HEIGH-ho, heigh-ho it’s off to work we go, to haul a load, hit the open road, muster cattle, wade in water, hit some ruts and carry the dog heigh-ho, heigh-ho. As you can tell the LandCruiser 70 Series is capable of doing a lot.
Toyota has kept to the tradition of ensuring the 70 series is a workhorse, and it has remained unchanged for some time. It has long been a favourite with Australian farmers, fleets and mining companies since it was created in 1984.
The 70 Series GXL Wagon is all about playing hard, working harder, while staying reliable and providing a dependable steed. A big V8 engine delivers the grunt to make tough jobs easy, with 151kW of power and a huge 430Nm of torque.
Sure it’s not a sports car, but it’s not about going fast, it’s all about some good old pulling power. All this down-low grunt is coupled to a 5-speed manual across the range, and there’s no automatic unfortunately.
Yes, we really did say 5-speed. There’s no 6-speed manual here either, making for a revvy experience. But while this version of the LandCruiser isn’t build for fast pace, it’s also very slow. The short ratio gears see it cruising at 60km/h in fifth gear.
Even empty, the LandYacht, we mean LandCruiser, takes some effort to get moving. You should allow some additional time to get places, especially if there are hills involved. Once you’re up to 110km/h though, it’s easy to keep at speed.
You will want to buy yourself some earmuffs though to drown out the engine noise, turbo whistle, wind noise and road noise. It’s got it all. Add the bonus of extra wind noise from the optional roof basket and heavy duty roof racks, and it all gets a little ridiculous.
Turning it around is akin to rotating the Queen Mary II in the Suez Canal as well. From an engine and power perspective, surely Toyota could find a way to put the twin-turbo V8 found in the 200 Series, along with the 6-speed, into the 70 Series.
It would start to align with it’s competitors and make the price tag (nearly $78,000 drive away, without the accessories ours had) a little easier to swallow. All that aside though, driving the 70 Series is fairly easy.
The steering wheel’s a little large, but offers plenty of features at your fingertips. The single cup holder is a fair distance from the driver though, and things are well, a little old school inside. As for the rest of the interior, things are a little well, old school.
It’s like stepping back into the 80s. It’s important to note this is essentially a work wagon. There’s a no frills dash, hard wearing but comfortable cloth seats, and small storage spaces.
The GXL is the upmarket model, offering power windows, Bluetooth connectivity and an electric antenna. You also get carpet instead of vinyl flooring. In addition, there’s air conditioning and cruise control.
Visually, there’s a chrome grille and bumper, roof drip-rails, and a snorkel. It has a lockable glove box, and a two-speaker audio system. The latter comes with an AM/FM tuner.
There’s a 12-volt power socket, active traction control and hill start assist, with ABS. The 2021 Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series GXL also gets front and rear differential lockers as standard.
They’re perfect for when things really get muddy or loose. Storage is limited to the glove box, centre console, and some skinny hard plastic door pockets, for the most part. There is plenty of actual space throughout for your passengers too.
If you find the need to throw a sheep in the back after it’s been separated from the herd, then don’t stress, it certainly isn’t going to destroy the interior. It’s rugged, but very practical.
The 70 Series does plays superbly well to its strengths, and it doesn’t give a rat’s arse about its weakness, perceived or actual. Customer demand for some new creature comforts has, rumour has it, prompted a top secret mission to design a new model.
The challenge for Toyota will be to build on the rugged goodness of the current model, and inject it with modern features, and hopefully some modern pace as well. The ‘expected’ date for something new could be as far away as 2022 or 2023 though.
Until then, we have the 2021 Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series GXL. It’s available in French Vanilla, Silver Pearl, Graphite, Merlot Red, Sandy Taupe, Vintage Gold and Midnight Blue.
Our 2021 Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon was provided by Toyota Australia. To find out more, contact your nearest Toyota dealer.