Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Double Cab Driving Impression
If the 4,2-litre straight six diesel sans turbocharger isn’t powerful enough for your needs, then you now have an option to upgrade your 96 kW for the 151 kW V8. This gives you a lot more go with its 430 N.m. Just what one needs to haul the 2,4 tons of steel and cast iron body and running gear plus whatever you desire to tow. And all this while simultaneously keeping up with the traffic.
Our test vehicle had a great (and retro) colour scheme of “sand beige” (a bit lighter than the similar colour of the FJ Cruiser, more exotically named “sandstorm”. A mere 500 r/min is all that’s needed to get going and you can flick through the gears quickly, arriving at fifth before you can say “Like Skywalker” (more on that later). You can even skip a couple of gears on the way. This means that it is actually undergeared when unladen. So much so that, when we took the V8 to our off road course, we didn’t even have to select low range! Ample torque was available at around 1 000 r/min in first or second at about 10 km/h. what we did have to remember was that, unlike the six-cylinder double cab’s auto-locking hubs, this model is manually locked, so you have to hop out and do your duty before getting into the rough stuff. From there, it is plain sailing with the excellent ground clearance of 235 mm. tyres, too were different. On the V8, Yokohama Super Hajaris are swopped for Dunlop SP Road Grippers, also 7,5 R 16s.
A variety of changes can be noted, some rather surprising: unlike the Six, the V8 has an retractable, motorised aerial, an outside temperature display, the transfer lever has a different pattern to select low range, and audio system plus SatNav are different. While the Six had volume control buttons, the V8 has a very small knob to the left that is difficult to turn. Some owners will add an extension for ease of use. Then there is the USB port that now sits in the glove box instead of on the audio systems’ face.
Side mirrors must be manually adjusted and door pockets could easily be redesigned to take water bottles but all the “old school” remains part of the charm of this seriously competent vehicle.
You sit higher than just about anything you might encounter this side of the United States of America. In fact, it’s a job to climb into the cabin. Seven grab handles do help your passengers to alight.
Our fuel index works out to 13,86 L/100 km and we achieved a tank to tank figure of 12,3 L/100 km which is pretty decent so the 130 litre tank will ensure you of a very reasonable range of around 1 000 km. Just remember that this more modern engine requires 50 ppm, low-sulphur diesel.
Acceleration times to 100 km/h have improved from the 22,01 seconds of the straight-six to a much more rapid 13,68 on the V8. Braking times were identical to the previous test at 3,86 seconds on average. The ABS didn’t get a chance to activate in the dry but of course, this will be very beneficial in the wet. The way that the engine performs is interesting. You start off with a feeling of lowish torque output, carry on to top gear without using more than 1 500 r/min then, when you get up to cruising speeds of around 100 km/h and put your foot down, the midrange is highly impressive and you then bridge the gap to 120 km/h in next to no time. Overtaking trucks is not a problem in the V8.
The air intake snorkel is part of the package, sits close to the driver’s side window and makes sounds on throttle over-run reminiscent of Luke Skywalker’s father having an asthma attack. Most Land Cruisers give you a sense of power and purpose but that V8 badge is the cherry on the top!
Model: Toyota Land Cruiser 79 – 4,5 V8 DC
Engine: 4,5-litre, V8 turbodiesel
Power: 151 kW at 3 400 r/min
Torque: 430 N.m at 1 200 – 3200 r/min
Transmission: five-speed with low range transfer, 4x4 with manual locking front hubs and front and rear diff locks
0 to 100 km/h: 13,68 seconds
Fuel consumption index: 13,86 L/100 km
Top speed: 165 km/h
Braked Towing capacity: 3 500 kg
Service intervals: 10 000 km (oil change every 5 000 km) for normal conditions. For dusty road conditions the intervals are halved.
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