2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon (car review)

When you think Australia, you may think football, meat pies, kangaroos and… well that other brand that’s no longer around, but there’s another Aussie icon that’s still going strong. We speak of course, of the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series.

For decades the 70 Series has been known for its ruggedness, reliability, and off-road capabilities, as well as being one of Australia’s most dependable vehicles in the outback. That’s thanks to its V8 powerplant, only this isn’t that vehicle.

Instead, we’re testing the new for 2024, 4-cylinder turbo diesel automatic. It’s a combination that has raised the ire of the purists, but may well be the future of the 70 Series. The new donk and transmission isn’t the only change though.

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The most noticeable difference is its front end. Toyota has used previous generations of the LandCruiser and 70 Series to design a very unique and retro face for the 2024 model, with changes to the front bumper, headlights, front grille, indicators and bonnet.

These subtle changes have rapidly reshaped and improved the 70 Series, giving it a proper retro feel. Its now larger front end doesn’t do the side profile any favours, but otherwise it’s all business as usual, with side steps that look like they came of a construction site.

2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon
2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon

The rear is unchanged, with a full size spare tire on one side and a door on the other for the carryover split tailgate. In terms of off-road capabilities, the 2024 Toyota 70 Series is hard to beat.

With its solid ladder frame chassis, high ground clearance, and four-wheel drive system, this vehicle can handle just about any terrain you throw at it. Whether you’re navigating rocky trails, sandy dunes, or muddy tracks, the 70 Series is up to the challenge.

Equipped with locking front and rear differentials, live front and rear axles, locking front hubs and the ability to tow a planet, this stalwart of the 4×4 space continues to deliver. It has a braked towing capacity of 3500kg and a payload just over 1200kg.

The 70 Series has a loyal following of fans who appreciate its no-nonsense approach to adventure. Inside, it’s no different, and isn’t what you’d call luxurious or even well equipped. There’s a tonne of hard plastics.

While the seats look like they were stripped straight out of grandma’s living room, there have been some modest changes, including a new 6.7-inch infotainment display, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and some USB-C charging ports.

dash
Inside the 2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon

An updated steering wheel and a brand new instrument cluster feature, and the GXL we’re testing also sports electric windows, carpeted floors, and cloth seats. Other variants aren’t so lucky, and get vinyl seats, rubber floors and old fashion wind up windows.

The Wagon we’re in (and the Troopy) comes with electric exterior mirrors too. In terms of comfort, there’s plenty of room in the front for both occupants, but far less in the back seats. Not only do the rear seats not decline, knee room is average at best.

Thankfully there is plenty of head room and foot room, and there’s a tonne of cargo space to well, boot. Storing or loading things in the back is easy, with that split tailgate ensuring you can get things in and out without a hassle.

Toyota has modernised the safety too, with some airbags, hill descent control, a reversing camera, lane departure warning and road sign assist, pre-collision warning with pedestrian and daylight cyclist detection, autonomous emergency breaking, ABS and stability control.

If you want to install a child seat, you will need some aftermarket assistance though, which is a little disappointing when you consider that your average $30,000 hatch has more protection than an $80,000 70 Series.

second row
Inside the 2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon

But, and this is important, this car isn’t for everyone, and rather is is built for miners and farmers, and those who simply love a rugged off roader. It’s basic, easy to work on, and super reliable when you’re hundreds of kilometres from anywhere.

Now back to that controversial new powertrain we mentioned earlier – the 2.8-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine, with a total power output of 150kW, alongside 500Nm of torque, delivered through an auto box.

By comparison, those numbers are slightly better than the 151kW/450Nm V8, and more surprisingly, it’s the smaller engine that provides both plenty of power for tackling rough terrain, as well as good fuel efficiency (10.0-litres/100km and 1,000km range on a tank).

The lighter engine also improves ride and handling, while the automatic transmission presents a vastly improved driving experience, both in challenging off-road conditions and on a day-to-day basis.

It means the 4-cylinder turbo diesel makes more torque, is faster and lighter, more comfortable, and a better vehicle to drive. There. We said it. It’s better than the V8. Improved cooling (now water to air) means it’ll be bulletproof too.

2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon
2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon

While it lacks a lot of modern luxuries, even in GXL Wagon form, it remains a top pick for those seeking a durable and dependable workhorse, or off road vehicle. With its updated engine and transmission, it’s now a versatile choice.

You can find out more about the 2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series by visiting the brand’s Australian website, or by talking to your local dealership. If you’re keen on one, and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our test vehicle was provided by Toyota Australia for review purposes.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
8
Exterior styling
8
Interior look and feel
6
Technology and connectivity
6
Family friendliness
6
Value for money
8

SUMMARY

Pros - new engine easier to manage; rugged, capable and reliable; automatic transmission; off road capability.
Cons - no current safety rating; minimal safety features, no ISOFIX or top tether anchor points for child seats.
Salvatore Gerace
Salvatore Gerace
Salvatore is an avid car enthusiast. His passion for European cars is thanks to his Italian heritage, but it’s the German marques that excite him the most. Having owned everything from a BMW e46 325i to a Mitsubishi Evo 6, he’s a fan of exotic performance cars. When he’s not driving, you’ll find him at the gym, or sampling some of Sydney’s fine burger fare.

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<strong>Pros -</strong> new engine easier to manage; rugged, capable and reliable; automatic transmission; off road capability.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> no current safety rating; minimal safety features, no ISOFIX or top tether anchor points for child seats.2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series GXL Wagon (car review)