The oldest vehicle in Toyota’s fleet finally scores vital safety equipment.
The venerable workhorse of the Toyota stable has finally scored a long-overdue safety update. The 70 Series dates back to 1984 in its most basic form in the Australian market, and was on the cusp of being dropped from the local line up four years ago after primary industry customers changed their buying policies to require vehicles to meet a minimum safety standard of four stars.
ABS was only fitted to the 70 Series in 2009, while dual airbags were fitted in 2012.
Instead of putting the three-star 70 Series out to pasture, Toyota Australia has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and plenty of time into bring the popular 4x4 range up to code.
That cost, though, is expected to be reflected in a higher recommended retail prices across the board.
Thicker chassis rails will improve the ride and handling of the brand’s longest serving vehicle.
Set for release later this year, the revised 70 Series range will be fitted with stability and traction control, hill start assist and electronic brake force distribution across the board, which should meet ANCAP’s four-star requirement.
In addition, the single-cab ute model will be equipped with driver and passenger curtain as well as a driver’s knee airbag which, in combination with the existing driver and passenger front bags, Toyota hopes will earn the single cab a five-star ANCAP rating.
Mechanically, new fuel injectors for the 4.5-litre diesel V8 and a longer fifth gear in the manual gearbox will bring the sturdy 70 Series into Euro 5 compliance and lower its fuel consumption, while thicker chassis rails will improve the ride and handling of the brand’s longest serving vehicle.
Final pricing for the 70 Series is expected closer to launch, with an increase of between $5-7,000 expected depending on the variant.
Should Toyota have gone even further with the safety updates for the 70 Series ute? Tell us what you think in the comments below.