The Search for the Perfect Oveland Vehicle!
In the Spring of 2018 I had a 19 day trip planned with my family of 5 to travel over 5000 miles towing my DIY Off-road Overland Camper across the US. Up until this point, my Overland tow rig was a 1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ and the furthest I had pulled the trailer was a couple hours away. The XJ was a fun offroad vehicle and was able to tow the trailer on short trips, but it didn’t have the best manors on the road and I didn’t have faith in its ability to tow the trailer up the mountains of Colorado!
Why I chose the 2006 LX470 / Land Cruiser
I chose the LX470 because if fit 3 main criteria. The first of those reasons was the size. My wife and I have 3 children and currently they all sit in car seats or booster seats. With the jeep we would have to slam the back doors to get them to shut with all 3 seats installed. The LX470 has plenty of room for all 3 seats in the middle row as well as the option of the third row and still had enough storage room for all of our camping gear. The second reason was the towing capacity / capability. The LX470 has a V8 and a towing capacity of between 5,000 and 6,500lbs depending upon the hitch. Also, the 2006-07 models have an extra speed in the transmission which aids in towing. Since I would be towing my Off-road Overland Camper all across the country, I wanted a vehicle that was more than capable of towing it. The last reason I purchased the LX470 was durability. The 100 series Land Cruiser / LX470 is known worldwide for its durability and dependability. If you keep up with the maintenance it is not uncommon to expect 500,000+ miles!
My Least Favorite things about my LX470
Earlier I said the one of the reasons I purchased the LX470 was it’s size. That is also one of the negatives. The 2006 Land Cruiser / LX470 has a Curb Weight of 5,590lbs and has the following dimensions:
Length: 192.5 (in) = 4890 (mm)
Width: 76.4 (in) = 1941 (mm)
Height: 72.8 (in) = 1849 (mm)
This large size is nice for storage but can make it a beast on a tight trail!
While the screen is located for the second row, the actual DVD player is in the back and if the third row is in its stored position you cannot get to the DVD player to change disc.
Another negative for me is the AHC. I thought I would love the ability to raise or lower the height of the vehicle as needed, but once I had it I realized that it doesn’t take much to overload the AHC. On my trip out west I was in low mode the entire time.
My 2006 LX470 has the hitch underneath the bumper. This results in a Very poor departure angle. Even with the AHC in high mode, this is by far my Achilles hill.
It sucks, enough said.
My Favorite things about my LX470
When on the trail, anytime we stop to take a break everyone is either awkwardly looking for a seat or dragging out chairs of some sort so they have a place to sit. I can simply lower my tailgate and instantly have a place to sit. Also, there is a modification that can be made to add storage in the tailgate that is a perfect spot to store your recovery gear.
Driving the LX470 is like driving an Off-road capable couch. It is one of the most comfortable vehicles I have ever driven and it makes driving washboard roads a non issue. A cushy seat and luxurious suspension are great, but a key comfort factor for me is noise. In the LX470 there simply isn’t any noise. It is the quietest vehicle I have ever driven. Even the windshield has sound attenuation built in.
Would I Buy it Again?
DEFINITELY!!! I don’t want to beat around the bush here or leave anything up to the imagination. I love my LX470. Is it perfect, no. Is it perfect for me, yes! I plan on having this LX470 / Land Cruiser for many years to come. I plan on exploring the continent in it. I may even pass it down to one of my kids in 10 years or so, or I may just keep it for myself.