Tougher LC70 gets five stars

Motor Equipment News - - OEM -

fit­ted) have been changed from split rims to wider one-piece units, while LX mod­els have im­proved 16-inch al­loy wheels. Disc brakes are fit­ted at the rear as well as up front.

On the out­side there have been changes to the mas­sive bon­net, with the bulge en­larged to al­low more de­for­ma­tion if a pedes­trian is hit and is thrown up onto it.

Other safety fea­tures in­clude five airbags for the sin­gle cab, two for the rest of the range, and a re­vers­ing cam­era is stan­dard. Cruise con­trol is also added.

An­other ma­jor safety change across the range is the ad­di­tion of ve­hi­cle sta­bil­ity con­trol, a move which makes the ve­hi­cle much safer in all con­di­tions, as well as en­dow­ing it with bet­ter off-road abil­ity thanks to its in­built ac­tive trac­tion con­trol.

This is in ef­fect an elec­tronic “lock­ing diff” which uses se­lec­tive brak­ing to get bet­ter trac­tion. Along with the ABS anti-lock brak­ing set-up, it has been spe­cially tuned for use in off-road con­di­tions.

How­ever, in ad­di­tion to this all mod­els now get the for­mer “High Coun­try Pack­age” as stan­dard, which in­cludes front and rear me­chan­i­cal diff locks. And for those who don’t like to get their feet dirty, the front hubs are now auto lock­ing, al­though there is a fa­cil­ity to lock them per­ma­nently in place us­ing the ve­hi­cle’s wheel span­ner. Driv­ers can se­lect be­tween 2WD and 4WD high range “on the fly”; low range se­lec­tion must be done while the ve­hi­cle is sta­tion­ary.

The dreaded “failed hill start” is made eas­ier thanks to the ad­di­tion of hill-start as­sist, while au­to­mat­i­cally holds the ve­hi­cle on a hill with­out the hand­brake need­ing to be used.

The for­mer Troop Car­rier model has been dis­con­tin­ued, while the LT Wagon is now only of­fered with two front seats to fit in with safety leg­is­la­tion (it was formerly a 10-seater, with lon­gi­tu­di­nal seat­ing in the rear) leav­ing own­ers to choose what to do be­hind the seats.

The LC 70’s mas­sive sin­gle turbo 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel has been up­graded to bring it up to Euro5 emis­sions stan­dards by us­ing Piezo­elec­tric in­jec­tors and a diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter, and this has re­sulted in not only bet­ter econ­omy (10.6L/100km, was 11.5) but im­prove­ment in tow­ing abil­ity to 750/3,500kg.

There’s also re­vised gear­ing in the five-speed man­ual gear­box, with taller se­cond and fifth gears for bet­ter econ­omy and drive­abil­ity.

In ad­di­tion, the LC 70 is one of few lo­cally-avail­able 4WDs whose tow rat­ing is not af­fected by its GVM. This means it can tow the full 3.5 tonnes while car­ry­ing its full pay­load. Sin­gle and dou­ble cab ver­sions now get a 130-litre fuel tank as stan­dard (was 90), while the LT Wagon has two 90-litre tanks.

Here’s the line-up and pric­ing:

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