Toyota dual cab 79 series with 80,000 km on the clock, hoping to add another zero to that over the next 20yrs. What a truck this machine is! Its a shame my overall score rates so low because it doesn’t really reflect how much I love this beast.
The scoring system is tricky because you are comparing this vehicle to others that I have driven & that is very varied (Merc, Porsche, Audi, HSV) but I wouldn’t take any of those to outback Australia. In saying that the level of Equipment, Safety features, Handling, Power & Comfort you get in those vehicles is amazing. So I am trying be fair in my scoring.
So why would you pay as much for a vehicle that offers less in just about all respects. Simple! When all those vehicles are dead & gone the 79 series will still be here. When the owners of those vehicles are still forking out ridiculous amounts of money for insurance, servicing, parts & replacing that 21 psi turbo, the 79 series will still be ticking over. Yes, 79 series lacks the refinement of others but the average back yard mechanic still has a fighting chance when he opens bonnet.
First & foremost if you are looking to buy a ute with car like handling & refinement don’t buy one of these. This is a truck with truck like handling, Power & SIZE!
If however you are after a machine that you can grow old with, that will take you to the end of the earth (and back). Won’t cost you a fortune to service & built to last & last, then I highly recommend to fork out the extra dollars.
Now I must admit that I am a bit of a Toyota fan, having owned Forerunner, Hilux, so I am a little biased but these 79 series trucks are something you either love or hate. Yes the styling is boxy (to some) attracting wind noise, the interior is very basic but comfortable (less electrics to go wrong). The drive train is like something out of a Mack truck & that’s a big reason why you buy one of these. The motor is joy to my ears every time I start it. If you can keep your foot off the pedal you can get quite good economy for a vehicle of this size. The gearbox is not a smooth shifter but it is direct, basic & bullet proof. The diffs are huge! actually everything under this beast is massive. The lockers being standard kit pull you out in most situations and talk about pulling, there’s not much it couldn’t tow. I have even pulled tree stumps out of the ground with it.
In conclusion, Toyota’s reliability is undisputed & unless you are made of money to be turning your vehicles over every couple of years then basic should be a big consideration in your selection criteria. Sure its nice to have all those electronic gizmos in your vehicle but its a pain when it all starts to go wrong.