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Car reviews - Toyota - LandCruiser 70 - 70th Anniversary


GoAuto spends a week with a LandCruiser you can’t buy for love nor (sensible) money

8 Nov 2022

TRY buying a new Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series and you will be asked politely to bugger off and come back later, months later.


If buying a used one at auction or from a dealer, you’ll fork out tens of thousands over the odds. This vehicle is still in serious demand and not just by farmers.


The tough old truck has come full circle from being just a farm or mining workhorse to being seriously coveted by a wide audience including city folk dreaming of a tree-change.


As a phenomenon, it is difficult to put it down to any particular factor but the instant business asset write off could be an influencer as well as buyer preference for an analogue vehicle good for heavy-duty work rather than a digital new model something-or-other wannabe fourbie.


GoAuto recently secured a week in the rare LandCruiser 79 Series 70th Anniversary single cab limited edition and we came away surprised on a number of levels.


On entering the GXL-based 79 Series 70th you can’t help but notice how “old school” it is in terms of layout and controls. Just like a time warp back 30 odd years despite token efforts by Toyota to update the beast for the 21st Century. They needn’t have bothered as it’s likely buyers prefer old school design and function anyway.


The windscreen is almost perpendicular, there’s minimal seat back recline (single cab), the five-speed manual-only gear stick is long with a wide gate between ratios, there’s a secondary 4WD selector lever on the transmission tunnel and the free-wheeling hubs are manually engaged.


In other words, you need to get out of the vehicle and turn the dial in the centre of the wheel to fully engage four-wheel drive. Yep, it’s a real throwback.


There are a few concessions to modernity such as air-conditioning (with interesting controls), power steering thank goodness and a rudimentary audio system. The two comfy seats in the single cab/chassis version driven here have some adjustment and fold forward to allow small objects to be squeezed in behind.


Other than that, minimal storage is provided apart from a centre console lidded box and door pockets. You can of course put just about anything you like in the tray short of a small hatchback.


This lack of cabin storage is possibly one of the main criticisms of the vehicle driven but is a reflection of its design age and intended purpose. Buy the dual cab ute or wagon variants and the problem diminishes.


The Limited Edition 70th Anniversary model scores some additional goodies like the black heritage grille with 'TOYOTA' lettering matching the black front bumper and wheel arch flares.

This “stealth” treatment continues with darkened 16-inch alloy wheels and headlamp bezels, while the front fog lamps and daytime running lights have been upgraded to LED units.

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

Inside, the special-edition LandCruiser features a number of premium options not previously offered on LandCruiser 70 Series.

The seats are clad in black upholstery while black leather-accented trim has also been applied to the steering wheel and gear shifter.

The interior's ambience has been further enhanced with a woodgrain-look trim and 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 also been fitted, complete with two additional 2.1-amp Type A USB chargers and a pair of cup holders.


Only 600 examples of the 70th Anniversary LandCruiser were produced – 320 double cabs, 200 single cabs and 80 wagons. No Troopy. Each was available in three colours: French Vanilla, Merlot Red and Sandy Taupe.


This is all probably irrelevant now as all would have been sold but this is how they were priced at launch back in September last year: from $80,050 (single cab), $82,600 (double cab) and $78,500 (wagon) plus on road costs with no movement on price since.

The platinum anniversary model marks the 1951 arrival of Toyota’s BJ in Japan, which three years later was renamed LandCruiser – a brand that has gone into folklore and been affixed to more than 10 million vehicles sold worldwide.

When the 70th Anniversary model was launched, Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley said Australian customers had made LandCruiser the icon it is today with 1.14 million sold locally.

As expected from a vehicle such as this, all 70 series ‘Cruisers have high and low-range gearing, 3500kg braked towing capacity, front and rear differential locks, a raised air intake and 130-litre fuel capacity.

Some safety upgrades are due to filter through this month with a pre-collision safety system incorporating autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as a payload increase that reclassifies the ‘Cruiser up from the light to the medium goods vehicle category to sidestep re-engineering for new safety requirements.

It already has basic safety technology that includes anti-lock braking, traction control, vehicle stability control and hill-start assist.

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