1996 Toyota Landcruiser GX 4.2 diesel from Fiji Islands


Best 4WD money can get


Rear control arm bushings were busted so needed to change those.

Power windows needed servicing (because I thought they were a little slow).

Steering damper and tie rod ends needed changing.

General Comments:

This was a one owner dealer maintained vehicle in absolutely mint condition. The vehicle is a GX with barn doors and part time 4WD.

I was lucky enough to get hold of this vehicle, which I had been after for nearly 8 years.

The vehicle still has the factory silver with black fender over-riders paint job on. With careful polishing (at least 8 times) and loads of elbow grease, the vehicle looks like new.

The vehicle came with a TJM front bar in black and has no other additional accessories on it.

Surprisingly the 80 had never seen any offroad work until I bought it; it was even fitted with light truck running thread tires.

The engine is a 1HZ non turbo unit, which is as reliable as any engine can ever be. I had a compression test done before purchase, and all cylinders had the factory specified compression level. Despite the odo meter reading, the engine is like brand new and does not even puff out the slightest bit of black smoke.

The gearbox has a very low ratio, can move off on 2nd gear without any issue, and in normal driving you hardly have to down shift.

The engine has heaps of grunt, I have heard a lot of people complain about the 1HZ, but it was never meant to be a race breed engine, and does what it was built for very well. If you know how to drive a manual vehicle properly and keep it at the correct revs, you can go up some pretty steep inclines without losing much momentum.

I have changed the exhaust in vehicle and fitted in an Auspac straight through muffler and two straight through resonators, and the engine has responded very well to this; I have much more power down low in the rev range and the engine revs freely now.

The economy of this vehicle is considerably better than the 2.8 intercooler turbo Pajero I had prior to it, but the 'cruiser does lack the acceleration prowess that the 4m40 engine had.

The off road ability of this vehicle is second to none, plus there are fewer things to worry about going wrong when out in the wilderness in a 80 series with a no nonsense diesel engine and manual transmission.

The interior is well laid out and every single thing in the vehicle works. The seats are comfortable for long journeys, both on and off tarmac.

This is the one of the best proper 4WDs out there, and I would highly recommend it to anybody.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2015

1996 Toyota Landcruiser 75 Series Troopy 4.2L diesel from Australia and New Zealand


Excellent workhorse



General Comments:

Solid performance off road. I put some Cooper ST's on it and it will climb pretty much anything you put in front of it, however leaf springs hang very low, can scrape out in narrow or deep ruts. Larger wheels or maybe a suspension mod could fix??

Thirsty, it uses about 13L per 100Km.

Cruises at 120Km with no problems, very solid on the highway.

Very reliable, I haven't had any problems mechanically.

Excellent storage, it seats 11 people with all the seats in, and can tow monster loads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th November, 2008

1996 Toyota Landcruiser VX 4.2 turbo diesel 24v from UK and Ireland


Expensive, but worth it if you need heavy towing capacity and/or off-road performance


Bought 2nd hand with a known niggling ABS problem. Turn out to be dirt in rear axle sensor.

Leak in air-conditioning at 70k miles/6 years. Re-gassed by Toyota agent & leaked again. Leak detected and fixed by independent A/C man & pipe replaced - cost £200.

No other problems.

Dealer (Toyota UK) support is poor: they tend to assign tractor mechanics to work on these vehicles.

General Comments:

Not a fast accelerating car (165 bhp in 2.3 tons) but has huge torque. It is a very relaxing car to drive, and acceleration at 70mph in 5th is impressive.

Ride and handling are typical 4x4: wallowy, not at its best on a windy country road, but ultimately very secure on its 275 wide tyres. Steering is light, brakes are excellent (it has ABS), clutch not too heavy, gear-change clunky when cold, but OK when warm.

Cabin is comfortable, but not grand. VX model comes with: leather, electrically adjustable & heated seats, (but with not enough front legroom for 6+ footers in the pre-Amazon badged (1997) models.) Also: electric windows, mirrors and sunroof; climate control; cruise control; rear heater; quite nice wooden dash & trim.

The car has three rows of seats: 2 + 3 + 3 making a full 8 seater in all. The 2nd & 3rd rows only have lap belts in the middle, and the third row is too small for adults or large teenagers. Interior space is not great given the overall size of the car, although if you remove the 3rd row of seats the boot is cavernous.

Towing capability is awesome: I bought it to tow our three horse trailer (2.5 tons) which it does with ease; and moreover it has the weight, brakes and suspension to control this load safely. Rated towing capacity is 3.5 tons, and it would do this easily.

Full differential locks (centre, rear and front) mean that it is almost unstoppable off road. I have hauled out Land-Rovers and lorries at "horsey" events in muddy fields. It regularly does farming duty on our few acres.

Wading capacity is rated at 2'6"; but I have (unintentionally) had water from a flooded road coming over the bonnet, and driven out again with no problems.

Fuel economy is 27 mpg average, 29 mpg on longer journeys, 20 mpg when towing. (Note that automatic diesel versions will do significantly worse than this, and auto petrol models (4.7 litre V8) are disastrous: 17mpg or less.)

Engine always starts absolutely instantly in any weather, and appears (at 80,000 miles) not to use any oil or water at all!

Bodywork appears to have no rust at all (after 6 years & 80k miles), including underneath.

Tyres are expensive (up to £200 each) but last at least 30,000 miles - probably 40,000 with gentle use.


- The headlights are poor, especially on dipped beam. This is due to poor wiring (2.5v loss measured on mine), and can be radically improved by re-wiring the lights. Did this myself for about £50.

- When you engage low range the centre diff-lock is automatically switched on. Fine off-road, but if you needed low range to start a heavy trailer on a (tarmac) hill you wind up the transmission and scrub the tyres. Again a simple electrical fix (manual switch on dash, disconnect switch on transmission) fixes the problem for about £55.

- Interior space is poor for a car this size.

- Drive through a deep puddle at 30+mph and a wall of water comes over the front and covers the windscreen. Scary when it happens the first time!

- Steering lock is poor (typical 4x4) making parking in narrow city streets a challenge, but then it's not a city car.


- Expensive to buy and run, but worth it if you need the towing and/or off-road capability.

- Fuel economy is acceptable so long as you go for the manual diesel. Avoid petrol autos unless you own a private oil well!

- Build quality is superb, and mechanically it seems bullet-proof so long as it is maintained properly.

- Comfortable and easy to drive, giving a great sense of security in bad conditions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2003

1st Apr 2005, 05:01

I have a 1996 Landcruiser Prado and only get about 19 miles to the gallon on the highway at 60 mph. What is your trick to it's fuel economy? Thanks a lot. Kent Murray from sunny Queensland in Australia.

22nd Mar 2006, 05:17

HI I have a 4.5L petrol auto and its not anywhere near as un-economical as people will lead you to believe. It also has the added bonus of almost exactly as much torque as a diesel, but a lot more HP james NZ.

10th Jan 2010, 20:16

I have recently bought a '97'Land cruiser VX... and yes it has a similar problem with the air con. The vehicle has covered 74k miles... can anyone point me towards a possible solution please...?

22nd Mar 2010, 10:28

To the top comment, Prado's have 2.5 litre engines and have to work much harder. Prados are also much less reliable. Every one I see for sale lists "too many new parts to mention" or "thousands of dollars in work done"

27th Oct 2010, 17:26

I have 94 VX diesel with 450,000kms on it. Still runs perfect, but economy is never over 29mpg, even if you cruise at 90kph all day.

I have heard that the injector pump can be tuned back for more economy? Anyone know about this?

Cheers benkilroy@gmail.com

10th Aug 2014, 12:03

I don't know about the Prado, but the Colorado 3lt diesel is one of the best reliable vehicles I have seen, and oh boy, I've never seen any other 4x4 that goes like that (fast). Well Toyota is THE best.

1996 Toyota Landcruiser VX 3.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Very good vehicle, poor manufacturer and dealer support!


Shock absorber at 40,000 miles.

Discs and brake pads at 51,000 miles, discs expensive at over £500!

New brake pipes, servo and master cylinder at 54,000 miles. Car off the road for 10 days and counting as the dealer cannot get the system to bleed and get a firm pedal. Toyota cannot suggest a solution other than try another servo! Problem, there is no part in U.K. and therefore a further 10 day wait for part, if that works from Belgium. Meanwhile I have to spend £1,250 to hire a vehicle to tow my caravan on my annual holiday. A servo costs £499 not including labor!

General Comments:

A good accelerator for its size and weight and an excellent tow car.

I only hope that I can continue to afford to run it given the expensive parts.

Dealer is disappointing, doesn't stock parts hence my car being off the road for three weeks!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd June, 2001

26th Feb 2002, 20:54

Shocks are generally good for around 25-35k miles.

Had you replaced the brake pads at 20-25k miles, you could have saved your discs.

I know this from experience.