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New and in need of advice on buying a daily LC


New Member
Jul 20, 2022
Country Flag
Hello everyone!

My name is Ric and I've just joined the forum as I'm on the verge of picking up my first Land Cruiser. A couple of years ago I managed to get enough funds together to buy a weekend/toy car in the form of an Impreza Type RA (before the values went silly) and am still amazed at just how helpful the couple of forums I'm on have been with that vehicle. With that said, apologies in advance for any no doubt patently obvious questions!

I travel a fair bit with my work and over the last few years that has increasingly been by pick-up truck as I work in outdoor events and flying has been really challenging logistically. I used to own an Amarok before we had a family and carting about in the work Navara has rekindled my love for not going anywhere that quickly in a vehicle that can do anything when you get there. I've always liked Land Cruisers and over the last six months have done my best to immerse myself in just about all I can before heading into a purchase at the end of the summer.

My current daily is a Golf estate and whilst it's on one hand very different from a LC, it does mean that I'm 'weathered' to fuel economy between 25-30mpg. Here are my needs for the vehicle:

- Must work as a daily driver for 10k miles p/year in all Highland weather
- Be a five-door as a big part of the motivation is to enjoy camping holidays with the kids
- Be a diesel as, I know that fuel economy is never going to be high up the list of strengths, but from what I've read they're a bit easier on the wallet in terms of consumption
- Be capable of a handful of light off-road days per year
- Be capable of lugging mountain bikes around

I'd love to get a late 80 series in auto/diesel (I grew up with my dad driving Defender 90's and the smartphonification of modern cars is leaving me with an increasingly large set of rose tinted glasses for that kind of experience) but I don't think that the fuel bills will be liveable. So, logically, my thoughts have turned to a late model 100 series in the same configuration. I'm going to sell the Golf which would hopefully cover off either, my big question is are the later 120/150/200 a better buy and worth the additional monthly payments? I know everyone's budgets are different, I'm just trying to get a beat on if I'm gaining anything much more than a nicer interior and more up to date mechanicals for that?

Basically, it changes every day!

So far I've test driven a 2018 200 Utility which I was on the verge of buying only for the salesman to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I then test drove a 2016 D-4D Invincible which was really nice and again, I hovered over before deciding that I needed to weigh things up a bit more before committing to.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated and it'd be great to contribute some of my experiences on the site once I finally take the plunge.
Hello and welcome, This question gets asked all the Time from New Forum members, And you will get a number of different answers and varied opinions on which is best, I would just go with what YOU want. 90 series Colorado up to the 200 series are all good and They will be more than capable of meeting most needs... But rust is the Killer even on the later 200 series.... Try to search for similar threads and have a good read... Each one is the Best of a bad bunch if you get what i mean. Good luck.....
Hi and welcome - good intro :) This is a great forum - lots of useful stuff and good people.

Given you already know what you want it for (which is a major plus point), the next question is really one of budget - though I am guessing that if you were looking at 2016-2018 trucks, then you probably have £20k+ to play with?

As Higgy mentioned, this does come up a lot, so there are a lot of comments on this subject already, but for my 2p, given the use you intend I don't see an 80 series as being a great answer - they're expensive (comparatively, heavy on fuel and they're all 25 odd years old, with the accompanying foibles and ongoing maintenance - I've got one, but I use my 2015 Hilux as a DD.

Good luck!
Thanks already guys! Yeah, £20-25 is kind of my benchmark. Any less and it would probably be made up on immediate servicing/sorting anything that needs sorting. Apologies, I suspected this sort of stuff was probably brought up all the time - I'll take a couple of hours this evening and properly go through the threads. I also just got Nigel Fryatt's book through the post so will have that to get through as well!
Now I would say this but I think you need a pre-facelift 100 Series in your life: mega comfort, no touch screens or naff gizmos, mid-20s MPG and all the space, capability and versatility you could possibly need. With your budget you can get a really good one and have plenty left to play with.
The problem we are seeing with older vehicles is finding credible garages to work on these, so unless you are willing to get stuck in yourself then maintaining them is difficult. We often have folk asking where they can get work done, and the few good places have long waiting lists. Something to think about
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If you can find a decent (non rusty) 120, get one and save yourself £10-15k. If not, get a newer 150. They're a good compromise between a car and a truck for a daily driver - unless you need the 3 diff locks of an 80!

Study the forums, all the info is out there!
... I think the OP must still be engrossed in that new book ...
Import an older truck from Japan , that older means better when it comes to Landcruisers is unequivocal if you remember Dad's Defender with nostalgia .
Your Right Tractionman, Unfortunately with most Cruisers 'Tho'...... But as Shayne has said There is the import option, To be fair seems like the only option if you want Rust Free..
Thanks for all the replies guys! Book was useful, forum more useful! :tearsofjoy: I think I've reconciled myself to the 80 just not being workable. I know from my experience with the Impreza that @TonyP is 100% that finding someone you trust to work on it and to do things properly is a big part of the battle and, although I'm confident enough on basic mechanics, I would need that business local to me. I'll keep refreshing the classifieds and will hopefully be into one by the end of the summer if work doesn't get in the way. A guy on my street has just bought a clean looking Amazon so I need to get round and introduce myself and see if I can have a look around it. Thanks again for all the help!