Engine: 4.5 litre DOHC 32-valve V8 common rail-direct injection turbo-diesel

Power: 151kW @ 3400 rpm   Torque: 430Nm @ 1200-3200 rpm

Transmission: Five-speed manual

Construction: Body-on-frame

Suspension: (F) live axle, coil springs (R) live axle, leaf springs

Payload: 1095 kgs

Towing: 3.5 tonne (braked)

Economy: 11.9 litres/100 kms

Price: Workmate $63,990 GXL $67,990


The latest variant of Toyota’s popular 70 Series workhorse range is rough riding, noisy and basic like its three siblings, but nothing can match the work ethic and unbreakable feel of this truck when the going gets tough.

Toyota says it was pent-up demand from the mining sector and primary industries that prompted development of this Double Cab tray-back ute model, so there’ll be plenty of miners, prospectors and farmers happy to see that their requests have finally been answered.

Truck Jungle is one of the first media outlets in Australia to have test-driven it and given that Australia is the first market this vehicle is being sold in, we’re also one of the first in the world to do so.

It’s basically a cut-down version of the short wheelbase 76 Series wagon body adapted to fit the long wheelbase 79 Series cab-chassis frame, which with a wheelbase of 3180mm is 450mm longer than the wagon’s 2730mm wheelbase (the 78 Series Troop Carrier sits in the middle of these two with a 2980mm wheelbase).

When viewed from the side, the longer Double Cab appears to have pushed the shortened tray too far rearwards so that it has excessive overhang.

However, run a measuring tape over it and you realise it’s just an illusion. It shares the same overall length of the 79 Series Single Cab (with full-length tray) at 5.22 metres and the same 29 degree departure angle, so looks can be deceiving.

That deception also applies to its overall dimensions relative to another one-tonne 4×4 competitor like the Ford Ranger Dual Cab pickup. You’d swear the LC79 was bigger than the Ford, but in fact the Ranger is slightly longer (131mm) and wider overall (60mm) with a slightly longer wheelbase as well (40mm). Surprising isn’t it?

There would not have been huge costs involved for Toyota in developing this new model, as it’s just a mix-and-match of existing 70 Series hardware with a new stumpier drop-side tray that’s available in a choice of heavy-duty colour-coded steel or light-duty aluminium.

We’re not sure what the future holds for the much-loved 70 Series, which was introduced in the early 1980s and has remained fundamentally unchanged for the past three decades.

Toyota Australia has told Truck Jungle it was important to debunk a current rumour (driven by recent press reports) that the model is to be discontinued in the near future. At this point in time, no such plan exists.

As mining giants like BHP and Rio Tinto now demand a minimum five-star ANCAP safety rating for their fleet vehicles, the good old 70 Series with its three-star rating would require a prohibitively costly re-engineering job to meet such standards immediately.

However, most of the mining companies also have a ‘grandfather clause’ in place which allows the current fleet of LC70 models to continue operating on their sites for the next two or three years, during which time Toyota will address the major safety upgrades required to meet the mining companies’ future requirements.

It’s always been a case of ‘evolution’ rather than ‘revolution’ with this model, so it will be interesting to see what Toyota comes up with this time.

One thing for sure is that they don’t want to lose it. The 70 Series has a large and loyal fan base, from ground staff working in the mines to farmers working the land to tradies towing trailers to recreational fishermen towing boats and many more.

Models & Features

The new LC79 model comes in two grades – Workmate and GXL. Both come with a big 130-litre fuel tank capacity, Euro IV-compliant 4.5-litre turbo-diesel engine, five-speed manual transmission (no automatic option) and part-time 4WD with two-speed transfer case. Seven exterior colours are offered.

The Double Cab Workmate base model (the one you can hose out) comes with 16 x 5.5-inch steel split rims, aluminium side-steps, vinyl seat facings and floor coverings, black bumpers and the extra-cost option of front and rear diff locks.

The up-spec GXL version that we tested gains wider 16 x 7.0-inch alloy wheels and 265/70R16 tyres, wheel flares, remote central locking, diff locks, fog lamps, power windows, cloth seat facings and carpet. It was also optioned up with air-conditioning (hard to believe such things are still extra-cost options).

The LC79 also benefits from recent across-the-range production upgrades including ABS, air-inlet snorkel mounted on the driver’s side A pillar, improved seating, in-dash multi-function clock and audio/CD system with Bluetooth hands-free, audio streaming and voice-recognition phone/audio.

New panels now neatly fill the gap behind the 76 Series wagon’s rear door shut-line where its wheel housing would normally be. The LC79′s 450mm increase in wheelbase is best demonstrated here.

The door mirrors on a 70 Series Land Cruiser say plenty about this truck’s back-to-basics design and no-nonsense simplicity, honed from decades of work in the toughest places imaginable where a minimum amount of moving parts is the secret to long service.

You won’t find nice aerodynamic shapes or dashboard-mounted remote controls here. The mirror supporting frames are just bent strips of steel, bolted rigidly through the door skin with really big truck mirrors bolted on top.

You adjust the driver’s mirror the old-fashioned way by winding down your window and moving it with your hands. If you need to adjust the passenger side, just get a mate to do it or nudge it against a fence post or tree trunk.

Compared to modern features increasingly found in the latest generation of one-tonne pickups from rival manufacturers in the $60-70,000 price range, the 70 Series looks threadbare.

There’s no warning chime if you’re silly enough to leave the headlights on. There’s no rear screen demister either. And the radio aerial is the old metal telescopic type, so if you forget to retract it in the rough stuff it can snap off like a carrot if you snag it on a tree branch.

It also has the old style ‘manual’ free-wheeling hubs that require stopping, getting out and locking by hand before selecting 4WD. And there’s no small dashboard knob for that either; it’s still a stumpy lever that sticks out of the floor. And the tiny centre console looks like a Corolla item.

There’s no Rear Park Assist or any of that new age nonsense. You just back it up until you hear a loud crunch or your mate yells out ‘Whoa!’ before you stick it in first again.

There’s also no cruise control, only a lap-belt provided for the central rear seat passenger, the air-conditioning control  gives you two choices – cold or bloody cold – and the tiny dashboard-mounted speakers produce a one-directional sound quality similar to a 1960s transistor radio.

So if you’re a typical one tonne pickup buyer looking for the ultimate dual-purpose ‘work and play’ fun machine, loaded with all the electronically controlled luxury gadgets and five-star safety rating to keep the wife and kids happy on weekends, then the LC79 (or any 70 Series model) probably won’t suit you. But then, it’s not meant to.

At 1.8 metres in length and about the same in width there’s a heap of floor space available in the shortened tray that’s far superior to double cab one-tonners with style-side pickup bodies. And there’s no wheel housings to eat into the load space.

What will it carry?

The LC79 is a real truck that’s designed primarily for hard work and it’s as tough as they come. With a one tonne-plus payload, you can load it up with five big blokes (that’s about half a tonne already) plus a mountain of gear in the tray before you’re hitting that payload threshold.

And as we know, that figure is regularly exceeded by 70 Series owners that either don’t know or just don’t care about such things.

The shortened tray is a good bit of gear. The one fitted to our test vehicle was the heavy duty version with full steel frame and drop sides, super tough checker-plate floor and rear window protection using a stout mesh steel frame. Internally measuring 1.8 metres long and 1.78 metres wide, it can swallow a really big load.

The LC 79 is also rated to tow up to 3.5 tonnes of braked trailer and up to 750 kgs for trailers without brakes.

What’s it like to drive?

On the road and open highway without a big load on board, the LC79 is a reminder of 4WD ownership in the 1980s, particularly the recirculating ball-type steering that lacks the sharper and more direct steering feel of today’s rack and pinion systems.

With those big live axles and heavy-duty springs riding the bumps front and rear, their considerable  unsprung weight tends to rock the cabin occupants backwards and forwards between them. It’s a ride quality that has long been surpassed by rival one-tonne pickup trucks that now use rigidly-mounted diffs and independent suspensions up front.

However, when you get close to a tonne or more on-board, the inherent strength of the 70 Series design really shines. It’s custom-made for this sort of workload, as the sprung-to-unsprung weight ratio changes the ride from jittery to sure-footed and the torquey 4.5 litre turbo-diesel V8 can do what it’s designed to do.

Hook a heavy trailer to the tow ball and the effect is the same. This is a workhorse first and foremost and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else.

Its turning circle feels really big. Around town this makes most parking and turning a lock-to-lock three-pointer and when things get tight off road it requires more of the same.

With its slab-sided cabin and flat windscreen, the 70 Series also has the kind of house-brick aerodynamics that produce a fair amount of wind roar at highway speeds. The wind buffeting around the intake snorkel on the driver’s A pillar obviously adds to this wind noise.

However, the advantage of such a tall glasshouse and high seat heights relative to the window sills is a commanding view out of all front and side windows.

The 32-valve 4.5 litre V8 common rail turbo-diesel with intercooler is a real truck motor, with 151kW at 3400 rpm and more importantly 430 Nm of torque on tap from just 1200 rpm all the way up to 3200 rpm.

Toyota says this engine has the fattest torque curve of all Toyota engines and we can’t argue with that. You can drop down below 1000 rpm and the thing will still pull from there without complaint, which is impressive given its hefty 2205 kg kerb weight (Ford Ranger is 46 kgs lighter at 2159 kgs).

What surprises us, though, is that it lags behind the 470 Nm peak torque figures quoted for rival turbo-diesel one tonners like the much smaller 3.2 litre inline five cylinder Ford Ranger and 2.8 litre four cylinder Holden Colorado.

But then they can’t match this V8’s incredibly wide 2000 rpm peak torque band, which says plenty about the LC79’s appeal as a heavy load lugger.

The 70 Series also sticks with a five-speed manual gearbox when some one tonne rivals are now boasting six-speed manuals. With a firm, well defined shift action, it’s nice to use but feels like it’s wanting you to feed it another cog when you get up to highway speeds. The gearing is pretty much spot-on for heavy towing and off road work, though.

Around town the big V8 felt like its sweet spot for changing gears was bang in the middle of that fat serving of torque at about 2500 rpm. Revving it any further is a waste of fuel and revs.

When the bitumen runs out and the going gets rough, the LC79’s abilities become obvious. For all but the most difficult off road terrain we only needed to lock the front hubs and pull the transfer case lever back one notch to hi-range 4×4.

With its super low first gear, the LC79 can slowly step its way across some pretty challenging terrain with consummate ease yet still have enough teeth left in it to blast your way out of a steep, heavily rutted creek crossing or boggy mud section when needed.

Despite its long wheelbase, there’s enough static ride height to ensure it can tackle most sharp drop-offs without getting high-centered. Same goes for its approach and departure angles which of course match those of its single cab 79 Series tray-back sibling.

Toyota rates its wading depth at 700mm, which is 100mm less than that claimed for the Ford Ranger. Even so, like its payload rating, these figures will be taken as a rough guide rather than gospel by many owners.

Did you notice that the engine air intake is at roof height? They don’t call them ‘snorkels’ for nothing. We’ve seen one 70 Series cross a flooded river in Far North Queensland that was at least 100 metres across, almost fully submerged with only the glasshouse above water the whole way!

Not recommended mind you, but it just goes to show how capable these vehicles are and how conservative their creators must be to try and stop people getting into serious trouble. We powered through several deep crossings with water half-way up the doors without having to think about it.

Fact is we only used low range 4×4 once during our test and we probably could have got out of that in high range if we really had to. And to think this robust unit is also armed with front and rear electronic diff locks! As we say, it’s more than just capable.


The LC 79, like its three 70 Series siblings, is designed and built primarily as a practical and pretty much indestructible one tonne workhorse to carry up to five passengers and a mountain of gear across all kinds of terrain. The tougher things get, the better the LC79 performs.

So if you’ve got some serious off road work to do which requires carrying a lot of people or you have some really heavy things to tow, plus you’re prepared to rough it a little and forego the luxuries found in rival one tonne pickups, you’ll quickly learn to like the strength and enduringly honest work ethic of the LC79.

Fact is, we really didn’t want to give it back to Toyota at the end of our test, which in many cases is the true measure of a truck’s worth. There’s just something about it. TJ

*Special thanks to the Melbourne 4×4 Training and Proving Ground for its assistance with this story. www.melbourne4x4.com.au

92 Responses to Review & Road Test: Toyota Land Cruiser LC79 GXL Double Cab Ute

  • HB says:

    Nice truck! It’s got to be appreciated for what it is – just like the article says – spot on. Seen a demo model recently and the 130 litre fuel tank at the rear could be a concern. And can the wider spare wheel (GXL versions) be tucked under the tray with the bulk of the space behind the rear axle taken by the tank? The ABS unit now sits next to the battery and the installation of a second battery will need some modifications in relocating this – any implications on warranty? Will have one anyway, although the missus certainly will kill me for this one! Banished forever into the dog house – but still worth it.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      We checked with the product planning guys at Toyota Australia and they confirmed that the GXL models do carry the larger alloy wheel (16 x 7-inch) and fatter tyre (265/70R16) under the tray no problem. They also said the LC79 buyer can choose between carrying the spare under the tray or standing upright at the front of the tray behind the driver. Moving the ABS unit would void your new car warranty. Toyota says: “We would strongly recommend against relocating the ABS module and explore other alternatives. Tampering with the brake system, especially today’s high-tech systems, should not be considered under any circumstances. Warranty would not apply to any claim where relocation of the ABS module has attributed a fault.”

      • HB says:

        Hello Mark
        Thanks for the valuable advice regarding warranty conditions (29 October 2012). If I may take this topic further, it would be interesting to know the warranty conditions with respect to the following;

        Fitting after market bull bars and associated items such as radiator bottom protection plates to LC70 models where the manufacturers confirm that their products fully comply with OEM requirements related to airbag activation/functions, which is a critical safety issue. There are few LC70 series vehicles (new model with airbags, ABS etc) already on the road with these fittings, obviously still within the 3 year warranty period.

        Truck Jungle says: “Toyota Australia can confirm that warranty would not apply to any claim where installation of a non-genuine bull bar is attributed to be at fault. Toyota Genuine Accessory bull bars are developed in conjunction with the vehicle itself and strong consideration is given to the impact on the chassis, vehicle durability and airbag deployment in the case of an accident.”

        Fitting an after market primary diesel fuel filter as a safeguard against contaminated fuel especially in outback areas, given that there are several instances where CRD engines have suffered severe damage due to contaminated diesel fuel (water and other impurities). I understand that bio-diesel is a separate issue altogether (ref.Truck Jungle Editorial article dated 10 November 2011).

        Truck Jungle says: “Toyota Australia cannot condone the installation of any aftermarket fuel filter and similar to the bull bar situation above, warranty would not apply to any claim where installation of such a device is attributed to a fault.”

        My LC70 is scheduled to arrive at the dealer in January 2013 and I am keen to install some after market items.

        Best Regards

  • Trevor Beck says:

    Hope your right with your test evaluation because I have just recently ordered a GXL and hope to have it in Jan 2013. Glad to hear wide spare fits under tray! Have had to convert from Nissan as there are not any decent motor options in Nissan nowadays, and I said probably 10yrs ago, if Nissan or Toyota made a twin cab Patrol or Cruiser with a decent motor I would have one so I am.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      We hope we’re right with our evaluation too, Trevor! We can’t think of any reason why you’d be unhappy with this purchase, though. The 70 Series is a proven product that’s as tough as they come. The dual cab with tray just makes a great vehicle even greater. Please stay in touch and let us know what you think of it as an owner. We’d value your feedback.

  • Lucas says:

    Two weeks ago I picked up my new gxl 79 dual cab. So far I am completely stoked! Have already travelled over 1000klms, half of which towing a 2.5 ton trailer. Had a 2009 hilux before this and it just dosent compare. Center console size issue was easily resolved with an aftermarket unit from ‘department of the interior’. As for the dual battery, there is plenty of room to install a sealed deep cycle battery under the tray up towards the cab.
    Why would you buy a ford ranger or anything else with these on the market!!!

    • Mark Oastler says:

      We’re not surprised you’re so happy with your LC79. They’re such a good truck and as you are already finding out, respond well to quality aftermarket modifications. We’re sure Truck Jungle reader ‘HB’ would be interested in your mounting of a second battery under the tray. Please keep us posted on your ownership experience and any other mods you make.

    • Wranger says:

      You would buy a Ford Ranger because it drives much better on the road, has an interior that would suit a passenger car, and makes the same power and more torque out of an engine half the size, which leads to better fuel economy. Not to mention the fact that a 70 Series crumples like a tin can in a crash.

      • Ken in Cairns says:

        IFS just does not cut it on rutted tracks. The crossbeams for the front diff act like bulldozer blades as the suspension compresses. It’s a no brainer for an experienced off roader on any kind of rutted sand, mud or rocky tracks. There is no comparison between IFS and live axle front ends except for soft roading.

  • Michael Perrin says:

    I was very excited with the release of the dual cab LC79 as we were considering using it to tow a 5th Wheeler. But after measuring the tray and seeing how close the rear axle is to the back of the cab the vehicle has ruled itself out of that possibility. What a shame. It would have been an ideal combination.

  • Sofie says:

    My partner and I just purchased one and wondering if the oil pressure gauge should be going up and down as you rev it? It goes up to 3/4 when you rev and down to 1/4 when your not revving and this is just whilst driving along. It has been doing that since it was picked up brand new.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      We have forwarded your enquiry to the technical team at Toyota Australia and will publish it here as soon as we get a response. In the meantime, if there’s any other LC79 owners with a similar concern or have some information that may assist Sofie, we would welcome your feedback.

    • Andrew says:

      I have owned my GXL dual cab since December and the oil pressure gauge fluctuates with engine revs exactly as Sofie describes. Normal condition I believe.

      • Mark Oastler says:

        Thanks Andrew. We have spoken to Toyota’s service team and they have also confirmed that the operation described by Sofie appears correct and normal. The oil pressures from idle to 2500rpm will increase from approximately 7 psi to 60 psi or more. Toyota is confident there is no problem with the gauge operation. However, they have advised that if the customer (Sofie) is still concerned they should present their vehicle to a dealer to confirm as required.

  • Trevor Evans says:

    We also tow a 5th Wheeler and were wondering if there are any vehicle up-graders out there that could lengthen the wheelbase approx 250mm. And how we would go with warranty?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Trevor. There’s a number of aftermarket vehicle conversion specialists that could lengthen an LC79′s wheelbase to suit your 5th Wheeler towing requirements. However, such a substantial modification would also void the new vehicle warranty. Might be worth looking at some alternative dual cab trucks with the right wheelbase and rear axle location. We’ve seen some light 5th Wheelers being towed quite comfortably with one-tonne utes like the Nissan Navara, while owners of much heavier 5th Wheelers tend to favour big American pickups like the Ford F Series Super Duty and Chevrolet Silverado. Please keep us posted on what you decide to do.

  • Sofie says:

    Thank you very much for the info. We thought it might be normal but better asking the experts. Thank you Mark.

  • Alan says:

    Can anyone tell me the no bull**** price on both models as I am in the market for one as I speak. I have tried two of my nearest Toyota dealers and between the two of them very different prices. Yes I have a trade-in, which is debatable on who wants to offer what. Here are the two options I have had:
    Workmate with front & rear diff locks, steel tray, towbar, steel bullbar. Drive away $78000+
    GXL, steel tray, towbar, steel bullbar. Drive away $88000+
    Trade-in 2003 Sahara fitted with everything for touring, approximate-$35000
    Workmate with front & rear diff locks, steel tray, towbar. Drive away $78000+
    GXL, steel tray, towbar. Drive away $78000+
    Trade-in 2003 Sahara fitted with everything for touring, approximate-$28000
    Yes, prior to posting I have double checked options and pricing. No mistakes.

  • Daniel says:

    Just took delivery of my dual cab LC79 on Thursday 28/03/13 and the oil pressure gauge fluctuates as described above. Guess it must be normal. Should you be able to hear the turbo sucking in air or a similar sound when depressing the clutch from first to second gear? Interested to know if anyone else can hear this noise. Previous vehicle was a 2006 Nissan Patrol bought brand new. Got 330,000 kms out of it with no problems, apart from changing two batteries. Hopefully the Cruiser will be as good. So far I am stoked.

    • Andrew says:

      Daniel, when I drive mine with the window down I can hear the turbo working through the air intake on top of the snorkel, very common I have been told. I’ve just turned up 2500km on my GXL and I am really happy except the seats are a bit hard on a long drive.

  • Brendan says:

    Took delivery of mine early February and have clocked up 8,000 km so far. I’m stoked with it. Have had same as comments above about how the oil pressure (gauge) fluctuates and the sound of air sucking through the snorkel (fixed that by changing to a ram head snorkel).

    Have fitted two extra batteries – one next to the fuel filler behind the right rear tyre, the second one under the tray. So far have custom-built a hardtop canopy with LED strip lights and canvas sides, custom canvas seat covers, tinted windows and two-way electric rust protection.

    Am a little unhappy about the fact I need to get air bags to lift the rear when carrying any load as it does tend to sag a hell of a lot, although I am getting them anyway due to towing a three-tonne van with the family for the next few years.

    Next on the list for the next swing home are: side and rear awnings, a few LED spot bars, brackets for axe, shovel and jack, slide for my fridge and custom slide for the Weber BBQ, under-tray water tank, ARB front and side bars, winch, 2.0-inch lift kit and air bags, 3.0-inch exhaust, ROH black steel wheels with 285/75 R16 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs and tie-down points for the kids 50cc motorbikes.Then we’ll see what we need after that for the following swing off LOL.

    BTW, done a heap of 4WD-ing and a few good, reasonably hard clay and rock hill-climbs. Without the diff locks it does awesome. With the lockers in and all that V8 torque in high and low range, it’s a damn monster!
    I have never been more sold on any 4WD I’ve ever owned. Enjoy.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Sounds great Brendan. Make sure you keep us updated on your modifications because it sounds like you’re building yourself an awesome LC79 there.

  • Chris says:

    Hey Brendan, would be great to see some pics of that canopy. Got a link?

    I’m getting a hardtop canopy with canvas sides as my first priority. Got the car with ARB bar, UHF, steel and timber tray, full safari snorkel, centre roof console, Fyrlyt spotties and getting a RedArc dual battery system soon. The canopy’s the big one though… then we can get away in the thing. With three kids, I’d need a whole lot of ropes to tie down all that gear with no canopy!

  • Daniel says:

    Got 5000klms on my LC 79 now and couldn’t be happier. Very surprised on the fuel economy. It uses a lot less then my previous 4.2L TD Patrol. Just one niggling issue is the fact the spare tyre isn’t mounted under the tray. I have two 1450mm long checker plate tool boxes on the sides and the spare tyre is always in the way. Does anyone have the tyre stored under the tray? Can it be done? Very interested to know.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Daniel, our GXL test vehicle had the spare mounted under the tray, but they are also available with the spare mounted upright at the front of the tray directly behind the cab. We’re told that new LC79 buyers can specify one design or the other when ordering the vehicle. Maybe you should talk to a Toyota dealer to see if you can retro-fit yours to carry the spare underneath the tray? Or perhaps there’s a Truck Jungle reader that can assist?

  • Daniel says:

    Thanks Mark. I was told that there was no way the spare can go under the tray which I thought was weird. I was concerned about the height issue of the headboard and ladder rack so the Toyota dealer told me that if they put the spare under the tray it would increase the overall height, but the headboard looks as though it can be cut down and modified so the overall height stays the same. I wasn’t given this option by my dealer. It really put a spoiler on the delivery of the vehicle. If anyone can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      I’ll also contact the boys at Toyota on your behalf and see what they have to say about this. They might have a cost-effective solution. Poor form shown by your Toyota dealer in not letting you know that both front-of-tray and under-the-tray spare tyre storage options are available on LC79.

  • Daniel says:

    Thanks Mark that would be greatly appreciated. At the moment it’s in the way all of the time except if I leave it at home. I carry a fair amount of gear in the tray from time to time so and as you could imagine the large gxl spare takes up a fair bit if room especially with the 2 large tool boxes fitted. I did complain to the salesman but was told what I had previously stated. I kind of got the impression that he was more concerned in me taking delivery before the end of the month. Regards Daniel

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Yeah, I got that impression too. I have heard similar stories where sales staff have been what you might say ‘selective’ in their supply of information to a client when they need to shift a vehicle they have on the floor to meet sales targets! Sad but true. Anyway, let’s see if we can work out the best solution for you. Any constructive suggestions from Truck Jungle readers most welcome, too.

  • Matt says:

    I’m looking at purchasing the LC79 dualcab but I have heard that it doesn’t have provisions for baby seat clips on the floor. Is this true? And if so how would I resolve this problem? Could I get my local welder to make some clips and bolt these into the floor of the cab and then have a engineer approve it.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      We know the 70 Series wagon has child seat restraint couplings but they are located in the roof section behind the rear seat. Not sure if you can duplicate that in the LC79 given its different cab design. Best advice is to consult an approved vehicle engineer about what you want to do and see what’s possible. Or perhaps a reader can assist.

  • Daniel says:

    Hi Matt. I thought they did. Well I hope it does. That was one of the main reasons I went with a dual cab. Above the rear window there are 2 points where plugs have been inserted. I thought they were the restraints for a child seat and that was the description that the vehicle manual gave also. If that’s not what they are well then I have no idea what purpose they serve. I haven’t taken a plug out yet as I am scared of making a mess of the roofliner. If anyone knows what they are for please let me/ us know. Regards Daniel

  • Matt says:

    Hi guys. I have purchased the dual cab Cruiser and there is no provision for the child restraints – they have to be engineered. A good friend of mine owns a Toyota dealership and even he thought that they had anchor points. I heard that it is around $300 per anchor point for the fitting and a certificate.

  • Daniel says:

    What are the 2 fittings above the rear window for? Does anyone know who does these aftermarket child restraints?

  • Gus Tibong says:


    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Gus. Best advice we can offer is to contact Toyota’s distributor in PNG, which we understand is Ela Motors, Scratchley Road Badili, Port Moresby NCD. Phone (+675) 322 9400 or www.elamotors.com.pg

  • Mark Oastler says:

    Hi Daniel. I have just heard back from the guys at Toyota about your spare wheel issue. They have confirmed that for the LC79 Double Cab range, the aluminium and wooden floor tray bodies can only accept a header board mounting for the spare wheel. I assume your vehicle has one of these two tray options. If so, the most cost-effective compromise I can think of would be to modify (shorten) the checker-plate toolbox on the spare wheel side to make room for it. Not sure if this is a workable option, but it might be the best solution. Hope this helps. I have also confirmed that the LC79 Double Cab is not fitted with child seat restraints.

  • Daniel says:

    Thanks Mark for your help. I do have an alloy tray. I re configure the toolbox so the spare can go back on the headboard again. Any idea why that’s the case?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Daniel. I just assumed you couldn’t find a place to carry the spare because the 1450mm-long checkerplate tool box on the right-hand side was using up the tray space where the headerboard-mounted spare would normally sit. Hence my suggestion to shorten the tool box or move it back to leave enough room to carry the spare in its original location. Toyota has confirmed that the spare can’t be carried under the aluminium and wooden floor trays so I figured this would be the best solution. Perhaps I’m not visualising your situation correctly. Can you send me some photos via our email address on the Contact page?

  • Daniel says:

    Hi Mark. It might go back on the headboard but only just and with some modifications. What I will need to do is move the toolboxes back to the rear of the tray, loose the toyota ladder rack then get a new ladder rack made up to mount on top of the toolboxes and that’s only if the spare can fit in that space between the headboard and toolbox and if I can access the bolt that mounts the tyre to to the headboard with the toolbox in the way. It’s a real inconvenience. Any idea why they won’t mount it under the alloy or wooden trays? Every other manufacturer can seem to do it. Regards Daniel. Thanks for your interest in my problem too mate!!

    • Mark Oastler says:

      The spare wheel/tyre and its under-tray cradle are pretty heavy, so I can only assume Toyota don’t offer that option on the aluminium and wooden floor trays because they are of lighter construction and can’t offer the same under-floor support as a full steel tray. However, that also means that with your aluminium tray you’re not lugging around all the extra weight of a steel tray and its under-floor spare wheel cradle, so that’s a plus in terms of fuel economy. And you never have to worry about rust etc. I think your plan to change the toolbox location/ladder rack is the best solution, because you really don’t want to be driving anywhere without a spare. And with some careful thought, you’ll probably be able to design-in a few ideas that make it work better for you than the original layout. For instance, taking advantage of the fact the spare is not stored underneath the tray by fitting one of those lockable aftermarket slide-out storage units instead. Hope this helps and please let us know how you go with it.

  • Jake says:

    Hey, I was wondering if I could get a price on a 79 series GXL single cab ute?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Latest RRP listing we saw for this vehicle was $62,790 but you can only use such figures as a general guide because LC79 pricing depends on which tray option you choose (steel or aluminium) and how hungry a dealer is to make a sale. Best advice is to contact at least three Toyota dealers in your area for quotes and go from there. Just make sure you know all the specifications and options available for this vehicle beforehand. A good place to start is Toyota Australia’s official website at www.toyota.com.au

  • Cameron says:

    Is there any difference in rear seat legroom compared to the 76 series Wagon?
    P.S. Great to find you writing again Mark.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Cameron. Toyota’s specifications chart for the LC76 wagon claims rear seat legroom of 600mm, but Toyota doesn’t publish the rear seat legroom dimension for the LC79 dual cab and I couldn’t get a reply from them about this query. Therefore, given that the LC79 cab is basically an LC76 with the rear cargo area removed, I would assume legroom would be the same or pretty close to it. Hope this helps.

  • Kev says:


    Had mine for a week and love it. Does anybody know why the Single cab GLX comes with a tray with two drink holder yet the double cab has only one. Is there an aftermarket console that would suit. Toyota says I can buy one of their single cab units but it would cost me around$ 800 for it. For that price I will hold my drink.

  • willy says:

    Anyone got advice in regards to fitting a bench seat in the new 2013 GXL utility. I have ordered the new ute and for work reasons i would prefer the bench. Toyota told me it has to be aftermarket/engineered. Is this true and does anyone know of who does it in Brisbane?

    • christie says:

      Hi Willy. How did you go with the bench seat? We are looking to do the same thing, but unsure where to start. Cheers, Christie

    • PaulOS says:

      G’day Willy and Christie. Did you guys end up getting a front bench seat? And if so, from where? Cheers, Paul

      • PaulOS says:

        I have not had it done (yet, but plan to in the next couple of months), but I have been in contact with Trevor from Australian Auto Fashions (1300 789 598 ) in Chullora NSW and he assures me that this can be done with all compliances etc
        Cheers Paul

  • Daniel says:

    Hi Mark. Finally got the spare mounted under the tray by an aftermarket fabricator. It went straight under without lifting the tray as Toyota said was necessary. Just moved the number plate and a few brackets later it was all done. Took around 3 hours. It would have been nice for Toyota if they didn’t want to do it to tell me to try an aftermarket fabricator. It’s so much better under there now, however I can’t get an under tray drawer as you suggested.

    Pretty disappointed with my Toyota dealer about this issue. Especially since I have recommended 2 more people their way, 1 of which bought a brand new 200 series Sahara diesel. The other went to another Toyota dealer close by as the salesman didn’t take him seriously and didn’t call him after he went in to see them. He ended up buying a dual cab like mine from the other dealer which gave him loads of options and flexibility for the design of his ute. Which has an aluminium tray with his spare mounted under the tray.

    Fortunately the vehicle is a beast and I am very happy with it, except it gets loads of sand on the rear springs and chassis from the end of the cab back. I have no idea why.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Daniel. Great to hear you’ve got the whole spare wheel issue sorted – and without much pain by the sound of things. The deposits of sand on your rear springs and chassis must have something to do with the more exposed cab-chassis design and the way the air flows in and around the rear of the vehicle when it’s on the move. I can’t think of any other reason.

  • greg says:

    Great forum, only just found it. I am considering buying a GXL Dual cab later this year and have found the discussion threads very helpful. Has anyone modified the rear suspension to assist with towing and also ride. Maybe coils and / or air bags?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Glad to be of assistance Greg. The aftermarket guys are really starting to switch onto the LC79 with a growing list of accessories tailor-made for this great truck. For example, ARB make a range of items including a suspension upgrade that is claimed to raise the standard Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) from 3300 kgs to 3780 kgs. We would welcome any feedback from LC79 owners with first-hand experience at modifying their rear suspensions.

    • kev says:

      I put sumosprings airless air bags on mine, it did nothing. You’re better of doing a suspension upgrade. The standard suspension is rubbish and with little weight in the back the rear end sags.

  • Kryssy says:

    I’ve had my 79 series for two weeks now. Love it, but was very disappointed after waiting a week to have a car (baby) seat fitted to find there are no tie-down points. The whole reason for us upgrading from a single cab to a twin cab was due to expecting a baby. Now I’m due next week and have no car seat.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Kryssy, you’re not the first LC79 owner to discover that it’s not fitted with child seat anchorage points after they bought it. The LC79 is a no-frills, back-to-basics workhorse designed primarily for hard yakka. The fact that family buyers also choose this model proves its broad appeal but presents a problem when you want to fit child seats into a cabin not designed for them. If you read the comment by ‘Matt’ earlier in this thread (posted May 27) you’ll see that he faced the same problem and was looking to get child seat anchorage points installed by a certified vehicle engineer. Not sure how he went with that, but I think it is the only viable solution.

    • Andrew says:

      Kryssy, I had Toyota install two child restraints in mine before I picked it up. $380.00 with engineers certificate.

      • Peter Sherlock says:

        Hi Andrew – can you let me know what Toyota dealer you used? I will have the same problem shortly and want to point my dealer in the right direction. Cheers Peter

  • rang says:

    Are 75 and 80 series rear diff the same?

  • rang says:

    I have a 4BT Cummins in my ute and I keep wearing my diff out driving normally. It weighs 3.2 tonnes.

  • Stano says:

    Great information, many thanks to all. I will be taking ownership of a new GXL LC dual cab in 2 weeks I can’t wait. I’m getting a steel fleet tray installed and the supplier advised they can install the wheel under the tray however the factory tow bar must be modified and it will reduce the towing rating!Has anyone had this issue when installing the spare under the tray? Is there a way around it to maintain the 3500kg tow rating? Cheers

  • simon says:

    Hi Everyone. We are involved with large cattle stations in outback NSW, QLD and SA. The only vehicles the will survive in the continual harsh conditions are the Landcruisers. Sure, we have tried Hilux, a neighbour tried an Amerok, we have had a new FJ Cruisers as well. We don’t thrash the vehicles, but we only get 20,000km-40,000km out of a front end before a rebuild. They survive about 12 months and with the rubber boot front end in mulga, we have steering rack issues CV issues.

    There is no doubt a Ranger/amerok/hilux would be a great suburban “getaway” vehicle, and yes, might be more comfortable and safer, and sure go “off road” just as well. However, we get “comfort” from the reliability of the Cruiser, and safety from the fact that it will get you home. Important issues in 50c heat, away from water.

    It does sadden us that they now have air bags and ABS in the current models.. the more electronic stuff, the more potential for trouble. ( e.g. Pull an ABS line off and most vehicles go into limp mode),and the 4 inch wider front end causes some interesting handling issues on sandy track. But there is nothing on the market that we can use that does not fall apart.

    With a fence line of 200km, we care about getting home, not whether 10 airbags went off when we hit a roo, or a seat belt/ key in ignition chime bangs on and on every time we open a gate.

    Will the Crusier survive an “air bag” society? I don’t think so. We are seeing signs of it already. What will we replace it with? I dunno… that is why the used market in 75 series L/Cs is so strong..

    The fact is- a 70 series cruiser is a military vehicle. Not a social vehicle. A truck. Judge it accordingly

    • NZhunter says:

      Good post mate. We have found the same thing in NZ. We have tried the new HiLux’s and Rangers and they just don’t hold up to regular day to day off-roading. Clutches, blown CVs and check engine lights always popping up. The Cruisers are built to do the job! All these other trucks are “just looking good”!

  • john says:

    Is it possible to get a ute tub to suit the dual cab? I can’t seem to find one online.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Good question John. We’re seeing more and more accessories being produced for the LC79 but haven’t seen a traditional styleside-type of ute body yet. If there’s enough demand I’m sure someone in the aftermarket will produce one. Is there a Truck Jungle reader who can assist John with his enquiry?

  • Ron says:

    79 series GXL dual cab. Leaving tyre under the rear tray, how does it affect clearance in sand? Not tested that yet. Any views? Certainly out of the way. Then I was hoping to add a long tray or could go shorter one from sides. Still to find tray with drawers to suit. Great truck. Ron

  • Carolynne says:

    We love the new truck, but it’s so high. I’ve had a back injury and find I need assistance to get in and out of it with the aid of a little plastic step. That makes people stare and makes me uncomfortable. Can I purchase lower running boards as I have seen on other Toyotas? Will they fit properly? Cheers Caz.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      The only side-step we’ve seen for the LC79 is the standard one that comes with the vehicle. Not sure if a lower step would be a good idea if you do any off-road driving, because it could get damaged. Perhaps there is an aftermarket swing-down style step that can be retracted once you’re inside? If anyone knows of a possible solution for Carolynne to make getting in and out of her LC79 a bit easier, please let us know here.

    • Bill Whalen says:

      Did anyone come up with a lower side step. We mainly use ours to tow our van but my wife now has a problem with her hip which makes it hard for her to get up into the vehicle. Had the vehicle for two years now. Had no problems and toes the van without any problems.

  • danny thomas says:

    This is the right stuff for PNG (Papua New Guinea) rough roads. Can it be sold in PNG?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Sure can Danny. Best advice we can offer is to contact Toyota’s distributor in PNG, which we understand is Ela Motors, Scratchley Road Badili, Port Moresby NCD. Phone (+675) 322 9400 or www.elamotors.com.pg Hope this helps. Cheers.

  • Chrissy says:

    Just discovered this website and saw Simon’s post. Couldn’t agree with him more. I’ve had my LC79 (single cab) new since November ’12. Haul a 2.2 tonne off road van on long bush trips and she never misses a beat. Been to the Cape and over WA way; racked up 67,000 km on ‘the girl’ now – she is just a beast! I’d much rather have something that’s a bit rough around the edges but is solid without all the new fangled gizmos – rather go without the ABS too for the same reason as Simon points out. All this aside after owning two Nissan Patrols (including the mighty 4.2TD) I would never go back – love the LC79!

  • anthony says:

    Trying to decide between the basic LC79 Workmate and the GXL. What is the reason the front wheelbase is wider then the rear? Are wheel spacers safe?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Anthony. We checked with Toyota Australia about the wider front track width and received the following response: “At the introduction of the 1VD V8 Turbo Diesel engine to the LC70 series range back in 2007, the front track was widened to accommodate the new and broader engine.” And regarding the use of wheel spacers: “Toyota does not endorse the installation of any non-genuine components.” Choosing between the Workmate and GXL comes down to how much you want to spend and how you intend to use your vehicle. It really is a personal choice in the end, based on what features matter most to you.

  • Craig says:

    Hi guys, great forum for a great truck. Just got my LC 79 dual cab and absolutely love it. I do have 2 gripes though. It could have a taller overdrive gear (or one whole extra gear wouldn’t go astray) and the seat needs one more click position in the rail to accommodate the taller lad and possibly be 10-15mm lower in the rear of the rail. Has anybody been able to modify or purchase a seat rail that sits this? I am aware of the overdrive answer – wait until a 6-speed box comes out!

  • Kym Drac says:

    Hi. I visit The Big Smoke occasionally and need to get into city car parks. Can you please confirm whether the quoted height for the GXL Wagon of 1940mm is to the top of the roof? How much higher is it to the top of the snorkel? Thanks in anticipation.Kym

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Kym. We’ve sent a formal enquiry to Toyota to confirm the dimensions you’re asking about. In the meantime, wouldn’t be too concerned about getting a 70 series into city car parks, with or without the factory snorkel. Toyota designs its 4x4s and accessories to ‘fit’ into the urban landscape and that includes underground and multi-level car parks. We’ve never had a problem in that area.

  • Adrian Krollig says:

    Have just taken delivery of my GXL 79 single cab. Being fitted with a full canopy to tow a Kimberley caravan and get to those places we normally can’t get to. Had it for two weeks and 500 kms and love what I have to date.

  • Flip says:

    Just picked up a dual cab GXL and slowly fitting it out. Have purchased a set of UES Bawer under tray boxes to fit on the Toyota factory heavy duty tray. Small issue with the fuel filler on the right hand side. The boxes are tapered to match the rear guards. Has anyone fitted these boxes?

  • Stuart says:

    Hi. Just wondering if I can put a normal size tray (2400mm) on a dual cab Land Cruiser?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Stuart. I’m sure you could do that pretty easily from an engineering point of view, but my main concern would be the amount of overhang at the back given that the 2400mm (or 2.4 metre) tray would add some 600mm to the overall length of the standard LC79. That could then present a range of problems including carrying too much payload behind the rear wheels, reduced departure angles in rugged off-road conditions and less clearance behind the vehicle when towing caravans, horse floats etc. You would also want to check with your state transport authority what the maximum allowable overhang is to make sure such a modification is legal. Hope this helps.

  • Craig says:

    Hey, does anyone know if it’s possible to fit a bench seat to a 79 Series dual cab? And if so, contact details in the Brisbane area. Also child restraint fitters in Brisbane. Thanks.

  • r patroni says:

    I just weighed my GXL dual cab. It has a 70-litre water tank, steel tray, spare tyre under the tray and also a 130-litre fuel tank. Full it weighed 2980 kg with my son and me in it. If I put on an extra spare, a rooftop camper, a solar panel and a generator the weight was 3220 kg. Does this mean I only have 80 kg of my load capacity remaining? I’m hoping to fit a canopy from Ute Boss – will this make me overweight?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      You are correct. The LC79′s standard Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is 3300 kg, so you should talk to a reputable aftermarket company like ARB which make suspension upgrade kits that can safely raise the LC79′s GVM to a higher level.

  • jp says:

    Hi guys. I love your review and the fact that you provide ongoing insights in the forum to owners or potential purchasers of a new LC. One thing I have been trying to get from Toyota, but have failed so far as I don’t seem to be able to get a hold of a competent person there, is the recommended oil types for more strenuous outback travel. Assuming someone wanted to go full synthetic, to ensure higher quality oil, the following questions were unanswered by Toyota:

    *Engine oil: Are you better off going to 5W40 or even 10W50 weight oil if driving a lot in the desert, mud, etc and Australia generally?
    *Diff oils are GL5 75W85 but most high quality brands sell only GL5 75W90, which at higher temp seems like it would be better too?
    *Same question for the gearbox and transfer case fluids?

    Any insights from you would be fantastic, as the regular mineral oil Toyota sells and puts in the vehicle is meant to cover the more ‘pedestrian’ range of use and not the constant heavy duty sand/mud driving some of us do.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Good question jp. We’ll follow this up with a contact at Toyota on your behalf, but if any Truck Jungle reader can assist with this enquiry in the meantime we would welcome your input. Cheers guys.

  • Stephen Jensen says:

    Hi Guys. I am about to order a LC79 and toying with the idea of an auto conversion using the 200 Series option from Wholesale Automatic Transmissions. Does anyone have any advice and/or experience in this regard? Thanks, Stephen.

  • Joe Culmone says:

    Hi all. Thinking of trading my five-year-old Sahara on a 79 Series dual cab. Had to fit air bags and a level ride towing system to the Sahara when towing as it sagged badly. I thought the leaf-spring rear of the 79 Series would be better. Have any owners of one towed with it? And if so, do they lay down in the rear or not?

  • James faiers says:

    I have recently purchased a 79 dual cab and want to fit a Trayon or Travelander slide-on camper. I am intending to do a GVM upgrade. Has anyone had any experience with these and will it work?

  • dubs says:

    Some of the comments on here are amusing.

    Mil spec? Seriously. I spent 14 years in the military, 10 of which were at the pointy end. These utes are admin utes, no more. They have woeful articulation but are reliable. Mil spec is a word thrown around by numerous people and companies these days. Even the old (and thankfully replaced) 110s left Land Cruiser utes in their wake up bush tracks. And I hate Land Rover.

    They (Land Cruisers) are way overpriced for what you get. As pointed out, add all the extras and you can hit $90K. For a ute… seriously. The narrow rear diff track is a joke as is the alternator issue.

    Most people on here are towing and they are fine for that. Modify one of these and use it off road and you are breaking CVs etc. I’ve had 7 Land Cruisers and they are all well made and for farming and towing great, but start using them with larger tyres, diff locks etc and things break. The 200 Series would be the only exception.

    The comments regarding ruts and how much better it is than a Ranger. Yep, independent fronts do have there shortfalls, but a 200 Series eats a 70 Series off road. And put 285s on a 70 Series and a Ranger and you will be surprised. The auto in the Ranger makes a mockery of any manual – and no clutch replacements. Factory rear diff lock and sprung over rear diff (look at both vehicles from the rear and you will see the massive spring pack under the Land Cruiser ready to stop you in your tracks).

    The Land Cruiser utes need better suspension and possibly stronger diffs. If you add all your extras/options and bolt in a replacement diff and/or do a coil rear, it then becomes a $100K ute. That is pathetic.

    I have owned a Patrol and 7 Land Cruisers, all different models, petrols and diesels. Most heavily modified. I now own 2 late model 4WDs, one a Ranger and it gets worked yet is reliable, doesn’t have any “well known issues” such as alternators or “fix it yourself narrow rear diff track issue”.

    And Amaroks and Rangers are hardly alike unless you read an article by car testers who prefer road attributes to ability and reliability. Dubs.

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