The Legacy of the Toyota 70 Series LandCruiser: An In-Depth Review

A Brief History

The Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series has enjoyed a remarkable run since its inception in 1984. Although its various incarnations have seen petrol and diesel engines, different wheelbases, and diverse body styles, we'll focus primarily on the post-2007 V8 models in this comprehensive review, considering their prevalence in the used vehicle market.

Toyota's 70 Series was originally designed as a rugged alternative to the more luxurious 60 to 300 series LandCruisers, aimed at the needs of mining companies and farmers. Whether a 76 Series wagon, 78 Series troop carrier, or 79 Series cab chassis, all 70 Series variants are engineered for resilience and reliability.

Major Upgrades and Features

Post-2007, the 70 Series underwent significant upgrades, including a revamped dashboard, enhanced practicality, technological enhancements, and an enlarged fuel tank.

The 2016/2017 updates saw the V8's power and torque increased, thanks to engine changes and new injectors. This revision also required the addition of a diesel particulate filter (DPF), which sparked some controversy due to potential risks for those who frequently drive at idle revs.

These updates also targeted fuel economy, noise, vibration and harshness levels, and improved handling and stability. Although the 2021 infotainment system update saw a larger screen, it's worth noting that unlike most vehicles on the market, the 70 Series lacks Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and digital radio.

Safety Rating

A testament to the LandCruiser's design and durability, the 70 series single cab chassis variants boast a 5-star ANCAP rating, signifying a high level of safety in the event of a crash. This rating makes it a strong contender for those prioritising safety in their vehicle choices.

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The majority of 70 Series models come in three specifications: the base spec Workmate, mid-range GX, and top spec GXL.


The base model, the Workmate, is the workhorse of the LandCruiser 70 Series. It's designed with practicality and durability in mind, offering the following specifications:

  • A 4.5L V8 turbo-diesel engine.
  • 5-speed manual transmission.
  • Vinyl floor covering for easy cleaning.
  • Black front bumper and radiator grille.
  • A snorkel air intake for tackling water crossings and dusty roads.
  • Manual winding windows.
  • Central locking and a two-speaker radio/CD player.


The GX variant is a step up from the Workmate, offering a balance of utility and comfort. Its key specifications include:

  • A 4.5L V8 turbo-diesel engine.
  • 5-speed manual transmission.
  • Carpet floor covering.
  • A four-speaker audio system, including two tweeters.
  • Over-fender flares and aluminium side steps.
  • Chrome front grille, black power remote control exterior mirrors.
  • Electric windows and central locking.


The GXL is the top-end variant in the LandCruiser 70 Series. It offers an array of features that make it a more comfortable, luxurious, and practical choice. Key specifications include:

  • A 4.5L V8 turbo-diesel engine.
  • 5-speed manual transmission.
  • Power windows, central locking, and remote keyless entry.
  • Chrome exterior mirrors and a chrome front grille.
  • 16-inch alloy wheels with over-fender flares.
  • Dual front airbags, and anti-lock brake system (ABS).
  • A two-speaker audio system with Bluetooth functionality and a USB audio input for iPod/MP3 players.
  • Front and rear differential locks.

70th Anniversary Edition

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the LandCruiser series, Toyota released a special edition model that boasts the following specs:

  • A 4.5L V8 turbo-diesel engine.
  • 5-speed manual transmission.
  • 16-inch alloy wheels with over-fender flares.
  • Heavy-duty steel bull bar, scrub rails, and side steps.
  • 70th Anniversary badges and decal.
  • Black wheel arch flares, mirror scalps, door handles, and headlamp surrounds.
  • Unique premium leather-accented seats, steering wheel and gear shift with contrast gold stitching.
  • 70th Anniversary floor mats.
  • A two-speaker audio system with Bluetooth functionality and a USB audio input for iPod/MP3 players.
  • Front and rear differential locks.
  • Driver and passenger airbags, and vehicle stability control (VSC).

Each variant of the LandCruiser 70 Series offers a unique set of features that can cater to different customer needs. Whether it's the work-ready practicality of the Workmate, the balanced offering of the GX, the comfort and luxury of the GXL, or the special edition flair of the 70th Anniversary model, there's a 70 Series model to suit everyone.

Strengths and Weaknesses


  • Unmatched versatility
  • A stellar track record of reliability
  • Extensive parts and servicing network
  • Excellent foundation for customisation


  • High cost for a basic vehicle
  • Prevalence of poorly modified used vehicles
  • Subpar modifications can impact reliability
  • Driving dynamics akin to older models

Common Issues


While rust is not widespread, it can appear under the windscreen and snorkel. The doors can also fill with water if the drain hole is blocked.


Electric issues are common, especially with the cigarette lighter failing due to other electronics tapping into its power. The handbrake may also need adjustment for smooth operation.


The usage of the 70 Series may determine the kind of mechanical issues encountered. The reliability of the engine may depend on its model, usage, and any modifications.

Fuel system related issues, such as problems with pressure sensors, suction control valves, and high-pressure pumps, are fairly common. An additional issue is the potential for the inlet system and EGR valves to clog, which is why a catch can is often recommended.

High-mileage or poorly serviced units may experience issues with the starter motor and the turbo. Additionally, driveline problems like weak clutches and gearbox issues are not unheard of.

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Is the LandCruiser 70 Series the Right Fit for You?

The LandCruiser 70 Series has been demonstrating its reliability and longevity for nearly 40 years. While it is a highly capable and robust vehicle, it is not without its compromises, especially in terms of modern features, comforts, and safety tech.

Investing in a 70 Series could be an excellent choice if you're a farmer, tradesperson, or business owner looking for a dependable workhorse that's equally competent off-road.

However, if your purchase is more about style than substance, it's worth considering whether the 70 Series' limited features, cost, and potential issues outweigh its renowned strength and dependability. In the end, the decision should align with your specific needs, budget, and aspirations.

How Driva Can Help

Whether its the LandCruiser 70 Series or another car, Drive can make the financing process easy an hassle-free. In just a few clicks, you can get your personalised car loan rates comparing 30+ lenders on our panel, so you know you’re getting the best deal.

Not sure about buying a car yet? Use our car loan calculator to get an estimate on your monthly repayments and interest rates to help you plan your purchase. You can rest assured that Driva protects your credit file by leaving no impact on your credit score when you get your personalised quote and by providing you with 100% fee transparency.

Philana Kwan

Philana Kwan is the marketing coordinator at Driva she has a demonstrated history in customer service excellence and is knowledgeable in all things car and finance related. When she’s not working Philana enjoys learning new things and keeping up with the latest trends in marketing and technology.

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