Rugged and tough does not come better than Toyota’s latest throwback to decades gone by, in the form of the 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series 70th Anniversary edition in its single cab form.
If you have ever uttered the words “they don’t make ‘em like they used to”, we’re here to tell you, Toyota has done exactly that, and it’s amazing. It’s like stepping into a time warp, transporting you back to when you were young.
The door on the beast known to most as the 79, even requires some brute strength to shut. We had a friend join us for a cruise, and the first time she stepped in, it took three sturdy attempts at closing it properly. Somehow, that’s oddly cool too.
You can take a moment to take in the simplicity, strength, and classical nature of the cabin the first time you jump in. Being a single cab, storage is quite limited with small parcel trays in the door and glove box, and a little space behind the seats.
The vinyl dashboard has nice timber coated trim, which also flows onto the steering wheel, which is also leather wrapped (which makes for an odd experience). In the centre of the dashboard rests a 6.1-inch colour touchscreen display as well.
It comes with satellite navigation, Bluetooth and a USB multimedia port, but misses out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While we were disappointed the latter two were missing, a tradie told us that as long as it had Bluetooth and could take calls, he was a happy camper.
He even offered to swap us for his HiLux. Toyota have also included an additional four USB ports; two near the gear stick, and two in the rear of the centre console, with a handy storage space next to each port to fit a mobile in while charging.
The temperature controls have been transported through time too, with sliding levers for hot and cold control, and a twist knob for fan speed. You must admire the classical nature though; they just don’t make them like that anymore.
Adjusting your side mirrors is old school too, as they are sitting on arms and require you to manually adjust them by hand, out the window. You’ll probably be glad it’s like that to cater for all the towing you may want to do.
You’ll also appreciate the rugged rubber mats for driver and passenger to keep the floor beneath dry, and there’s a 70th Anniversary inscription below the shifter. Outside, the 79 Series is a marvel and eyeful at the same time.
It’s like a solid steel tank that will take on anything Australia can throw at it. From the front end, a solid black bumper meets the ever so familiar ‘Toyota’ lettered grille. The black bumper flows seamlessly to the gloss black front mudguards.
It pairs beautifully to the bright body (the special edition is only available in French Vanilla, Merlot Red, and Sandy Taupe). Nice touches include the historical Toyota emblem, as well as variant specific badging.
A nice set of 16-inch alloy wheels has you sitting high up, and there’s a LandCruiser-branded snorkel for when you want to get down and dirty off-road.
The long steel tray, painted to match the cabin, completes the look and there’s a steel mesh grate at the front. The rear is all business, with iconic ‘Toyota’ painted on the rear panel of the tray, and a spare wheel harnessed to a slide out shelf just below.
It’s sheer size means it’s not suited for some city parking lots (trust us, we had a crack), so on street parking is best. In a unique moment, we also got to test the physical durability of the LandCruiser 70 Series, when a punter rear-ended the big truck at low speed.
Looking immediately in the rear view, we find the culprit, a Toyota Camry. This was a Toyota-on-Toyota crime, and we do not condone it. After checking the driver of the Camry was okay, we noticed just how much damage there was to the offending vehicle.
As for the 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series 70th Anniversary edition, we couldn’t actually find any real damage. Not even a bent taillight guard. The only noticeable damage was some paint missing from the steel surrounds, and a slightly bent number plate.
The morale to that little story is this; the Toyota LandCruiser is built tough, and you don’t want to take it on in a battle for bitumen.
On the road, the driving experience is exactly as you’d expect in the 70 Series; loud and bumpy. It’s punchy, powerful, and fun to drive, and it’s a manual. The sheer size will have you turning the steering hard and fast around corners, but that’s the fun of it.
Think of it as like driving a small 4×4 truck, equipped with a 4.5-litre V8 turbo diesel engine, pushing through a 5-speed manual transmission, and generating up to 151kW of power, and 430Nm of torque.
Fuel tank capacity in the 70 Series is a generous 130-litres, with a reported fuel economy of 10.7-litres/100km. Safety inclusions include driver and passenger airbags, traction control, hill-start assist, vehicle stability control, and ABS.
Despite missing some of the big guns from the modern safety cabinet, it still pulls in a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. It’s a brilliant blast from the past, and considering its limited edition nature, could be highly sought after in years to come.
Tough as nails, and powerful by nature, the LandCruiser comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and is priced at $80,050 plus on-roads for this variant, plus tray costs and any other extras you may want.
You can find out more about the new 2022 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series on the Toyota Australia website.
Our test vehicle was provided by Toyota Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series 70th Anniversary edition, contact your local Toyota dealer.