LandCruiser 70 Series to get stability control, traction control and more later this year: UPDATED
The much-loved Toyota 70 Series will have its life prolonged with a suite of modern electronic driving aids.
Toyota previously announced the 70 would get some safety upgrades, and now they have been more specific. All the 70 variants – single and double cab utes, the wagon and troop carrier will get:
- ABS – stops a wheel locking, so you retain steering control when braking (already there since 2012)
- Stabilty control – stops you losing it around corners
- Traction control – prevents excess wheelspin (engine traction control) and brakes individual wheels to keep you moving offroad (brake traction control)
- EBD – electronic brakeforce distribution. Distributes brake force between all four wheels for best effect. ABS just stops them locking.
Trailer sway control – what it says. Detects sway, brakes invdidual towcar wheels to stop it almost before it startsUPDATED: 29/06/2016 – Toyota have issued a correction saying trailer sway control will not be fitted. This is a pity as many people tow large loads with the 70, and it is a useful safety device.
- Cruise control – you know what this is, unless you have only driven 70s your entire life
- Hill start assist – applies brakes when you stop on a hill so you can get your foot from the brake to the accelerator and not roll back
Read our full explanation of traction control and stability control.
There will also be a “stiffer new frame with thicker side rails, reducing vibration and improving handling and stability” according to Toyota, and “Toyota’s Australian engineers have subjected the upcoming LandCruiser 70 Series upgrade to more than 100,000km of testing in some of the harshest conditions around the country.” The suspension has been retuned to suit the new chassis.
Toyota claim that “the Australian engineers have tuned new safety features including vehicle stability and traction control for optimum performance in areas where the vehicle is mostly used – dirt roads, rural properties and country highways.”
There are engine changes too. The 4.5L turbodiesel V8 is retained, but will be certified to Euro 5 emissions standards. No word on whether this means a power decrease or not – certainly it’s doubtful there’s an increase by the fact no improvement was mentioned in the press release. The new engine also gets piezo electric injectors for what Toyota say is “even better response at low engine speeds”, presumably because piezos are extremely good a measuring out minute quantities of fuel under computer control. It will be interesting to see if this new engine is less tolerant of poor fuel as a result.
There is still no automatic transmission – unless you want an aftermarket conversion – but there will be “revised gearing” which is “aimed at improving fuel economy and lowering noise, vibration and harshness.” I suspect that means higher gearing (on the basis it couldn’t possibly be any lower), and probably not a sixth gear otherwise they’d say so.
The single cab 70 is “is expected to attract the maximum five-star safety rating with five airbags, gaining curtain-shield airbags and a driver’s knee airbag in addition to the existing driver and front-passenger airbags.” The other variants will not have as many airbags so are unlikely to rate 5-star. All 70s have had front airbags since 2009.
The revised 70 should be with us in the last three months of 2016. There is no word on pricing; as a guide the current wagon GXL is $61,990 plus onroads.
Comment and speculation
This should keep the 70 going for a while yet. It’s a slow but steady seller, helped by its reputation for strength and the fact that it’s probably the most robust and reliable 4WD on the new car market. The electronics will definitely make it safer, and more capable offroad. There are front and rear factory cross-axle differential locks as an option on the current model; it is not clear if these will still be offered. We hope so, as being able to choose between traction control and lockers would be great.
The gearing and engine changes should make for more refined and efficient progress, so overall the 70 will become better; more capable, more liveable and cheaper to run. It will not approach the likes of the smaller utes or wagons for refinement, but it may well start to steal a few more sales.
This is also likely to be the last update for the 70 as there’s only so much Toyota can squeeze out of the aged platform.
An interesting contrast will be the Mercedes-Benz G350 Professional, if that’s announced soon as we think it might be.
- Which Toyota 4WD should I buy?
- Mercedes close to announcing the G350 Professional
- The difference between traction control and stability control
- Live axled and manual transmission vehicles on sale in Australia