last of breed that’s otherwise dead. It's a fish out of water in the city, but an absolute beast off road. If you want one, now is the time. It’s unlikely to be around forever.

Will you be picking up a LandCruiser before they become extinct? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Pricing Guides

$84,992
Based on 334 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$53,888
Highest Price
$111,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
GX (4x4) 4.5L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $63,980 – 76,984 2017 TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 2017 GX (4x4) Pricing and Specs
GXL (4x4) 4.5L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $74,990 – 86,980 2017 TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 2017 GXL (4x4) Pricing and Specs
GXL (4x4) 2 SEAT 4.5L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $68,990 – 74,990 2017 TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 2017 GXL (4x4) 2 SEAT Pricing and Specs
GXL (4x4) 5 SEAT 4.5L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $57,310 – 65,890 2017 TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 2017 GXL (4x4) 5 SEAT Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6.5
Price and features6
Design6
Practicality7
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption7
Safety5
Ownership7
Driving7
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing journalist

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