Next year marks the 70 Series Toyota Land Cruiser's 40th birthday. Originally launched as a 1984 model, the Land Cruiser 70 has been on sale ever since with minor nips and tucks keeping it (somewhat) fresh over the decades. Now, Toyota is giving the rig a pretty big update, which keeps one of the longest-lasting SUVs alive and well.
In Japan, the Land Cruiser 70 will be sold only as an SUV, while the Australian-market car will be available in both SUV and pickup forms. Regardless of which flavor you get, the new Cruiser gets an updated front fascia—which is said to be reminiscent of the iconic 40 Series Land Cruiser—some tweaks to the interior, and powertrain updates.
Japanese-market 70 Series get a new 2.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel making 201 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. That engine only gets a six-speed automatic transmission with part-time four-wheel drive. Australians get a choice of engines, though—either the aforementioned four-cylinder or a 4.5-liter V8 diesel, which makes 202 horsepower and 316 pound-feet. Why get the V8 when it makes less torque? Because it's paired with a five-speed manual, which is getting more uncommon by the year.
The realest retro Land Cruiser isn't entirely old-school inside anymore. Behind the steering wheel is a new 4.2-inch digital gauge cluster, and the center console gets an optional 6.7-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets lane-departure warnings, high-beam assist, and even speed sign recognition. The rest of the cabin is as spartan and utilitarian as you'd imagine a 40-year-old workhorse cabin to be.
Aussie customers absolutely love their 70 Series Land Cruisers, which is why it never went away. In fact, Toyota actually had to stop taking orders, as its supply wasn't able to keep up with the overwhelming demand. That demand just might increase with this refresh as it's now more attractive to normal drivers, not just miners and agriculturalists.
This news comes hot on the heels of the 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser's U.S. debut, so Toyota fans across the globe just keep getting good news. That one is retro too, but it can't come close to the 70 Series. You think they ever considered a Land Cruiser with a hybrid turbo engine 40 years ago? Not a chance.
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