Why The 80 Series Land Cruiser Is The Best 4×4 Ever Made

Why The 80 Series Land Cruiser Is The Best 4×4 Ever Made

Saying that a certain 4×4 is the best is a big statement. However, there is reasoning behind our suggestion. You see, the 80 series Land Cruiser may be the only vehicle that does everything great. Whether that is road driving or off-roading. The 1990s had seen Japan’s finest automotive creations and the 80 Series was one of them. Let’s have a look at what made it so good.

What People Want Out of Most Four-Wheel-Drives

A 4×4 should be able to do many things. For example, on certain days you want to be able to drive to the supermarket comfortably. On other days you may need to take the kids to school, load it up with new house furniture, get the whole family onboard for a big road trip, or drive it down tough roads to reach a scenic location.


In our opinion, people ask more out of a 4×4 than any other car; however, most models fail to meet these expectations. Some may have the space and comfort but will lack the capabilities, others may lack the reliability and others may lack the space. Here is where the 80 comes in place. It is a bold suggestion, but this may be the only 4×4 that does everything great – especially during the era when it was first launched.

Thanks to the huge interior, good seats, and decent ride quality, it was comfortable. Also, it had a lot of space, it could haul eight people, it ruled off-road due to solid axles and diff locks, it was indestructible, and it could tow. In most cases, a machine built for multiple jobs does everything to a mediocre degree. This isn’t the case with the 80. It can undertake most of the above aspects and be great while doing so.

How Does the 80 Manage to Perform so Well

Firstly, we have the engines. Granted, the petrol examples in the U.S.-spec models were a bit underwhelming. They didn’t have much power; they used a lot of fuel, but they were indestructible. The diesels, however, were great. They had torque down low and the power needed to move the big Land Cruiser both on the motorway and off-road. Also, they were a bit more fuel efficient and just as reliable as the petrol variants. They are considered by many as some of the best diesel engines ever made.

The interior also played a big role. The luxurious version of the 80 came with a fridge in the center console, AC and heating both for the front and rear portions of the cabin, leather seats, cruise control, and space for eight. When new, the cabin was also quiet during motorway driving.

All the above points are important, but the main reason the 80 became so famous was its capability and durability. It was the first Land Cruiser to feature two coil-sprung solid axles which gave a better ride quality and more wheel articulation than the previously used leaf springs.

Some models of the 80 also came equipped with two diff locks – one on each axle. This made the vehicle extremely capable off-road. All the above attributes meant that the 80 could be modified easily with larger tires, and suspension lifts. This made it even more popular in the off-road world.

The solid axles also provided durability and ease of maintenance. If something went wrong in the middle of nowhere, the 80 could be fixed with basic tools. However, these cars rarely go wrong, thanks to their design, quality of materials, and the fact that they were immensely over-engineered.

Vehicles that Came Close to the 80 Series Land Cruiser

The only other Nissan Patrol 4×4 that can come close to the versatility offered by the 80 is the. A vehicle that never made its way to the U.S. (other than the current version which has nothing to do with the old one).

A GQ Patrol offered similar amounts of space, but when compared to the 80 it lacked interior comfort, its engines were not as powerful or as reliable, and it lacked features like the front and rear diff locks.

The next generation GU Patrol addressed most of those issues, but still lacked the power and was not as comfortable.

Granted, a Jeep Wrangler may be able to outperform an 80 in extreme off-road situations; however, it is not as comfortable, does not offer as much space, and is nowhere near as reliable.

Yes, some 4x4s are better at a single job, but we can’t think of any other car that can perform this well in all aspects. Can you?

Final Thoughts

The 80 Series Land Cruiser was such a big success that to this date, people build them up and use them for global expeditions, tough trails, or just as daily drivers. It came from an era when Japan knew no limits. We believe it is up there with the Supra, NSX, and GTRs as one of the best vehicles to ever come out of the land of the rising sun.


Q: What kind of camera do bikers use?

Many bikers use GoPro because of the huge amount of mounting options they produce, making it easy to attach to any helmet or any bike.

Q: Where do you put your camera on your motorcycle helmet?

Most cameras are mounted on top of the helmet, but they can also be mounted on the side. If it’s a 360° camera, then on top would be best.

Q: Are GoPros allowed on motorcycle helmets?

At the moment, there is no legislation that says you can’t mount an action camera on a helmet, although the F.I.M., the international motorsport governing body, has outlawed them in competition due to the increased risk of injury in the event of an accident.

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