NEW LAND CRUISER 70
A tip-to-toe upgrade has given Toyota’s ageless 70 series ‘ute’ a new lease on life. NZ4WD magazine editor Ross Mackay explains why.
Satisfied existing owners might have grumbled into their ‘milk-and-two-sugars’ Nescafe, but there was nothing for it; looming safety requirements meant Toyota’s 70-series Land Cruiser needed work, plenty of work.
So much work, in fact, that for several months last year you couldn’t buy one for love nor money, despite Toyota New Zealand ordering up large before the old model went offline.
The good news is that the wait has been worthwhile, the new’un not only now thoroughly uprated and ( the single-cab model anyway) five-star ANCAP compliant, but also, on the strength of the launch drive on and off road, a far more practical not to mention ( believe it or not) compliant and comfortable proposition.
As the first significant round of changes the Land Cruiser 70 Series has seen in two years, the 2017 model meets EURO 5 emission regulations with the introduction of a Diesel Particulate Filter ( DPF) and adopts Vehicle Stability Control ( VSC), Active Traction Control (A-TRC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution ( EBD), Hill-start Assist Control ( HAC), Brake Assist ( BA) and reversing camera across the five variant line-up.
Singles and doubles
Starting from $ 75,780, the Land Cruiser 70 Series has both single and double cab variants available in LT and LX grades. The Troop Carrier now adopts the Wagon name and is available as an LT grade; the ultimate blank canvas with two seats and van-like cargo space.
The upgraded model retains Toyota’s legendary 151kW/ 430Nm 4.5-litre V8 turbo diesel engine but features improvements in performance and efficiency due to the new piezo injectors. Combined CO2 emissions are down to 281g/km alongside combined fuel consumption reductions of between eight and 10 percent decrease from the outgoing model.
Single cab models also get better range
courtesy a close to 50 percent increase in fuel capacity from 90 to 130 litres, while the LT Wagon continues with two 90 litre fuel tanks.
Inside the revamped 70 Series, the days of vinyl bench seats and a twin-dial radio/ cassette player have gone the way of the Ark, a 6.1” display audio unit with Bluetooth connectivity, CD player and USB port standard and the display doubling as a large centrally-placed monitor for the reversing camera. Cruise control is also now standard.
Single cab variants receive additional enhancements to improve the structural integrity of the cabin and a chassis that is larger and stiffer. Side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag, adjustable seat belt anchors with pre-tensioners and an Emergency Stop Signal ( ESS) complete the single cab’s safety feature overhaul for 2017, resulting in the maximum 5-star ANCAP rating.
Further improvements across the range include Dual Automatic Locking Hubs ( D-ALH) in place of manual hubs, and the previous High Country Pack option with front and rear diff locks has become standard.
Eagled-eyed brochure-fiends might also notice that the old split rim steel wheel design has been replaced by a single piece, 16 in. dia. design, which, with taller second and fifth gear ratios contribute to a smoother, quieter ride on seal and gravel plus the improved fuel economy.
Understandably, the sweeping changes and future-proofing has come at some cost resulting in a modest price rise across the five-model line-up.
Those prices are:
Land Cruiser 70 LT Single Cab $ 75,780 Land Cruiser 70 LT Double Cab $ 79,380 Land Cruiser 70 LX Single Cab $ 81,980 Land Cruiser 70 LX Double Cab $ 85,580 Land Cruiser 70 LT Wagon $ 84,980
Toyota’s 70-Series Land Cruiser is back on the market after a major upgrade.