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Toyota’s LandCruiser 70 Series will soldier on for a while yet with confirmation that an update for the ageing workhorse is imminent.
"We will freshen our existing line-up with the upgraded RAV4 range early this year, the Corolla Cross SUV and second-generation GR86 sports car in the second half, an update to the 70 Series workhorse, and we will also announce launch timing for our first BEV, the bZ4X SUV,” he said.
Timing and specifics of the update are unclear at this stage, with a Toyota Australia spokesperson only confirming that it will land at some point in 2022.
“Toyota Australia will continue to update the strong selling LC70 with further updates in 2022, the details of this will be outlined closer to the launch of this vehicle,” they said.
One of the likely reasons for the update is that, currently, the LandCruiser 70 Series does not meet new Australian Design Rules relating to side crash protection.
The new regulations (ADR 85/00) are designed to reduce the severity of serious injuries and reduce fatalities in side-impact crashes with immovable objects like poles and trees.
While the deadline for passenger cars and SUVs to comply with the new ADR was November 1, 2021, light-commercial vehicles such as the LC 70 Series have until November 2022 to satisfy the rule.
It is understood that the LandCruiser 70 Series will be updated to comply well before the November 2022 deadline.
Toyota is yet to detail the mechanical changes it will make to the LandCruiser 70 Series to ensure it remains on sale. The tweaks are expected to be applied to the single-cab ute, dual-cab ute, four-door wagon and the Troop Carrier variants.
The single-cab version of the iconic off-roader was updated in 2017 with new safety features including a larger and stiffer frame, more airbags, new front seats and updated body panels to ensure it achieved a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The single-cab 70 Series is favoured by large mining fleets, many of whom insist on a five-star rating for company vehicles.
The five-star rating only applies to the single-cab body style, with all other variants unrated.
While it’s been on sale since 1984 – albeit with updates along the way – the 70 Series is still selling well in its twilight years.
In 2021, Toyota sold 13,981 examples of the 70 Series, meaning it was the 17th best-selling model in Australia last year. It outsold the freshly launched LandCruiser 300 Series and outgoing 200 Series, and popular models like the Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai Kona and Subaru Forester.