Tougher LC70 gets five stars
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: