Buyers in Japan have spoken. They have politely but firmly asked Toyota to keep the magic of the classic Land Cruiser alive, which is why the Land Cruiser 70 Series is being reintroduced to the Japanese market, according to Car Watch. It’s a significant return home for a few reasons, chief among these the debut of a full Land Cruiser lineup, but, also, for showcasing extraordinary restraint on Toyota’s part, which has left the 70 Series — clearly, the one true Land Cruiser — mostly untouched. Because why fix what ain’t broke?
This marks the first time in a while that the entire Land Cruiser range will be sold in Japan concurrently, including the “light-duty” 250 Series, “heavy-duty” 70 Series and “station wagon” 300 Series, historically known as just the Land Cruiser in the U.S., unlike on markets abroad. When the two new Land Cruisers go on sale in Nippon in 2024, buyers will have a generous choice of off-roaders, ranging from the lifestyle LC 250, utilitarian LC 70, and top-of-the-line LC 300.
At least that’s how Toyota officially describes each of the SUV models, breaking them down into different categories or, rather, use cases, on the Land Cruiser’s timeline, which have fit a variety of needs at different times:
Toyota is taking the role of the latest 70 Series as the utilitarian one quite seriously, saying that its designers were careful to update only what was “functionally necessary.” By Toyota’s own account, that includes the LC’s new, more efficient engine and transmission, as well as advanced safety equipment.
The upcoming Land Cruiser 70 Series will be powered by a 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four engine making 201 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The direct-injection turbodiesel is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, which is controlled electronically. That’s a significant amount of power below that of the 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid drivetrain of the 250 Series, which makes 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. Then again the 70 is slightly smaller than the 250: the 70 being 73.6 inches wide, 75.6 inches tall, and 192.5 inches long with a wheelbase of 107.5 inches. That’s smaller in every metric except height, which is critical for off-roading.
Oh, and notice how much better lighter wheels look than dark-colored wheels? The contrast is quite obvious when looking at the 70 and 250 Series side by side. Let’s face it, silver wheels and chunky sidewalls are just better.
The new LC 70 will also include Toyota’s Safety Sense, which includes things like dynamic cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and lane trace assist, among other features. The headlights of the new 70 Series have also been updated, while the tail lights are classic off-roader. Other than the few changes, the 70 Series retains its timeless design even on the inside. That is, as long as you don’t mind an austere, functional cabin. The only thing that’s bad about this new release is that, despite the drivetrain and safety advances, it’s unlikely Toyota will sell the new 70 Series, the one true Land Cruiser, in the U.S.