Written by Tim Marsh
Toyota is at it again with the latest update to its unmistakable Landcruiser. The 2013 Landcruiser 70 Series has the same rugged look, powerful engine and impressive carrying capacity as its predecessors. To sweeten the deal, it throws in a few added features. However, it must contend with an updated Land Rover Defender that offers a surprisingly strong value.
Setting the Scene
The Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series maintains its blocky, classic look for the 2013 model year. Its three trims — Wagon, Troop Carrier and Cab Chassis — offer a range of configurations and carrying capacities. While recent environmental regulations have made this vehicle a fair bit cleaner and greener than its predecessors, it remains quite inefficient by most standards. The Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series price starts at around $58,000, and the Troop Carrier trim can run to $80,000 or more with add-ons and dealer costs. The Land Rover Defender’s 90 trim starts at a comparatively cheap $43,000 and rises to nearly $60,000.
Exterior Design and Dimensions
The Landcruiser 70 Series Troop Carrier has a linear design that hasn’t changed much over the past two decades. Its length of 5,220 mm and width of 1,790 mm stack up against a height of 2,115 mm. This top-heaviness isn’t as problematic in the 1,955-mm Wagon or the 1,970-mm Cab Chassis, but these vehicles do tend to suffer from cramped interior spaces. By comparison, the Land Rover Defender has a slightly curvier look, a height of 1,990 mm and a much shorter length of about 3,900 mm.
The Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series is filled with interior perks, but you may have to pay for them. While the Cab Chassis has bland vinyl covers for its bucket seats, the Troop Carrier has cloth seats and an impressive MP3-enabled sound system. However, all trims lack increasingly common comfort features like second-row cup holders. Although the Land Rover Defender lacks MP3 compatibility, it does boast leather seating and a built-in Bluetooth system.
Under the Bonnet & Performance
The 2013 Landcruiser 70 Series uses a 4.5-litre V8 with part-time four-wheel-drive and a five-speed manual transmission. It puts out a maximum of 151 kW at 3,400 rpm and consumes 11 litres of fuel per 100 km. Thanks to a scrubbing chimney, its greenhouse rating of 3.5 is surprisingly good for a vehicle of its size. For comparison, the Land Rover Defender has a combined fuel rating of 10 litres per 100 km and a 100 km/h acceleration time of 15.8 seconds.
Safety and Security
Like most premium vehicles in the modern age, the Landcruiser 70 Series has a range of safety and security features like front airbags, an engine immobiliser and central door locking mechanisms. However, it lacks side airbags and must be specially fitted with a door alarm. The Land Rover also boasts an immobiliser and adds a standard alarm, keyless entry and in-cabin flares for emergencies.
The Verdict on the Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series Review
While the Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series price is quite dear relative to its principal competitor, it does offer an impressive range of value-added features as well as raw power and carrying capacity. A lack of key security features is offset by ample towing and storage room as well. For workmen and families who don’t need an over-sized, relatively inefficient vehicle, the Land Rover Defender may be a better choice. Ultimately, you’ll have to judge the Landcruiser’s merits for yourself.