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Old 6 Dec 2007
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To even the score, I wouldn't be prised out of my Defender - it has plenty of downsides for sure, but I smile everytime I drive it, and so do all the other Defender drivers as they wave at me when they pass going the other way.
Sure bits break now and then, but it is a 21 year old motor and will still be going in another 21 years - and it's not like they are difficult to fix either.

For me, the driving is as big a part of the adventure as going somewhere - and it just wouldn't be the same if I was cocooned in a comfy Toyota with air con, no draughts and a quite ride - it would be like watching it on telly.

I've rebuilt my land rover from the ground up on my drive at home, which again shows how easy they are to work on, and again part of the satisfaction of getting somewhere is knowing I did it in something I've had a hand in creating - for many people this will be of no interest whatsoever, and in that case, get a cruiser or a patrol. Modifying and personalising a defender is also very easy - but again if that aint your bag and you're looking for off the shelf, I'd say go Jap.


Last edited by eightpot; 6 Dec 2007 at 10:56.
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Old 6 Dec 2007
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I'm surprised - normally these generate a much more even match yet this one seems to be dominated by the landcruiser crowd. As per my previous post on personal choice - for all the rational about 80 series, I don't like them, never have. Had the option in Aus to buy one and bought a Disco instead and then later a Defender. I do quite like the 100 series. One thing I like about the Defender is character - its painted pink, its all kitted up, loads of people come and talk to me about it. Its a great ice breaker and actually gets other people coming up and starting the conversation which can be quite significant when travelling for extended periods and given one of my key drivers for travelling is meeting people. I never used to get that in the other four wheel drives (travelled in Nissan Patrol, Landcruiser / LR Disco / Range Rover). Now in theory you could customise the Landcruiser as much but it doesn't lend itself in quite the same way.
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Old 6 Dec 2007
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Hi Barbara

well it woul seem that pretty much all the advice so far has been for Land Cruiser.

Here's my 10pence worth - did a London to Cape Town trip with my wife and ended up nearly three years in Africa, set out in a Land Rover 130 -no mechanical breakdowns at all - played up a couple of times but never let us down. However, we did have a very thorough mechanical check over done before we set off, and serviceing done every 3500-5000 miles apprx. Managed to sell duty free in Zambia and ended up replacing it with a Land Cruiser 80 series.

So both vehicles are very capable, the LC 80 more comfortable - will almost certainly be fitted with Air con. which can be very pleasant at times, but also quite handy for helping to keep water out of a wading vehicle.

IMHO go for the LC 80 and you will not regret it.
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Old 6 Dec 2007
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LC or LR

Also note that South America is ALL Toyota country.

Hardly any Land Rovers over there. So in the unlikely case you will need spare parts , you will have no trouble finding Toyota parts in South America!

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Old 6 Dec 2007
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an expression I've heard from Australia:

If you want to go into the bush, go in a land rover.

If you want to come back, take a Toyota.

I have no personal experience of either (I'm a truck guy myself) so my contribution is limited.
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Old 6 Dec 2007
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fuel consumption

For longer trips, where fuel tends to consume a large part of the budget, consumption is something to take into account. Although some would disagree, but as far as I know, the big toy's like up to 50% more then a well driven Land Rover... .
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Old 6 Dec 2007
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it's not broken it's British

All said about the Toy is quite truth, they are quite great, however, the charm and flavor of a real L.R. is difficult to be explained with words. You don't need to be a poet to see that.
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Old 6 Dec 2007
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Everything said here is true! Romance on the right and fat but solid 80 on the left. My Defender was sold 3 months ago but after a big trip is sitting in the workshop... My mate that bought it and travelled before going back to Germany anticipated making a few Euros on the sale and then buggering off... Now he wants me to keep it so that every year he can come back to make a trip. When I told my GF I was selling it to replace with a troopy the reaction was tears! The troopy is new and uber reliable but will never occupy the same place in our hearts. On this occasion the 110 brought us home the 80 we had to leave in Mali and re-engine after a lot of palaver.
Heart = Defender
Head = Toyota
But I learnt heaps from my tempramental lover...
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Old 8 Dec 2007
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Another vote for Land Rovers here!

I have owned and driven both (defender 200 and 300 tdi and 75’s) in Africa for years and in the long run ended up with Defender’s as a personal choice over Toyotas. Both will work well and I guess its personal choice.

It it my personal belief that a well maintained Defender is as reliable as a Toyota in the long run. I don’t know where Toyota have got their reputation from but I recon it’s a bit of a myth – There seems to be as many Series 3’s in Africa still running as 45’s and the quantity of Toyotas on the road seems to be down to aggressive marketing rather than choice.

When Toyotas break – I find they REALLY do break, requiring mechanical knowledge, expensive tools, and even more expensive parts to get going – have you seen how much a clutch costs! Landys can limp along on three cylinders, gear boxes rattling like a bag of spanners stuck in second, oil oozing out of everywhere for hundreds of k with other bits dropping off along the way and never seem to really die. I have killed 2 Toyotas over the years and but only “hurt” the Land Rovers…

I agree you do see a lot of Land Rover owners in camp sites with oily hands and a bag of spanners fixing yet another thing that’s broken – partly down to a rubbish build quality but its also down to the owners falling in love with the things and secretly wanting to tend to their vehicles every need. You just don’t get that feeling with Toyotas.

Land Rover Pros
Better of road (but unless you do extreme stuff you probably won’t notice the difference much)
Much easier to fix – also loads of help on the web if you do get stuck
Spares about ¼ to a 1/3 of Toyota
110’s easier to pack and load on a long trip
Bolt on bits much cheaper and vastly more selection (steering guards, long range tanks roof rack)
Fuel economy can be better with a light foot
Better off the shelf – less that you “have” to modify before a trip
Much nicer than a 75 to drive on corrugated roads!
Less likely to get nicked
You don’t mind denting it
You don’t mind when the interior gets full of dust
You don’t mind driving up to window height in water

Land Rover Cons
Difficult to get leather seats
Noisy – get a BIG stereo
Hot – even with AC
Can lead to mechanical trauma if not maintained
Can break things if you don’t drive carefully
Something minor will always need fixing
Not so quick or car like to drive fast on tarmac
You’ll fall in love with the damn thing!
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Old 11 Dec 2007
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"Toyota is the way to go, without a doubt."
Sure except you said you wanted to travel in South america, and everyone is forgeting that!!!!

Land Rover defender in south america for me, used to be made in Brazil, border patrol uses them in Argentina............Toyotas are reputedly more reliable but VERY few were sold around here.

the engine in the Land Rover TDI's was made under licence in brasil and used in ford pickups etc,so spares are easy....still I prefer a TD5

"Also note that South America is ALL Toyota country.

Hardly any Land Rovers over there. So in the unlikely case you will need spare parts , you will have no trouble finding Toyota parts in South America!


I think Noel is mistaken, the toyotas made in Argentina are NOT land cruisers, they are SW4's, not the same. The ones made in Brasil are cars not landcruisers
Sorry Noel I just live here,

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Old 11 Dec 2007
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The Toyota will outnumber the L.R. in Cape Town, S.A. by 10 to 1
S.A. just loves Toyota.
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Old 11 Dec 2007
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Just to add to the debate about Toyotas in South America, the 80 series are still being made over there - can't remember which country though.

Julian Voelcker
Overland Cruisers - Specialising in Land Cruiser preparation and servicing.
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Old 12 Dec 2007
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Just take a quick drive into eastern africa. 90% of all vehicles are toyota, says something. LR are a bread far and few. I suppose thats the call Go cruiser
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Old 12 Dec 2007
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LR for the city and T for everywhere

I have both a LR Discovery and Toyota 79 series ute. I have taken the Disco in the Victorian high country and along the length of the Canning Stack Route. It took us there and brought us back. In Australia you see most LR in coastal cities, once you are in the bush the Toyotas outnumber the LR 50:1. Although the Disco has a 2.5L turbo diesel engine and the Toyota 79 series a 4.2 L turbo diesel, the fule consumption for each is very similar, between 12 and 13L per 100km. My Toyota has far more power and torque than the Disco, in fact it is dangerous to get into the Disco when the engine is cold.Cheers
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Old 12 Dec 2007
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Looks like it is Land Cruiser all the way, bar South America.

Since the large majority of us are looking to drive the Africa route, it does seem that the Land Cruiser would be the far better choice.

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