Looks like Toyota 70 series has come to the party on Safety

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 20:52
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SAFETY UPDATES ASSURE FUTURE FOR ICONIC WORKHORSE
** LandCruiser 70 Series celebrates 30 years in Australia **

Toyota has marked 30 years of selling the iconic LandCruiser 70 Series range in Australia by announcing plans for significant improvements to safety.

The updates, due to arrive in the second half of next year, are designed to deliver the maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating for the sales-leading 70 Series single cab.

All 70 Series variants - single and double cabs, wagon and troop carrier - will be equipped with vehicle stability control, brake assist and cruise control.

Single cabs will also gain five more airbags as part of the improvements - front-seat side (two), curtain-shield (two) and driver's knee.

Driver and front-passenger airbags were made standard across the range in 2009 with anti-skid brakes added in 2012.

Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the updates represent a major breakthrough that will reinforce the position of LandCruiser as Toyota's heartland vehicle in Australia.

"These updates will support continued strong buyer demand for an unapologetically rugged vehicle that is renowned for its heavy-duty capabilities," Mr Cramb said.

"It secures the future of the 70 Series for customers who require a vehicle with an unrivalled reputation for class-leading mechanical reliability and serious towing, load carrying and off-road performance," he said.

"Added safety features build on LandCruiser's 'always get you home' ethos and will be highly valued by people who rely on the 70 Series in harsh and remote work environments around Australia.

"We have worked closely with employers in mining, agriculture, construction, communications support and recreation to develop these improvements.

"Toyota's commitment to them - as well as to the towns, rural communities and work sites where the LandCruiser's reputation was born - will further cement the unique bond with customers forged over the past 30 years."

Since the 70 Series first landed here in 1985, Australians have bought more than 250,000 vehicles.

LandCruiser is Toyota's longest-running nameplate with its origins going back to the BJ of 1951. The 4WD vehicle was renamed LandCruiser in 1954.

In Australia, one of the first LandCruiser customers was construction magnate Leslie (later Sir Leslie) Thiess, who bought several for use on the rugged construction trails of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme.

The early predecessors of LandCruiser 70 Series - the FJ25, FJ45 and FJ43 - came to define Toyota as a leader in developing rugged off-road vehicles that Australians would come to rely on and respect.

During its 30-year life, the 70 Series has been progressively upgraded with features such as direct-injection turbo-diesel technology, coil front springs and even Bluetooth® connectivity.

Even so, it continues with the attributes that have made it such a versatile off-road vehicle - a tough box-section chassis, simple part-time 4WD system with two-speed transfer, lockable hubs, excellent low-range gearing, long-range fuel tanks and excellent ground clearance.

These features, combined with ample approach, ramp-over and departure angles, enable the 70 Series vehicles to traverse rugged roads and obstacles that are beyond the capabilities of other vehicles.

Today's LandCruiser 70 Series models are powered by a 32-valve 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel engine with common-rail direct injection and an intercooler. It delivers 151kW of power at 3400rpm and peak torque of 430Nm from just 1200rpm all the way to 3200rpm - the flattest torque curve among all of Toyota's engines.

Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series initially included short-wheelbase variants; however, the uninterrupted 70 Series begins with the military-style long-wheelbase (LWB) 75 Series in 1985.

Workhorse LWB was first offered with overhead-valve straight-six petrol and diesel engines, the latter updated in 1989 with a new overhead-cam 4.2-litre (1HZ) diesel engine.

This engine was part of a new-generation Toyota diesel family and manufactured in a purpose-built factory, which was hermetically sealed and pressurised to exclude dust.

Petrol 70 Series models were upgraded in 1993 with an all-new 4.5-litre double overhead camshaft 24-valve straight-six engine, the 1FZ-FE. Both engines were matched to five-speed manual transmissions.

A major upgrade in 1999 with the 10-model 78 Series featured the adoption of coil-spring rigid-axle front suspension and large front brakes from the 100 Series wagon, as well as longer rear leaf springs.

The new suspension, coupled with an increase in wheelbase and track, significantly improved ride, stability, space and comfort in single cabs.

The 78 Series also heralded engine and transmission improvements, improved seats and the first designated 'recreational' model, the diesel six-seat RV troop carrier.

Two years later, 78 Series was boosted again with a new 4.2-litre turbocharged, direct-injection diesel engine, which brought electronic fuel injection to the diesel range and delivered a then class-topping 380Nm of torque.

Five turbo-diesel models were offered, alongside petrol and naturally aspirated diesel Cab/Chassis models, and a diesel Troop Carrier. A new front suspension calibration improved steering response.

March 2007 brought new front-end styling and two more firsts for LandCruiser 70 Series with the launch of Toyota's first V8 turbo-diesel engine and the first wagon variant.

The 4.5-litre 1VD-FTV turbo diesel was initially exclusive to the Australian market and powered every model. It had high-pressure common-rail direct injection and an intercooler, boosting power by almost 25 per cent over the previous straight-six turbo diesel.

Workhorse LandCruiser received further updates in August 2009, including better passive safety equipment and more generous standard features including telescopic steering-wheel adjustment and Bluetooth® connectivity.

Source: TOYOTA

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Reply By: equinox - Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 20:54

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 20:54
To be honest the features are not a big selling point to me, however if the mining companies keep buying them it might keep the price down a bit.


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AnswerID: 590659

Follow Up By: Tony I - Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 21:38

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 21:38
Hi Equinox,
The LC have been a good vehicle for so long. I learnt to drive in a HJ47- they were a good workhorse. I reckon their best vehicle was the HZJ75- I did countless km's in those doing remote exploration. The V8's were a bit of a novelty when 1st released, but having just done our annual offroad driving currency in the fire service where we had an older 6 cy against a new V8, the older one came out the clear winner over all terrain.
The safety upgrade is good and will save the big miners a headache- I believe they were prepared to re-classify the 70 series a light truck to ensure they could be approved for onsite work.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: mountainman - Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 21:45

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 21:45
Im pretty confident toyota doesnt ask the mining companies what theyre prepared to pay...
let alone toyota sellong a few to them to keep the price down for us.
They charge a premium for a premium product
for those that dont want to pay it
buy a hilux or ranger or navara..
E T C........
toyota will never be a cheap product
we all would love them to be on price par with the rest
but that will ALWAYS BE A DREAM
never a reality
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FollowupID: 858682

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 10:48

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 10:48
I would be interested to hear where / why the older vehicle , out preformed the newer Landcruiser .
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FollowupID: 858708

Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 22:46

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 22:46
I have just driven a new (35,000 km) Toyota 70 series dual cab ute 8,000 km on rough tracks, dirt highways & on bitumen. I have also driven a wagon of the same series on the same route, a few months ago. They are dinosaurs on the highway, but on slower & rougher stuff the differences between them and other 4WD's are not as pronounced.

What they lack at present for the driver is a good seating position relative to pedals, dash & steering wheel; cruise control and decent tyres and rims (they wander). By comparison to some other makes of 4WD, they are hard to drive on any given surface. They also have less airbags (I am going on memory) than many other recent model 4WD's; they don't have the electronic features of braking and other ESC/stability features which other manufacturers do in their 4WD's. They need a taller final gear for road speeds over 90 to 100 kph.

I have driven a current shape Mazda BT50 on this same route twice, and for driver attentiveness and thus fatigue, the Mazda is, in my opinion, WAY safer. It's absolutely chalk and cheese stuff. There is only a lap seatbelt for the middle passenger in the rear seat in the current 70 series - a disgraceful effort! Not as safe as the competitors offer.

Therefore, I regard this as marketing hype. I understand that this 'future of safety' release - not sledging you Alan,for posting this, as I read it elsewhere this morning - is not asking for critical analysis or for a product comparison. However, I fail to see why the market should see playing catch up on safety as anything but marketing and sales driven.

But the current 70 series is, in 12 months time, going to catch up - or nearly catch up to what others have by then offered for over 5 years. Hubs which have to be manually locked and you get to pay $ 25,000 more for that privilege??? In 1998 I bought a GU Patrol where that was not necessary; it also had cruise control, but 17 years later, who is gunna seriously suggest that a 70 series - in a years time, mind you - upgrade/catch up is noteworthy? It's just the market forcing Toyota's hand.

Although it should be a minor issue, this one seems to be major; a potentially dangerous features of the current 70 series is the pathetic excuse for a radio/music system. It's way, way too tempting to take your eyes off the road and divert attention to attempting, time & time & time again, to get the radio or the USB facility, or the bluetooth, to function adequately. Not up to a $ 70,000 standard, Mr Toyota. Ask Hyundai or another manufacturer how to do sound systems at lower price points - or pinch one from another model of yours.

I get it that this press release could be perceived as news. I get it that Toyota can and do command a premium, both on new & 2nd hand vehicles. I get it that they are everywhere in remote Australia. I get it that they sell more than all other brands.

I'm not anti Toyota. I have owned a Landcruiser. A 70 series. It was good in its day and performed well. But I don't accept that they currently are good value or a serious vehicle of choice in harsh 4WD situations.

So, that's my two cents worth...........(poster ducks for cover).......

Cheers.
AnswerID: 590669

Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 23:27

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015 at 23:27
Hi Rick,

No need to duck for cover mate as everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I agree that this is marketing and sales hype, no question there.
As I said though I personally couldn't care less about the safety features. To me it has always been about getting from A to B. I'll handle my own safety.

All the safety requirements of the mining companies demand a high ANCAP rating, so I'm glad this announcement has come, as only a few years ago it was probable that the series would be discontinued. I'll be looking for a new 4WD in a few years this would still be my number one choice for the price and capability - I've only driven a V8 once, and to be honest I didn't like it, too smooth and automated - I like to feel the responsiveness through the steering wheel, the pedals and gear stick. Still...its the running gear that counts.

Not a "serious vehicle of choice in harsh 4WD situations" mmm, might have to disagree on that one. Though one man's harsh is another mans heaven :-)

Cheers
Alan



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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 00:40

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 00:40
I have to agree with everything you say, Rick. The simple fact of the matter is, Toyota are trying to squeeze every last ounce of value out of a 40-45 year old design. They are dinosaurs, it's time to start from scratch again.

When they crammed in the V8 diesel and widened the front axle by 50mm and left the rear axle, as was - leaving owners to fork out $3500 for axle extensions to equalise the front and rear track, so they don't get stuck in soft going - that shows that Toyota had effectively lost their way in the 4WD design stakes.

I hate to think what all this safety equipment will add to the cost of, what is an already very expensive dinosaur.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: gelatr - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 19:20

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 19:20
Hi Rick,

Interesting critique of the 70 series. As an LC79 owner I don't want to get into a debate about the relevant merit of individual vehicles as I believe it's horses for courses. The one thing I will say is that every 70 series owner has made their choice relative to their own selection criteria based on their own budget which as you know would have easily included a BT50/Ranger if they so desired. Why people like myself choose such an obviously interior vehicle at such an inflated price will have to remain a mystery.

The one thing I will say is the differential tracking between the front and rear wheels has not been an issue for me in my outings in soft sand. The front and rear diff locks along with the low rpm torque of the v8 have seen me just slug it out till I was on firmer ground. My previous dual cabs would have been bogged for sure in the same conditions.

Any way as I said horses for courses.

Cheers

Geoff


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FollowupID: 858731

Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 19:38

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 19:38
Yes the track difference seems to be more of an issue for those who do not own the vehicle than those who have one.

There is a difference in the front and rear track of my Landrover and it is of no issue to me - only found out about it from the workshop manual.
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FollowupID: 858732

Reply By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 07:20

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 07:20
After reading a few articles about the new Hilux due out at the end of this year with apparently a towing capacity upgraded to 3.5 tonnes, a pay load increase to around 1200 kg and the latest AMCAP safety rating along with whatever emission requirements, I am left wondering where this leaves the 70 series in the market place.
Unless some towing and carrying capacity upgrades are also in the pipeline.

And yes, that atrocious 100 mm difference between the front and rear tracks needs looking at.

Cheers
Pop
AnswerID: 590674

Reply By: Jackolux - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 10:11

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 10:11
The 76 series Wagon needs a Auto Trans option , but I hate to think how much that would add to the price , if it did happen .
AnswerID: 590684

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 18:41

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 18:41
The 70 series are in big demand by mining companies, fire and rescue services, station owners etc and Toyota wasn’t going to let this market fold.
The big iron ore miners in WA have used the 70 series extensively for donkey’s years.
They are ugly, rough and tough and have long track record with these companies.
Lighter 4WD’s aren’t good value on these mine sites – the bean counters have done their sums.
AnswerID: 590714

Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 22:17

Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 at 22:17
Would prefer to see bigger or more effective brakes but as for my 78 1hd-fte I am otherwise quite happy and content as it is. No common rail for me, don't need 100 air bags fitted nor do I want car like features. It is reliability and durability that I count upon. If they had 3 on the tree, drum brakes, full bench seat, air operated wipers, crank handle etc then I'd support a push for modernisation but hey guys it is what it is.....Australia's best 4wd.
AnswerID: 590720

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:04

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:04
I’m biased too – my Troopy doesn’t have stability control, air bags, abs braking, auto locking hubs, traction control or an automatic gear box – I don’t need them.

A while ago I had to pull a 4WD, which all that automatic control, out of a bit of sand that no one should have got bogged in - he’d pushed the wrong button and had it in snow mode instead of sand mode.
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FollowupID: 858743

Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:48

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:48
A bit like the owner of a dinosaur Landcruiser who forgot to lock the hubs or put it into 4wd.

Same old issues but different buttons or controls.

I have a dinosaur 4wd and a new hi tech full electronic 4wd and I know which one is more capable, more comfortable, easiest to drive and more reliable (but more age related) - still need to know limitations of each and how things work.

Garry
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FollowupID: 858744

Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 11:43

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 11:43
Forgot to mention I need manual hubs to back the caravan up a hard surface incline. I use 4wd low with the hubs out and therefore avoid 4wd lock up and slipping the clutch. The best option for a manual but auto trans avoids this.
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FollowupID: 858745

Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 12:22

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 12:22
I wonder what has happened as regards the "all-new replacement" for the 70 series?

We have been getting mixed messages, probably showing disorganisation and dismay inside Toyota management, as it struggles to come to a decision.
In 2012, the 70 Series was to be "killed off". In 2013, a replacement was "under study".

Did the study show it was not worth designing a replacement? - but that it was possible that Toyota could keep squeezing more life out of the original design?

Toyota to "kill off" 70 Series - 2012

Replacement for 70 Series Landcruiser "under study" - 2013

This must be what is causing the heartburn in Toyota headquarters.
No longer on the shopping list of the mining biggies - that is a real kick in the nuts.

Landcruiser 70 series no longer first pick for the big miners

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 590741

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 14:13

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 14:13
Mining companies are tied up with OHS safety specs these days - they require two men to change a light bulb and an OHS administrator to organise their training.
The 70 series will still be their best pick 4WD, once they meet their safety specs.
The cheaper 4WD’s cost more in the long run – their bean counters have done their sums.
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FollowupID: 858747

Follow Up By: Slow one - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 15:32

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 15:32
Dennis,
there is no doubt the 70 series is a tough no frills workhorse but the fact is, the biggest maimer and killer by a long way in that industry is mobile equipment. This has the effect of forcing change in the safety focus of a company as they have to answer to a coroner and insurance companies as to why they didn't change to safer vehicles.

Now that the companies have used other 5 star ancap vehicles, they will look at the running and purchase cost of those vehicles compared with cruisers. Many of these companies have been using other vehicles to do the heavy work for over 3 years now. They may or may not go back to the 70 series depending on that $ comparison outcome. They may only buy a hand full of 70 series to do the really heavy work and the remainder will be vehicles that don't have to carry out the very heavy work will be a cheaper unit.

Many of the company vehicle decision makers will talk to others from other companies and find out which vehicles are performing the best and cheapest in that industry.

Toyota may have missed the boat, only time will tell.
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FollowupID: 858748

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 16:13

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 16:13
Back in my day (been retired 8 years) I used to do a bit of work for Rio Tinto and Bhp – they wouldn’t go past the 70 series for durability and cost efficiency. I can’t imagine that’s going to change but as you say only time will tell.
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FollowupID: 858750

Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 16:35

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 16:35
The last few times I've been through the North of W.A. (over the last 3 years) and had a look as a casual observer, at the iron ore mining fleets where they were parked up, there seemed to be a reduction in 70 series vehicles, an increase in Prados and Hiluxes, and an increase in Fords.

The actual sales figures show around about a 15-18% decrease in 70 series overall sales over the last couple of years.
It's not improving, because the miners are now on a cost-cutting rampage, with the new, permanently-lower iron ore (and most commodities) prices - and if they can save a dollar on vehicle expenditure, they will jump on it.

70 series are not exactly the cheapest vehicle that they can buy that will do the job - so as Slow One says, they will be ensuring that if a Hilux or Prado or Ford can do the same job as a 70 series in the projected use position - as sure as night follows day, they will buy the cheaper vehicle.

Never forget that bean counters rule in these operations, and one vehicle looks the same as the other to them - all that matters is initial expenditure, and they can fudge the unforeseen additional repair costs that come with an unsuitable vehicle, and hide those costs in the balance sheet overall - or they can screw the dealer and manufacturer to provide a per km fixed running cost - or turn the vehicles over (sell them) more rapidly, before any major costs such as cracked chassis' show up.
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FollowupID: 858754

Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 16:52

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 16:52
The reduction in 70s series will be related to phasing in the requirement for vehicles on with a 5 star rating only allowed on site.

If the new LCs can get 5 star they will be back.
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FollowupID: 858756

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 17:01

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 at 17:01
Hi Ron N
No doubt about it – Toyota 70 series sales have dropped because of the big miner’s safety specs.
The durability, lower turnover and frequency of repair of these vehicles were the main reasons for their purchase in the past. I don’t think that comparison with the lighter 4WD’s you mentioned will change. But as Slow one says only time will tell.
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FollowupID: 858757

Reply By: Candace S. - Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 09:07

Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 09:07
I wish that here in the US I could buy an "outdated" design such as the 70 series!

Instead, if you buy a new vehicle it will be loaded with computers and "bells and whistles."

And many of the things on it that can malfunction can not be fixed in "the boondocks" no matter how many tools, etc. are on hand.

I have witnessed and personally experienced this. For example, immobilzer keys are great anti-theft devices. But if the system malfunctions, there is no way even to "hot wire" the ignition and keep the vehicle running; it has to be taken to a dealer for repair. Not too bad if you're in a city with a dealer nearby. Bad news if you're well outside the city! I cringe at the idea of such a thing happening in a truly remote area of the Outback.
AnswerID: 590913

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