Skip navigation
21490 Visits Today

Toyota Landcruiser 70-Series dual-cab review

  • image

    The Toyota LandCruiser 70-Series now comes with the option of dual cab convenience.

Murray Hubbard road tests and reviews the Toyota Landcruiser 70-Series dual-cab with specs, fuel economy and verdict.

If you want a definition of the term `workhorse' look no further than Toyota's 70-Series LandCruiser. Whether it's carrying miners or carting hay bales in every farming community in Australia, the 70-Series is hard-working 4x4 that earns its keep day-in day-out, year-in, year-out.

To put the 70-Series through its paces we took it to where it is most relevant: the pastures of south-east Queensland and a disused tin mining area, now known as Sundown National Park, just south of Stanthorpe, a 4WD-only park.

About the first thing you notice when you leave the urban environment in south-east Queensland is the number of 70-Series single cab utes on cattle properties. These vehicles are rarely seen in major towns. Go to a mining area and the 70-Series that dominates those sites are wagons known as troopcarriers or in the vernacular `troopies'.

VALUE

The LandCruiser 70 is an old-school 4WD that comes as either a wagon or a cab chassis, the latter range recently expanded to include the option of a dual cab. While the addition of the rear seats was primarily for the mining and rural sectors, we would not be surprised to see a few picked up by serious off-roaders as the family getaway vehicle.

Our test vehicle was the dual-cab cab chassis in top-of-the-range (GXL) spec. This means differential locks are standard, remote locking with a new key fob and a new in-dash clock with multi functions. Just to keep owners grounded the 70-Series still has manual front locking hubs and rear suspension leaf springs.

All variants are powered, and we mean powered, by a 4.5-litre V8 turbo diesel engine.

TECHNOLOGY

This is where the 70-Series gets exciting. This 4.5-litre V8 turbocharged and intercooled engine develops 430 Nm of torque, on tap from just 1200 to 3200 rpm run through a five-speed manual gearbox. There is a transfer box with low range gearing and options of 2WD, 4WD high and 4WD low.

The GXL also comes standard with front and rear differential locks available in 4WD high and low at the flick of a switch to the left of the steering column, firstly engaging the rear diff lock and if needed the front diff lock.

DESIGN

Since being introduced in 1984 as a replacement for the FJ40 series, the 70-Series has externally not changed a lot. It has an angular body that replaced the curved lines of the FJ40 line.

Those original FJ40 smooth lines are now apparent on the Toyota FJ Cruiser, introduced in early 2011. The dual cab 70-Series ute is all about function and that is reflected in the basic design.

Like the rest of the vehicle, the interior is designed for function not for looks. With a fair step up to get into the 70-Series there are seven grab handles to make it that bit easier for all five passengers. The front seats are comfortable, but lack a centre armrest.

Also missing is cruise control, which is surprising given these are basically rural-use vehicles. The dash and instrument layout is user-friendly. We like the small rectangular mobile telephone holder just in front of the cup holder. We also liked the location of the 12V outlet that we used for our GPS.

The rear seat has a fairly upright back and would test comfort levels for adults on long hauls. The rear seat has a fold and tumble ability should you need secure interior cargo space. The air conditioning worked well in hot, trying conditions.

SAFETY

The bad news is this. Toyota will not be upgrading the 70-Series to modern safety standards and so the vehicle is likely to end production in around four years. In short one of the major customers for the 70-Series is the mining industry that is now, understandably, demanding 5-Star safety standards.

Toyota is already developing the HiLux to these standards and is on the record as stating the 70-Series will not be upgraded with the likes of six airbags and stability control. As is stands the 70-Series has a three star rating but has just two airbags and recently gained ABS brakes. So this much loved fourby has entered the home straight in its 29th year.

DRIVING

For a vehicle that runs a pretty basic rigid live axle suspension, with leaf springs at the rear, the 70-Series handles remarkably well. Yes, the rear end can get a little twitchy on rough surfaces at speed and those same springs cause a pitching feeling on-road, which we suspect would calm down greatly with a load in the tray or a couple of passengers in the rear seat.

On-road the vehicle has plenty of oomph, despite the gearing being aimed at slower, off-road conditions. In our drive out to Sundown we were rarely passed and the vehicle ate the steep Cunningham's Gap for breakfast in fifth gear. Although most of the tracks are not difficult they are rough-as-guts and it took around two hours of solid driving to travel 20 km. For most of the drive we used high range second gear, thanks to the enormous amount of torque on tap between 800 and 1200 rpm.

VERDICT

The 70-Series GXL dual cab may well find a home with 4WD fanatics that like off-roading in difficult areas. They will not be disappointed. It may be old-school, but it's a hell of a truck.

MODEL RANGE
Workmate 4.5-litre turbodiesel single cab chassis: $58,790 (manual)
GX 4.5-litre turbodiesel single cab chassis: $60,790 (manual)
GXL 4.5-litre turbodiesel single cab chassis: $62,790 (manual)
Workmate 4.5-litre turbodiesel double cab chassis: $63,990 (manual)
GXL 4.5-litre turbodiesel double cab chassis: $67,990(manual)
Troop Carrier Workmate 4.5-litre turbodiesel five-door wagon: $65,790 (manual)
Troop Carrier GXL 4.5-litre turbodiesel five-door wagon: $67,790 (manual)
Workmate 4.5-litre turbodiesel five-door wagon: $59,990 (manual)
GXL 4.5-litre turbodiesel five-door wagon: $64,290 (manual)

Toyota LandCruiser 70-Series GXL 4.5-litre turbodiesel double cab
Price
: from $67,990
Engine: 4.5 litre turbodiesel, 151kW/430Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4WD
Thirst: 11.9 L/100km
 

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 8 comments

  • shut up greg or i will flog the hell out of ya

    micky mcphee of Adelaide Posted on 07 March 2014 9:45am
  • this new truck in my view needs the chassis lengthening as the cargo area is hanging in space and i have seen the trays bending on some of these utes as the weight is no where near the axle which allows for a bigger extra cab as reviewers have pointed out is inadequate.Obviously this increases the turning circle but it can be achieved and would be a far better truck. I have heard the starter motor is Built in to the motor and is a nightmare with the engine having to come out but have not verified this and the alternator is underneath and gets all the water etc etc. I stress this has to be confirmed but it remains it is not a patch on the old 75.

    chris webb Posted on 07 February 2014 12:08am
  • I have a 93 full six seat twin cab ute, chassis stretched 800mm, high roof, longer tray and in my view Toyota got the new twin cab wrong with some bad design faults. The vehicle could always have been wider and slightly longer and they have missed a great oppurtunity to put out a truly iconic ute. Not nearly as well made or practical as mine. Most twin cabs are a joke in the back and toyota wants to be the first to remedy this.I dont want electric everything, computer/garbage,I wanted a practrical truck so I built it.Toyota take note and keep this legendary workhorse cause the others dont stack up.

    chris webb of Perth Posted on 04 February 2014 1:48am
  • is it true that they have alternator problems with water and are very labour intensive to repair

    greg Posted on 25 November 2013 9:47am
  • You forgot to say interior space sucks… very poor leg room in all seats (front seats do not slide back far enough to straigten out my legs (I am 5’ 9” in height) back seats require you to fold your legs up your arse and interior width is far less than the old cruiser models….. These vehicles are pieces of crap compared to older models. Any one selling a pre 2005 cruiser by any chance???

    Granites of Townsville Posted on 06 November 2013 2:44pm
  • does it have two tanks

    riley johns of millicent sa Posted on 28 October 2013 10:00pm
  • Thanks for the tip about the Landcruiser being fased out and the lack of upgraded/prospective upgrading of safety standards I learnt nothing enlightening or revealing - you could’ve shortened it to “Same old truck” and bullet pointed the differences.

    Bruce Ferguson of Perth,WA Posted on 17 September 2013 1:32am
  • waste of time test. anyone can read the manufactures manual. Real time tests and fuel usage would be of more benefit to a prospective buyer.( Me)

    Johnathon Gretsy of albury Posted on 20 July 2013 5:16pm
Read all 8 comments

Add your comment on this story

Indicates required

We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Please provide your full name. We also require a working email address - not for publication, but for verification. The location field is optional.

Share your feedback