The 70 Series is a family of Toyota Land Cruiser models produced from 1984 until the present day. It replaced the 25-year-old 40 Series as the off-road workhorse of the Land Cruiser heritage, while the 60 Series (and later the 80, 90, 100 and 200 Series) developed into more comfortable passenger off-road vehicles. Despite major changes in styling and numerous technological updates, the 70 Series was designed to retain the off-road capabilities and durability for which the 40 Series had become known. The 70 Series was marketed throughout the world, except for the USA.
Originally, model numbers 70 through 74 referred to the 2-door short and medium wheelbase versions. These were the successors of the famous 40 Series, such as the FJ40. Model numbers 75 through 77 referred to the long-wheelbase version, which was available in pick-up and 2-door troop carrier models and, in a few markets, a 4-door wagon. These were the successors of the less-well known long-wheelbase 40 Series, such as the FJ45. In 1999, Toyota introduced several updates and changed the model designations. The long-wheelbase models became the 78 (troop carrier) and 79 (pick-up) and, in 2007, the 76 (4-door wagon). Short-wheelbase models are only in production today for a few select markets.
As with all Land Cruisers, the letters at the beginning of the model number designate the engine of the vehicle. Common engines in the 70 series include the 3F petrol engine (e.g., the FJ70), the 2H diesel engine (e.g., the HJ75), the 1FZ petrol engine (e.g., the FZJ79), the 1HZ diesel engine (e.g., the HZJ78), and most recently, the 1VD diesel engine (e.g., the VDJ76). For a while (1987 until at least 1990) the BJ73 Hardtop was available in the Italian market with a VM five-cylinder HR588 2.5-litre turbodiesel—it the "B" prefix was applied as because the first 4-cylinder diesel 70 series came with the 3B.
1984–1999: The 70 / 75 series Toyota Land Cruiser took over from the 40 / 45 series of workhorse four-wheel drives in 1984. The styling maintained a family resemblance to the 40 / 45 series but became more angular. The 70 / 71 series was the short-wheelbase (SWB), the 73 / 74 was the medium-wheelbase (MWB) and the 75 / 77 was the long-wheelbase (LWB). The latter came as cab-chassis/utility with a "panelled" tray (pick-up), and "troop carrier" hard-top (HT). Toyota also manufactured lighter duty versions that shared the 70 Series designation from 1985 to 1996, and were marketed in various parts of the world as the Bundera, the Prado, or the Land Cruiser II. Of these, the Prado name stuck, and each modification took it further from its 70 Series roots. Starting in 1997 the Prado was known as the 90 Series, and had become a light-duty passenger 4x4 with no relation to the 70 Series.
Square-bodied Land Cruiser utility 4x4. Two or four doors with steel doors and top, slanted windshield. The front-clip styling remains much like that of the 40 Series. The grille can be mesh or can consist of three horizontal bars.
Both have three additional horizontal slots in a single line under the grille. Front turn signals are square with triangular white lens elements underneath, and are affixed to the vertical edge of the front clip above the fenders and just outboard of each headlight. The top can be hard or soft. The doors are hard, with roll-up windows. Taillights are long, vertical rectangles inset low into the rear bodywork. Rear doors are paired swing-out 'barn doors'. Windshields of some military versions will fold atop hood. Available in many forms, including a four-door semi-long (J77V → J76V), a pickup (J75P → J79P), and long-wheelbase utility wagon (J75V → J77V / J78V).
With the exception of a few light-duty models that evolved into the Prado, all 70 Series Land Cruisers have solid leaf-sprung rear axles. Solid front axles were leaf-sprung until 1998, when Toyota decided in favor of a coil spring front suspension with leading arms, and a slightly lighter front axle. Also beginning in 1999 the rear leaf springs were extended to allow for greater wheel travel (articulation) and increased ride comfort.
Most 70 Series Land Cruisers (both petrol and diesel models) use inline six-cylinder engines. The exception is the V8 diesel 1VD-FTV engine introduced in some markets in 2007. Regardless of the engine, a 5-speed manual transmission delivers power to a part-time four-wheel-drive transfer case with high and low range. The solid front axles are a full-floating design with manual locking hubs. The solid rear axles are available in semi-floating and full-floating variations. Selectable locking differentials (front and rear) are factory options in some markets.
Basic comfort features such as air-conditioning and radio are available, but the 70 Series lacks many of the refined and luxury features of the more expensive passenger Land Cruisers (80, 90, 100, and 200 Series).
Short Wheelbase Models
The suspension, interior and basic layout of these models are nearly identical to the more famous longer wheelbase 75 series Land Cruisers, but the frame and body is much shorter. This allows the Land Cruiser to be more nimble off road. This model was popular as a personal off road transport, but because the Land Cruiser was marketed almost exclusively as a commercial and government vehicle and because these were never sold in the largest auto market in the world, the US, few were built, compared to other Land Cruiser models.
However, these models were sold all over the world in the 1980s and early 1990s. They can be found in Japan, Asia, Africa, Switzerland, the Middle East, New Zealand and South America. The short-wheelbase models are not quite as common in Australia, but they are very popular in the homeland of Japan, where compactness and rugged 4X4 are a welcome combination; they are also used by the Syrian state. Today, few short-wheelbase 70 series can be purchased new—some are still in production today in some select South American countries and is still being produced by Toyota Auto Body at the Yoshiwara Plant in Toyota City.
The 70 series was only sold in small numbers in the North American market. For 1984–1986 (model years 1985–1986), the BJ70 was sold in small numbers in Canada. All were identically equipped, aside from interior, and exterior colour. The only other variation was, in 1985 they had a 12-volt electronic system. In 1985 (for the 1986 model year), Toyota opted for a 24-volt system. The HZJ79 cab and chassis is still available in Canada, although in very limited quantities. Further restrictions are that they are only accessible to the mining industry, and only through one Toyota dealer in Saskatchewan. The 70 series was not sold in the US.