Toyota Land Cruiser Wagon 4-0 D

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Description: An upgraded Land Cruiser range will ensure this model stays at the top of its game. In a world-first, a Land Cruiser 70 Double Cab has been added to the South African range in both petrol and

An upgraded Land Cruiser range will ensure this model stays at the top of its game. In a world-first, a Land Cruiser 70 Double Cab has been added to the South African range in both petrol and diesel. Four-wheel disc brakes are amongst the list of cosmetic and mechanical changes, while rural users will no doubt appreciate the fact that the fuel tank size has grown to between 130 litres and 180 litres depending on model.

Venture north of the Tropic of Capricorn and the Toyota Land Cruiser is a more common sight than the Corolla – and for good reason. For as long as Toyota has been a household name in South Africa, the indomitable Land Cruiser 70 Series has been the ultimate ‘tough as nails’ workhorse. Having forged a million paths in South Africa’s ‘veld and vlei’ and bashed its way in and out of mines, through construction sites and up farm trails, the LC 70 series has earned an enviable reputation for versatility, ruggedness and dependability.

In the words of Toyota South Africa’s General Manager of Marketing Communications, Kerry Roodt: “If you want the world’s toughest 4WD, for work, towing, or extensive off-road travel, this is it!”

In its latest iteration, Toyota’s hard-working 70 Series Land Cruiser range has come in for a 2013 model-year update which sees the addition of a new Double Cab version, while the headline safety feature is the adoption of ABS anti-skid brakes on all models, together with a raft of other improvements across the range.

The new body style is the fourth member of the venerable 70-Series range alongside the existing Single Cab, Station Wagon and Wagon (aka troop carrier).

The newest member of the Land Cruiser 70 family was borne out of a real need to have a vehicle that combines the carrying capacity of a pick-up with the flexibility of a double cab.

“The Double Cab will carry five adults in comfort without sacrificing the one-ton payload (920 kg for the diesel and 1 005 kg for the petrol model) or the Land Cruiser’s legendary toughness – in short, it delivers go-anywhere carrying capacity in style,” says Roodt.

Answering the call of the wild is a breeze with the unstoppable 4,2-litre diesel engine which is available across the range. It dishes out a laudable 96 kW at 3 800 rpm while offering 285 Nm of torque from a low 2 200 rpm. There’s also the option of the aurally stimulating 4,0-litre petrol power plant on the Land Cruiser 79 Single Cab and Double Cab. Power comes in at 170 kW at 5 600 rpm and torque is pegged at 360 Nm at 3 800 rpm.

All models come standard with a differential lock, five-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drive system with hardy low-range transfer box for staggering off-road ability. The new ABS braking system operates when the vehicle is in H2 and H4 modes (except when differential locks are engaged). As before, brakes are ventilated discs at the front, but all 70-series models have made a massive leap forward in technology with the addition of rear disc brakes.

Driver and front passenger airbags are standard across the board and the characteristic extended front bumper prevents unnecessary airbag response when doing hard-core off-roading.

Suspension is the proven combination of live axles front and rear with coil springs at the front and leaf springs bringing up the rear. The latter rigid axle rear suspension ensures that occupants are always comfortable.

A spring rate that favours ride quality over absolute load carrying capacity is used for both the coil and leaf springs on the Station Wagon and Double Cab as opposed to the heavier duty spring rate of the Single Cab Pick-up.

Also worth noting is the impressive ground clearance – the multi-talented 76 Station Wagon boasts a ground clearance of 230 mm, while the Land Cruiser 78 Wagon and 79 Pick-up variants are 235 mm above the ground, allowing the vehicle to tackle any off-road condition with aplomb.

Spec levels are not purely utilitarian – along with the indestructibility are more than just a few niceties. All models get power steering, tilt and telescopic steering adjustment, air conditioning, electric windows, electric mirrors, a 12V accessory connector and remote central locking.

In keeping with its role as a people carrier (for up to five people), the 76 Station Wagon is the most extravagantly equipped boasting such interior extras as carpeted flooring, on-board satnav, and stereo system incorporating a CD player and an auxiliary USB port.

Aesthetically the most refined of the 70 ‘quads’, the 76 is adorned with combination colour-coded and chromed accoutrements (bumpers, grille, over fenders), aluminium side steps and fetching 16-inch alloys.

In the 2013 model, a 130-litre fuel tank replaces the 90-litre unit and a spare wheel cover is added to the standard package.

The hardy three-door 78 Wagon  is equipped with twin 90-litre fuel tanks (total 180-litre capacity) and is now distinguished by twin front fog lamps.

The 79 Single Cab have colour-coded and chromed exterior trim, front fog lamps and colour-matched over fenders. Like their 78 sibling, the 79 Single Cab boasts a combined fuel capacity of 180 litres.

New kids on the block is the 79 Double Cab, cosmetically differentiated from the Single Cab by the addition of two rear doors, as well as the deletion of over fenders and 16-inch alloys (available as an option). Move indoors, however, and they gain extra kit in the form of on-board satnav, a stereo system and USB port. The Double Cabs are equipped with a 130-litre fuel tank.

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