Toyota has already proven its value when it comes to capable SUVs and off road vehicles. One of the off road icons of all times is the Land Cruiser which even since its inception had proved to be suited for a very wide range of arduous applications.
The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series chassis cab is around for some time now, but despite its old age the vehicle still keeps up with the times and remains one of the most capable and reliable all road vehicles in its class.
The truck is sold mostly on the Australian market and is powered by Toyota’s intercooled V8 turbo diesel which is combined with a strong all wheel drive system.
The chassis cab version of the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series keeps a rugged and utilitarian design as over the years received only minor exterior modifications.
Featuring a harsh style with a lot of straight lines and squared surfaces, the tough steel body of the Land Cruiser 70 Series was build to resist to the heaviest works without affecting the driver’s safety.
Apart from the strong build quality, the vehicle is equipped with two big halogen lights which offer a proper road visibility during night. The superior trim levels are also offered with circular fog lamps which are mounted into the steel bumper.
As we are talking about a vehicle that was built mostly for utilitarian purposes, don’t expect to find any luxurious interior. The cabin looks rather dull than modern, but is a perfect match for the robust exterior design. Still, the interior plastics looked smarter and more durable than what you’ll get from the Nissan Patrol.
Worse than the plastics quality and the old design, are the seats. Apart the fact that they are devoid of a proper lumbar support and they are as flat as the vehicle’s bonnet, you’ll have a difficult time finding a proper driving position as they come with a small travel which leaves you with limited knee room. At least they are placed pretty high off the floor and you will feel less cramped.
Luckily, the steering wheel is nicely styled, with a thick rim that feels good in the hand. Though, you could be a bit put off by its dull design, but you get what you’ve paid for.
There is no secret that Toyota was always on top when it comes to ergonomy and despite the dated look of the dash everything is placed within easy reach, as the center console has also a practical and intuitive layout.
Considering the spartan interior, the meter cluster looks fairly modern and its big gauges can be clearly read and don’t catch any sun reflections.
You won’t complain about the road visibility as the straight lines of the hood, the thin pillars and the big windscreen work in your favor.
On the other hand, the Land cruiser comes a bit short of storage while the interior features are also pretty limited. All you can get is a CD player with two speakers and optional keyless central locking, power windows and air conditioning.
Engines and performance
The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series chassis cab is powered by an intercooled V8 turbo diesel, with a capacity of 4.5 litres. The engine uses direct injection multivalve diesel technology, and delivers a tremendous amount of power being a perfect match for the arduous missions of the vehicle. The engine also features Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) technology which helps it meet the Euro IV emissions rules.
The V8 churns 202 hp of power which is delivered from 3400 rpm, while the peak torque of 430 Nm is available between 1200-3200 rpm offering a lively acceleration and a strong pulling power. Due to its generous torque and the capable all wheel drive system, the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series won’t have any problems in dealing with heavy loads or steep hills rewarding you with constant grip and powerful acceleration. The downside however, is the fuel efficiency, as the engine will demand you 11.9 liters for every 100 km.
The engine’s power is kept in check by a five speed manual transmission which comes with high and low range offering the right ratios to permit you to climb difficult terrains or to tow big payloads.
Ride and handling
The ride is very comfortable and every road bump is soaked without too much drama. Though, don’t expect to any comfortable driving experience as the Land Cruiser handles like a tank. On the other hand it wasn’t designed to get the kids to school hence we won’t complain too much about its rugged handling.
The good part is that its suspensions won’t let you down when you carry huge payloads and they can endure lots of abuse without whining. The suspension also has a lot of travel which will come in handy when you’ll need to deal with rugged off road terrains giving you the ability to go anywhere.
On the other hand the truck’s cornering abilities are more on the sensitive side due to its accentuated body lean, hence we won’t advise you to attack any curve in high speed. Luckily, the steering is pretty responsive and manages to keep the vehicle on a straight line with only minimum interventions.
The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series chassis is a pretty reliable workhorse and we like its strong build quality and the “go anywhere” character. Thanks to its tough configuration the Land Cruiser 70 Series is ready to endure the most severe working conditions without whining.
Its engine is also up to the task, but its main fault is the fuel consumption which is a bit high for today’s standards.
Some revisions could be advised and the truck needs a more comfortable cabin and a better handling as its pretty unstable and lacks the cornering abilities found at other trucks in the segment.