2012 VDJ76 6yrs of ownership and still going strong
After 6yrs of ownership (purchased new) I decided it was time for an honest first hand review.
If you are in the market for a comfortable 4x4 wagon look elsewhere, these are as basic as they come even in GXL spec as mine is.
I will start with the negatives,
- They are noisy on the hwy, (the gearbox is geared way to low) the handling and brakes are average at best.
- 1 cup holder for the entire family
- Basic seats
- Leaf springs in the rear and the shorter wheelbase gives poor ride comfort.
- No auto option from factory (aftermarket conversions cost $20,000 - $26,500)
- With factory difflocks these are extremely capapble straight from the show room floor
- The absence of all the electronic sensors & gadgets that fill cars today is a huge plus, a lot less to go wrong when travelling remote places.
- Manual locking hubs ( less to go wrong again)
- No automatic climate control, still basic slide/cable controls (less to go wrong again)
- Solid chassis, solid front diff and leaf rear suspension, these can take a beating even when fully loaded without any issues
- Low down torque and the low gearing make towing or 4wding very easy.
- These hold their value, at time of writing still approx 6mth waiting list from Toyota (depending on colour)
My 76 has been fautless over the years clocking up 135,000klms. The fuel consumption avgs 12L/100klm around town or hwy driving and towing our 1.5t van consumption is approx 16L/100klm.
The major consideration is to the servicing, I service mine every 5000klms to keep the internals of this engine clean. The 1VD does not like dirty oil and can lead to expensive repair bills.
Due to the primitive qualities they are not a 4wd that suits a lot of people but 70 series owners are rewarded with the solid construction and reliability expected from these 4x4s.
Having driven a huge bunch of cars I've chosen the best one
I used to have only good cars in my disposal. It was Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.
I cannot say that G class Mercedes-Benz worse than Toyota VDJ76, but.... when it comes to money , I wanna say: 'yes, Toyota is a winner'. Landcruiser VDJ 76 is the same reliable, well-done and awesome 4x4 car but in 3 times cheapper. Regarding other brands... I prefer not to say, don't want to offend other car owners. I know that for someone LC is not not cheap as well, but when we talk about a good car we must be honest and clear.
My model is ute with a service body, i use it for my electrical business and my tow horse. The vehicle as standard doesnt have as much power for towing as my v6 jeep, however all other aspects of towing are better. The 4 wheel disc brakes rear leaf springs and being manual suit my towing requirements.
I had to upgrade the suspension as over time the rear springs sagged.
I would purchase a similar model if something happened to this one.
There a good ute, but just remember they are a truck
Where do i start?
To me the two main cons is the wind noise on the freeway and only one cup holder. I found even filling the gap between the snorkel and cabin with some pipe lagging cut this down dramatic. I do find it frustrating that toyota dont address simple things like this but then again they are supposed to be a proper work truck therefor no apology from Toyota. I havent really noticed the rear track as much as others but once again i agree with most this should have been updated.
Now for the good stuff.
The whole car is so under stressed! With a few simple mods including a tune these things have some serious v8 grunt compared to any other dual cab ute i have driven. As for handling there more then fine straight off the shelf.
Fuel consumption averages 11-12 per 100km with gvm around 2.8 ton
Strangely enough when i pull all my tools out and load up caravan approx 1.8ton this figure doesnt seem to change much. Maybea 13-14 per 100.
There is one last thing to be aware of before purchasing and that is price. I reckon once you build one to basics you need to allow 80k but expect 65k return in 4-5 years with around 100k km.
Out of 10
Comfort-4 Turning Circle-3 Fuel Economy-2 Clutch-1 Reliability-8
Needs 6 speed gearbox
Was told by Toyota after market exhaust causes clutch to slip but just a way out of warranty I think.
Have owned 4 cab chassis’s since 1988 and apart from the reliability they have not changed much in that time.
Will never buy a toyota again
Had to have the rear brakes replaced and the rotors ground under 50,000K at my cost, the clutch is slipping under 60,000K and needs to be replaced with a heavy duty clutch and pressure plate at my cost, the brakes fail to stop the vehicle on rough gravel roads and are in my opinion dangerous, warranty void owing to after market exhaust and wheels installed. Will put another 100,000K on and trade it in on anything but a Toyota.
After looking at various vehicles decided on a dual cab cruiser . Very happy with our choice , Turnball Toyota in yarram were fantastic , Linda couldn’t have been more helpful , we went with the yarram dealership based on there after sale service , which we have found over the years to be outstanding .
This has a large engine so it has enough strength to carry a very large caravan. GPS is good but could be better with more specific details e.g. shop names, location names. There is plenty of legroom. Car is very reliable but running costs of petrol can be very high.
I picked up my 2007, 79 series V8 turbo Diesel ute around 7 years ago with 65,000kms on it. I've just hit 260,000km's. What an incredible work car it's been. Never let me down. Built like a tank, powerful engine & great to drive. Interior is basic, but suits my needs as a builder. I do things with it that shouldn't be done & drive it hard. I can't see myself changing to another ute anytime soon. The mods it had on it when purchased were a diesel chip, after market cruise control, tipper & rear airbags. I simply can't fault this car.
Most capable 4wd off the showroom floor
This is the most capable and reliable 4wd available in Oz. Yes it has a computer but still has the bare minimum electrics and a solid front axle, and doesn't yet come with a DPF and the nanny controls. The wheelbase, while longest of the 70 series, could still be a bit longer to avoid a pendulum effect with certain loads and spring rates. The motor can easily handle 50-100 extra kw via remapping etc, but handling becomes a bit of an issue then, as the rest of the car was designed in the 80's. With a campertop on fuel usage is still only 12-14 L/100 km. May the pre DPF cruisers will be spoken of in hushed voices around camp fires long after the EURO 6 other unreasonable emission control laws kill off the 70 series altogether.
Great for camping
I recently used this car to go camping with a caravan The car is clearly of great quality, as it hardly made any noise nor were there performance issues when it towed my very heavy caravan.
I wish that there was more legroom in the back seats.
Running costs can be high due to petrol
Caught on Fire
We had a 2014 dual cab v8 landcruiser gxl ute catch on fire in the middle of night had not been driven for 2 days prior not suspicious as we have aggressive guard dogs. Any body heard of this happening. was only 2 and a bit yrs old. Do the computers burn or are they like a black box and shouldn't burn????
Replacement for our written off Prado
Great car for towing our caravan and is very economical to run as it runs on both Petrol and LPG. All it needs now is a wheel alignment and an LPG check to make sure it's running well. Plenty of room to put our gear in when we go caravanning.
76 Cruiser Not Perfect but OK
Our 2012 76 has done about 110,000km and has towed an off road van for about 25,000km. We have not had the clutch issues that others have reported despite the extensive towing kms despite a combined travel weight of about 5.7 tonne when all water tanks etc are full. The engine/exhaust are standard and we cope pretty well although we have to use 3rd for steeper hills. We're in no rush though. We use top gear when towing but only on the flat or gentle inclines. Toyota don't recommend towing on top gear as it is an overdrive. Fuel consumption driving around home is about 10.5-11 lit/100km with about 400kg of after market gear and about 60 kg of tools etc. Not a lot of CBD driving though. Towing at about 95-100 km/hr we average about 17 lit/100km.
We have not had any issue with excessive engine oil use reported by some others, although I do wonder if a contributing factor is how ell engines are run in.
We have a Lovell Spring GVM upgrade that is pretty hard, particularly initially when they provided the wrong shocks....and have still never owned up to that. Now have EFS shocks which have helped soften the ride.
Internal space doesn't offer a much leg room for the driver or rear passengers and, really, only one blinkin cup holder...get real.
The difference of 95mm in front to rear track is another frustration although as we have not done a lot of sand driving it has not been an issue. It has certainly been very stable when towing our van with an ATM of 2500kg.
Diff breathers are not much chop and should be replaced with ones that offer genuine filtration and are raised higher. Then snorkel is not really a snorkel and should only be regarded as an elevated air intake due to the lack of effective sealing at the joints.
Would like a bit more stone protection than that which comes standard so have added some in a couple of spots.
Have added a reversing camera recently and should have done so a lot earlier. Great for hitching up the van and also for safety when reversing in car parks etc particularly where children may be around.
In general, though, the 76 has performed well off road and as a stable tow vehicle and we are happy to not to have lots of bells and whistles that just become another thing to fail when off road.
essential equipment out bush or in between
very reliable car, handles all kind of road conditions just brilliantly, running costs compared or in regards of usefulness very economical, well spreaded car all over the Australian continent so able to find repair specialist anywhere, haven't had any driver complaining about hard to handle, rather the opposite, everyone seems to be convinced about how easy and comfortable the vehicle is to navigate through any traffic/road conditions
Very disappointed, poor warranty, poor quality bearings.
Ive had the landcruiser from new, it now has 100k on it.
Problems, terrible fuel economy. 14.8l per 100km.
Poor quality suspension, sagging and squeeking.
Failed bearings, wheel, steering and i even done a rear diff.
Geared to low 2400rpm at 100kph.
Sucked dust through genuine air filter.
Poor warranty, would not cover diff because i had to replace suspension and it had 50mm lift. I think this was a dealer issue. Gowans toyota burnie. Really annoyed.
Windscreen is so straight its a rock magnet, had 2 of them.
Vehicle is very heavy and gets stuck in soft ground very easily.
Terrible steering lock.
Scheduled servicing is rubbish, they dont replace fuel filter and light will come on in about 18000km.
Pay a premium for rubbish, the only good thing is the resale.
Ive spent probably about 5 grand on mine i shouldnt of had to.
It has cost me around an extra 3 grand in fuel to run in a year, compared to a ranger or similar vehicle.
Ive done a deal to trade mine, not sad at all. The dealer will never get another sale from me over the diff.
Also doors were loose and chattered on corrigations, had to adjust. Then wife pushed dent in door when closing.
Dont write any silly comments this is all true and vehicle has been maintained and not abused.
Land cruiser 76 series
Love this vehicle. Traded our much loved Prado (which had electrical issues and less than 50k traveled) my wife calls it the "tractor" most capable vehicle which is great for towing and 4wding is unstoppable. High praises. Upgraded version is better value than previous model that did not have the auto hubs and longer 2nd and 5th gear. Just love it.
November 5th 2018 Update: 76 series Landcruiser with DPF
Well we have had our cruiser now from new for 2 years- the upgrades are- suspension--bp51 ome-- parabolic rear springs--front bar from uneek-- winch--3" exhaust with pedal torque and power module from torqit--and more..........I really love this vehicle named 'the beast'. With the upgraded suspension and chip its such a great truck to drive. We tow a van and are looking to make a Simson crossing July 2019, so I'll post another review then. 50,000k and still like new except for bush kisses!
76 track issues
Bought a new 2015 GXL wagon last year to replace my 2014 LS Challenger. Only reason I changed vehicles is I wanted bigger tow capacity and to put a tinny on the roof, everyone said by a cruiser. So I did big mistake in general it's ok but the track issues are concerning I have nearly lost my caravan using this vehicle where as the old challenger no issues at all. Hence after this my wife swore she would never get in the car if we are towing the van. I have found out that these vehicles are notorious for this as there is about 100mm difference between front and rear track. I've had people tell me that when they are behind me it looks like I'm crabbing down the road, I just tell them that it's the "ooh what a feeling" build quality. I have tried to get Toyota to fix it but I've got a better chance of winning powerball. Would I recommend this vehicle to anyone no way it's first and only new Toyota I'll ever buy. To further add insult to injury the clutch in this model is really only meant for the previous 6 cylinder motor hence why they slip when towing. Toyota know it's an issue but won't do anything about it till it claps out.
Clutch slip at 100,1000km
My clutch showed signs before 100,000km of slip, $73,000 vehicle,,my 5th L/cruiser and first to have a clutch problem.... Last service the head Mechanic at Toyota didn't know how to collaps the back seat in my troopy and still dosnt! I hope they make the right decision for their own good and learning..... And not mine. Stay tuned....
After having Gvm upgrade refused insurance
Very happy with vehicle preforms well and have had no trouble, only managed to get it bogged twice despite many off road miles. Had ARB 3700 GVM suspension upgrade fitted from new , when reviewing my comprehensive
insurance was refused by some major companies because of this modification, had to stay with company I was with despite much higher premium. ARB still sell this upgrade.
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