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Toyota Land Cruiser


Porsche Cayenne

Summary

Toyota Land Cruiser

Andrew Chesterton road tests and reviews the new Toyota LC70 LandCruiser GX single cab with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

You take your life into your own hands when you say this, but the 70 Series Toyota LandCruiser isn't perfect. In fact, it isn't perfect in lots of ways.

Explore the 2017 Toyota LandCruiser Range

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Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series single cab 2016 review | snapshot

But such is the burning passion for this Aussie (well, Japanese) icon that any criticism of it, no matter how fair, is greeted with howls of protests by our bearded brethren of the bush, who will accept nothing less than top marks for the mighty ‘Cruiser.

And it's hard to blame them: if your morning commute includes cresting glorious mountains and powering through standing water deep enough to swallow a hatchback, you'll find few that do it better than the hard-as-nails Toyota

There's a reason people say the 70 Series LandCruiser powers the Aussie bush, and that's because it's the place where this vehicle feels truly at home. When you're thousands of kilometres from anywhere else, durability and reliability count above all. And this tough Toyota offers that in spades.

But… if you live in the city, can see a city from your house, or have ever visited a city (or seen a photo of one), then the 70 Series LandCruiser will feel a touch agricultural. And by that we mean there are forklifts that offer more creature comforts than this thing. 

We spent a week with one of the most utilitarian of the lot - the LC79 GX cab chassis ($64,990) - to see how we'd get along.

Safety rating
Engine Type4.5L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency10.7L/100km
Seating3 seats

Porsche Cayenne

It was only a matter of time. More than a decade ago BMW kicked off the German luxury SUV coupe 'thing' with the X6, followed by the smaller X4.

Mercedes-Benz returned serve with its GLE and GLC Coupes, and more recently Audi has joined the party with the Q8. Now the domino effect has reached Porsche, with the Australian introduction of this car – the Cayenne Coupe.

Question is, does its carefully sculpted form compromise its intended SUV function? Happily, Porsche invited us to the local launch drive program, so we can find out.

Safety rating
Engine Type4.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency—L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

Toyota Land Cruiser6.5/10

It’s loud, rough and so overtly masculine you can feel the hairs growing on your chest as you drive it. And while we couldn’t live with it day-to-day, we applaud the fact it exists.

Tell us your best LC70 LandCruiser story in the comments below.


Porsche Cayenne7.8/10

The Cayenne Coupe is a logical extension of Porsche's determined push into the world of SUVs, yet logic isn't the key driver here.

Not cheap at any level, it's an emotional choice that's all about the optics. A swoopy, beautifully proportioned beast that'll poke your adrenal gland as effectively as it'll carry your kids and groceries.

Our pick is the twin-turbo V6 S. Massive performance and plenty of fruit without the top-shelf price tag.

Design

Toyota Land Cruiser6/10

Function over form is the order of the day here. Everything that exists on the exterior of the LC79 is there for a reason, from its chunky and thick tyres, the monstrous plastic snorkel or the chicken wire-style mesh that protects the back windscreen like that honky-tonk bar from The Blues Brothers (Bob's Country Bunker - Ed).

There's an undeniable retro-cool to the look (mostly because it is retro, and has barely changed over the years), mixed with a kind of overt masculinity thanks to its bulbous bonnet scoop and a huge bumper bar that juts forth from the grille like Jay Leno's chin.

Inside, it's clean and functional. Expect no touchscreen here. Nor a digitalised driver's binnacle, reversing camera or electric anything. When you leave the car, for example, you need to push down the door-lock button and then hold the door handle up as you slam the door. The last time I remember doing that I think I had a beeper attached to my belt.

Everywhere you turn there are reminders that this car was born in an era when tough mattered. Even shutting the door requires a monstrous effort, with anything but the most brutal of force resulting in a warning light on the dash that serves as a blinking reminder you lack the physical strength to manhandle this car. Needless to say, we saw that light quite a lot.


Porsche Cayenne8/10

Porsche describes the Cayenne Coupe as a "more progressive, athletic and emotional" version of the third-generation Cayenne, and it's hard to disagree with that assertion.

The Cayenne Coupe's nose and front doors are unchanged from its more upright sibling, but the car is in fact fractionally longer, lower and wider (at the rear). LED headlights are standard across the board with the Porsche Dynamic Light System fitted to all but the entry-level car. That brings swivelling main beams and static cornering lights.

The windscreen angle is shallower and the front roof edge has been lowered 20mm. And the steeper roofline falls gently to the rear, and you start to see the impact of an extra 18mm of width back there.

Other tweaks include repositioning of the rear numberplate into the bumper and an adaptive rear spoiler which extends by 135mm at speeds of 90km/h and above.

The cabin will be familiar to current Cayenne owners, the front section essentially unchanged with a broad centre console and configurable media and instrument displays. The biggest changes inside are in the back.

Standard fit is effectively a two-seat rear, although the 'comfort' three-seater rear bench from the Cayenne is available as a no-cost option.

A huge panoramic fixed glass roof is standard but if you want to go full racer spec a carbon turret is optional.

Practicality

Toyota Land Cruiser7/10

Is your view of practicality being able to drive up practically anything? Then Toyota's got good news for you. Better still, the LC79 GX has a claimed payload of 1235kg and a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes - both of which are impressive numbers. 

Inside, the basic two-seat layout offers a single cupholder to share between passengers, but a storage bin between the seats comes in handy for securing loose items.


Porsche Cayenne8/10

At just under 5.0m long, a little under 2.2m wide and close to 1.7m tall the Cayenne Coupe is a sizeable machine, and those in the front, divided by that wide, tapered centre console, are provided with plenty of space.

In terms of storage, there are two cupholders in that console as well as a small oddments tray, a lidded armrest/storage box between the seats, a decent glove box, and big bins in the doors with room for large bottles.

There are two 12-volt outlets, but be prepared if you're a USB-A user (Luddite?), there are two outlets in that centre storage box, and they're both USB-C.

Rear passengers sit 30mm lower than in the standard Cayenne and sitting behind the driver's seat set for my 183cm height, I enjoyed plenty of head and legroom. So here, the coupe roofline factor, isn't much of a factor at all. And the backrest angle is adjustable, which is a nice touch.

There are two cupholders in the fold down centre armrest, map pockets on the back of the front seats as well as individual ventilation outlets and two more USB (C) jacks.

The boot is where the rubber hits the road in terms of practicality, and despite the sloping rear end boot capacity is still generous in the first three models – 625 litres with the rear seat upright, for the Coupe and S Coupe, expanding to more than 1540 litres with the 40/20/40 split-folding backrest lowered.

The Turbo shrinks slightly to 600/1510L, and the addition of the Turbo S E-Hybrid's Lithium-Ion battery pack, electric motor and associated componentry means its cargo capacity is reduced by around 17 per cent to 500/1440L.

There are tie-down anchors at each corner of the floor, a 12-volt outlet, good lighting, and the spare is a collapsible space saver.

Maximum towing capacity for the non-hybrid models is 3.5 tonnes for a braked trailer (Turbo S E-Hybrid 3.0 tonnes) and 750kg unbraked. Porsche's 'Trailer Stability Management' system is standard.

Price and features

Toyota Land Cruiser6/10

Cost of entry for the LC79 GX is $64,490 (the same as the LC76 GXL Wagon), which is no picnic no matter how you shake it. And that spend buys you a fairly sparse product.

All creature comforts are cost extra. Air-conditioning, for example, adds $2761 to the bottom line. The tray, tow bar, and trailer wiring harness add another $4305 (but that's the fitted cost), and our test car also got diff locks, which add another $1500. All of which brings the final number to a touch over $73k, before on-road costs.

For that, you get cloth seats, plastic door trims and a scattering of ashtrays. Your radio is Bluetooth-equipped, your windows are manually operated and your plastics are so hard they could be used to cut diamonds.

But all of that is superfluous, really. What you're buying is a tried-and-tested workhorse, and this one has been put through an extra 100,000kms of what Toyota calls "extreme heavy-duty local testing". Toyota toured mine sites and cattle farms across the country, taking in the red dirt of the outback to the rocky escarpments of alpine country to the towering sand dunes of the northern NSW, feeding that information back to Japan while the LC79 was being developed.


Porsche Cayenne7/10

The Cayenne Coupe launches with four models with prices ranging from close to $130,000 to just over $290,000, before on-road costs, a slight price premium over the existing Cayenne line-up. Key competitors are the usual German suspects in the shape of the Audi A8, BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.

Entry point is the Cayenne Coupe at $128,000, followed by the S at $166,200, then the Turbo steps up to $253,600, with the flagship Turbo S E-Hybrid weighing in at $292,700.

Above and beyond the safety tech covered separately in the Safety section, standard features on the Cayenne Coupe include: the Sport Chrono system, 20-inch alloy rims, 'Porsche Active Aerodynamics' (with adaptive rear spoiler), LED headlights, 'four-point' daytime running lights and tail-lights, auto rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, panoramic roof, privacy glass, eight-way electrically adjustable sports front seats with driver memory package (14-way 'Comfort' front seats are a no-cost option), partial leather interior, multi-function sports steering wheel with manual shift paddles, gloss black interior elements, stainless steel sill guards, 10-speaker hi-fi audio (with digital radio), auto tailgate, cruise control, 12.0-inch touchscreen display managing navigation, audio and car systems, plus twin scrollable digital screens in the instrument display.

The S adds: air suspension, 21-inch alloy rims, metallic paint, twin dual-tube tailpipes, the 'Porsche Dynamic Light System', front seat heating, stainless steel pedal covers, and Bose 14-speaker/710W Surround Sound audio.

On top of that the Turbo lands: 'Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control', 22-inch wheels, the rear apron in the exterior colour, ambient lighting, four-zone climate control, 18-way electric 'Adaptive Sports' front seats with memory package, seat heating (front and rear), front seat ventilation, 'Comfort Access', a 'smooth-finish' leather interior, steering wheel heating, interior trim package in brushed aluminium, and floor mats.

Then, aside from ridiculous performance, the Turbo S E-Hybrid tips in with: 'Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus', recuperative braking, 22-inch 'RS Spyder' design wheels (including wheel arch extensions in the exterior colour), and 'Parking pre-climatisation'.

Engine & trans

Toyota Land Cruiser7/10

It's a single-engine offering right across the LC70 range, with a torque-rich 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 paired with a five-speed manual transmission the only combo on offer. The engine generates 151kW at 3400rpm, but a very healthy 430Nm from a low 1,200rpm.

Like the rest of the LC70 range, the LC79 has undergone an engine upgrade in line with Euro5 standards (the very standards that saw the demise of the Land Rover Defender and Nissan Pathfinder), with a diesel particulate filter added and a tweaking of the gear ratios to make second and fifth taller for better fuel economy. Stability and traction control were also included for the first time in October last year.


Porsche Cayenne9/10

All Porsche Cayenne Coupe engines feature an all-alloy construction, and direct-injection, with the cylinders arranged in a vee - the Coupe and S featuring six, the Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid, eight. Outputs range from properly powerful to utterly outrageous

The Cayenne Coupe is powered by a 3.0-litre (single, twin-scroll) turbo V6 featuring 'VarioCam Plus' (variable valve timing and lift on the inlet side) to produce 250kW/450Nm.

A 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 (as used in Audi's RS5) sits under the S's bonnet, producing a hefty 324kW/550Nm, while the Turbo's 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 pumps out 404kW/770Nm.

The Big Kahuna Turbo S E-Hybrid precisely doubles the base car's peak numbers. Yep, 500kW (670hp!) and 900Nm.

Central location of the V8's twin-scroll counter-rotating turbos in the inner 'hot V' (between the cylinder banks) optimises packaging and improves throttle response by shortening shortens the length of the exhaust plumbing to the turbos and the distance compressed air travels back to the intake side of the engine.

Iron coating of the cylinder linings and a chrome nitrite finish on the piston rings is claimed to improve durability and reduce oil consumption by up to 50 per cent compared to Porsche's previous 4.8-litre naturally aspirated V8.

All models feature Porsche's eight-speed 'Tiptronic' 'Shift-by-Wire' auto transmission, with drive going to all four wheels via an active AWD system built around an electronically variable, map-controlled, multi-plate clutch.

Fuel consumption

Toyota Land Cruiser6/10

The tweaks have seen fuel economy improve by up to 1.2 litres per hundred kilometres, now a claimed/combined 10.7L/100km. CO2 emissions are also a little better, now 281 grams per kilometres - 32 grams less than before.


Porsche Cayenne7/10

At this stage, Porsche is quoting combined cycle (urban, extra-urban) fuel economy figures in line with Euro 5 standards, ranging from 4.4L/100km for the Turbo S E-Hybrid, through 9.9L/100km for the 'base' V6, through 10.0L/100km for the S, to the thirstiest model, the Turbo, at 12.3L/100km.

CO2 emissions start at 100g/km (Turbo S E-Hybrid), rising to 225g/km (Coupe), through 229g/km (S), and finishing at 280g/km (Turbo).

Auto start-stop, with coasting function, is standard on the non-hybrid models, minimum fuel requirement is 95 RON premium unleaded, and you'll need 75 litres of it to fill the hybrid's tank, rising up to 90 litres for the other models.

Swapping through multiple models, with multiple drivers, on the media launch made it impossible to capture meaningful 'real world' figures, so we'll wait until a Cayenne Coupe hits the CarsGuide garage to record our own numbers.

Driving

Toyota Land Cruiser7/10

A nightmare on anything even resembling an actual road. The steering is the same soft and spongy experience you'll find in most serious four-wheel drives, while the suspension feels like it sees more travel than your average pilot. 

The turning circle, too, is a curiosity, turning even the most rudimentary U-turns into a three-point effort (if you're lucky). Toyota claims the turning circle figure as 14.4 metres, which is considerably longer than the wagon version. The blame is laid at the feet of the cab chassis' longer wheelbase (3180mm versus 2780mm).

But this is a car set up almost entirely for serious off-road work. And we mean serious. Those who tackle nothing harder than the gravel driveway of a Hunter Valley winery need not apply. The floor matts are constructed from hard-wearing (and easy to hose out) plastic, while the gearing is set up with first gear so short is serves almost no purpose on the tarmac.

Get it moving, and there's heaps of torque available for mid-range acceleration, and it's plenty brisk enough for overtaking, but the ride doesn't inspire confidence on the freeway, and we found ourselves travelling at just below the speed limit instead of on it. At 100km/h, though, it buzzes about, even with Toyota's focus on improved NVH this time around.

But all of that is largely irrelevant. If you're buying this car to navigate sealed roads, then there's probably something quite wrong with you. In fact, even if lightweight 4WDing is in your future, this car is overkill. There are plenty of cheaper options (including those from Toyota) that will tackle some pretty serious terrain, but will do it in what will feel like luxurious comfort by comparison.

If you require the battle-hardened services of a retro-styled legend, however, Toyota's 70 Series LandCruiser is the car for you. In fact, with stricter emission programs spelling the end for Nissan's Pathfinder and the Land Rover Defender, it's just about your only option.

Full disclosure: We didn't venture far off road (we saved that for the LC76 GXL Wagon), but with the same basic architecture, the same 4WD set-up (two-speed transfer case with auto-locking front hubs), and the addition of Toyota's off-road focused 'A-TRC' active traction control (which serves as kind of off-road and digital LSD, preventing wheel spin on low-grip surfaces), we're confident it would shine just as brightly.


Porsche Cayenne8/10

And as engine outputs rise, 0-100km/h acceleration times drop from an impressively rapid 6.0sec for the entry Coupe, through 5.0sec for the S, to 3.9sec for the Turbo, and 3.8sec for the Turbo S Hybrid. The Hybrid's more than 300kg heavier than the Turbo, so only a tenth faster.

Even in the base Coupe thrust is solid, urgent in the S, and brutal in the Turbo. Although it's already on sale in dealerships, the Turbo S E-Hybrid was a no-show at the media launch, but we'll be driving and reviewing one on home soil soon.

Despite turbos sitting in the way of a pure exhaust flow, the accompanying engine note and exhaust rumble is satisfyingly tough. Push hard in the Turbo and the howl emanating from the rear envelops the entire car.

All models feature Porsche's eight-speed 'Tiptronic' 'Shift-by-Wire' auto transmission, and it's just about as good as a conventional torque-convertor unit gets. Smooth yet precise, and satisfyingly quick in manual mode.

All models are equipped with 'Porsche Active Suspension Management', better known as PASM, which allows for on-the-fly suspension tuning to a firmer setting, plus air suspension on the top three models. Suspension is aluminium multi-link front and rear.

The Cayenne Coupe rides on 20-inch alloy wheels, the S on 21s, while the Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid roll on 22s, and the ride comfort / handling balance is amazingly good.

The Sport Chrono package is also standard on all variants enabling adjustment of chassis, engine, and transmission response through 'Normal', 'Sport', 'Sport+' and 'Individual' settings.

Select Sport or Sport+, then soften the suspension off to the Comfort setting and you have a perfect open road combination. This is a superb touring car.

Despite a bonnet, tailgate, doors, side sections, roof and front wings fabricated in aluminium, kerb weights are pretty chunky. The Coupe and S weigh just above 2.0 tonnes, the Turbo is 2.2 and the Turbo S E-Hybrid tips the scales at 2.5 big ones. But all models feel planted and well balanced on a quick B-road run.

And then there's the little Sport Response button in the centre of the Sport Chrono mode dial on the steering wheel. It's essentially a short-cut to Sport+, which tightens up responses and allows the turbos to overboost for a short period. Hit it and you have a 'push-to-pass' pick up for up to 20 seconds.

Electromechanical 'Power Steering Plus' features on all models and it's flat-out brilliant. Accurate, with great road feel and spot-on (variable) weight.

And brakes range from big to enormous, with professional grade ventilated rotors all around and four-piston front calipers on the Coupe, six-piston units on the S, and no less than 10-piston aluminium monobloc monsters on the Turbo and Hybrid. They all work in a fuss-free, confidence-inspiring way.

We covered some smooth graded dirt roads on the launch drive and Porsche is confident in the Cayenne Coupe's ability in tougher off-road terrain.

Air suspension models can be switched between 'Normal', 'Gravel', 'Mud', 'Sand', and 'Rock' modes and for the hardcore adventurers maximum clearance (between the ground and water-sensitive parts) is 500mm for the Coupe, 530mm for the S and Turbo, dropping to just 280mm for the Turbo S E-Hybrid.

Approach angle for the Coupe is 25.2 degrees (27.5 for the other models), break over is 18.7 degrees (21.3), and departure angle is 22 degrees for the Coupe, 24.2 for the S and Turbo, then 24.4 degrees for the Turbo S E-Hybrid.

Safety

Toyota Land Cruiser6/10

Part of this latest update saw Toyota upgrade the safety credentials of its LC70 range, and while the wagon variants oddly missed out on some of the changes, the LC79 got the lot. 

The entire range now gets traction control, stability control, hill-start assist, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution as standard kit, while the single-cab models (including the LC79) got new under-dash padding, new seats and seating frames, and new and stronger body panels.  

The utes also scored three extra airbags (joining the two front bags), including two curtain bags and a driver's knee airbag. The result was a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, tested against 2016 criteria.


Porsche Cayenne8/10

The Cayenne Coupe hasn't been assessed by ANCAP or Euro NCAP, but its outstanding dynamics go a long way towards avoiding a crash.

Specific features include ABS, BA, forward collision warning, stability and traction controls, lane departure warning (including road sign recognition) and AEB.

You'll also pick up a reversing camera, 'Parking Distance Control' (front and rear) and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

But if all that fails to prevent a crash the airbag count runs to eight (dual front, dual front side, curtain and knee bags for the driver and front passenger).

An active bonnet helps minimise pedestrian injuries and there are two top tether points and ISOFIX anchors for child seats/baby capsules in the two rear positions.

Ownership

Toyota Land Cruiser7/10

The LandCruiser LC79 GX 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.


Porsche Cayenne7/10

The Australian Porsche range is covered by a three year/unlimited km warranty, which, like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz lags behind the mainstream market where the majority of players are now at five years/unlimited km, with some at seven years.

But a 12-year (unlimited km) anti-corrosion warranty is included, as is twenty-four-hour roadside assistance, renewed every time you service your car at an authorised Porsche centre.

The main service interval is 12 months/15,000km, and no capped price servicing is available, with final costs determined at the dealer level (in line with variable labour costs by state/territory).