Reliability Toyota --- Coming from a Land Rover Owner


For the last 5-6 years I have owned exclusively Land Rovers (Defenders and now a 300tdi Discovery). LR is not know for being the most reliable, while reliability is what many Toyota lovers rant about. Never owning a Toyota myself, I ask the question: Are Toyotas as magically reliable as I hear? Specifically, I'm looking at 80-100 series Land Cruisers. Any insight is greatly appreciated.


Compared to an equivalent model year LR? Yes, an 80 or 100 series is significantly more reliable. It's not magic... it's good engineering and design. That's not to say they're perfect, and they do require upkeep and preventative maintenance. But compared to a Land Rover? They're in different leagues.


Having never owned a LR (love the way they look though) I can't comment about their reliability. Toyotas are reliable but as with any vehicle that age be prepared to do maintenance and try to buy a well maintained one. As long as you go in with the mindset that its a 10+ year old vehicle I think you'll be fine:sombrero:

Burb One

You could probably do absolutely no preventative maintenance on the Cruiser, and still have better mission critical reliability than an equivalent Land Rover with more than average maintenance.

Not saying this is something you should do, but they really are in completely different leagues. As Whitet4R said, it's really about knowing your truck and the common problems and signs. Saying that, the LC with a reasonable maintenance schedule and checking of components pre-trip, coming from a LR, will seem like magic.

My friends with LR's treat their trucks like racecars, before every trip there's a mile long checklist where you check everything, and if anything looks remotely off, you change it (and things still go wrong). On the LC's you check the very limited known faults and wear items and just go.
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Expedition Leader
ive owned and run LC's, G's, and a defender.

i gravitate back to the LC every time.

its not the most capable out of the box. (defender, RRC)
its not the best looking out of the box. (defender)
its not the best built out of the box. (G)
its not the best beast of burden out of the box. (G)
its not the quickest out of the box. (G, Rangie, ...subaru, .. anything)
its not the most comfortable out of the box. (oh, range rover x far)
its not the cheapest out of the box. (disco level rover, although, those are getting spendy or im getting old)
its not the most supported out of the box. (well.. i think theres more off the shelf variety for defenders. maybe not)

but it does EVERYTHING well enough out of the box. it doesnt have a major flaw, like the others.

do i gravitate back for reliability? naw. the fact is, if youre doing mission critical stuff (never been 700 miles alone in the sahara myself) you need to be up on a tight maint schedule anyway. it is more reliable, but, its not a good reason to pass on one of the others if they happen to tick a box thats super important to you.


New member
I ran the 40 for years in the Great Plains and Rockies. I don't recall a single failure.
I ran the 80 on the East Coast and other than a very slightly out of balance drive shaft it was perfect. I doubt it would have caused a u-joint to fail but it annoyed me.
The 200 has been from Ky to Tx to Montana. I had a rattle once when I left the jack tie down strap loose. That's it.

All the vehicles were new. I follow maintenance procedures. They are simply amazing pieces of machinery.

Frankly, if something else floats your boat then you should try that. I predict you will end up with a LC eventually if you are in this game for the long haul.


Best to just go buy one, flog it for few years and let us know what you think. If you don't like it you'll prob be able to sell it for near what you paid for it so its no big risk.


i have and have had over the years a lot of both...

hands down an LC is better reliability wise and can be made as capable as a LR, if its a daily driver by a LC..
under 150K miles and keeping up the maintenance is the key.. only the LC requires a lot less of it.. My defender is a constant project as a DD.
our 200 series is basically cake, brakes are easy to do, oil changes are $35, general dealership things are inexpensive compared to my LR3 (an oil change was $400 on that one), most stuff can be done at home on both trucks though..

Me when its time (soon) to put the D90 in the garage and take it out for fun, i'll buy a Toyota as my daily driver..(Tacoma or 4runner most likely but there are now 2008 LC200's in the same price range with low miles so i would do that first if possible)

Edit for Zimm... I had a 2003 G500 as well... awesome truck but got tired of doing small crap to it (6 window lifters, computers, and other stuff.. ) So it was gone, at more than i paid so i was happy, love to have another but not as a DD.

LC's i've owned 40, 60, 62, 80x2, 100, 200 series. The first 80, and the 100 were bought new, everything else was used less than 30k miles.. I have had exactly zero major issues with my LC's over the years. Normal maintenance only..

my 2 cents
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Renaissance Redneck
There is a reason my sister in laws '03 Disco is worth $2500 and my '99 TLC is worth $12,500.

Edit- (01/13/16). Timing belt failed, and two bearings gone in engine. Repair estimate: $3100. Anybody want a parts Disco???
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Expedition Leader
Edit for Zimm... I had a 2003 G500 as well... awesome truck but got tired of doing small crap to it (6 window lifters, computers, and other stuff.. ) So it was gone, at more than i paid so i was happy, love to have another but not as a DD.
6!?!?!? the part that always amazed me, is how long it takes MB to react when theres clearly a design flaw. those frigging window regulators are 700 from the dealer. a simple move to metal wheels would have prevented them from eating themselves. i think they are still selling that plastic crap for gen 1 MBUSA rigs.

I wouldnt recommend one for anyone that must stick to budget. the people in your life will not understand or sympathize. ...I could get sucked back in for the right kastenwagen or wolf though....


I have had 6 Defenders and 2 Land Cruisers, and I liked them all. The FJ 40 was particularly memorable as I drove it to Panama in 1974. For expeditions, I like the Defenders because of their load carrying ability. Very rugged vehicles, and they never broke down on me in the desert. As a daily driver, I have an H1, and it requires more maintenance than any of my Defenders or Land Cruisers.


Yep 6 of them in total over a year and half... i ended up just buying the parts and doing them myself after the warranty ran out (extended one that is). All of them were plastic even the redesigned ones..

traded that sucker in to a dealer.. other than eating lifters and the tranny computer the truck was great... I'd buy one with manual windows again and a diesel.. if its older.

anyway.. looking at a RR Sport for my wife tomorrow, she may keep it a few years which is fine.. and funny its 1/2 the price of the 4Runner she liked. The come with their own issues but at least i have a good mechanic for the hard stuff who's been great to me. It'll be a mall truck, and i'll take the LC as my DD. Win/Win there


An LC can be beat and neglected and still run for a good while and under 1st world conditions they will run forever. A Land Rover will run forever as long as the fluids and maintenance schedule is not neglected.
Africa and South America runs on LCs for a reason, can be abused and neglected and still limp along. The guys in these parts can destroy a steel ball and a LC is about as close to a steel ball as you get. There are quite a few land rovers defenders, but they are usually owned by organizations or people that have good vehicle care and access to LR supply chain, if LR parts supply chain had greater access i think you see way more outside of the ex-British colonies.

That being said I would hop into an LC any day without looking, while in a defender I would do a quick once over and then go off into the bush.

You cant go wrong with either. A defender 110 you can import at a lower initial price point than a an equivalent diesel LC. But it may equal out in the end for either.


Africa and South America runs on LCs for a reason, can be abused and neglected and still limp along. The guys in these parts can destroy a steel ball and a LC is about as close to a steel ball as you get.
This is totally true.

I've only driven Toyotas but based on everyone's experience with any sort of LR (be it Defenders, RR, or Discos), reliability for Toyota is way above LR, Even if they have improved recently..


Expedition Leader
I bought a 2000 100-series last November with 125k on it. The truck is 16yrs old. I drove it 2,000 miles home, all I did was check the oil. Since I have had it home it has been way below 0* many times, the 100 starts right up even at -30*. The chassis looks like new on this truck, granted it is a SoCal truck. The interior is in great shape for it's age.

Toyotas have their issues but they are not many and most just relate to regular maintenance. Like the 90k timing belt and water pump. Mine hasn't been done as far as I can tell and I am not worried in the slightest, in fact in 3-weeks I am taking it on a nearly 2,000 mile road trip and won't be doing the timing belt or w/p before then.

I also had a 2004 Tacoma. It was built up a lot with TRD super charger, headers and exhaust, 7th injector and more. I put 65k miles on this truck in this form, including x2 trips to Panama and back. The thing was heavy, real heavy, like 6,000lbs fully loaded for a trip to Panama. The only issue I had in that 65k miles was senors failing in the throttle body requiring me to replace the TB. Otherwise, the truck took a beating and just kept running like the day I bought it.

Unless you buy a lemon or something flogged badly and not taken care of, you simply can't go wrong with a Toyota. In my opinion the only trucks better than the Cruisers and Hiluxs (Tacomas) is the Nissan Patrols and we can't have those here in the USA. Pretty much everything else to me is not worth the $$$, time or effort.