How can a car punish you as much as the 70 Series LandCruiser does? Financially, emotionally, and physically – it knows how to kick you right in the feels, but we Aussies come back for more. There’s just something almost abusive about the 70 Series when I say it like that, yet I’m down to play along. It offers brutal simplicity, robustness, and practicality – at a cost.
With the release of the 2024 70 Series LandCruiser, Toyota has added the 4-cylinder 2.8L turbo diesel motor from the HiLux/Prado/Fortuner, and mated it to the same 6-speed gearbox used in those vehicles. Yes, you can still get the V8, but it won’t be easy, and you’ll be waiting around 18 months to get one according to Toyota. They are focusing on fulfilling current orders, so you can’t even order the V8 at the moment.
If you want to know more about the nuts and bolts of the 2024 70 Series ‘Cruiser, we’ve put an article on that together already. It compiles everything we know about the 70 Series LandCruiser, which you can READ HERE. What we want to do here is talk about how the vehicle drives and performs, and the best way to do that is with a video.
So, if you don’t feel like reading, my full 13-minute review from the launch of the 2024 70 Series can be found at the bottom of this article. It’s worth a watch.
2024 70 Series LandCruiser problems
- Wind noise from a pillar and snorkel areas
- Woeful turning circle
- They sure aren’t cheap
What I like about the 2024 70 Series LandCruiser
- The traction control system performs well, are lockers even necessary?
- Feels so solid, it will outlive Keith Richards
- The 2.8L motor and auto are well suited to the 70 Series – there I said it
What’s the story?
The 70 Series LandCruiser is the longest-running vehicle in the Toyota four-wheel drive range. It first launched in around 1984 making this vehicle nearly 40 years old. Toyota also tells us it is their toughest off-roader, which is why they didn’t want to change the recipe up too much with the 2024 model.
Over the two days we were in Broken Hill testing the 2024 Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series range, we drove a variety of vehicles. From the single cab ute, to the GXL 76 Series, Toyota ensured we had plenty of seat time in as many different vehicles as possible. I do a quick walkaround through some of the models in the video also. Hint, I really want you to watch that video…
Towing with the 4-cylinder LandCruiser
We were able to tow a caravan with the 2.8L 4-cylinder dual-cab 79 Series. The van weighed a reported 3.1 tonnes, so certainly not a small van. We covered towing performance in the full video at the bottom of this article (I’ll stop plugging the vid now). But what are my thoughts? Can you tow a decent load with the smaller capacity 2.8L 4-cylinder 70 Series?
Absolutely you can. It’s no rocket ship, but I found it was able to pull away with the van hitched up well. The wheelbase of the dual-cab 79 felt stable, making it a solid tow vehicle.
2.8L 70 Series fuel economy
Regarding the 2.8L motor and towing, when hitched up with the 3.1-tonne Kedron caravan, I saw fuel figures hovering around the 21L/100km mark. That seems reasonable to me, and we did have three large lads in the vehicle also. However, the tray was unladen, for full disclosure. We’ll load it up and do a longer distance tow test against the V8 in the future.
How’s it drive?
The suspension rides firm on the front end of the 4 banger, but overall the 2024 70 Series is pretty comfortable for what it is. In saying that, when I jumped back into my 10-year-old FJ Cruiser with 180,000km on the clock, it felt immediately smoother.
With that out of the way, this thing rocks, once you get used to the diabolical turning circle. It must be said, the inclusion of an automatic transmission is going to open up the 70 Series platform to so many more people. Giving this grandfather’s axe a solid coat of linseed oil. Fear not solid axle fans, the 70 Series is here, according to Toyota, for a long time to come.
70 Series Pricing
From $75,600 rrp (not drive-away)
5-year unlimited ks warranty, 7 years on engine with log book servicing.
While I want one, and would buy one, and would happily use it as a daily driver. If you do buy one as a daily driver, with no intention of ever using it off-road, you’re kidding yourself. There are so many other better vehicles for you. This is a four-wheel drive first and foremost.
Regarding the new engine, it’s not the limitation, aerodynamics are. You are pushing a brick after all. As long as you don’t need to go faster than say 140km/hr (not tested), this engine will do everything you need. Using less fuel in the process.
It just doesn’t sound or feel as good as the V8, and that’s a hard one to get past. This is a head vs heart call. For my needs, I’d be buying the auto 4-cylinder, and I strongly suggest you take one for a spin too.
I’m glad we get this motor and automatic transmission because it means the 70 Series platform will be with us for a few more years. And that’s a good thing, for Australian four-wheel drivers, and people who need a rugged workhorse.