Extra cab for toughest Toyota bakkie
Renowned for being as tough as the African landscape it regularly conquers, the Toyota Land Cruiser Pick-Up has been subtly modernised over the years, but the basic formula hasn't changed.
The latest round of upgrades see the introduction of a double cab derivative, which comes along with a number of safety and comfort upgrades that attempt to bring it into line with the modern age.
As the fourth body style to join the range (alongside the existing Single Cab, Station Wagon and 'troop carrier' Wagon), the Double Cab still offers a payload in the region of one ton - 1005kg in the case of the petrol model and 920kg for the diesel.
COMFORT FOR FIVE
But the Double Cab was clearly made for hauling around more than just sheep and heavy tools - Toyota claims it'll comfortably accommodate five adults.
On that note, it's worth mentioning some of the comfort features that have been added. All models now have remote central locking while the 76 Station Wagon and Double Cab are fitted with an integrated satellite navigation system and a radio with a USB port.
As before, all Land Cruiser models are fitted with air conditioning, power steering, height- and reach-adjustable steering, electric windows and mirrors, a 12V accessory connector and dual front airbags.
Talking safety, all models are now fitted with rear disc brakes as well as ABS, which is disengaged in L4 mode and when diffs are locked.
THE TOUGH PARTS
The 70 Series' rock-solid mechanical composition has not been messed with, however, meaning buyers can still expect a proper four-wheel drive system with transfer case and live axles at the front and back (with coil springs at the front and leaf springs at the back.)
As with the Station Wagon, the Double Cab has a spring rate that favours ride quality over absolute load carrying capacity.
The latter two models are also fitted with a new 130-litre fuel tank, while the Single Cab and 'trooper' Wagon models have twin 90-litre tanks for a total capacity of 180 litres.
Like its Single Cab counterpart, the Double Cab offers a choice between Toyota's long-proven (if rather sluggish) 96kW/285Nm normally aspirated 4.2-litre diesel engine and the more modern 170kW/360Nm 4-litre petrol V6.
For full driving impressions (in some really tough conditions), see the motoring supplement in The Star, Pretoria News, Mercury or Cape Times next week Thursday, 17 January. -IOL Motoring Staff
76 Station Wagon 4.2 Diesel - R506 700
78 Wagon 4.2 Diesel - R484 000;
79 Pick-Up Single Cab 4.0 Petrol - R417 900
79 Pick-Up Single Cab 4.2 Diesel - R444 800
79 Pick-Up Double Cab 4.0 Petrol - R463 900
79 Pick-Up Double Cab 4.2 Diesel) - R487 000