Toyota's work-focused 70 Series range has been upgraded, now with a four-cylinder diesel engine and automatic transmission across the range and pricing starting at $75,600 plus on-road costs.

The 2.8-litre 1GD diesel engine, also used in different tuning in the Prado, Hilux, and Hiace, will become the dominant engine with the previous 4.5-litre V8 diesel now available as an option.

The V8 will also be available with a six-speed manual gearbox while the four-cylinder variants will only come with a six-speed automatic.

Toyota has also upgraded the new 70 Series’ styling, comfort, and convenience features, and safety technology.

Changes to the 70 Series’ engine compared with that used in the Hilux and Prado are centred around improved cooling and reliability in heavy-use applications.

These changes include a bigger diameter cooling fan and the addition of an isolation crank pulley to reduce the load on the engine’s serpentine belt.

There is also a new design of oil pan, strainer and oil level sensor to improve oil delivery in off-camber and hilly situations, while the orientation of the oil filter has been adjusted to suit the new vehicle.

Noise, vibration and harshness levels have also been reduced by introducing a balance shaft.

Toyota has also upgraded the six-speed automatic transmission to cope with a more demanding workload, adding a deeper oil pan, optimised oil strainer intake position and new oil-catch tank.

The automatic transmission has a ‘power/haul’ mode to maximise the efficiency of the 70 Series’ full 3500kg braked towing capacity; a transmission guard has been added for extra underbody protection for the oil pan; and the breather hose has been raised to a height of 900mm to assist water crossing performance.

Externally, the incoming 70 Series is identified by a redesigned front end with circular LED headlamps with automatic high beam, which can automatically detect other cars on the road and turn the high beams on and off to suit.

It also has a new black mesh grille melds with the heritage-inspired bonnet and turn signals. The 76 and 79 Series GX and GXL grades add dark grey alloy wheels and over fenders.

Cabin upgrades include a bigger 6.7-inch touchscreen multimedia system with voice recognition and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster display and a new-look speedometer and tachometer with a design borrowed from earlier Land Cruiser models.

It also has new control buttons — for multimedia, active safety features, and voice recognition — added on the steering wheel, and the fitment of the automatic transmission has seen the centre console redesigned with greater amenity including a centre storage box.

GXL grades gain two new USB-C ports which replace the existing 12V socket, while the 76 Series gains a reversing camera for easier parking ability around town.

The active safety features have been expanded to now include downhill assist control, road-sign assist, and lane-departure alert. These join the existing pre-collision system that includes autonomous emergency braking.

The new 1GD four-cylinder powertrain will be offered on all Land Cruiser 70 Series grades. It is tuned for 150kW from 3000-3400rpm with 500Nm of torque available across a 1600-2800rpm rev band.

Toyota will sell the 1VD 4.5-litre turbodiesel V8 engine for an extra $4100 alongside the 1GD on all variants except the 76 Series WorkMate. The V8 produces 151kW at 3400rpm and 430Nm of torque across 1200-3200rpm.

Otherwise, the 70 Series retains solid front and rear axles, ladder-frame chassis, a payload of up to 1380kg (depending on variant) and a low-range transfer case with locking front and rear differentials on GX and GXL.

Pricing highlights are:

76 Series wagon GXL: $79,800 (4-cyl auto); $83,900 (V8 manual)

78 Series Troop Carrier GXL: $82,500 (4-cyl auto); $86,600 (V8 manual)

79 Series single cab/chassis GX: $78,800 (4-cyl auto); $82,900 (V8 manual)

79 Series double cab/chassis GXL: $83,500 (4-cyl auto); $87,600 (V8 manual)

*Prices plus on-road costs.

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