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Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Is the 1980s SUV That Just Won't Die

toyota land cruiser 70
Land Cruiser 70 Is the '80s SUV That Won't DieToyota
  • Toyota announced that the Land Cruiser 70 is once again going on sale in Japan as a new vehicle.

  • This version of the iconic SUV first debuted way back in 1984, and it has only received a few changes since then.

  • The Land Cruiser 70 is also sold in other markets including Australia and South Africa.

The new 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser that's headed for the U.S. may have retro-inspired styling, but if you want a real piece of history, look no further than the Land Cruiser 70 that's just returned to the Japanese market. Yes, this is technically a brand-new vehicle that Toyota is selling just like any other SUV in its lineup, but look closely and you'll see that this Land Cruiser variant has changed remarkably little since it first arrived in 1984.

The Land Cruiser 70 was initially launched as a smaller, more heavy-duty version of Toyota's 4x4. It has a ladder-frame chassis, a boxy body, and few creature comforts. While mainstream Land Cruiser models developed into larger, more luxurious off-roaders, the 70 just kept trucking along as a dependable workhorse. It's been on sale continuously for decades in markets including Australia and South Africa, and it last relaunched in Japan as a limited-run model in 2014.

toyota land cruiser 70
Toyota

Now it's back and looking better than ever. While the body panels have hardly changed at all, Toyota has updated the headlights and taillights and brought in some new features over time. A modern-ish infotainment screen is available, as are safety features such as stability control and even a few driver assists. But the interior still looks bare-bones for a new vehicle, with old-school climate controls and a shiftable transfer case.

toyota land cruiser 70
Toyota

The sole powertrain available for the Japan-market version is a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel inline-four with 201 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. It uses a six-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel-drive system with a low range.

Toyota only plans to sell around 400 units per year in Japan, and the Land Cruiser 70 starts at the equivalent of around $32,000. So if you're not sold on the idea of a fully modernized electric Land Cruiser, or even the new hybrid model, know that Toyota is still committed to keeping the old-school spirit of its historic 4x4s alive—quite literally.

toyota land cruiser 70
Toyota

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