After nearly six years away, the Toyota Land Cruiser 78 is back on the South African market.
Toyota stated that this is due to “specific market request for this type of vehicle”.
The newest model mirrors the specs of the variant from 2015, with the exception of a switch to drum brakes at the rear.
This, according to Toyota, provides improved durability in high-dirt operating conditions.
We took a dive into the 78’s spec sheet to see what it offers and why it’s back.
From the front, the 78 looks exactly like the rest of the Land Cruiser line-up, as a mashup between the bakkie body style (79) and the station wagon (76).
This has resulted in a vehicle with a wagon body shape with only front doors.
All the bumpers are black plastic and rugged, there are more than enough windows to see out of, an aluminium footstep provides easy access, and 16-inch steel wheels with a spare wheel carrier on the rear door assures more durability.
The squared-off design of the Land Cruiser also remains prominent and it is clear that aerodynamics were not the biggest concern during production.
Standard front fog lamps and halogen headlamps are then fitted, framing the rectangular black grille.
The interior, as with the exterior, is relatively bare bones and more focused on utility rather than comfort.
It is fitted with vinyl seats, hydraulic power steering, electric windows, and a manual air-conditioning system.
12V socket plugs, a sun visor, and two speakers are also mentioned as “features” in the vehicle.
The speakers, however, are not that useful if you don’t install your own audio system – as there isn’t one provided with the 78.
Additionally, a digital clock, front armrests, and cup holders provide comfort – while ABS with two front airbags keep you safe when making use of your Land Cruiser.
With the reintroduction of the 78, Toyota said that “rugged construction and infallible Toyota engines” have earned it the reputation of “it just keeps going”.”
To support this claim, they have fitted a 4.2-litre diesel engine with the 1HZ engine code below the hood.
This engine produces 96kW and 285Nm of torque, and is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and low-range-equipped transfer case.
This combination allows a top speed of 145km/h and a claimed combined fuel consumption of 11.9l/100km.
Performance isn’t the purpose of this family-friendly tractor, though, and its utilitarian nature shines through when it comes to practicality.
It has a class-leading ground clearance – allowing easier navigation through tricky terrains – and a towing capacity of up to 1,500kg.
A 33-degree approaching angle adds to the mobility factor, but a total vehicle weight of 3,200kg doesn’t do it any favours.
At its maximum, the Land Cruiser 78 wagon stands at 2,115mm tall, 4,990mm long, and 1,770mm wide.
It can also carry up to 11 people if benches are fitted, and if they’re not, it opens up thousands of litres of luggage capacity.
The price of the Toyota Land Cruiser 78 is R716,000.
Game rangers, off-road enthusiasts, farmers, and other “utility-minded” individuals are the target market highlighted by Toyota as users of the 78.
The vehicle is only available on a per-order basis, however, and only one specification model is on offer.
Colour options are another limitation, and you can pick between Ivory White and Sand Beige.
Included in the price is a 3-year/100,000km warranty with service intervals at every 5,000km.
Extra service and warranty extensions are also available upon purchase.