It has been a while since I tested a Toyota LandCruiser LC70 Dual Cab Ute. So I booked one for review. Having tested the single cab LC70 previously and the dual cab LC70 (back in 2012) , I was keen to see just how much better this latest version was.
Toyota LC70 was updated in late 2016 with a host of features but essentially remains the same rugged robust work beast it always has been.
We have even compared the LC70 Ute to the Hino 300 series Truck as an alternative for many uses.
From the outside the LC 70 looks exactly like it should for what it is designed for. A utilitarian workhorse that would last forever. From the side you realise just how long the Ute is. It has a bold grill, high roofline and sides.
The front has single lights, lower fog lights and bold wheel arches. The particular vehicle we had was fitted with a robust genuine Toyota steel tray, Toyota bull bar, alloy wheels, snorkel, under tray spare wheel carrier and tow bar.
The GXL LC70 Dual Cab rides on 16 inch alloy wheels and 265/70 R16 115R all terrain tyres. These actually look pretty good as well as being robust and functional.
The driver seat is comfortable, but could use more slide adjustment for taller drivers. Having said this, there is plenty of head, shoulder and butt room for both front passengers.
Rear passengers have as much room as other dual cab Utes, more than some, but plenty of head room.
The front seats have manual adjustments and no additional lumbar support, but they are comfortable enough for long distance travel.
The steering wheel actually feels pretty good in the hands and allows good feedback. It is however totally devoid of any controls.
The dash has two larger dials, two smaller ones and provides a large amount of information. There is a clock on the centre stack, a Bluetooth stereo and below are the slide controls for the AC. There are 12v and USB connectivity points as well.
Storage is a mixed bag. The centre console and glove box are a decent size, but the door pockets are slim and poor, and there is only one cup holder (ridiculous) and precious little other storage areas.
The almost hose out interior is a nod to the practicality and functionality of the LC70.
This could be a short section as the LC70 isn’t exactly laden with features.
Recent improvements have seen some important features added such as
- Electric windows
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Auto locking front hubs (with a manual lock facility)
- Active traction control (A-TRC).
- Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
- Cruise Control
However the story here is about what the LC70 Dual Cab doesn’t have as features that are really missed.
- No electronic external mirror adjustment (yes, manual mirrors that can be bumped daily in car parks etc.)
- No steering wheel controls
- Only one cup holder and virtually nowhere to put items other than in the centre console.
- No rear window demister
- No DTE facility
- No reverse camera
Drive and Engine
The Toyota LC70 GXL 4.5L V8 TD engine produces 151kW/430Nm. The transmission runs through a 5 speed manual transmission.
The latest version has a much higher 5th gear that allows better highway cruising.
The flat torque curve allows easy driving, with 5th gear useable from 50kmh around town through to 120kmh on the freeway.
The large bonnet bulge provides more cooling around the engine because the vehicle now has a diesel particulate filter as standard as part of the move to Euro 5 compliance.
There really is no need to discuss the 4WD ability of the LC70. It is superb. The LC70 has a stick shift part-time 4WD with two-speed transfer case and automatic locking front hubs and a rear diff lock as standard.
Over the two weeks I had the LC70 I drove over 2500km. This covered around town driving, freeway, country secondary roads, forest trails, beach and farm driving.
It’s not really designed for freeway or around town driving. It will suffice but there are better choices.
As with all the LC 70 series vehicles, turn off the black top and head bush, to the beach or farm and the vehicle dynamics transform. Here the LC70 is king. Here the design shows the long history of Toyota designing vehicles that are capable, robust and practical in difficult terrain.
Again it always has been a good tow vehicle. While we didn’t tow this time, we have previously and although we would prefer an auto, the LC70 tows with ease.
Safety is an ever moving feature on cars and more importantly Utes. The LC70 single cab Ute has a 5 star ANCAP safety rating but the dual cab Ute doesn’t.
It does however have improved safety features. These include:
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
- Side door impact protection beams
- Energy-absorbing steering column
- Door ajar warning lamp
- Driver seatbelt warning lamp
- Driver and front passenger airbags
- Brake Assist
- Vehicle Stability Control (VSC),
- Hill-start Assist Control (HAC),
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution and
- Active Traction Control (A-TRAC)
- Towing ability
- Robust reliability
- 4WD ability
Not so good bits:
- Missing some safety items
- MT is good but needs a 6th gear or AT
- No reverse camera
In today’s market there really isn’t a direct competitor for the single cab LC 70 Dual Cab Ute. Buyers will either opt for one of the smaller size Utes like the Colorado or Hilux size, or go for the more truck variant like the Hino 300 4×4 series or one of the American Pick-Up trucks like the Ram 1500 or Ford F250etc.
The LC 70 is extremely popular with buyers in mining, agriculture, construction, and communications support and recreation industries. They value the almost indestructible nature of the ubiquitous LC 70.
The LC 70 has a rightly deserved unrivalled reputation for class-leading mechanical reliability and serious towing, load carrying and off-road performance.
Facts and Figures: Toyota LC70 Dual Cab Ute
- Engine: 4.5L V8 TD 151kW/430Nm,
- Transmission: Five-speed Manual Dual Range 4WD
- Safety: TBDs
- Origin: Japan
- Warranty: Three years 100,000KM
- Price: from $77,952 RDAP