Few vehicles have a heritage and reputation that matches that of the Toyota LandCruiser 70. It’s been the go-to vehicle for the toughest of jobs for 35 years and still going strong. You don’t drive it for its comfort, high-tech options or performance, but for its functionality, capability and the fact that it won’t stop for anything.
We’ve summed up the 5 main reasons we like to Toyota LandCruiser 70 series and why we think everybody should have a go in one at least once to experience its well-deserved reputation for themselves.
There are few remote places in Australia the Toyota LandCruiser 70 hasn’t traversed. From the Gibson Desert to Far North Queensland and from the Kimberley to the Nullarbor Plain, the 70 has been there. And came back. You can literally throw anything at this vehicle and it won’t stop going. It’s built as tough as they come and is hugely popular with the like who really depend on their vehicle - farmers, beach fisherman, miners and outback tour operators alike. Because the 70 is only fitted with the bare essentials, there are little components that can break and if they do – not because of the car, but because of the driver – they’re accessible and usually easy to fix.
The Toyota LandCruiser is available is four different bodies, each of them made for their purpose. Need a ute? Pick either the two-seat single-cab or the five-seat double-cab. Needs something more family friendly? Take the wagon or the troop carrier (unfortunately no longer available with the sideways-facing benches because of regulations). Whichever one you choose, it will look like a tough, go anywhere beast. The word aerodynamics doesn’t exist in the LandCruiser 70s brochure, as it’s as square as a brick. But that’s exactly the cool part; it gives the car its unique and recognizable look. You don’t have a lot of colour options from factory and most will opt for the save white option, but pick it in red or ‘sand’ and you have something that definitely stands out. Or do as the 4X4XMORE Team did and wrap it matt black. It’s a head turner, definitely.
As Toyota puts it ‘a real workhorse needs a big heart’ and that’s why there is only one engine available for the 70: a 4.5-litre V8 Turbo-diesel. It puts out 151kW at just 3,400rpm and 430Nm all the way from 1,200 to 3,200rpm. And it delivers a grunt while doing so. If you go for the tray body there will be plenty of space to haul heavy loads up to 1200kg, but the 70 also has a brake towing capacity of 3500kg, so it has the muscle to pull. We won’t discuss the fuel use of 10.7L/100km, because you get a 130-litre (180L on the Troopie) fuel tank that will probably get you where you need to go anyway. You can relive the past with the trailed and tested five-cog manual gearbox that will let you take off from standstill in third gear without trouble. Check for used 70 series to see the proof that these engines will keep running for hundreds of thousands of kilometres without a hitch.
The Toyota LandCruiser 70 eats corrugation for breakfast thanks to it’s 265/70 tyres on 16-inch wheels, live axles and stiff rear leaf springs. Gravel or dirt tracks feel the same in this vehicle as driving on the highway. And that’s where the 70 is most at home. Plus it has stability and traction control to keep itself in check on slippery surfaces. The front and rear diff lockers are optional in base models, but only needed in the most extreme of circumstances. Usually just shifting down will do the trick to get out of any situation. It comes standard with a snorkel, but even going through waist high water it doesn’t need it. And then there are the possibilities to add accessories: light bars, a winch, rock sliders, a lift kit, bigger tyres, roof racks and much, much more. This is the perfect vehicle to personalise and completely fit out for an overland trip.
When asked what you’re driving, the answer ’LandCruiser 70-series’ says enough. Anybody that goes off-road knows what you mean and will want to have a look at it to see how you made it your own. LandCruiser is the longest running nameplate in Toyota’s history and the 70 is probably the most iconic variant. Over 260,000 have been sold in Australia since 1985, almost twenty per cent of the world supply. It’s timeless – just like the standard, tough plastic interior – it will withstand the test of time. Plus, it now comes standard with air-conditioning; a nice extra when your making memories cruising through the Australian heartland.
To proof the point: this is the maximum we could get the LandCruiser 70 bogged and it took a lot of effort. Though we could have crawled out in low-range and by engaging the diff lockers, we had to demonstrate a recovery. In this car you're definitely more likely to be the recovering party!
Every new Toyota comes with 3 year (100,000km) warranty and capped price servicing for the same length of time or 60,000km. To check out the almighty Toyota LandCruiser 70 yourself or talk about the possibilities to accessories your 70, contact the friendly team at Motorama Toyota in Moorooka or Browns Plains.