defender vs troopy

Submitted: Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 09:53
ThreadID: 34623 Views:10076 Replies:15 FollowUps:7
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Hello all out there!
could some of you give us an overall view on what is the main difference btwn the landrover defender and toyota troopy 75/78 series? I'm talkin diesel of cource.The aim is a 2-3 year long trip around Australia, obviously with as much outback as one can get.We basically know nothing about these cars but previous reserching showed that for such trip the troopy would be the best bet.However our favourite has always been the defender but i guess it's just useless body design issue.i noticed that defenders from lets say the mid to late 90's with something around 16-20K on the clock cost almost a good $10.000 less than a troopy would with similar conditions.Why is that? Is there a major difference in mechanical structure or long lasting or possible outback servicing when it comes to the availability of spare parts? We've been told the troopy can be relatively 'easy' to service outhere but would it be the same with the deffender!?
Any advice will be greatly appriciated! thanks! sz of the huns
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Reply By: chump_boy - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:10

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:10
There would be a hell of a lot more Troopys around Australia than Defenders, so chances are better of finding spare parts and technical expertise for the Toyota.

I personally like the Defender a lot more, despite the fact it is less comfortable, not as big, a miserable excuse for an airconditioner, and has too many plastic bits prone to breating (inside door handles, indicator stick on steering column, etc....).

I would say to buy a Defender, because of the price difference, and make a few mods. But thats just based on the fact I am a Landrover man through and through.

And by the way, I drive a 105 Series cruiser, so take what I say with a grain of salt...


AnswerID: 176770

Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:18

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:18
I dare say that you will get a very biased answer to your question here. Most (90% plus) are Toyota guys who will "defend" their own brand and probably give some negatives on the Defender. I'm not saying that that's bad - it's just a fact.

If you want to weight up your answers you get here - do yourself a favour and go to the Land Rover forums as well and post the same question there. Although passionate about their preferred brand - at least you will get to see it from the other side too. All's fair in love and war.

Go to: and post your question there too.

Why do I prefer the Defender? I grew up in a family who used a Series II trayback on our farm in Mudgee, and it was a fantastic vehicle for that. I just like the general feel of a Land Rover now - which is why I druve one.

The Troopy is a fantastic vehicle too. There are plenty about to tell you that. If you are going to go remote - I'd say (against my own requirements) to go for the Toyota - parts are just far more abundant out there.
AnswerID: 176772

Reply By: TROOPYMAN A.D. 1998 - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:21

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:21
Supply and demand . Thats why good secondhand troopys are expensive . I love defenders also . Ease of obtaining servicing parts near where i live and cost of same parts influenced my decision on buying a troopy . Good luck .
AnswerID: 176773

Reply By: Darian (SA) - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:24

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:24
Despite what some enthusiastic owners have said here, I can't see the ergonomics of the Defender to be anything other than a disaster. I cannot understand how people can be satisfied with the accomodation in there, for anything other than very short trips. Their ability in the rough stuff is rated very highly, but that is only a very small part of most trips for most travellers. I drive a Jack and I could do a lot better than that re comfort - but its an acceptable compromise. Troopies are everywhere - spares and expertise for them in the outback must be abundant.
AnswerID: 176774

Follow Up By: chump_boy - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:31

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:31
Landrovers - you either love them or hate them.....
FollowupID: 432821

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:34

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 10:34
I've found, after talking to many Defender drivers, that their levels of "comfort" depend on their height and general shape. What is comfy for me may not be the same for someone else. I refute that fact that "everyone" finds them uncomfortable - that is just plain bollocks.

I drive mine regularly from Cooma to Lightning Ridge - an all up one-day trip of around 13 hours. My comfort at the end of that trip is just fine. The seats and driving position aren't radical, so unless you are too tall - there isn't a problem. If you are - get a different car - it's easy.
FollowupID: 432822

Reply By: Barnesy - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 11:26

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 11:26
The Defender seats are a flat board with a bit of foam on top. The hand brake digs into your left calf making it almost impossible to move the leg. Performance in low range is the best in a production vehicle but you would have to weigh that up as opposed to the poor comfort. Fuel comsumption for the 5 cylinder turbo diesel is excellent. Aluminium body=no rust.

Troopies are everywhere and there is a reason. They have proven themselves reliable and tough over a long period as the best outback tourer around. All Toyotas have good resale values, they have the reputation, 80 series and more expensive than GQs.

Thing to do is drive as many as you can. Personally i couldn't picture myself spending hours on end sitting in those Defender seats without doing my back in.

AnswerID: 176780

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 12:43

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 12:43
Troopy --Troopy ---TROOPY. There is no comparrison for a bush trip around Aus.End of story!
AnswerID: 176797

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 13:00

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 13:00
But why? Give some reasons that others haven't.
FollowupID: 432840

Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 16:13

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 16:13
Some one asks for a bit of unbiased advice.
A bit like the perennial engel/waeco discussion??

In reality one usually purchases what ever they think will suit their own particular preferences and purposes.

Me, I just happen to like Landrovers and think that the others are cr@p

Happy discussions

FollowupID: 432874

Reply By: Moose - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 13:24

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 13:24
Not owning either I guess I'm unbiased (but I do drive a Toyota 80 series, so maybe I'm not!). From what I've read to date it appears Chump may be on the money. Buy the Defender, spend part of the savings on better seating etc. Hell $10K can buy a lot of improvements. Just my 2 cents worth.
AnswerID: 176805

Reply By: stevesub - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 13:42

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 13:42
Our choice would be the Troopy - 100% relaibility for us except for a gearbox problem - watch Troopys from 2000 to 2003, they all have the problem (see recent posts for why). Every where you go in the outback there are Troopys and not so many landies.

There are spares everywhere, every bush mechanic knows them, etc, etc. I find ours comfy to drive (I am 6ft tall), the air con is great, offroad it has similar performance to the Defender. We have as standard 180L of diesel on board, no electronics to go wrong other than the odometer, radios and aftermarket cruise control. We have more room than the Defender but only 2 doors which does not worry us as ours is setup as a poptop camper but it would be a pain only having 2 doors in a normal Troopy.

The Defender engines are OK but a friend of mine had her TD5 engine spit the dummy, complete rebuild reqd - expensive. If you get the TD5, you get more hp than the Troopy and better fuel consumption.

Am I biased towards the Toyota, not really, I also own a Nissan and 2 Landrovers, one a heap of s**t (want to buy it?) and the other the best 4WD vehicle ever made - but it is petrol and is not setup like our Troopy for touring..

AnswerID: 176812

Follow Up By: Steve - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 20:14

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 20:14
love the 100% reliability except for the gearbox problem ;-)
FollowupID: 432918

Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 22:01

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 22:01
so we do not really have 100% reliability - a gearbox problem rates as a major reliabity problem in my books.
FollowupID: 432951

Follow Up By: Steve - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 22:40

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 22:40
aah but don't let that spoil a good myth.
FollowupID: 432956

Reply By: Member - TPM (SA) - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 16:31

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 16:31
I have never driven a defender so cannot comment on them. I had a Troopy for ten years. So here are a few comments on why it was good and bad.

Reliable- I never had any big problems with it, I replace a altenator that was it.
Space- The amount of gear you could fit in the back was incrediable.
Capable- I had a front diff lock but the bloody thing was unstoppable in lo range
Good economy- it had the old 2H 4 litre, no race horse, but steady wins the race.
Peace of mind- Parts are everywhere, even if broken down the chances of another ute or troopy going past is very high. filters belts can be bought if needed.

Bad- Rough ride ( is defender better ?)
Big vehicle- high roof- hard to get down some low bush tracks-unless you dont care about scratches. Can be difficult to park for some.

I can think of much else, hope that helps. TPM

AnswerID: 176852

Reply By: TerraFirma - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 16:35

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 16:35
My first question before comparing the 2 vehicles would be reliability..? Which vehicle would you take if your life depended on it..? If you said both are equally reliable, then you would compare the 2 on levels of comfort and serviceability etc, but if you said one the Troopie was 20-30 % more reliable then I know what I would have. Nothing is more uncomfortable than a vehicle that doesn't go, especially in the middle of nowhere.!
AnswerID: 176854

Reply By: Member - Troopytrek - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 17:37

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 17:37
Hi Guy's,
We spent three months travelling in a 1995 4.5ltr petrol Troopy last year and I beleive if you are going to do some time on the road the space and reliability is all worth it. We had 2 children with us , travelled solo the whole trip GRR and the Gulf Track would never trade our Troopy ever.
We could be a little bias here as we have only ever owned a troopy,when we go trekin with our friends they rely on us for extra space as they all have luxury pack vehicles went for comfort not practability with children.
At the end of the day you are the only ones to decided.
Toyota tends to hold there resale value better providing you do the correct servicing and general maintance.
AnswerID: 176865

Reply By: J.T. - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 19:20

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 19:20
G,day Huns.Went through the same deal 5 years ago.Always driven series Landies and really wanted a Defender.Ended up buying a Troopy becauseof large fuel capacity,heaps of toyotas around up north and in rural areas,driver seat position and ease of working on the toyotas as well as parts availability in remote areas.The troopy is very large in the back and gets about 11.5litres /100 ks.I still love Landrovers but the troopy is really reliable.
AnswerID: 176893

Reply By: Member - Axle - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 19:42

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 19:42
I think its a personal choice really?. I 'm wrapped in my landy 130 tray back as a work vechicle, as well as something to tow the van with. One of the biggest issues is to know your vechicle!!. AT SOMETIME , SOMEWHERE, The best of them will have something go wrong, whether it be minor, or major problem.If you know the vunerable areas on your vechicle and service them accordingly , it lessens that breakdown risk. Its ok to say you have had no probs at all with something two year old, but it might be the next year the chit starts?.

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 176899

Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 21:45

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 21:45
You only have to come out here to Mt Isa and watch the traffic in and around town, Lots of Nissans, 1000s of Landcruisers , go to the Coal towns in Central Qld , all Toyota's,Very few Rodeo's,Triton's etc , could count them on the hands
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AnswerID: 176935

Reply By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 18:15

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 18:15
We went the Troopy (turbo) for our round oz trip for space, parts availability and importantly we could set it up to sleep in the back if necessary. All round a good long term vehicle - for reliability - for towing ( camper or caravan)
ex disco owner.
AnswerID: 177069

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