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Toyota / LandCruiser / 80 Series GXL 5-dr wagon

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The other day I was reading a review of the LandCruiser and found this one to be really interesting. So I though that it would be nice post it on my blog so that I could share it with everyone.

All credit to the following goes to

1990 Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series GXL 5-dr wagon Overview.

This page also includes links to a full list of Toyota car reviews, Toyota model news and Toyota family tree


1990 Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series GXL 5-dr wagon Car Review



RELEASED locally in March 1990, the ‘80’ was five metres long and two metres wide.
Big strides in dynamic abilities, comfort, refinement, space and safety were made, while corrosion resistant steel was introduced, along with long-travel coil spring suspension and – on most variants – four-wheel disc brakes and constant 4WD.
Two new 4.2-litre SOHC six-cylinder diesel engines were introduced: a 94kW/271Nm 1HZ and a 15kW/357Nm 1HD-T turbo version, while the old 4.0-litre OHV 3F six-cylinder unit was revised to deliver 110kW of power and 284Nm of torque; in fuel-injected form those rose to 112kW and 290Nm respectively.
Initially, 10 models over three grades were offered – Standard (for fleet buyers), GXL and luxury VX Sahara.
The latter two offered a three-row eight-seat configuration.
The four-door wagon body also featured a vertical split twin-door tailgate.
In late 1992 a round of revisions saw the introduction of the competitively priced RV model, as well as an all-new 4.5-litre 24-valve DOHC 1FZ-FE six-cylinder engine that delivered 158kW of power (up 40 per cent) and 373Nm of torque (up 30 per cent).
It finally put to rest the old 4.0-litre OHV 3F petrol engine.
A six-seater DX model arrived from 1995, while a year later all models gained optional ABS anti-lock brakes and dual front airbags.
The GXL turbo-diesel featured here is from 1995.

Model release dates: May 1990 – February 1998


1990 Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series GXL 5-dr wagon Car Review

Our opinion

We like

Size means huge cabin with lots of space, go-anywhere off-road ability, relatively good on-road performance, Toyota durability, reliability and dependability

Room for improvement

Too big and heavy for urban applications, expensive to buy and run



ALTHOUGH Toyota’s four-wheel drive LandCruiser was first imported for the Snowy Mountains Scheme over 40 years ago, the breakthrough model was 1967’s Jeep-like FJ40.
The stubby Cruiser’s rugged good looks and durability helped create Toyota’s off-road market dominance, aided by the ungainly FJ55 four-door station wagon of 1972.
The early wagons were strong, roomy and austere – powered by a durable but thirsty six-cylinder petrol engine.
The 1980 60-series LandCruiser made inroads with urban buyers looking for a family station wagon with weekend away versatility. An economical 4.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel engine option broadened its appeal.
Turbocharging addressed the diesel’s lack of oomph in 1986 but it was with the new, much refined 80-series of 1990 that the LandCruiser station wagon really came of age.
The larger 4.2-litre turbo-diesel engine offered impressive on-road driveability, enormous torque for off- roading and good fuel economy. It was only available in well equipped GXL and luxury VX Sahara models.
In early 1995 a revamped turbo-diesel engine and a minor facelift signalled the MK2 80 Series.
Toyota added a multi-valve head, a larger turbocharger and more stiffness to quell noise and vibration. There was also less weight and the combustion process was improved.
The result is a turbo-diesel engine with more power and torque across a broader rev range, as well as cleaner emissions, improved refinement and better fuel economy.
Phenomenal grunt and truck-like torque make light work of the LandCruiser’s massive bulk.
The coil sprung suspension ensured the Toyota’s impressive on-road handling and roadholding remain while the steering is light but well weighted.
The turbo-diesel mates better to the smooth four-speed automatic transmission than the five-speed manual, which suffers from poor shift quality and sticky movements.
The two-mode automatic features a first-gear lockout for greater traction in slippery situations.
Only the VX Sahara gains from the front, centre and rear differential locks. The GXL makes do with a limited slip rear differential and a locking centre diff.
The constant four-wheel drive system keeps the transition from highway to bush track simple. It will scale the slopes with the confident ease older- generation LandCruiser owners expect, but in comfort.
Visually, little distinguishes the MK2 80 Series. A different grille and front bumper, restyled dashboard, softer padding, revised door trim, new headlining and redesigned seats are about it.
The vast cabin is roomy, well built and hard-wearing with the new seats offering more comfort and support.
The high driving position makes for an easy drive, simple parking and a sense of manageability that belies the titanic Toyota’s sheer bulk.
The pitching and swaying from earlier LandCruisers is largely gone, although the ride may now seem too firm for some.
The luggage area is cavernous when the third row of seats – which are only suitable for children – are folded.
The heavyweight 80 Series LandCruiser chews through brake pads alarmingly. Some can last a paltry 15,000km. Rapid tyre wear is also a problem and this depends on the type of tyre fitted. A mechanical report is vital since some owners report the hard-working turbocharger can be costly to repair or replace.
The LandCruiser GXL turbo-diesel offers eight-seater space, pace, fuel economy and off-road capability.

 Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series GXL 5-dr wagon - Action shot



1990 Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series GXL 5-dr wagon Car Review


YOU will get a much newer diesel Patrol for the price of an equivalent LandCruiser turbo-diesel. Handsome, roomy, refined and tough, it regularly outsells the LandCruiser since it costs less and is not as bulky. Manual-only non-turbo 4.2 diesel pulls like an ox and is just as slow.
THE clattery but economical 2.5-litre four provides good torque to help the Land Rover excel in off-road conditions. Although luxury and equipment levels are high, the Disco’s ponderous and wallowy nature means the on-road dynamics are low.
THE flagship of the Mitsubishi range is jam-packed with luxury features as well as a gutsy petrol 32-valve V6, ensuring smooth on-road progress. Not bad as an off- roader either, although no diesel option limits economy and pulling power. Roomy interior seems dated.
THIS car-like Austrian-made off-roader has looks, on-road performance, good equipment levels and the Jeep reputation going for it. Not very roomy though and the luggage area is limited. The engine is old-fashioned but gutsy and economical.

  1. April 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM

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    • April 27, 2013 at 3:39 PM

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