The Tundra. Tacoma. Sequoia. We have some pretty awesome Toyota pickups and SUVs offered here in the States. What we don’t have is the Land Cruiser 70 Series—and it’s quite a shame we never did—but no market gets that one anymore, right? We’re talking about the J70, the one that came out in 1984 to replace the 40 Series, the one that’s over three decades old. Certainly, a vehicle that old-school cool was axed in all markets. Well, nope. In fact, it’s so popular, there’s now a two-year waitlist.
The Land Cruiser 70 still lives as a brand-new Toyota vehicle in some markets, making it rank among the oldest vehicles still on sale currently. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. In the Australia market, Toyota is still updating the ultra-rad off-roader, investing money to make it compliant with side-impact crash regulations. More safety and payload upgrades are set to arrive in November 2022: a pre-collision safety system (that incorporates autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection), and an approximate 200-pound increase in GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) to more than 7,700 pounds (for increased payload). Like The Little Engine That Could, it’s the indestructible little off-roader that could.
“The upcoming changes are designed to ensure that the legendary LandCruiser 70 Series will continue to be available for the foreseeable future in the Australian market, where its popularity resulted in more than 13,900 sales last year,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia Vice President Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations.
Furthermore, the feisty J70 is not struggling, not just barely surviving. It’s the opposite; there is huge demand for the Land Cruiser 70 in Australia. Sure, there are a bunch of compounding factors in addition to demand—global supply chain, pandemic, parts shortages—but Toyota can’t keep up. It’s sold out. Join the wait list. The long wait list.
Motor1, sourcing an Australian magazine called Drive, reported that the backlog of Series 70 orders is about two and a half years. That’s right, Toyota dealers Down Under have done the math, and at the current production rate, an order placed today would be fulfilled two years from now, sometime in 2024.
Toyota is hopeful it can pick up the pace of production, but dang. That’s Rivian-level wait time. On the bright side, you’d have your Series 70 in time for its 40th anniversary in 2024, and that’s a little nostalgic—or something.
The Toyota Australia website acknowledges the delay, which pertains to a wide range of its vehicles, if not quite as severe as the Land Cruiser 70. A message on the website saying, “Global demand currently exceeds supply so we are sorry that delivery will take longer than usual” is accompanied by a link to more information on deliveries, wait times, and availability.
The Land Cruiser 70 runs a 4.5-liter turbodiesel V-8 engine that makes about 202 hp and 316 lb-ft of torque backed by a five-speed manual transmission. They all have a 6.1-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, cruise control, traction control, air conditioning, ABS, stability control with hill-start assist control, available diff locks—and that awesome snorkel.
The cool part is that the J70 still looks like it was out of the 90s thanks to roof drip rails, retro styling, steelies, and that chunky snorkel. WorkMate and GXL trims are available in single-cab cab-chassis, double-cab cab-chassis, Troop Carrier, and wagon body configurations, and the GX trim is available in a single-cab configuration. The single- and double-cab pickup configurations have a flat-bed “tray” that’s sold separately. The single-cab has two bucket seats, and the double-cab adds a rear bench that holds three. The five-door wagon that seats five is the one you’re probably most familiar with. The two-door Troop Carrier seats either two or five and looks totally bizarre—in a good way.
This is all to say, the brand-new-but-old-looking 70 Series in Australia has no shortage of rad configurations—just a shortage of availability. There’s a large chunk of charm to be found in this off-road icon, from the pickup to the wagon. Long live the Land Cruiser 70. Still. Now hurry up, Toyota.
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