A niche vehicle only suitable for a tiny market - you know if you need one, otherwise don’t
Primary fuel tank gauge returns faulty readings.
Leak from top of transfer case.
Pinion seal in rear diff leaking.
Very poor synchros on 2nd and 3rd.
Gearbox slightly noisy.
Exhaust drain holes blocked making it very whistly.
Landcruiser Troop Carriers are really only suitable for a miniscule proportion of the market. If you wanted a family 4WD, a comfortable/luxury 4WD, a city 4WD, a highway 4WD or even a towing 4WD, this is definitely NOT the car for you. If you needed a tough as guts, basic, hose-out workhorse to get you out of any situation, then this may suit you. Don’t get fooled by its awesome looks, as you will be disappointed if you use them for what they are not designed for.
This is a truly capable off-road vehicle. However, take into account the following points:
Ride comfort is very poor both on-road and off-road. All round leaf springs are rough, but extremely tough.
These are very slow, torquey machines. The 4.2L Diesel has plenty of pulling power, but very slow at pickup. You need to be a keen shifter to keep the engine revs at an optimum to get up hills.
Gearing is not for everyday road use, but rather to pull tree stumps. 1st gear is so low you could let go of the clutch without any accelerator and it will just go, yet starting in 2nd isn’t such a great idea always. At 100 – 110km/h in 5th gear, it is not very relaxed and somewhat buzzy. Gearing however is very suitable for serious off-roading.
Handling is poor at high speeds, and unstable. What do you expect from live axles front and rear, high suspension and centre of gravity?
Turning circle is worst in the class. Steering is vague, slow and lifeless.
Brakes are a little small for such a heavy truck. They do start fading quickly going down hills. Definitely use your gears like a truck!
It is not a fancy full-time four wheel drive, shift at any time vehicles. You do need to get out to engage the manual hubs before you shift into 4WD.
Most importantly, a buyer must understand these are not cars. These are honestly trucks, and could be dangerous in the wrong hands. I am of the belief you should have a heavy vehicle license to drive such a vehicle as I find it wrong the number of morons pedalling these things dangerously around the city. Visibility is poor with massive blind spots, and total blindness when reversing. Mirrors are tiny, but a good driver should be constantly monitoring these to know what is going on around them, and be confident to reverse solely with mirrors.
There are much friendlier 4WDs out there than a Troop Carrier.
I bought mine as it was the only vehicle (and still is) that suited my needs. All 200,000kms have been spent either hammering down rough unsealed roads in the middle of Australia, or on sealed country highways. Personally, I would have preferred a bit more power (a turbo is now available), gearing which is more long-distance driving friendly (at the detriment of serious off-roading), and more comfortable suspension. The rough suspension does little to smoothing out bumps, and mysterious screws and pieces have fallen off my car on rough corrugations.
For my use, I’d want the troop carrier body on the standard Landcruiser’s running gear!
The diesel motor is bullet-proof with regular maintenance, and is surprisingly economical. Gearboxes are typical Toyota with very quick synchro wear. It has become quite notchy in 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Dust sealing isn’t the best on the rear door, and bull dust seems to be appear. But at least you could just hose it out.
If you don’t need a 4WD, don’t get a 4WD. They are horrible handling vehicles which are an absolute menace on city roads.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd August, 2005