The 70 Series Toyota Land Cruiser is an anachronism that refuses to die. Now on its way to its 40th birthday, a fresh set of updates are likely on the horizon to keep this legendary workhorse on sale.
Toyota began production of the 70 Series back in 1984, as it became the new rugged version of the Land Cruiser to replace the 40 Series. Despite almost four decades on sale with minimal aesthetic updates, the 70 Series is still just as popular as ever. It's particularly well-loved in Australia, where, as reported by Drive.com.au, Toyota is still declining new orders as it attempts to fulfill those it already has on its books.
The queue for a new 70 Series is estimated to be around two years long, a figure quoted since Toyota Australia first shut the order books in mid-2022. It's thought around 20,000 customers are still on the waiting list. Some speculated that numbers were limited due to the number of V8 engines Toyota could build for the model, though the company disabused that notion. "It's not engines... it's our production capacity," Toyota Australia sales and marketing boss, Sean Hanley, told Drive.com.au.
Despite the platform's advancing years, Toyota is sticking with the boxy off-roader, according to Hanley. As stated in our review of the 2022 model, it's the ultimate example of the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." There's still a market for a simple off-roader with part-time four-wheel drive with a proper low-range transfer case. Whether it's mining companies, NGOs, or grey nomads circling Australia, for those heading out to the rugged nowhere, the 70 Series is the mount to have.
Of course, the world continues to change, even as the 70 Series tries to stay the same. Updated crash and emissions regulations have forced Toyota to tweak the off-roader over the years, and the years to come will be no exception. Recently, the company reclassified Australian 2023 models as "medium goods vehicles" to allow the 70 Series to remain on sale despite new side-impact regulations.
New rumors from Japanese outlet BestCarWeb also suggest that the V8 could be on the way out, too, with a four-cylinder turbo diesel engine suggested as a replacement. When queried by Drive.com.au, Hanley declined to "fuel speculation," while noting that the company had to "move with the times." Emissions and fuel economy regulations have been the main driver of engine changes to the 70 Series over the years. Notably, the 4.5-liter turbo diesel V8 that currently features in the lineup has had to be regularly updated, with current models compliant with Euro 5 standards.
The 1VD-FTZ engine isn't much of a looker, but the V8 has become much loved for its power delivery and abundant torque. Lewin Day
Overall, it seems like the 70 Series will be with us to celebrate its milestone birthday and beyond. Like the richest Hollywood celebrities, it's barely showing its age, thanks to a little surgery here and there. Toyota looks set to continue the nips and tucks to keep the 70 Series on the road. If the waitlist is anything to go by, it'll have customers lined up around the block to buy every last one it can build.
Got a tip? Let the author know: [email protected]