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Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series 2022 review: 70th Anniversary Edition off-road test

Toyota's 70 Series LandCruiser is an absolute legend in Australia – and to celebrate its 70th anniversary here, Toyota is selling 600 special edition 70 Series single cab, dual cab and wagons. 

There are no mechanical differences between these special edition vehicles and the standard versions, but there are a few styling tweaks that will make any 70 Series fan happy, but is it worth the extra money? Read on.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The LandCruiser 70th Anniversary special-edition variants are priced from $78,500 (wagon). $80,050 (for the single-cab cab chassis), and $82,600 (double cab). 

They are all based on the flagship GXL grade and standard features include a 6.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system, with satnav, Bluetooth, Cruise Control, air-conditioning, power windows, Vehicle Stability Control with Hill-start Assist Control, 3500kg braked towing capacity, front and rear differential locks, a raised air intake, 16-inch alloy wheels and 130-litre fuel capacity.

Standard features include a 6.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system (Image: Glen Sullivan). Standard features include a 6.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system (Image: Glen Sullivan).

Beyond those, it has few features that set it apart from other 70 Series, and those are mostly styling tweaks.

The anniversary 70 is available in three colours: French Vanilla, Merlot Red and Sandy Taupe. 

Our test vehicle is fitted with a heavy-duty steel tray (Image: Glen Sullivan). Our test vehicle is fitted with a heavy-duty steel tray (Image: Glen Sullivan).

Our test vehicle is fitted with a heavy-duty steel tray ($4443.87), and an under-body tyre hanger ($596.50).

Is there anything interesting about its design?

This 79 is 5230mm long (with a 3180mm-long wheelbase), 1870mm wide and 1955mm high. It has a kerb weight of 2175kg (without tray).

  • The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on this special edition sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan). The styling touches on the special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart (Image: Glen Sullivan).

It looks like a sharp-edged box on wheels – in a good way.

The styling touches on this special edition are really what sets this 70 Series apart from every other 70 of its kind.

It has a black heritage grille with ‘TOYOTA’ lettering, black front bumper and wheel-arch flares, black 16-inch alloy wheels and headlamp bezels – and the front foglamps and daytime running lights are LEDs.

The LandCruiser looks like a sharp-edged box on wheels (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser looks like a sharp-edged box on wheels (Image: Glen Sullivan).

It also gets a ‘Heritage’ LandCruiser badge above the front wheel-arch, as well as ‘70th Anniversary’ emblems on the cab’s exterior.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

All 70 Series have a 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8, producing 151kW at 3400rpm and 430Nm at 1200-3200rpm, and that engine is teamed with a five-speed manual gearbox.

All 70 Series have a 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 (Image: Glen Sullivan). All 70 Series have a 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 (Image: Glen Sullivan).

This is a proven combination offering plenty of useable torque across a long flat torque curve, ideal for low-range 4WDing and towing.

All 70 Series have a transfer case with high- and low-range gearing, working off the ol’ stubby stick, and it has front and rear diff locks.

How practical is the space inside?

Inside this special edition ute, you get a bunch of styling tweaks that haven't been offered in previous 70 Series. 

Of course, to mark the 70th anniversary, the interior has black premium upholstery, nice wood-grain on the steering wheel and on the dash, as well as leather on the steering wheel and on the shifter.

To mark the 70th anniversary, the interior has black premium upholstery (Image: Glen Sullivan). To mark the 70th anniversary, the interior has black premium upholstery (Image: Glen Sullivan).

There is some nice badging to commemorate the occasion near the shifter (check out the photos) and near the glove box, but otherwise it is a rather spartan space as per usual for a 70 Series cab, but I like it. It's very basic, but it's easy to get a feel for, and easy to get comfortable in.

  • There is some nice badging to commemorate the occasion near the shifter and glove box (Image: Glen Sullivan). There is some nice badging to commemorate the occasion near the shifter and glove box (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • There is some nice badging to commemorate the occasion near the shifter and glove box (Image: Glen Sullivan). There is some nice badging to commemorate the occasion near the shifter and glove box (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • There is some nice badging to commemorate the occasion near the shifter and glove box (Image: Glen Sullivan). There is some nice badging to commemorate the occasion near the shifter and glove box (Image: Glen Sullivan).

In terms of storage, there's not a lot: glove box, cup holders, a few shallow spaces throughout the cabin, as well as a narrow space behind the seats. 

The 6.1-inch multimedia unit is easy to use, but no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and there are plenty of USB charge points to keep devices charged and ready.

  • The 6.1-inch multimedia unit is easy to use (Image: Glen Sullivan). The 6.1-inch multimedia unit is easy to use (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • In terms of storage, there's not a lot (Image: Glen Sullivan). In terms of storage, there's not a lot (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • In terms of storage, there's not a lot (Image: Glen Sullivan). In terms of storage, there's not a lot (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • To mark the 70th anniversary, the interior has black premium upholstery (Image: Glen Sullivan). To mark the 70th anniversary, the interior has black premium upholstery (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The steering wheel features a nice wood-grain (Image: Glen Sullivan). The steering wheel features a nice wood-grain (Image: Glen Sullivan).

To the business end of this ute and the fully galvanised heavy-duty steel tray from Toyota has a round steel tube headboard (with wire mesh window protector), 3mm checker-plate floor, three quick-lock drop-sides (two sides and tailgate), tube stirrup steps, and six rope rails, among many other features.

The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm. No official load-space dimensions were available to us.

  • The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). The tray has an external length of 2550mm and external width of 1840mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).

As mentioned, ours had an under-body mount for the spare tyre, but a headboard-mounted tyre hanger is available.

The test vehicle’s tray had been painted French Vanilla to match the ute itself.

What's it like as a daily driver?

You'd be pretty safe in assuming that something which looks like a box on wheels, also drives like a box on wheels, but the news isn't all that bad: ride and handling are actually okay, with a coil-sprung front live axle and leaf-sprung rear live axle keeping the steel ladder-frame chassis feeling stable and controlled through a variety of driving scenarios.

Steering is pretty good – it has a nice balance to it – and it's a very comfortable open-road cruiser, in fifth gear you can simply let the 79 Series easily stretch its legs while you enjoy the trip. 
The seats are surprisingly comfortable and I've done plenty of long days and plenty of kilometres in a few different 70 Series – the dual-cab, the wagon, the Troopie, and in this – and these seats are really easy to spend a lot of time on. 

And the 79 Series, like traditional-style 4WDs such as the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and the Suzuki Jimny, demand a lot from the driver and that makes you feel dialled into the vehicle; it makes driving the 79 a real visceral experience: a windows-down, feel-every-bump kind of drive and, call me an old codger, but I for one really enjoy that kind of driving.

It's also good to know that the disc brakes at each corner have plenty of bite when it comes to emergency "Watch out for that bloody roo!" braking.

However, there are a few negatives: it is quite noisy inside the cabin and that's because it is a straight up and down space. You cop a lot of wind noise, a fair bit of tyre roar, as well as engine noise. I don't mind it, but it must get on a few people's nerves.

Another negative is that the ride can become quite harsh at times but that's not unexpected because this is a single-cab cab chassis ute. If you're not ready for that kind of jittery unladen ride, then it might come as a bit of a shock.

What's it like for touring?

While it's not as atrocious on road as some might expect, in terms of ride, handling or comfort, it really is the master of its domain when you head off-road.

  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan). The LandCruiser 70 Series really is the master of its domain when you head off-road (Image: Glen Sullivan).

When you’re 4WDing in the 79 Series, you can't help but have fun. 

There is ample visibility, so you can see where you’re going on bush tracks and all around you, because of the very open, straight up and down cabin.

The part-time dual-range 4WD system is easy to use – you just work off the good ol’ stubby stick down – and in low range, this is an all-conquering bush beast. 

It has such a low crawl ratio that you can really just creep up and over obstacles that other vehicles may not be able to get near. 

There is so much torque to tap into from the big V8 that you really have access to it right across a broad rev range. 

So as well as that super torquey engine, great low-range gearing, good engine braking – basically just a whole set-up that's built for hard-core off-roading – the 79 Series manages to be so capable you can forgive it the fact that it sacrifices a lot in terms of comfort and refinement. 

This is a vehicle purpose-built for 4WDing (Image: Glen Sullivan). This is a vehicle purpose-built for 4WDing (Image: Glen Sullivan).

This is a vehicle purpose-built for 4WDing, and it comes from a strong tradition of off-roading machines with a separate chassis, and live axles, front and rear. 

Sure. It's not the most comfortable or contemporary ute around, but it's very capable on this kind of terrain. 

By the way, ground clearance is 235mm and wading depth is 700mm.

And while the 79 Series is pretty much ready to roll straight out of the showroom and into the Simpson Desert, I'd think about replacing the standard rubber – Dunlop Grandtrek AT1 (265/70R16), decent tyres in their own right – with an even more aggressive set of all-terrains, maybe some BFGoodrich or Cooper rubber, just to give yourself even more of an off-roading edge. 

One of the few annoying characteristics in the 79 Series when it comes to general driving and 4WDing is the 14.4m turning circle, especially if you have tight brush tracks to navigate your way along or, god forbid, you have turn around on such a squeezy track.

Ground clearance is 235mm and wading depth is 700mm (Image: Glen Sullivan). Ground clearance is 235mm and wading depth is 700mm (Image: Glen Sullivan).

This is not a highly manoeuvrable vehicle when you're out bush; you have to think about where you want to put it, you have to think about the line you want to take and how to get in and out of trees on the aforementioned tight tracks.

Some people have a problem with the fact that the 70 Series has different wheel tracks front (1555mm) and rear (1460mm) and, while those mismatched tracks do make for odd viewing, if you simply adjust your driving style while 4WDing to suit, then you shouldn’t have too much strife, other than it being a tad annoying on sand and through dried-mud wheel ruts.

If you’re thinking about using this ute for work or touring, then it’s well worth noting that because this 79 has a 357kg heavy-duty steel tray fitted, payload has been reduced from 1225kg (available on a 79 Series single-cab cab chassis when no tray is fitted) to 868kg.

It's rated to tow 750kg (unbraked) and 3500kg (braked). Gross vehicle mass (GVM) is 3400kg and gross combined mass (GCM) is 6900kg.

How much fuel does it consume?

Official fuel consumption is 10.7L/100km on a combined cycle. 

Our actual fuel consumption during this test was 12.3L/100km, which was decent because we spent a fair amount of time on the dirt, with some low-range 4WDing. 

So, if you drive like me you should get an effective range of about 1056km out of the LC79’s 130-litre fuel tank, when doing a mix of road and dirt tracks, and some low-range 4WDing. That range grows to around 1200km if you can get your fuel use closer to the official fuel-consumption figure.

But – remember to take 30 to 50km off any estimated fuel-range figure in order to have a better idea of your safe touring range.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The 79 Series LandCruiser single-cab cab chassis has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating as a result of testing in September 2016.

As standard, it has driver and front passenger airbags, curtain shield and driver’s knee airbags, brake Assist, vehicle stability control, hill-start assist control, electronic brake-force distribution and active traction control.

So, it’s sorely lacking a lot of the new active safety tech, such as AEB, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure alert and more, that’s in many other, much cheaper, modern vehicles.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

All LC 70 series have a five-year/unlimited km warranty and capped price servicing over the first three years with an average cost per service of $340, totalling $2040 over three years.

  • All LC 70 series have a five-year/unlimited km warranty (Image: Glen Sullivan). All LC 70 series have a five-year/unlimited km warranty (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • All LC 70 series have a five-year/unlimited km warranty (Image: Glen Sullivan). All LC 70 series have a five-year/unlimited km warranty (Image: Glen Sullivan).
  • All LC 70 series have a five-year/unlimited km warranty (Image: Glen Sullivan). All LC 70 series have a five-year/unlimited km warranty (Image: Glen Sullivan).

Service intervals are six month/10,000km.

The 79 Series is unashamedly an old-school ute, and it plays superbly well to its strengths: it’s robust, it's capable, it's a whole lot of fun to drive off-road and it is truly purpose-built for all manner of hard work.


But its weaknesses are glaring: it lacks a lot of active safety tech, and it doesn't have many of those creature comforts we have come to expect from other modern utes, as standard. And those utes are usually a lot cheaper than this as well. 

However, that's missing the point of the 79 Series because this ute has a real old-school, rough charm about it, it is supremely capable off-road and it’s a true workhorse at heart.


And it's very easy to like.

$82,600

Based on new car retail price

Daily driver score

4/5

Adventure score

4/5

adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

Price Guide

$82,600

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.