10 February 2017

Toyota Land Cruiser 2017 Towing Review

If it isn't broke, why fix it?

Cruiser 1
Toyota Landcruiser
Cruiser 2
Toyota Landcruiser
Cruiser 3
Toyota Landcruiser

The reputation of the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series is bolstered by an impressive New Zealand legacy spanning back to the 1980s and reaching to the modern day. Needless to say our expectations when towing such a classic were high.  

At a glance
Model Toyota Land Cruiser 70 LX
Engine 4.5 Diesel Intercooler Turbo
ANCAP Safety Rating 5 Star
Power 151kW at 3400rpm
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Fuel Economy 12.9L/100km
Body Style Ute
Towing Capacity Braked 3500kg
Towing Capacity Unbraked 750kg
Gross mass 3300kg

If you’re looking for an agile vehicle that’s easy to maneuver, the Land Cruiser is unlikely to meet your needs. Its lock hasn’t changed much over the years, and we found it a struggle navigating the car park, with its tough, old fashioned steering box much more suited to off-road action.

The front vision was good thanks to the height of the driver’s position but, again, the dated manual side mirrors made it difficult to see the boat behind. The reverse camera was a handy feature to have when coupling, but it would have provided more accurate guidance had it been placed in the centre of the ute.  

The tow bar assembly had double lashing points for two chains and the assembly looked substantial and durable. During hill climb, the thumping V8 turbo diesel engine pulled up convincingly and sounded good. The Land Cruiser pulled up the hill in 4th gear at around 2100rpm increasing speed to 80km/h, then fell back you a cruising speed of around 1800rpm in 5th gear. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when we say that this heavyweight truck felt like it could easily pull a bigger load.

During most driving conditions, performance was acceptable but, when taking light corners on the motorway at a decent speed, the vehicle developed a swaying sensation which corrected itself once we decelerated.

Another issue that presented itself when driving at a decent speed was the bumpy ride – especially when we were passing over undulations in the road. There are few creature comforts or mod-cons in the cabin to prevent the bumps from being felt by the passengers – in fact, the interior is lacking in some of the mod-cons or design touches that you’ll see in other utes such as sat-nav. It did though come with Cruise Control.  

If you fell in love with the Land Cruiser of old, then the 2016 model is reassuringly familiar - something of a brave move by Toyota considering the expectations of consumers are continuously increasing. The ace up this vehicle’s sleeve is its very strong 4WD setup but if you’re looking for an all-singing, all-dancing ute with all the bells and whistles, you may want to continue your search. 

Thanks to SeaCraft Miller Moyes for the test boat & trailer.

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Rating and scoring

Item towed
Haines Hunter 660 2000kg STD
Hard braking control
Acceleration control
General comfort
Smoothness of ride
Stability on uneven surfaces
Stability when cornering
Gearbox performance
Overall result
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