When you know it’s a design classic: Toyota Land Cruiser 30th anniversary

Published 28 August 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: design, engineering, japan, toyota, hero, land cruiser, design classic

What’s that coming over the hill? It’s a re-issued Toyota Land Cruiser 70, a design icon and engineering wonder

The gargantuan SUV is a controversial beast, yet it was designed to serve a functional purpose before becoming a style issue, hence our delight at the Toyota Land Cruiser 30th anniversary re-release.

Its robust design means that like its more rugged, outdoorsy sister, the Hi-Lux, it can go pretty much anywhere, and should there be a problem, there’s likely to be parts to fix it.

As Toyota’s longest-running model, there have been 7.9 million units produced worldwide, meaning plentiful parts across the world - even in the middle of nowhere - a reason why the U.N., the Red Cross and lots of military types both use the Land Cruiser wherever they are heading.

The special Land Cruiser 70 will only be available in Japan and for one year only, but is likely to be snapped up by the loyal fan base it has created around the world.

Its toughness is designed into its ladder-frame chassis and suspension, making repairs accessible and easy to fix - reassuring for places where a breakdown could mean a life and death situation.

The current model 70 is still on sale across the Middle East, Africa, and Australia, averaging 6,400 vehicles a month in sales, while there’s a steady trade in spare part manufacture around the world.

If you want an idea about how tough these Toyotas are, then here’s a very hands-on test done by Top Gear with a not too dissimilar Hi-Lux.


Hello, just wanted to make a small correction. The 70 series is more rugged, more outdoorsy and far more durable than the hilux. In the Australian Outback, easily 90% of vehicles are 70 series landcruisrers, with the most popular model being the troopcarrier (affectionately known as the troopy). The hilux is a beast for sure, but the troopy is stronger and more solidly built by a significant margin, and is much more similar to a truck than an SUV. There are some of the 5-8 seater passenger landvruiser variants in the outback, but almost no other vehicles other than landcruisers are seen in central Australia for obvious reasons. Very few hilux, some Nissan patrols... And certainly Never any land rovers.

Posted by Tom on 29 August 2014 at 08:05 AM

I know where the Land Rovers are - here in the Cotswolds. True story: I saw a Range Rover Evoque (the one partly designed by that well known explorer, Victoria Beckham) the other day. It had mud on it.

Posted by Mark Young on 29 August 2014 at 09:21 AM

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