TOYOTA LAND CRUISER 70 SERIES – 70TH ANNIVERSARY WAGON


If you’re looking for something to go off road in, then look no further. If you’re not, then look
elsewhere.

By off road, we mean really off the bitumen — mud, rocks, fire trails, creek crossings, the
Top End, winches and high-lift jacks — the whole shooting match.

Land Cruiser 70 Series is without doubt the most capable 4×4 we’ve driven, a hard-edged,
no nonsense off roader built to tackle the rough stuff — a workhorse built strong for
commercial application.

But ladies and gentleman, this is not a car for everyone — so please choose carefully.

The one we’re testing is the 70th Anniversary wagon, marking the debut of the original
Toyota BJ way back in 1951.

Just 600 Anniversary editions will be offered, 80 of them wagons.

STYLING
Land Cruiser 70th Anniversary special edition is based on the flagship GXL grade and is
offered as a 76 Series wagon, as well as 79 Series single- and double-cab chassis pickup.

Anniversary models come in three colours: French Vanilla, Merlot Red and Sandy Taupe.
Externally, it’s distinguished by a black heritage grille with Toyota lettering, that matches
the black bumper and wheel arch flares.

The black treatment continues with dark 16-inch alloys and headlight bezels, while the
front foglights and daytime running lights have been upgraded to LEDs.

Marking the anniversary is a Heritage badge above the front wheel arch, as well as 70th
Anniversary emblem.

The seats are trimmed in synthetic black leather, with leather accents for the steering
wheel and gear shifter.

There’s also some woodgrain-look trim for the instrument panel, silver accents for the air
vents and black treatment for the switch trims on the doors.

A newly designed black centre console has two additional 2.1A Type A USB chargers plus
a pair of drink holders.

Want to adjust the external mirrors. Then dial a friend, one who can stand outside and
move them this way and that until you find the right position.

It does come with cruise control, power windows and remote central locking.

INFOTAINMENT
With four speakers, the infotainment system features satellite navigation, voice activation,
AM/FM radio, Bluetooth, single CD player and the Toyota Link app. There’s no Apple
CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity.

There’s four 2.1A power sockets, none of them was able to deliver sufficient juice to
charge my wife’s phone in a reasonable time.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
All versions are powered by a 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel that produces 151kW of power and
430Nm of torque from 1200-3200 rpm.

It’s paired with a five-speed manual transmission that now has taller second and fifth
gears, the latter allowing it to cruise more easily on motorways.

Drive is to the rear wheels most of the time, with high and low range gearing, auto-locking
front hubs and front and rear diff locks.

SAFETY
Although the cab-chassis earns a five-star safety, this doesn’t carry over to the wagon.

However, it is fitted with two airbags, vehicle stability control, active traction control, hill-
start assist control, brake assist, ABS brakes and electronic brake-force distribution.

The bonnet now has a pronounced “power bulge”, which provides sufficient clearance over
engine-bay components to meet pedestrian impact requirements.

DRIVING
Clearly, this is not a vehicle designed for city streets. It’s large, heavy and truck-like, with
rubbery steering, spongy brakes and plenty of body roll.

The gear shift has a long throw action, it’s possible to miss third if you rush it.

But at least it holds the brake for a second or two on hills.
On moving off It can take three gear changes just to get across an intersection, unless you
start off in second, which is the preferred method.

Tight turns, even moderate turns, may necessitate a three-point turn.

Despite all this the wagon is quite comfortable and even my wife likes driving it.

Initially, I found myself wanting a sixth gear, but the taller fifth proved adequate over time,
with the tacho turning over just over 2000 revs at 110km/h.

You get disc brakes all round, but the back is underpinned by old school leaf springs.

The wagon seats five with barn-style 60:40 split rear doors and a basic, straight back rear
bench that is better suited to two bods than three.

There’s plenty of road noise at higher speed that can render the Bluetooth connection to
your phone almost unusable.

New bucket seats enhance safety, comfort and ergonomics with a new structure that helps
prevent whiplash.

Revised mounting points contribute to the overall safety rating, with greater side bolstering
and lumbar support.

Other improvements include under-dash padding for the passenger and relocation of the
steering link behind the front axle, for increased safety.

Newly adopted VSC automatically disengages in low range.
A-TRC, which eliminates the need for a limited-slip differential, operates in high and low
ranges, but can be disengaged for sand.

Off road, with 230mm of ground clearance, 700mm wading ability, a snorkel for breathing,
low range crawler gearing, plus front and rear diff locks, the 70 Series takes some
stopping.

Shifting between high and low range is accomplished via a traditional transfer lever.

Take it slow, look first, don’t do anything silly and the Land Cruiser won’t let you down.

SUMMING UP
Love this car. Love the Land Rover Defender too, but I’d take the Cruiser any day of the
week.

Land Cruiser on the other hand is developed specifically for the Australian environment,
with tough ladder-frame chassis, live-axles, impressive ground clearance, part-time 4×4,
powerful yet efficient engine, excellent load-carrying capacity and long touring range.

RATINGS:
Looks: 7/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 6/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 7/10
Comfort: 6/10
Tech: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 7/10

AT A GLANCE
MODEL RANGE
Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series Workmate, 4.5L V8 turbo-diesel, 4×4 wagon: $67,400
Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series GXL, 4.5L V8 turbo-diesel, 4×4 wagon: $71,500
Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series 70th Anniversary Edition, 4.5L V8 turbo-diesel, 4×4 wagon:
$78,500
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series 70th Anniversary five-seat wagon, 4.5-
litre V8 turbo-diesel, rear-wheel drive, part-time four-wheel drive)

PERFORMANCE:
Capacity: 4.5 litres
Configuration: V8
Maximum Power: 151kW @ 3400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 430Nm from 1200-3200 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): : 10.7L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 281 g/km

DRIVELINE: Five-speed manual, high and low range, part-time four-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4910 mm
Wheelbase: 2730 mm
Width: 1870 mm
Height: 1940 mm
Turning Circle: 12.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 2265 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 130 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc, 322 x 32 mm
Rear: Ventilated disc, 312 x 18 mm

STANDARD WARRANTY:
5 years/Unlimited kilometres

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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